Friday, May 22, 2015

Always KISS Me Goodnight | Leather wedding album

Before I was a professional photographer, or even a decent hobbyist, I had a treasured collection of 10-12 slip-in albums each with 200-250 photos plus boxes of loose prints that served as an account of my life.  As my technical photographic skills have improved and my editing has become refined, I realized that the imagery that I was creating for couples should be showcased in a special album. Thus began the search for a high-end wedding album that reflected my modern, clean style and evoked a sense of importance, elegance and beauty.  

After months of searching, I'm proud to introduce the KISS album to my product line as my signature wedding album.  It comes in buttery 100% leather or soft linen covers in a gorgeous array colors that clients can select to suite their style or mirror the colors of their wedding design.  Each book is carefully hand-crafted by the talented folks at KISS, located in Indiana.  You can definitely see their Hoosier pride as they carefully print, cut, cover and ship each album by hand. 

With every notable release comes a grand opening.  To mark the introduction of my new line, I decided to surprise my delightful clients, Alex & Sara Chrysler at their wedding photograph reveal appointment.  I brought them in just under 3 weeks after their May 2nd wedding, and we reminisced about their wedding over a glass of shiraz. After chatting about their honeymoon, I surprised them with a video slideshow presentation of their wedding day. It was so sweet to see Alex reach over to hold Sara's hand and watch them laughing and at times tearing up at their images.

When it was finished, I spent some time talking about the various fine art products that I carry, building up momentum to reveal my newest product.  I spoke excitedly about my new Leather albums.  I handed them the cover samples to peruse while I extolled the virtues of hand crafted albums.

And then I silently set this sample album in Sara's hands.  


Yep.  That's right.  In under three weeks, I busted out a full wedding gallery, designed a custom sample album which was then handmade and rush shipped just in time to slide it into Sara's hands and watch those dimples emerge as she smiled that slow, sweet smile.  (And if you're lucky enough to know Sara, you know exactly what I'm talking about.)  I think it left Alex speechless, but by the careful way that they handled the album and the tender looks they shared, I think they were happy.

This is why I'm a business owner.

This is why I'm a photographer.

Thank you Sara & Alex for making the long drive up to view your wedding images.  I hope that the experience was memorable.  I am very proud of your wedding images and beyond grateful to witness your lovely reaction to them.  Thank you for choosing me as your wedding photographer.

And remember...


You can learn more about KISS album company at

The album featured is a 12x12 fifteen spread (2 page spread) Leather Album in the color Tiffany.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wedding Sparkler Exits

Browse weddings on Pinterest for a few minutes, and you'll likely stumble on a sparkler exit shot.  It's a festive way to end a wedding and to celebrate ushering the newlyweds off to their honeymoon.  Besides, nothing says it's a party then a little fireworks.  I want to rock that shot for you, so here's some tips to help get a great Sparkler Exit Shot.

Buy Bright, Long Burn Time Sparklers with Low Smoke Emission

That's fancy talk for saying if it smokes like a chimney, the photos will be a hazy mess.  And if the burn time is only 45 seconds, you may not have the whole line lit before the the first ones flame out.  My best advice is to test them at home before using them at the wedding.

Set Aside 20-30 Minutes

Yes, the DJ can make an announcement to your 250 wedding guests to relocate for the sparkler exit, but it's a bit like herding cats.  Assign two people to be the shepherds.  Their job is to organize everyone.

Make a W-I-D-E Aisle

Seems logical.  Sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sending a bride in a long veil, with copious amounts of hairspray and a fluffy dress with a train through a narrow tunnel of sparking flames is maybe not a great idea.  

2 Lighters + 2 Shephards = every 4th Sparkler

It would take too long to light each Sparkler individually.  So have your helpers each take one side of the aisle, and then they will light the sparkler of every fourth guest.  The Guests will then help light the sparklers in between them.

Walk, Don't Run

If it were me, I would totally duck and run too.  Depending on the ambient light conditions, focusing may be tricky and running makes it more challenging.  If you really want to make me a happy photographer, stop about 5 guests short of the end and give her a dip and a slow kiss.  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sara & Alex | Manor House, Mason, OH | Wedding | 2015

Sara and Alex are a beautiful, young couple.  They're huge sports fans and dedicated to CrossFit.  Yep.  That adorable little gal can lift like a boss.  Me?  I'm just lucky I can lug my camera gear all day at a wedding.  I sorta have a couple crush on them.  Besides being good-looking and athletic, they are so, well, happy and approachable, and the kind of couple you want to go out with on double dates.   So, it's really no surprise to see so many friends come out to honor them and celebrate.

Still, the most compelling experience about their wedding, at least for me, is that they are very effusive.  I think capturing the expression of genuine, unrestrained emotion is the best thing about photography.  To be a part of it, to simply witness it is beautiful, but to document it for all time always amazes me.       

I photographed Alex's wedding band with the bands of the other men near and dear to Sara's heart.

Sara chose lavender and two lovely shades of teal to complement the decor of the magnificent grounds at the Manor House.  I think her lavender, rhinestone embellished shoes were the perfect choice for her beaded, sweetheart neckline gown with lace overlay.

I love the way the light is falling on her face.  It feels a bit 50's glam to me.

Sara stitched a part of her father's shirt inside her dress to honor his memory.

The Manor House in Mason was the perfect spot for the ceremony and reception.  I loved it so much, you might see one of my daughters getting married there someday.

Sara and Alex choose to wait until the ceremony to see each other, but they shared loved letters first.

Daddy sees his girl on her wedding day for the first time.

The Carriage House, a former golf clubhouse, is a stunning setting for a romantic ceremony.

Waiting to get married.

The Mother of the Bride.

I think Pops just realized that he gave away his girl.

The speeches were moving, but perhaps the most brilliant ending goes to the Maid of Honor, Kristen, who toasted "to forgetting Sara Marshall" and welcoming the newlyweds, Alex & Sara Chrysler.

I have to preach for a bit because A Spoonful of Sugar made a damn good cake.  If there was a fail-proof way to smuggle a layer home, I totally would have done it.  It was that good.

We ducked outside after dinner for a few night shots.

Sara & Alex surprised the crowd with a fun first dance.

Bridal Prep:  Springhill Suites North East

Hair:  Carissa Haneberg

MUA:  Alexis Gregorcyk

Flowers:  Baysore's Flower Shop

Wedding Venue:  Manor House

Cake:  A Spoonful of Sugar

DJ:  Jon Grice of Party Pleasers