Image of the Week: Image(s) #12

(Upfront disclaimer: No, we're not models, and we don't pretend to be, in case you were wondering...LOL.)

Since Thurday evening we've been in Colorado, and we're having so much fun. Friday through Sunday we were with Amanda and Rob for their wedding weekend, and then Sunday night we drove to Aspen for a couple days of down-time and to celebrate the 6 years we have been married!!!

Tonight we went out to dinner, (they have phenomenal restaurants here!) and on the way back to our hotel we stopped to do a couple fun shots of each other.

It's interesting how the naked eye doesn't often notice reflections unless they're totally obvious. So tonight as we were shooting, using light from the street lamps and illumated storefronts, we noticed these cool reflections and thought they were fun.

Jerry Ghionis, in his workshop a couple weeks ago, really challenged us to look for reflections, even in places we can't imagine finding them. "Once you start seeing them," he said, "you'll find them everywhere."

Amanda and Rob's wedding

We were honored to photograph Amanda and Rob's wedding on Sunday. The wedding took place in Redstone, Colorado, about 45 miles from Aspen. It was a beautiful day and a magnificant hill-side setting.

Of course, Amanda was beautiful in her wedding gown and cowboy boots. As for Rob, he wore a black pinstripe suit, making him the most handsome guy on the mountain. After the reception we went with the bridal party over to the Gibson's house to get some shots in the river, which turned out to be more fun than should be allowed at a wedding. :)

Thanks so much, guys, for letting us be a part of your special weekend...we shared a special day, it was also our 6th wedding anniversary! It was a pleasure spending time with your families and getting to know them. It was indeed an occasion we'll never forget. May God continue to bless you as you begin your new life together. Have fun in Cozumel :)


GraphiStudio to sponsor elevate:Orlando2007

We are excited to announce our partnership with GraphiStudio, clearly one of the top wedding album companies in the world. We've been using Graphi books for the past two years and we've been thoroughly pleased with their innovation and quality.

A few weeks ago we spoke with our representatives at Graphi and talked with them about our upcoming seminar in January. They were excited about the possibilities and have agreed to sponsor the seminar and provide a variety of benefits to the our attendees. We're excited by this partnership and we look forward to working with Graphi on some additional initiatives in the future. Graphi is headquartered in Italy and has satellite offices in the United States.


Marveling Majesty (warning: long meaningful post)

We’re in the middle of an absolutely wonderful wedding weekend in Redstone, Colorado with Amanda and Rob and their family and friends. It is spectacular. We’ve been to Colorado once before, a couple summers ago when we spent time in Vail following a wedding.

If you’ve ever made the drive from Denver into the mountains along I-70 you know what I mean when I call it a constant gallery of God’s handiwork. Once again I was taken aback by the rugged natural beauty, recalling the same emotions that I felt two years ago when we first visited here, and a similar feeling to the first time Joy and I drove the Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel south through Big Sur. It’s a breathtaking, speechless sensation, to say the least.

Once while driving through Arizona with his wife Jamie, Christian songwriter Andrew Peterson was struck by the raw majesty of the Grand Canyon. He and his wife pulled off the road and they wrote the following song, which rings clearly in my mind every time I experience a setting like this.

“Nothing to Say”

Hey Jamie would you mind,
driving down this road awhile,
Arizona’s waiting on these eyes.
Rich is on the radio
and I think we ought to take it slow,
Arizona’s caught me by surprise.

Hey Jamie have you heard,
a picture paints a thousand words?
But the photographs don’t tell it all.
I see the eagles swim the canyon sea,
Creation yawns in front of me,
Oh Lord I’ve never felt so small.

And I don’t believe that I believed in You as deeply as today,
I reckon’ what I’m saying is there’s nothing more, nothing more to say…

And the mountains sing Your glory hallelujah
The canyons echo sweet amazing grace.
My spirit sails, the mighty gales are bellowing Your name,
And I’ve got nothing to say,
No, I’ve got nothing to say.

Hey Jamie, do you see,
I’m broken by this majesty.
So much glory and so little time.
So turn off the radio, let’s listen to the songs we know,
All praise to Him who reigns on high.

And I don’t believe that I believed in You as deeply as today,
I reckon’ what I’m saying is there’s nothing more, nothing more to say…

And the mountains sing Your glory hallelujah
The canyons echo sweet amazing grace.
My spirit sails, the mighty gales are bellowing Your name,
And I’ve got nothing to say,
No, I’ve got nothing to say.

Glory, glory hallelujah.
Glory, glory hallelujah.
Glory, glory hallelujah.

And the mountains sing Your glory hallelujah
The canyons echo sweet amazing grace.
My spirit sails, the mighty gales are bellowing Your name,
And I’ve got nothing to say,
No, I’ve got nothing to say.

