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When we met with Helen and Barry, two things were immediately clear. Number one: They were madly in love. Number two: They were going to have a HUGE party to celebrate.  Barry, a widow, showed us a book of photos he had put together for Helen documenting their first year together. The pictures were amazing and we were flattered they picked us to photograph their big day.  Helen, at 59,  had always been a bridesamaid, but never a bride.  She was going to do it up right!

Both Helen and Barry  have a lot of friends and family— 118 years worth between the two of them. Everyone was invited! It was a fantastic party.

Helen getting ready with her friends from forever.

Helen had over 20 bridesmaids, 2 junior bridesmaids and a flower girl. So cute.

Down the aisle at Jack Block Park

The ceremony


So happy. They were so happy!

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…to bring you an important announcement: 

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Our son, Hale True, was born last week. He was a couple months early, but both mom and boy are in great shape. 

Why not go and have a look at the little blog we set up to share pictures?

 

Amy and I are utterly thrilled to be parents.

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I love taking photos of the bride getting ready. This tends to be when a big portion of the day’s emotion, excitement, nervousness and hilarity happens. Photographing the bride surrounded by her friends from all parts of her life along with her mother, soon-to-be-mother-in-law, sisters, brothers, aunts and such is such an honor. This is often a time for reminiscing, for sweet words, for joking and for all the hard work put into the day to come together. This is ritual! It is a bounty to photograph. And to boot, there is almost always beautiful light during the preparation time, streaming in from somewhere.

Documenting the preparations before the actual ceremony is a fairly new phenomenon in wedding photography. However, I predict these are going to be the images that are gone through the most by the next generations. The formal portraits may become the familiar photos, the pictures that are framed, hung on the wall to do the job of establishing ‘this is my great-grandmother and great-grandfather on their wedding day’.

I believe the shots of the bride or groom surrounded by their dearest friends in the moments building up to their nuptials—these will be the photos that answer the questions about WHO they were, HOW they felt, and WHAT happened on their wedding day. 

 

It is really happening!

It is really happening!

 

 

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I love the backstage pass!


 

Amanda has known her bridesmaids since she was a wee one. They have shared this ritual each time one of them has gotten married.

Amanda has known her bridesmaids since she was a wee one. They have shared this ritual each time one of them has gotten married.

 

 

 

Mahnaz's bridesmaids were amazing problem solvers. They got the job done.

Mahnaz's bridesmaids were amazing problem solvers. They got the job done.

 

It doesn't matter they happen in a crowded bathroom or in fancy hotel room with a view, the getting ready pictures are always fun for me.

It doesn't matter if they happen in a crowded bathroom or in fancy hotel room with a view, the getting ready pictures are always fun for me.

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I call this one 'anticipation'.

 

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Shellie doesn't have her dress on yet, but she is ready.

 

James, Shellie's groom, is ready too.

James, Shellie's groom, is ready too.

 

 

 

Scott usually photographs the groom and the groomsmen, but sometimes we switch it up. The ritual is rich with them as well.

 

Scott usually photographs the groom and the groomsmen, but sometimes we switch it up. The ritual is rich and sweet and real with them as well.

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There are a number of different approaches to photographing a wedding. Here in documentary world, we feel our mandate is to tell the event’s story, as it really is. Our goal is to find the thread of the story and set it gracefully within its context. Our job is not to direct that thread, or to manufacture the context. 

What that means on the ground is that we observe. Our goal is to disappear. There is a flow; we go with it. When a couple sees their photos, we want them to say, “Oh my gosh, you got that? You were there? We didn’t even see you!”

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Kate changes in the copy room

Take the picture above: A bride getting her dress on in a cluttered copy room. Faced with this situation, a traditional wedding photographer is going to think, ‘how can I get her into a nicer setting for this?’ And that’s a great way to get nice pictures. But if you’re doing that, you’re not doing documentary.

Here, I’m thinking, ‘Statuesque bride, gorgeous, distinctive dress–elegance walking, really–and in this kind of  jumbled, fluorescent-lit copy room. What a lovely, interesting juxtaposition!’

I am proud of this picture. I’d like to think that this image–both the photograph and the memory of that moment–is better for our not having asked Kate to move somewhere ‘more beautiful’ to shuck her civilian duds.

The simplest way  to put the distinction between “documentary wedding photography” and “traditional wedding photography” is thus: No bossing around. Apart from providing a little guidance during the portraits, we don’t do any directing at all.

We’re not trying to make a wedding look the way we want it to look; we are instead striving to capture beautiful, authentic pictures of the way it actually is. 

And we humbly submit that that’s going to make the experience–and the pictures–both more pleasant and more beautiful.

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Our Ideal Client

This is the time of the year when we’re not shooting an awful lot of weddings, and so are blessed with the luxury of time to do things like create blogs, update our wedding website, finish up video projects and focus on our portrait work. I love that stuff.

But we’re eager for the wedding season to rev up, too. 

We’re drawn to this work out of a deep human curiosity. We love to see how people live, how they interact with others, how they approach and experience and process the events of their lives. We are anthropologists, really–except that it’s human interest, not academia, that drives our curiosity. 

One of the questions we’ve asked ourselves in thinking about this blog, about our wedding photography business is, ‘Who is our ideal client?’ Who indeed.

The first thing Amy and I both said in answer was, they gotta love pictures. 

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We knew we were going to enjoy Dewa and Grant’s wedding when they showed up to our initial meeting with a stack of photo albums, from both sides of their new family. Now here are folks who care about pictures! The meeting went well–they made all the right noises about the pictures in our albums, and we gave them our little packet of info… but we spent most of the meeting looking through their pictures.

They’d met very young, been highschool sweethearts…

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… and we just soaked up their love for photography.

We love when everyone at a wedding has a camera. People’s relationship to photography is changing. The ability to snap and share pictures in the moment has now simply become part of the way people experience events. It’s part of the celebration. 

Some professional photographers will grump around about it (“grumble grumble, if they’re all takin’ their own pitchers, they ain’t gonna buy none from me, grumble grumble!,” ) but there are always going to be people who recognize this is a different thing. One doesn’t replace the other. One is part of the event; the other is the document of the event.

What better way to show you believe in photography, and that your event is important to you, than to commission artists to create an official document of it? 

For this reason, we feel genuinely honored to have clients who recognize that what we do is truly important. 

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