Archive: December 2009  |  View all recent posts
December 22, 2009  -  Weddings

sandra + tim

I have a hell of a time sleeping most nights. When I'm nervous or can't get something out of my head, I'm a wreck and usually just give up on sleep at some ridiculous hour. The night before Sandra and Tim's wedding, holy crap - not only could I not sleep, but I kept getting these weird thoughts about things going sideways at the wedding (cameras and back-ups breaking down, lenses malfunctioning, cards formatting themselves, etc). I figure it was because this was the last wedding of a great (albeit really, really long) season and I wanted to send off 2009 by doing the best work we've done all year. I needed this wedding to be bad-ass, I just needed it. We drive ourselves to be at our best every week when we go out to shoot, but this one had me nervous the night before, and I just don't get nervous.

Anyway, I wouldn't call it relief that I felt when we started shooting Friday morning, per se, but things felt so comfortable so quickly that I knew very quickly it was going to be a good day. I'm always a little astonished at how warmly families accept us in to their lives for the day. There are a lot of wonderful things to say about shooting weddings - I mean, we're pretty sold already - but it just can't be overstated how amazing it is to photograph the inner workings of a family when they are really happy and gracious and ready to celebrate growing.

Oh - did I mention I might have had some slight trepidation about a 38-member bridal party? Yeah - that turned out to be the best thing possible. Sandra and Tim come from large families and when you make the decision to include your whole family and their families (think a TON of kiddos) it's gives the day a really nice feel - it was a family wedding in every sense, hence me mentioning the above feelings. Sandra and Tim still completely owned their day, and I couldn't imagine that they would have done it any other way or been as happy.
Yeah, it really is amazing. Sandra and Tim have a spectacularly awesome family (and group of friends - you guys rock too!), and I absolutely adored getting to hang out with them over at the Hyatt before the ceremony. We also got to work with the awesome Franks over at 17 Video Production, again, which always makes a day awesome.

One of Sandra's bridesmaid's sisters did the makeup, and looked over at me and asked how Sandra's complexion looked. I was like, are you serious?? She's flawless!! I almost asked if she'd do me! I'd kill for skin that perfect. :)
So, I have a shoe shot later that I absolutely loved, but Rich and I both kind of loved this candid shoe shot, so we're doubling up on the shoes this post (is that any surprise?)... :)
Yeah, this shoe shot is pretty sick. We definitely couldn't not include both...
Thanks! It definitely a little different than what I normally do with shoes, but I loved it. I also loved Sandra's room - massive windows = happy photog!
Er... so three shoe shots, then :) Hell, it's the last wedding of the year - I'm throwing all caution to the wind and going shoe crazy on this post. :)
This, too, is pretty sick.
Thanks! I really was so excited about the gorgeous light in this room. And Sandra was ready so fast, so we had plenty of time to do some family shots and portraits of her being all sorts of super gorgeous before we headed over to St. Louis.
And her ladybug bouquet. :)
So, I was just testing light with this shot (firing randomly to see how the light looks), and it ended up on the blog :)
Meanwhile, I was hanging with the guys and, thank you, for mirrors....
...and getting some last-minute grooming help from some little hands.
And this may be one of my favorite shots from the whole day, lol.
Yeah - it's pretty rad. So, clearly, you'll notice Sandra has a spectacular eye - thank you so much for owning that ridiculously awesome mirror. Rich was so excited about it! Seriously, when I saw him at the ceremony, he was like - I want to live in their house, now. And then I saw the fun he had with the mirror, and totally got it :)
You know you have a LOT of groomsmen when the party stretches into the extra pews at St. Louis I've never actually seen anyone use.
Nice kiss shot, babe!! It's really cool knowing that we can work off each other and take some chances (for instance, Alyssa, you know I'm getting a standard portrait-style shot of the first kiss when this is going on - so we don't have to think too much - just react). That makes a wedding fun.
Yeah, and it was a good day to play - since the light is going away so early, we got some serious stained glass fun going on during the ceremony. Love it!! Heck, I just love St. Louis. What a spectacularly great looking church.
Shooting in sub-freezing temps at Niagara Square - yes, for the win.
We normally do our couple's session while it's light out since we can fire away like crazy without our couples noticing and catch some cool moments going on between them. Since it's Buffalo and pretty much dark constantly in the winter, this session had to be lit, but it ended up being awesome, because we wouldn't have gotten to play with the Christmas lights during the day! Love them!!
So, we get to the reception and immediately saw how the cake topper was custom-painted with s + t in their wedding gear and with their dog. It's a really, really cool piece. And that's not even mentioned how the cake matched the dress...hell of a detail.
Holy crap, Alyssa!
I'm a little in love with these dancing shots - these are some of my favorites from our entire 2009.
Yeah, me too. The b&w one is definitely my favorite dancing shot in a while. :)
Look at you catching some guest flash! You rock.
So, I kind of love this :)
You think?
Oops, this is out of order :( This should be up in the first dance shots, but this is my favorite of yours, babe!
Thanks :) This was definitely a party from the minute they opened the dance floor. You guys had a great group going on - and a great DJ. Jim is a family friend (brother of Alyssa's sister's husband's best friend. Did you follow?), and this was the first time we'd gotten to work with him. Oh - and he sold us our crazy, downtown house when we moved back here to Buffalo.
Oh! This is out of order too :( Should've been up by the bouquet toss. Boo me. But I just realized that earlier I saw this photo and only saw her covering her face, and this time I noticed her other hand. I just want to throw this out there for her - those aren't both Sandra's! She wasn't double fisting at her wedding!!! :)
We'll end with a ring shot - you guys have some seriously nice looking rings! Thank you both for having us with you for your wedding. You really are amazing people with a fantastic family, and it was awesome to be there. Thanks, again - Happy Holidays!