Hey Jamie would you mind,
driving down this road a while,
Arizona’s caught me by surprise.

After about four hours and a brief stop at Vail, we arrived at our destination. Filoha Meadows is a small retreat just outside of Redstone on the Crystal River. No cell phone coverage…they don’t have towers there. No internet either, except for dial-up, and we didn’t bring a phone cord. What an inconvenience, I thought. Until I stepped outside again and realized where we were.

We had a great dinner with all the guests, and once the sun went down several of us, (Joy and I, Amanda and Rob, the bride and groom, Amanda's sister, Katie and friend, Bethany) jumped into the natural hot springs pool. The water was 130 degrees and that’s HOT…naturally hot. We had to turn on the cold-water hose just to make the water bearable. As we sat in the pool relaxing we gazed at the stars and into the heavens. The Big Dipper was bold and bright and to the left you could see the Milky Way. Miles from any nearby city, the stars shone brilliantly and once again I couldn’t help but pause in amazement. How small am I. And how big is God.

This afternoon we spent 5 hours four-wheeling in the mountains. It was a blast! (this picture has the bride and groom jumping off the cliff with Crystal Mill in the background). After rehearsal this evening we drove 20 miles to Carbondale to call and check on Graycen and find an internet connection. The wedding is tomorrow morning and then afterwards we’re going for a couple days in Aspen. Then we’ll head back to Denver across Independence Pass.

Our lives have really gotten busy. So often we’re traveling and spending time on the road. It’s easy to get so busy that you don’t take time to be thankful for what really matters in life. The wedding tomorrow (I mean this morning) is going to be beautiful.

And our time afterwards is going to be great. It’s so much fun out here and such an adventure. Each day, I’m excited to get up, put on my old cowboy boots, jump in the SUV and see where the road takes us. Stay tuned for pictures from this amazing wedding. :)


Fun at Solutions

Today I visited Solutions Bridal Designer House with Lisa Konecny from E-Events Design, one of our wedding designer friends. We're excited to be partnering with Solutions on an upcoming project. So we looked at a few gowns and needless to say there were just too many to choose from (I'm glad I'm not a bride!).

Monique is the salon manager and she was super-helpful. We had heard great stuff about her from some of the coordinators in town, and also from some of our brides. Isn't it great how positive word travels. And one of her associates, Brittany, was nominated to display a couple of the gowns for us. Of course she didn't realize that I had a camera in tote, but she was a good sport and even posed, allbeit reluctantly, for a few shots.

On August 7 we'll be doing a bridal fashion shoot, and we're really excited to have the support of Solutions Bridal, Lisa, hair olympian Dale Dees, and several others. Thanks so much guys, for making this possible.


Who loves to read?

Reading has never been my favorite passtime. Aside from personal devotions, my reading is limited to flipping through magazines that arrive at the house and an occasional online Wall Street Journal article that my friend Paul forwards me. Oh, and how could I forget to mention online photography forums...I visit those occasionally (wink, wink).

Don't get me wrong, every now and then I get inspired to read a book on investing or motivation or how to become a better person, but other than that, I could list about 100 things I'd probably rather be doing than reading. The list would include obvious things like golf, eating chips and salsa, watching golf on TV, having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory or Bucca di Beppo, going to golf tournaments, and on and on and on. But the list would also include some not so obvious things like vacuuming the living room and bathing our dog...LOL.

Contrary to her father's habits, Graycen loves to read. That she gets from her mother. She will walk around the room trying to hand the book to anyone who will read to her. And if no one is available she'll read to herself...out loud, of course.

Last night she sat in her rocking chair that her great grandparents had given her for Christmas and she grabbed the heaviest book she owns and started reading it. I grabbed a camera and the long lens and sat in the hallway watching her methodically thumb through "Tails" at least a dozen times before she was worn out. I can't imagine reading a book two times, let alone 12! With that said, it has to be the furriest, fuzziest, shiniest book I've ever seen and maybe if my books were like "Tails" I would enjoy reading too.

Unfortunately, the poor pig on the next-to-last page, his little curly tail is almost torn off, so I suppose I'm going to have to pretend I'm a pig doctor or veterinarian and make it better. Okay, I'm going to find the tape before she wakes up and wants to read.


Image of the Week: Image #11

For this week's installment of Image of the Week we selected one of the e-session pics that we shot of Natesha and Chris. I love walls, not just plain walls, but walls with interesting color and texture. This is obviously a wall of lockers. I've been wanting to do a locker e-session shot for a long time, but obviously had to wait until we found the right couple. Natesha and Chris were high-school sweethearts, so the shot made perfect sense. The lights were turned off in the hallway, but an occasional light remained on. We positioned them under one of the flourescent lights, just a few lockers down from the one Natesha used during her senior year. We grabbed the shot and then burned in the edges in PS. It was a fun shot and I'm sure it will have special meaning to them for years to come.

