Posted on Aug 24, 2013 in Blog of Chuck, In the News, Latest news, Professional Photography | 0 comments

Weddings 2013

Hello everyone!  It’s been way too long since my last update to the site.  but now,  mid wedding season here in Buffalo, time for a little recap. It’s remarkable to me how it’s gone.  With this just being my second season, I have tackled 7 weddings solo, a vow renewal, and second shot on 2 (one being an Indian wedding which was quite the experience).  Not bad for only my second season as a wedding photographer.  Last year I ended up covering 6 weddings solo, but did a whole lot of second shooting.  So this was my year to turn the corner from backup to primary.    

7 down, 8 more to go, so yup, the perfect midpoint!

Was everything perfect!  Of course it was!!!  (yeah right!)  Ok, to be honest, no, everything did not go perfect, there were bumps, and there was the unexpected.   Sometimes you can spend a week planning the day to a tee, only to find that blow go right out the window right at the get go.  I think my ability to evolve, to think on my feet has really helped to see me through those bumps and produce a product which I feel is truly unique to my style, filled with magic and wonder!  More so than anything technical, what has improved the most for me is my confidence.   It’s that twinkle in the eye that makes the B&G say yes, your the man make magic happen.  The better I can be at that and wow, the sky becomes the limit!  

Alright, enough of me babbling  - on to the images!

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From one of the smaller weddings.  Shot outside of the botanical gardens.  I truly enjoy the timeless quality of a good B&W image.  Though it was small, this wedding presented a challenge.  Tight budget led to a very modest ceremony, and the bride had friends who where photographers.  So I shot alongside them throughout the ceremony, they shot the family formals and I was charged with the creative bride and groom shots.  The image above is one of them.  The hillside caught my eye, and I loved the rolling treeline.  Midday light, which made me immediately think B&W.  I like to have a little more time to work with the Bride and groom, this one challenged that because we had 15-20 minutes tops.    


The above image was from the vow renewal.  What a great couple, 10 years and going strong!  This one was it’s own challenge because it was held at a very non-traditional setting.  Also, yup, it was right smack dab in midday light.  Instinct said get there early enough to pick out spots.  I loved the way this tree arched out across the edge of this little cliff here.  And the light was hitting it almost perfectly.  It’s always a challenge to shoot like this because the couple is a distance away.  Kind of had to shout orders to them so they could hear me.  Part of making something like this happen does truly involve confidence – when you explain the idea to the couple, they gotta see it in your eyes, because they have no clue what’s going on in my head!  Confidence leads them to say, ok, kind of strange, your gonna go all the way over there…. but I trust your vision.  I think my vision was spot on here, love the results!!!!  Dreamy, magical, that what I like to create!!!!  


From a same sex wedding.  Noting those little things, like wow, that mirror, i bet…!  And as you can see, I bet right!  The look and feel of this image is just splendid!  all of the same sex wedding i have covered have involved out of state people coming in to for the formal service.  It’s an interesting change of pace, because it’s pretty much the couple and me.  Which does lead to a slower pace.  With just 2 people and a chunk of time, I can bust out the lights and really sculpt the image.  Which does lead to a lot of fun shots!   No lights were used in this shot though, this was all about trust me, I have an idea.  There’s that confidence thing again…I can only imagine them standing there wondering what the heck I’m doing turning away from them….  When I showed them the camera back their jaw’s dropped!    


Same sex wedding #2.  This couple came in from Texas.  Ceremony was at the falls, but, I took them to Lewiston for the portraits.  I had done sunset shots from this location, but wanted to see how things would go for a daytime shoot.  I like the results!


From a full day coverage wedding in June.  I love this venue enough that I am getting married there myself!    Right in the heart of downtown Buffalo!  This shot really challenged my ability to use off camera lighting.  And this one really showcases the confidence factor.  Me – I have an idea…your going to be up on this balcony…i will be shooting from the middle of the street here, second shoot, please help me re-position lights..and oh yes, don’t let me get hit by a car standing in the middle in an intersection!  Bride, says, OK!  Lets do it.    

Also, balancing the light in a shot like this is difficult, too much and it’s mush, too little and it’s mush.  I Love the results though and really look forward to more challenging night shots!


Love this couple, she was proposed to at the top of Mt Everest, so obviously she’s feeling like a rockstar here!  The bride in the window shot, yes it’s cliche, and it’s got to be done.  If it’s got to be done, then do it well.  I love the texture the B&W gives.  It just ooooozes with contrast.!  And the awesome part, the hand in the air finger pointing to the sky was spontaneous!  

This couple was very fun to work with, and yeah, they most certainly knew how to party.  It had been a cloudless day right up until we made our way to the harbor.  On the drive from knox farm, you could see this band of clouds moving in, I was so hopeful that they’d be in the right place when we got there.  Sometimes Luck is on your side because the clouds were extraordinary.   Double lucky too because we were not going to go here originally!    Another good thing to note is that I had also done an engagement shoot with this couple – it does definitely help.  When we’re hired, it’s all a mix of looking at images online, meeting, talking on the phone, meeting in person and seeing things in print.  throughout this process the camera is safely sitting back at home.  the images from them are awesome, but what’s interesting to me is the non-tangible side.  Working with me on the engagement shoot, seeing me in action, seeing how they look in the results, it leads to a report that you just don’t get when you only meet at a table and talk business.  To put it very simply,it builds a trust!  

And yes, this shot did scream wide angle — and yup, I listened!

Last thoughts :

What went right, what went wrong, what was beyond my control, like this:

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What do ya do when it rains?   Well, for one, I reaaaaaaaaalllly need to invest in umbrella’s!!!  And for two, I need to practice this ‘what if’ in the daylight hours.  I have experimented with my fiancee, at night, so i know what needs to be done at night.  I was not prepared for daytime though.  the groom had scattered to the party tent, the bride didn’t want to get soaked, and the garage we had taken refuge in was extremely humid, so all i was able to do what this tester with the bride and a bridesmaid.  The idea…we would have had to have others assist with umbrellas to move away from the cars, and one to protect me and gear, maybe even another to hold a light – mix that with the thoughts in my head of oh no, I have not practiced this yet – yeah, this is the opposite of the confidence moment.  Can’t be fiddling around with settings for a rain shot.   In retrospect, I should have sent for the groom because I was shooting from inside of the garage and the girls were just on the edge of the rain.   Move it out into the driveway and there would have been more ambient light on faces.  But the solution didn’t come easily.  So all we had were the tests, and I do enjoy the feel of this shot.  

Other lessons learned – lots of time between ceremony and reception is awesome, but, keep your eye on the bridal party, too much time = too much drink and if you don’t have food, gotta try to plan to stop somewhere because they have a long day to get through.   That mean s i need to visit lots of places like this —  

Love the feel of this place, lots of hardwood, and enough windows to allow ya to work with ambiant light.  Totally not part of the plan, totally derailed the plan in fact, but, that shot on the waterfront above —- that shot would not have happened had we followed the plan (not that the plan was bad, the plan involved an orchard, a vineyard, and a haybarn!!!!).  The point is —- i don’t want to say expect the unexpected, but, be ready for it.  Don’t get so attached to a plan that deviation throws ya.  Be ready for it, work with it, and make magic!!!!

8 more to go, one of which is in Vermont – and yup that one does excite me as it will be my first destination wedding!  It’s the 3rd weekend in September, will the leaves be a changin.  Ohhh I hope so.  So here’s to a great first half o the wedding season, and a rockin second half!