Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kevin's 12 Favorite Photos from 2011

Here they are, my 12 favorite photos from 2011.  I stressed about these, went through 2,000 photos, narrowed them down, re-narrowed, threw them away, started over, narrowed, replaced.  I stressed way too much about this.  It's because this post in particular is so important to me.  These are not the best photos of the year, some of them maybe, but rather, they are my favorite.  Moments that stood out to me, photos that when I see them, still give me goosebumps.  And believe me, there were so many more.  I narrowed it down to 12 when it could have very easily been 50.  You may not love all of these & that's ok, sometimes you just have to be there.

I love the clients we book and these moments we get to share with them.  It's truly amazing, and my favorite part about what we do.  The past few years I've become close with almost all of our wedding clients.  And it's because we are wedged in the middle, soaking up, and capturing some of the most beautiful & emotional moments of their (& their families) lives.

My hope is that you'll enlarge each one and take a moment to really take it in.  That would make my day.

Enjoy! (I'm sorry for those of you I left out, I loved all our weddings last year! )

 Anna & Anthony- Dordogne Valley, France.  Usually when the bride is getting ready the groom is far far away.  These guys are too laid back to worry about that, even though Chateau Lacoste was huge to say the least.  Anthony was right there, uploading his vows to his Kindle.  I came in to them laughing and Anna just getting dressed like no one was there.

 Melissa & Chris - Dominican Republic - The day after the wedding, we wanted to do a trash the dress shoot so headed out the water, with about 15 people from their wedding party following behind, they're behind us in this shot, watching, wondering what the hell I'm doing.  One of them had their diving gear so naturally I thought that would a fun thing to add.  My favorite part about this photo is that I had Melissa put the mask on rather than hold just felt right.  It was still missing some movement so the red wrap in her left hand is actually Katie's.  They made this the cover of their album.  You want to talk about an easy, fun, laid back, amazing wedding with awesome people, this was it.  So much fun.

 Scott & Charlena - Baltimore - Scott's sister led him out with a tie around his eyes to Charlena waiting for him.  When they finally touched hands, they both just about died and were laughing and crying.  We took a million photos of this, both Katie and I with tears in our eyes.  It was pretty awesome.

 Erin & Samuel - Oatlands Plantation, Virginia -I went out to Virginia alone for this one.  As the sun was going down, we made our way through a fence to this beautiful green field.  The sun was in the right spot and I told them to just run around, he picked her up and spun her around, & Erin kicked her feet up, it was perfect.  This photo feels like their wedding, bright, beautiful happy & full of love.  Also, I loved that little house in the trees.

 Greg & Rachel - Kayenta, UT - I love band photos, this was shot from behind facing the crowd.  They had these big lights illuminating the band & dance floor that were not very fun until I stopped fighting them.  I love the energy of this photo, the drummer in full swing, all the band members looking at each other.  It feels loud and alive.

 Jaime & Scott - W Hotel, D.C. - What an amazing hotel, right across the street from the White House.  I knew we'd do something with these stairs, but I wasn't exactly sure until we got her there, with her stellar dress on.  While I stood at the very top, Katie was at the bottom completing the swirl of her dress and holding the softbox that would light it up.  I leaned as far over that rail as I could, I mean like lock my shoes in the rail posts and lean 2/3 of my body over.  I just needed to get the railing in the bottom of my frame.  I can only guess what that looked like from Jaime's point of view and if she had an escape plan if my camera or I, fell.  Another wonderful couple surrounded by an amazing family.  They even gave us a tip - a night at the W Hotel (about $300).

 Lea & Ryan - Creston, IL - Cornfields everywhere!  This was on the way back from taking the bridal party out to a big red barn, more corn fields and old pick up trucks.  But on the way back, in the golf cart Katie and I were driving, we caught this shot of Ryan & Lea just being themselves.  It's not the easiest thing to get a big huge real smile out of my good friend Ryan (we go all the way back to Kindergarden, I believe), but I caught this one, and I just love it.

 Alicia & Shane - Vaux le Vicomte - France - How I love this photo Katie took.  I don't need to say too much here other than, it's not often when a bride, who has been thinking about her wedding her entire life, probably been thinking about her dress just as long, and finally comes that perfect moment when she gets to put it on, takes a second to help her little sister with her necklace.

 Alicia & Shane - Paris - This was aboard the dinner cruise on the Seine for their reception.  We ate delicious French cuisine, cried during toasts and took photos as the sun went down & the Eiffel Tower started to come to life.  This photo just feels like their reception & this couple, beautiful, classic & fun.

 Suzanne & Paul - Paris - When we pulled up here, there was a big metal barricade lining the street, which, took a moment or two to take apart and move.  Not sure if that was legal.  When we were about to leave, I had this image in my mind of Suzanne crossing the street, Eiffel Tower in the background, street signs.  So we shot it, and it didn't look right, and she came back across the street, waited for traffic and we did it again, and again and again.  It just was not looking the way I was seeing it in my head.  And it was taking a lot of time, waiting, herding people trying to cross the street, etc.  I could tell it was time to be done, and I just pushed for one more.  Suzanne was great, happy to do it, so we did, one more time, waited for traffic, told the bikes and crowd to please wait, and took one more.  It was perfect.

Tyrus & Sallie - Lake of the Ozarks - On their wedding day, Sallie had just finished getting dressed when her mom came in and saw her for the first time and just lost it.  It was too freakin sweet, but little did we know that when she went out to get her husband, & he came in, it would be even worse.  He paused at the door, hands on his hips and kind of let out a cough/hold it together/cry and walked over to Sallie.  In the meantime, her mom was losing it in the background, and so was I. 

Now for my Personal Favorite Moment from 2011:

Suzanne & Paul - Paris - While Katie was off with the girls I found Paul at this Canadian Pub of all places.  I say that because we were in Paris and he's from Ireland.  He was sitting there working on his speech & it took a few moments for him to realize I was there, which was good.  But he gave me a big hug and we talked for a while, I don't remember much of what we talked about, but it went on long enough for me to order a cafe and hang out a bit.  After the reception Paul told Katie that having me there helped him get through the morning, and that he couldn't have done it without me there, it calmed him down.  I don't know what to say about just floored me.  I love that guy.  Easily my favorite moment of the year, something that I think about often and a moment that defines why I love what we do and the clients we work with.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Albums are Off The Hook, Biotchs!

Not to be vulgar here, but the good people of Millers Professional Imaging are the f-ing bees knees when it comes to printing albums (and everything else, for that matter).  They have been our printers for the past two years and we have always loved their fast turn-around time, their family-style customer service, and the relationship they've worked hard to nurture with us.  We feel part of the Miller's family and hope to for a long time to come. 

On the same token, we couldn't put together these glorious albums without the fantastic Fundy Album Builder Software.  For all you photogs out there designing albums like we used to (really, really slowly) Fundy is a must.  Just check it out.  It's too difficult to try and explain the awesomeness here.  But really quickly, it works as a Photoshop extension.  Enough said.

And now...

Without further ado, we present the album pages of Jaime and Scott, whose Washington DC wedding at the swanky W Hotel was not only one of the most beautiful weddings we've ever attended, but downright classic.  These 12x12 pages will be bound with Kodak Endura metallic photographic paper, with a black leather cover and a matching custom album box.  It will be stunning!