Archive for June 2011

Holly & Ryan’s First Look

A few weeks ago I shot Ryan and Holly’s wedding on Main street in Santa Monica. They decided before we met for the first time to discuss their wedding that they wanted a “first look” photo shoot. For those of you unfamiliar with the first look is; it breaks the old tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the ceremony.  During a recenty seminar someone commented that the tradition of not seeing the bride before the ceremony dated back to arranged marriages where in many case the bride an groom had never met before. I guess you can’t bail on a wedding if you meet the bride at the alter?

So why break tradition and see each other before the ceremony? It serves a couple purposes. First and foremost it allows the bride and groom to share a very tender moment together; and by together I mean not 50 feet away from each other. In this case the first time Ryan saw his soon-to-be bride in her wedding dress they were surrounded by their friends and family and he got to appreciate and acknowledge how special a moment it really was. The first time I saw my wife Robin on our wedding day she was about 100 feet away and I didn’t get much time to appreciate how great she looked. By the time she was standing next to me at the alter I was too busy trying not to cry and then it was time to get married. With Holly and Ryan we planned to document the moment and for them to have some time to enjoy it.

With Holly and Ryan I wanted to make sure that I could get Ryan into position, blindfold him and then have Holly remove the blindfold. It worked like a charm. The photos speak for themselves.

Ryan and his groomsmen waiting

Ryan and his groomsmen waiting

The first time Holly gets a good (close) look at Ryan

The first time Holly gets a good (close) look at Ryan

Holly_Ryan_052911_166

The other main reason to do this is to better enjoy your wedding. This is your big day; this is the party and celebration you have spent months planning; these are your closest friends and family. When a bride and groom see each other before the ceremony I typically shoot a lot of the formal bridal portraits after the first look. This saves time after the ceremony and allows the bridal party enjoy part of the cocktail hour.

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Army Navy (the band) at the Silverlake Lounge

I love music and in-turn love shooting bands. I don’t do it as often as I used to but last week I noticed on Army Navy’s facebook page that they were playing locally and I didn’t have anything planned for thursday night or friday morning. I contacted the band and they said the venue would most likely be pretty lax in regards to photography and that I was welcome to come by. I have shot at the Silverlake Lounge on one other occasion and I remembered it being small.  I had forgotten just how small. I’ve found that the best band pictures I shoot (the ones I like the most) are the shots that have great stage lighting and the shots where I have access that photographer’s don’t usually have. I also tend to favor shots that I have a personal relationship with the band. Be it that they are friends of mine, or in the case of Army Navy a band I really enjoy.

  • Run Run Run - showcase at the Viper Room
  • Run Run Run – showcase at the Viper Room
  • Darren Pfeiffer of Goldfinger  - Bamboozle Left fest
  • Darren Pfeiffer of Goldfinger – Bamboozle Left fest
  • I’ve found that the two most important items when shooting live bands are – ear plugs and fast lenses. Luckily I had some ear plugs and a F1.2 lens.  With my 50mm I was shooting at ISO 2000 and 2500. I swapped out for my 70-2000 F2.8 IS and had to crank the ISO 4000 to get anything usable. In other words it was dark in their.

  • Silverlake Lounge - Salvataion
  • Douglas Randall – Drums – Silverlake Lounge – Salvation
  • Justin Kennedy - Army Navy
  • Justin Kennedy – Army Navy
  • Silverlake Lounge - Army Navy

    Silverlake Lounge - Army Navy

    I also shot video during the last song of their set. The audio quality in an environment like that on my 5D is shite so i dubbed in the album track. It worked out that the band sang pretty close to the album version. So if you want to hear what I saw, check it out.

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