Never was a harder decision made than in the choice of photographer(s) for this Kodak Moment of the Nolte Family.
Another quick back story: I have always been a record keeper appreciator. (First camera? A Polaroid Swinger) In high school I shot for the newspaper and yearbook. As I was working toward my degree in photo-journalism, I free lanced as a wedding photographer. Through the lens of a camera I “saw” weddings..that badly needed some fine tuning. Thus, it is very easy for me to offer suggestions of things that will be beautiful in pictures. I tell my brides, “I can’t help but think of your wedding in terms of your finished album.”
I do know what photographs well (or not). Proportion of trains in churches, floral arrangements in big spaces and colors blended in bridal parties…are just some of the things that spill out when I’m in “coordinator mode.” In the years of post college, I photographed a lot of weddings by the law of supply and demand i.e. my friends were poor and I was cheap! But what a great training ground!
When I was married, the photographer was the first vendor I hired and the album so big it wouldn’t fit in a box. Good photography is Level 10 important to me.
Through the years, I have hired so many great shooters. The shift from traditional to candid and then back a little was always a challenge for photographers. Now the majority of wedding days are spent in hours long pre-wedding photo shoots and I dislike it intensely. I needed someone who could “keep up” with me. I needed someone who could be nimble, flexible, quiet and efficient.
Photographers who are barking out orders all day or won’t stop talking as they pose the supposedly “un-posed” pictures make me crazy as they rob the couple of the authenticity of the situation.
I ended up hiring four different studios.
Tyler Wirken photographed the formal engagement shoot which appeared in the Independent. http://www.kcindependent.com/congratulations-justine-michael/
Isaac Alongi photographed the Save the Date portrait which took my breath away. www.isaacalongi.com Clayton Jenkins captured the wedding with over 5,000 images, edited to 963 and they are a series of “keeper” after “keeper” after “keeper!” www.claytonjenkins.com I have hired Clayton and Isaac together several times and have the best of the best when I do. Isaac will produce the album and I can’t wait to see our “Parents’ Album” of 123 images. (The one on my parents’ coffee table marked “Our Son’s Wedding” has 20!)
Lastly, for her formal bridal portrait, there was no searching: Strauss-Peyton.
I have hired the father/son team of Mark and Jonathan Braswell, for dozens of pre-bridal shoots and they have done both First Communion and family portraits of my family. Their work is so “art-ful” that I keep staring and staring at it. “Timeless” is the only word to describe what they do.
A bridal portrait is all about the gown! And being a gown guy, I love when they are full length. I had the Braswell’s come to my home prior to departing for the church. The results took my breath away and a 24 x 36 of this hangs now in our foyer. All of these guys are stellar human beings and incredibly talented. Their numerous awards mean little to me as I look at only their work and their personalities. They keep all my brides incredibly calm and that results in non-stop natural emotion.
The resulting images are the ones that not just make me tear up but smile inside recalling that candid moment. MJN