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How to choose a wedding photographer

So I know I'm a little bias on this one but I honestly don't think every bride out there is right for me or me right for them. So how do you find the best wedding photographer for you?

Three simple pieces of advice:

1 - Make sure that when you view their photos, you FEEL something. You are hiring an artist with a specific eye and heart. You want to resonate with how they see and capture the world around them -- specifically relationships.

2 - Ask to view an entire wedding worth of photos -- the proofs. Any photographer can show you a slideshow of their best 50 photos they've ever shot and you will be impressed. But that won't give you a good sense for what your wedding photos will look like. You want to make sure they have good quality photos throughout the course of one entire wedding.

3 - Make sure you like them as a person. Whoever you pick to be your photographer is going to be around you and your family for many hours on the best day of your life. So you want to feel comfortable with them and most of all, be able to TRUST them.

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wedding shower marathon

Today my two closest single girlfriends both had their bridal showers. So I got to enjoy 6 hours of delicious food and girl-talk. I have spent endless hours with both Sarah and Shannon bemoaning our singleness and how there aren't any quality guys left in the world and how we're going to end up growing old together in a nursing home one day. But it's not meant to be. Both of them met their prince-charmings, both are getting hitched in August, both are having me do their photography, both will have the initials S.S. and both had their bridal showers in the same zip code on the same day. Coincidence? Probably. But weird nonetheless.

The day started with Sarah's bridal shower thrown by the ladies I used to work with at my old job at a church and with whom Sarah currently works. These girls out-did themselves with the food and decor. Amazing!! Check out the scrumtiousness. Twinkie sushi:

And my favorite--the chocolate fountain:

The ladies made this fun hat-o-panties for Sarah to wear during the shower:

The arrival:

A creative gift the office ladies went in on together:


Sarah was so cute throughout her shower. Here's the many faces of Sarah. The middle shot is her being embarassed by the scandalous gifts she was getting from "church ladies":

Next I dashed over to Shannon's shower for more merriment. The food was wonderful there as well. My favorite was the bean dip and salsa from Serrano's that I love to mix together. Yummmmm..... Unfortunately by the time I got there the food had already been dug into and I was much more interested in eating the bean dip and salsa than in photographing it.

Shannon's shower was thrown by her maid of honor and mother and many close friends attended. Shannon got some great gifts. Here are some of the many faces of Shannon:

Shannon loves Dr. Pepper so much that she registered for it and will be putting it in the trailer when she packs up to move to Chicago in August.

Me and my cute friend:

So much fun girls! I'm so happy for both of you!!!

If anyone else is looking for a nursing home buddy down the road, let me know!! :)

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Radio Milano

Last night I met up with some fun girls (and a couple guys) to check out Radio Milano--a new hot spot in the Arcadia area. It was fun! Cicely Rocha-Miller a fabulous event planner with Life Design Event Planning got the ball rolling by inviting some of her friends in the wedding industry and having them invite their friends yada yada and this is what happened:

It was fun to see a couple people I know and meet new friends as well. Here's me and my friend Liene with Blue Orchid Designs. I don't normally drink just because I don't like the taste of alcohol. PiƱa Coladas are good though. But I felt daring and ordered a pomegranate cocktail thingy and it was pretty good.

I think the girls in the wedding industry should do this kind of thing more often. We're a fun bunch! :) Here's Cicely, the one responsible for all the fun-having:

Looking forward to more fun being had in the future!

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So Apple's new iPhone comes out today at 6pm. Will I be standing in line to buy one you ask? Not today. The iPhone sounds like an awesome revolutionary tool and I'm excited to hear the reviews. Right now I have a Treo 650 that I've had for a few years and it's a bit worn out and acts up on me sometimes. I'm definitely open to the new phone. And of course I'm a huge Apple fan--they do things well. I'm just bummed that you have to use Cingular service if you buy the iPhone. What the heck is with that!? I have been with T-Mobile forever and love them. I get 1500 whenever minutes and unlimited data for $70/month. With the plans that are being offered with the iPhone I will have to pay $100/month for less minutes than I have now - 1,350. That's a huge bummer. But we'll see. I'm never the first one to jump on new technology. I like to sit back and see how things pan out first. So maybe this Fall...

If anyone out there gets one, make sure to comment and let us know what you think!

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One Light Workshop coming to Phoenix!

Since I attended the One Light Workshop in San Diego in April, I've been having fun working with off-camera lighting at receptions. I used to just use a 580EX on camera with the Fong Dong to diffuse the light. But with the knowledge I learned at the workshop, I bought some new gear -- a light stand, and some pocket wizards -- and my images have added dimension to them.

Here's some examples:

In this shot the lightstand with a 580EX attached to a pocket wizard and battery pack is off to the right behind the bride. You can see how the off-camera light illuminates the groomsmen in the background and backlights the subjects creating a greater sense of depth. This reception took place in a tent so the light was also able to bounce around and light up the whole scene in general.

I also like to experiment with shooting into the off-camera lighting--actually using the light as part of my composition. That flare in the above shot is my 580EX on a light stand. It can either create a feeling of drama and romance or add to the party effect like it does here.

Here's another example of a shot that I like using this technique:

Also, if you remember awhile back, I took some friends out to experiment with my new equipment. Here's one of my favorites from our shoot:

In this shot, I have the 580EX on the light stand mounted low behind the subject and pointed directly at her. The light spills around her and creates a dramatic effect in this image.

The One Light Workshop definitely taught me a lot and gave me the courage to take steps in an area that previously scared me. While out there, I told Zack Arias, our fabulous teacher, that we definitely needed to take the workshop to Phoenix. And I'm excited to say that it's now official! January 22nd-23rd, 2008 I will be hosting One Light Phoenix at my place. Cost is $550 and includes food. Definitely worth every penny! Click here to get more info and register. The site seems to be down on and off but check back if it's down--should be back up soon! Space is very limited so sign up ASAP!

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