Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

He was raised in upstate New York, working farmland for $1 a day as a kid.  When he graduated high school, my father decided he wanted more out of life, and so he joined the Army.  He met my mother while stationed in Korea and worked hard to provide and save for his family.  It was through his work ethic that I learned discipline and the value of a dollar.

The Army provided him opportunities he would not have had on a farm in upstate New York, and he took those opportunities to make a better life for us.  Thank you dad, for your service to our country.  And thank you, also, for providing a good life for Mom, me and Pam.  I love you!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Wide Angle Love

I rented the Canon 24mm f/1.4 Mk II for my last wedding, and I immediately fell in love.  I don't normally shoot wide angle until the reception, but I found myself using this lens several times throughout the day, starting with getting ready photos at the bride's home where I didn't have the space I needed to back up with my 50mm.

Why have I avoided the wide angle lens for so long?  Probably because I currently own the 24-70 f/2.8, and I've never really been impressed with its performance.  Don't get me wrong, it gets the job done (and I enjoy the versatility of the zoom), but I've always found it too soft for natural light photography, and the 2.8 maximum aperture without image stabilization just won't give me the speed required for low light situations.

But ohhhhhhhh, that 1.4!!!  Wide angle heaven!!  (Not to mention it produces some great color!)  Here's an example of the 24mm...

...and a 100% crop.

This lens is now on my wish list to purchase, but until then, I think I'll have to rent it for every wedding!  I've always rented through BorrowLenses and I can't recommend them enough.  They are reliable and their customer service is wonderful!  Check them out the next time you want to use or test out some new equipment. 

Happy Monday!
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Hitched Styling Night Featuring Enchanted Atelier

Last night Hitched Salon in Georgetown hosted its second styling night featuring Enchanted Atelier.  Liv, designer of the fabulous couture accessories company, was on hand to help brides find just the right pieces to complement their wedding day attire.  Appointments for the past two styling events have filled up quickly, so if you want to attend the next one, RSVP as soon as possible by phone (202.333.6162) or email (  The next event is June 23rd, 5-8pm!

The girls at Hitched are so sweet and fun!  Here they are, having a meeting before the event begins...

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Springfield Golf and Country Club Wedding: Ann + Andrew

The Lewis and Clark journey begins in Chicago.  Ann Lewis and Andrew Clark were set up by his sister and her sister-in-law, friends who realized they knew two single people that they thought would be great together.  Andrew's first email to Ann had a subject line the length of a complete sentence, "Hi, this is Andrew, Aarin's brother, and I was wondering if you wanted to get together....."  The line was then repeated as the first sentence in the email.  Ann, finding it strange, asked him about it.  He responded that he wanted to make sure it didn't go to spam!

After a naturally easy 4-hour first date, they began to regularly keep in touch.  Emails turned into phone calls and more dates, and after several months Ann knew Andrew was the one for her.  She loved being with him and wanted to see him all the time, a feeling she's never felt for anyone else.  So for the past two and a half years they have shared adventures together, both local and abroad, discovering Chicago and the world around them, including a trip to Europe last fall.  But this past Saturday, their travels brought them to Northern Virginia (home to Ann's family) to begin their journey as husband and wife.

Ann's beautiful and classy Amsale gown...

Ann and Andrew opted for a first look to ensure enough time for the photos they wanted.  This gave us plenty of time to visit two locations for a variety of portraits.  I love first looks because the bride and groom get to share an uninterrupted moment together before everyone is vying for their attention.  Just look at Andrew's expression as he takes in the sight of his beautiful bride-to-be!

I'm SO thankful the rain held off long enough for us to get some portraits under the open sky!

Andrew is an Art Director and it was only fitting that he conceptualize the visual identity of their big day.  He designed all of their paper products: save-the-date cards, invitations, programs, place cards, menus, and table numbers.  (I saw the PMS color choices on their wedding website, and as a former graphic designer, it really spoke to my inner design geek!)

Their wedding logo, as explained on their tumblr site, is a map of Lewis and Clark - a line tracing the journeys they've already taken and the ones they are preparing to take together.  "The logo traces the routes each person went in order to find themselves in Chicago on Sept. 23, 2008 for their blind date: Ann's route is in Navy Blue and Andrew's in Lime Green."

(Thank you to my 2nd shooter Melanie for capturing the wedding sign on the left.  There's something I just love about the yellow line leading up to and ending at the sign, with an arrow showing which direction to continue on to...)

I just adore these two!  They secretly sneak a moment with each other while everyone else has their eyes closed in prayer... 

(captured by Melanie!)

Ann, how cute are you???  Seriously!

Place cards, table numbers and menu designed by Andrew...

Each table number had a significance to Ann and Andrew's life and relationship.  Table #28 reads:
The date of month in December when Andrew finally professed his love for Ann (and she for him) at sunset on the historic battlefield of the First Battle of Bull Run (that's Yankee for the First Battle of Manassas) near Centreville, VA.

Menu: "Eat. Drink. We're married."

Their custom wedding invitations were a Moleskine journal with the invitation and reply card tucked inside.  From the Lewis-Clark wedding site:

The idea of a journal soon became the invitation's foundation. We knew the journals were things we used and something you would want to use to jot down groceries, honey-do lists, song lyrics, recipes, diary, sketches, directions, contact info, etc. The Moleskin journal is also a staple for artists, writers, thinkers, designers from Hemingway to Picasso, and while they didn't use Moleskin, Lewis & Clark had some well used and famous journals.  We added the hand-stamped logo in Navy Blue to make them memorable to our event.
Invitation Card
The invitation cards are small enough to fit in your pocket, jacket pocket, purse or clutch.  We wanted to make sure you could carry them without having to wear cargo pants or fanny packs. Slip them into a good book you are bringing for the weekend or car trip.

We have included an RSVP card for each invitee. We hope this helps us organize and arrange for all the guests a little easier. This way you will receive your Grilled Vegetable Tower and not the children's plate.

Ann's father, Jim, gives the dinner blessing...

I have no idea what song was playing, but it must have been a good one!

Ann and Andrew, I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of your special day.  As I drove home from your wedding my heart was full for you both.  I simply adore you!  I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon in Grand Cayman, and I wish all the best for you as you begin your new journey as husband and wife in Toronto!  xxxo....

To see more of Ann and Andrew's wedding, CLICK HERE for a slideshow!

Associate photographer: Melanie Yu
Make-up: JL Bolton
Dress: Amsale
Cake: Cakes by Wanda
DJ: Ben Geyer

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