Natesha and Chris's e-session

We had such a fun time shooting with Natesha and Chris last week. I couldn't help but laugh when we met in the morning and they showed me their wardrobe. As they opened the trunk I saw 7 pairs of shoes, tons of clothes, hats, and who knows what else. It was great!

These guys were up for anything. We shot in Winter Park, then we went downtown and shot on a Lynx Bus, then we went to the carwash, and we finished up later in the afternoon at Forest Lake Academy, where they attended high school. Natesha leaves tomorrow for Medical School at Loma Linda.

It was a pleasure working with you guys and we look forward to your wedding next summer.


GN Photography featured in Central Florida Bride magazine

After 14 days of shooting on the road it was so nice to return home last Thursday. Our neighbor brought over a box of mail that looked like we'd been gone for three months! Amidst the pile we were excited to find the latest issue of Central Florida Bride. In it we have a featured wedding, Elaine and Frank Imbruglia, that took place in March at one of our favorite venues, Casa Feliz.

Like most brides, Elaine had gone to great lengths to find her perfect dress. Four days before her wedding she received a call from the dry cleaner that her dress had been ruined! The next morning she rushed to The Collection in Winter Park to see if they could help her. Unfortunately, since there stock is all sample dresses, they were all six sizes too large and most had make-up stains and other blemishes on them. They called their nearby warehouse and discovered that there was one dress available from a bride who had just called and cancelled her wedding. Elaine was so excited. When the dress arrived it was the very Reem Acra dress that she had wanted to begin with, but couldn't afford, and it was the exact size she needed. What a blessing!

We were also excited to have some of our commentary included in one of the features where wedding pros talked about and gave advice regarding the various portions of the wedding, such as themes, design, flowers, cake, and saving the best for last...photography. :-)

Also in the magazine are about 30 more of our images (4 of them are full page, like the one of our friend Jasmine included here). That was indeed an exciting surprise! Good grief, when they asked for us to give them some images, they weren't kiding! LOL.

Of course our new ad is included, and we're really pleased with how it turned out. We modeled it after the ad that Davy Knapp and I designed for the first day assignment at the Mike Colon class in February. The only difference is that the one we did for Mike, wasn very satrical and funny. He got quite a kick out of it.

As far as the magazine itself, images from the following weddings are included, so if you see your name below, run out and get a copy...
Diana and Thomas
Maureen and Colin
Nadalie and Ben
Jen and Brad
Ashley and Jeff (Tennessee)
Lilly and David
Brandi and Scott
Jasmine's seminar bridal shoot (California)
Angie and Bob (Pennsylvania)
Angie and Rob (Florida)
Summer and Ezra

We're really excited to be on board with the magazine, and they've asked us to serve on their editorial committee for the following issue. (Props to our good friend Curt Littlecott for shooting a great cover)

Jerry and Bambi rock Orlando!

Wow, what an amazing day! Two of the greats in the wedding photography industry, Jerry Ghionis and Bambi Cantrell teamed up for a tremendous tour, which stopped in Orlando. So I was privilidged to attend their workshop today, along with about 75 other photographers.

Of course we've seen Jerry and Bambi before, but it's always exciting to see them again. They bring so much energy to their work and you can't help but be inspired by being around them.

The seminar was from 9-7, but they were on such a roll that they went until 8, when we were all kicked out of the conference room! A few of us hung around afterwards and visited with Bambi and then joined Jerry for dinner.

They discussed everything from marketing to shooting, and it really made for a high impact day. Both of them did a deomonstration on how they shoot and that was equally inspiring. I find that no matter how many seminars and workshops you attend, there's always something interesting that you can pick up and take home. And Jerry and Bambi challenged us to do just that.

Anyone in the wedding photography industry knows that for the past handful of years the Australian photographers have been leading the way, winning all the major awards at WPPI and really producing phenominal work. It was interesting at dinner and in a much less formal setting to get Jerry's take on that. He talked about the friendly competition between he and Yervant, and how time and again they swap places in the competitions. He said that their competitive spirit is what fuels them to become better photographers. And Bambi added that the Australians are always trying to one-up each other, and that has given them an edge.

It was exciting to hear that acknowledgement because that's how I've been feeling the past few months. Obviously our first goal is to please our clients. But we challenge ourselves to create shots that make people pause, stop, and say "that sure looks amazing." And secondly we want to create images that make other photographers in our market kick themselves in the pants and say, "oh, man, why didn't I think of that first!"


