The grace moments happen without fanfare… you can’t really stage something like this without making it look dorky. It’s not something you can suggest to a couple, it has to be an organic thing. It has to come from them.
Jessica and Phil had a crowded wedding day. Many people and a tight timeline made for sort of a frazzled tone to the early parts. It was most noticeable when we took 15 minutes after dinner to sneak out for some pictures of just the two of them. I watched them exhale and they began to breathe a little easier. Shy of the camera to start with, I asked them if they had honeymoon plans. That was all it took as they started to talk about Cabo San Lucas and the relaxing they’d be able to do there… like a great shiny reward hanging just ahead.
Trust your photographer to find and catch the grace moments… you’ll want to have them for later.
Vista Hills Vineyard in late August… we have an absolute heaven right here in Oregon. Our vineyards are all within about a 45 minute drive from Portland… it’s the best of both worlds. That proximity has become a marvelous reason to get married in these beautiful rolling hills.
Stephanie and Lee took a break with their friends a little before dinner… there was wine passed and laughter on that summer road. Come to Oregon. Bring your dreams.
I think it’s important to have a collection of images from the wedding feast without making those awkward fork-in-face close ups. If you have a buffet service, it’s easy enough to showcase the food before it’s on the plates but if you have a seated dinner it becomes a different thing altogether. Ambiance and mood are key elements in any reception. As a photographer, I still have to bring it back for the bride and groom but I have to avoid embarrassing anyone. With any luck, I am still mostly invisible in the process.
Photographers must all have a longish list of shots that we only took in our head… I can’t be the only one.
Opera Boy and I went to Venice for the first time in 2006. We got to our little hotel completely beaten up by the flying. The tall windows in our room looked out over Campo San Stefano… interesting and busy in the late afternoon light.
So we walked to stretch out and find a quick meal, stealing to bed as it got dark… it was like drifting off to sleep on a movie set… the cafes don’t get going until after dark so all of the friends and laughing people gathering for dinner mingled with faint music and, always, the sound of heels on stone.
I woke up at dawn and looked out the window… trying to identify a sound.
Here is where you will have to imagine the Campo empty save for one man and a two wheeled blue cart. He was sweeping the whole place with a long brush broom… made of twigs like we see in our fairy tales. No cars in Venice, of course, so he is the garbage service.
I was so entranced by the whole thing, I had to just watch. The camera, in the unpacking of it, would have made me miss something I wanted to see.
I went back to bed but my dreams were colored by that early morning encounter. Next time, I will be better prepared.