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December 19, 2009  -  Engagements

ashlee + adam

When Ashlee and Adam were looking for photographers for their wedding, and Ashlee planned a meeting with us, Adam begged her not to have to come meet with our lame butts, but clearly that wasn't going to happen, so he gave up an hour of his life to come with her. Well, turned out we spent THREE hours talking about everything under the sun, and probably could've gone longer if they hadn't had to get to a family dinner. :) We're all kind of chatty :) So, we were definitely looking forward to seeing them again for their e-shoot, since one thing we quickly picked up on when we met was how much the love to laugh, and that's one of my favorite things to shoot.

We headed over to Chestnut Ridge Park which still had some snow on the ground from last week, which we were pretty stoked about, because, well, what's the point of shooting when it's 18 out if there's not even snow on the ground?! We'll start off with my favorite from Rich - love this!!
Thanks! Yeah, so, this is kindof an amazing shoot because we were all FREEZING. You guys are friggin champs for going all in on a winter shoot. I still can't feel my fingers, by the way. I don't think I've fully adjusted to it being winter yet - I mean, weren't we wearing t-shirts in November this year??

Anyway, to say we like Ashlee and Adam is a vast understatement. We're so tight we're even tank neighbors in Fishville (well, we were until I deleted all my facebook games last week - had to go cold turkey on those, for real). We'd had to postpone our e-shoot twice, once for a hospital visit and once for jury duty, so there was no way we were going to postpone again. Something Ashlee said made a lot of sense, too. Getting winter, snowy photos is a cool (oh crap, no pun) compliment to their upcoming August wedding photos. Besides, we live in Buffalo - this stuff is what we're all about. I once joked with another local photographer that we should start offering workshops called, "How to shoot in the snow."
I love this one, Alyssa - I wonder who paints all the fun stuff they put up in CR around this time of year? Like, did some local artist get commissioned to cut out three thousand wooden candy canes?
I know, right? There are candy canes, EVERYWHERE. :) But yeah, it was about 18 degrees out and ridiculously cold. And every time I thought it couldn't get colder, the wind would pick up! Thanks for that, wind. (a-hole!)
So, clearly, we popped into the lodge there for a bit to get out of the weather, and it was all sorts of decorated for the holidays. So, we couldn't NOT play with that! :)
Christmas card win!!
I often wonder how many times we can have our blue saturn randomly in the back of shots. Hey - your subaru is back there, too, guys! This is my favorite shot I took on Wednesday. I'm a sucker for fences and patterns and crap. That's how we should describe our style, you know that? "Nickel City Studios - they like patterns and crap." It's way better than what we came up before for our portrait shoots, which was, "Nickel City Studios - intimate moments uncomfortably intruded upon by a heavily-tattooed bald guy." No way we were fitting that on a business card.
That's so funny that you pointed that out - I can think of a ton of times I'm editing a photo and was like, well, I guess we can just pretend that was some random car in the parking lot. No one will ever know it's our car! :)
Picnic table in the middle of an icy pond? Check!
My favorite...
So, at the coldest possible moment during the shoot, I had this bright idea to send them up to the top of the bleachers... you know, put them in the worst possible place for wind :) You can't tell half of how miserable they are. Seriously, this was the point of the shoot where Rich accused me of not changing my lenses because I didn't want my hands touching the metal of my lenses. He wasn't entirely incorrect :) You guys so seriously rocked this shoot!
That's okay - I've told the story about a billion and a half times, probably, but I got my hands and feet a little frost-bitten when I was overseas. Now I have ZERO circulation in my fingers once the temperature drops. I know you wanted to punch me in the face, but I appreciate you changing lenses for me when I asked. Nothing is more sad than a grown man who can't change his own glass in the cold. Happiness, though, definitely involves random, red sleighs just hanging around for us to take photos on.
I know, right? I saw it and knew there was no way we were leaving without them in it :)
Guys - you were so much fun - thank you for rocking the cold and being so awesome to hang out with! You guys rock so hard!!!

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