Creating an Image with Words or a Camera | Amelia Island Wedding Photographer

Writing in rhyme comes easy for me

I come from a Dad who did it, you see

For many poems he wrote and with others did share

So, I continue his legacy, minus his romantic flare

For he could write words that drew pictures in the mind

Me? I have to use a camera to paint those pictures in kind.

So…I will not write today’s whole blog in rhyme, but I believe I could. But, then, I figured, writing a rhyming blog a day would keep the public away, so I decided I’d better not pursue that which, to others, would not seem up-to-date and new.

I am a little punchy you see, for marrying off the youngest has done this to me.

Oops, I have rhymed again, bad me, bad, me. Oh, no! Brain, stop the rhyming and LET ME BE!

Okay—I’m done. If I didn’t lose you, today’s blog is about weddings. I have four children. (Now you know where my craziness comes from). If you aren’t crazy before you have children, you are certainly crazy after. And, add a ‘times#’ to each child you have, so I believe that makes me crazy x4!

I do not usually share all that goes into getting ready for a wedding, but in this blog I thought I would. My normal prep consists of the following: photography timeline for wedding completed (and discussed with bride a couple of weeks out), all family and special groupings in writing, all compact flash cards formatted, batteries charged, correct and cleaned lenses attached to cameras, fresh batteries in all 3 cameras, light stands ready with external flashes and radio poppers synched, fanny pouch filled (Yes, I use a fanny pouch and not a shoulder bag, because I have two cameras on me, in ready position, at all times). The Patagonia fanny pack works great for me and is very sturdy, holding what I need it to without being too big. I pack it with spare batteries, lens cloth, lens filters, mints, ear plugs (for the loud music at some receptions), a granola bar or two–since I seldom have time to eat correctly, and several other miscellaneous items. I synch all the cameras, time-wise, and make sure the same is done for my assistant’s cameras. I make sure my reflector is in my car, as well as a ladder, depending upon where the wedding and reception are located and how I will be shooting there. I make sure my backpack is filled with more batteries, and an extra coat hanger or two, just in case the bride only has the plastic one from the store.  This process usually takes about 4-5 hours. So…I am ready to go, and catch every moment I can of this most special day in the life of a bride and her groom.

Thus, Saturday, May 25, began such as I have written above. I had the pleasure of photographing a most beautiful wedding that day. The wedding of Joel Shasteen and Mallory Glass, the now Dr. Mallory Shasteen! (I had previously photographed their engagement session and could not wait for this day!) It was a cooler-than-normal late May day, here, in Northeastern Florida, and this couple couldn’t have had a more perfect wedding day. And, to top it off, the sunset was out of this world, literally. Katrin, of, my daughter, and 2nd shooter this day, was ready to go as we began this particular wedding photographing the groom and his groomsmen. We met up with them in a rustic beach house located central island along the oceanfront. It was perfect prep area for the guys.  We captured some unique images there and then moved on to the bride’s villa located further north on the island, and also located along the beachfront. The colors for the wedding were stunning and the bride and bridesmaids looked even more gorgeous due to the color choices.

From the prep, we were off to St. Michaels Catholic Church for the ceremony. It is such a gorgeous church, and the service was just beautiful. After the ceremony and family photos, the bridal party boarded a trolley and toured around the quaint Fernandina Beach downtown area for a little while. During this time, we (the photographers) had the pleasure of choosing the locations and taking photos of the bridal party here and there. What fun! This is the second time we have had the privilege of doing this in two weeks. I love this freedom and the images definitely reflect the extra time allowed. Once we had a few images of the bridal party, we chose to continue in the trolley toward the reception which was held at Walker’s Landing, Omni Amelia Island Plantation. This venue is one of the most popular in the area, and rightly so, with the golden marsh, glistening waterways and towering moss-draped oaks. And…the sunsets. They are stunning, most of the time. (Only in rainy weather do we not get to enjoy the gorgeous sunsets in this location). We stopped just short of the reception venue to take the newlyweds aside for a few romantic shots (special moments, I call them), before disembarking at Walker’s to join the cocktail hour and then the reception.

A side note: When I go into a wedding, I often have images in my head, but the creative side of me looks for a new take on a photograph, So, though I could shoot every wedding the same, I do not choose to do so, since every wedding is different and should be respected in that way. I am always looking for the light and how best to use it in every location. I look for things such as a special look against a wall, a rail to lean on, a different look in window light, a bush to hide behind (just kidding-maybe), a silhouette to accentuate, a somber moment, an emotional moment, and funny things that should be documented.  I love a challenge and a new take on the old, so I am always looking for those things as I shoot. My goal is for the bride and groom to have those special images that are unique to them and match their personalities. I do not make the wedding; I document the wedding to reflect the bride and groom. That is my job and I am passionate about it.

So, having shared a little of myself with you–the corny, rhyming part and the more serious part– I hope I have conveyed that I take my job seriously, but am able to use my sense of humor in my work. I love what I get to do, and using my sense of humor comes in handy, not some of the time, but ALL of the time. I will now share what you have come to see–some gorgeous images from a spectacular day. One, just like all the others I have photographed, I will never forget. I am so thankful this couple, and the bride’s photographer mother, trusted me to document this day.  Congratulations to Mr. and Dr. Joel Shasteen! provided this day’s trolley and the driver was Connie. She was super!

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