Image of the Week: Catching up with #'s 7, 8, 9 and 10

Life has been unreasonably busy lately, but I realize that's no excuse. We've fallen behind on our Image of the Week posts. So let's get back on track.

Image of the Week #7

There are several reasons I really like this image of Loren and Ryan. First of all, it's a fun portrait in an unusual setting...an alley. Secondly, although it's a set-up shot, it has a fun feeling of spontaneity. Thirdly, it's shot from below, an angle that's not usually flattering, but it worked out well here. Fourthly, it's rule-of-thirds to the extreme. Finally, it's one of our favorite couples and they're photographed at our favorite blue wall.

Image of the Week #8

Contrary to the previous image, this is an obvious action shot, taken at Sandra and John's wedding in Dade City, Florida. I love the expresson on John's face as he's releasing the dove. Additionally, if you've ever photographed doves, they're a challenge to catch!

Image of the Week #9

This long dark stairway at Jared's house in Atlanta made a great location for a fun and dramatic shot. We had just finished shooting on the large staircase by the entrance to their home and the sunlight on that staircase made for a relatively easy shot. This one, however, was lit with a ceiling light about 8 feet away and to the right. Joy stood under the light with a 48" silver reflector and bounced the light onto Jared and Annette, creating a nice shadow on the wall and a dramatic, romantic feel.

Image of the Week #10

This is a fun detail shot that we grabbed last week at Michelle and Mark's wedding in Tennessee. And detail shots were everywhere. I've never seen such exquisite details in everything from the house to the barn to the wedding and reception itself. It was beautiful and the farm/antique theme was great! As far as the couple's rings, lately we've been trying to challenge ourselves to find fun and unique places to photograph the rings. So during the reception we found this bottle of honey that was used as part of a table centerpiece. It made for a great prop on which to photograph the rings.


Happy July 4th!

A couple weekends ago we flew from Chattanooga to Philadelphia to photograph Karey and Justin's wedding in the Poconos. When we were exiting the plane at the Phili International Airport we walked up the walkway and to the gate and there was a woman with two small children anxiously peering through the crowd. Suddenly they started jumping up and down and screaming. It felt like they were looking right at me and it was awkward. I glanced behind me and saw a man in uniform following close behind. His face showed the same excitement. Upon realizing what was happening, we stepped to the side and let him run around us. There before our eyes we witnessed one of the most beautiful "family reunions" I have ever seen. My eyes welled and my heart swelled and had I not felt it would've been disrespectful, I would have run up and given all four of them a hug too.

For the next couple days we're visiting Joy's family in Charleston. This morning we did some computer work, then we had lunch, then we ran some errands. This evening we'll go to dinner and maybe shoot off a few fireworks. But on this day, the day that we celebrate our country's independence, we say a special prayer for the men and women serving in the armed forces and the families that they leave behind. Their sacrifices are truly immeasurable and we are forever grateful. May they be richly blessed for their sacrifices.

Graycen's July 4th outfit courtesy of our dear friends Esther and Brian Liu.

Michelle and Mark's bridal shoot

I'm a fairly traditional person when it comes to pretty much everything except photos. That's why we were so excited when Michelle and Mark told us that they wanted to disregard tradition and do their pictures of the two of them several hours before the wedding. The wedding was going to take place at Mark's parent's home in the evening. So to balance the evening sun, we decided to shoot the bridal shots early in the morning...that's right, early, like 6:30!

But I'll tell you, we had a great time. We spent three hours and covered almost every corner of that 160-acre farm.

We shot by bride and groom flirting with each other in front of the out-house...

We shot the bride and groom testing out the chairs at the ceremony site, 10 hours before the wedding...

We shot the beautiful bride on the stairway of the barn, in her fabulous Nicole Miller dress (we love Nicole Miller!). With this shot we were obviously going for a fashion magazine look...

We also shot the bride in the bathtub, not your ordinary bridal portrait, but very playful and so much fun. I love the color in this image and the natural light coming from the skylight...

We had so much fun working with Michelle and Mark, and doing their pictures before-hand really made things easier. We'll post some images from the wedding soon.


Summertime fun

We were over at our friends Nolan and Konika's house for dinner on Thursday evening. After dinner we were outside with the kids playing in the yard. Everyone had such a fun time.

Benjamin had the most fun playing in the sprinkler.

Sydney and Graycen didn't find the sprinkler as amusing, but had fun playing on the swing.

We're looking forward to being back in Tennessee so we can play in the sprinkler and on the swing every evening. :-)

Annette and Jared's e-session

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to shoot with Annette and Jared in Atlanta. And what a great time we had. These guys were up for anything, and it was so much fun. They did a total of 6 outfit changes! I think that sets a record for our e-sessions.

We're really looking forward to working with them again at their wedding in September at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta.