Aggie & Brandon

Aggie and Brandon got married at the lovely historic Phelps House in Carthage, Missouri… and I got to be there to shoot it!

Family came from all around the country for this one, and the connections were deep and beautiful. I had a lot of fun being there, and am very appreciative to Aggie for her kindness to me and everyone else around her.

Congrats!!

PS- the dad wore a kilt and that was pretty sweet. That’s all.

-Mark

 

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Artemis & Doug

I really loved this day. Super chill wedding, really sweet people, ninja turtle cufflinks and amazing family. Thanks to the Martin event center for playing host and to the couple for trusting me with the day.

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So, Artemis’ parents are from Greece, and they’re pretty awesome. Her dad is a tailor by trade, and no-one was safe from his tie inspections for the day. But you could see how much he deeply cared- about his trade, about his daughter, about his new son in law and about the day being perfect. His authenticity and emotion were beautiful.

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Doug’s mom isn’t typically a big fan of photos. but she worked hard to give me a good smile when I pointed the camera her way and we soon became pretty good friends, I think. 🙂

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This next set of photos, the dad seeing his daughter in her dress for the first time… I DARE you to look through them closely w/out a tear…

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It was a beautiful, tiny ceremony with only the closest family. The reception later served as the giant party for EVERYONE to come to. I loved the setup of the day- it flowed really nicely.

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Someone had trouble sitting still. but that’s ok.

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They let me take part in the toast! Now that’s hospitality. Thanks guys.

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The dad insisted I take a photo with the couple. 🙂

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Doug made this ring box himself. He had to make up a lie and make it up quick when Artemis noticed the bandaids after Doug had been secretly working on it…

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We lucked out and had a train go by while we were shooting.

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The wedding venue was just down the road from a local brewery, which graciously allowed us to come in and get some shots in their facilities.

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There’s no story here. Airstreams are fun. That’s all.

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The Martin event space has a sweet hidden speakeasy hangout downstairs. I’m in love with that jukebox.

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turtle cake. His reaction to it later is priceless.

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It was a classy affair!

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One of the employees remarked this was the first super classy wedding he’d seen that had a pizza buffet as the dinner. 🙂

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this is my GAME.

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These two were running around snapping their own pics the whole night. I’m being directed here and it cracks me up.

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Seeing the turtle cake for the first time.

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This is the couple with Caitlin & Phil, whose wedding I shot almost exactly a year ago. Without Caitlin and Phil, I wouldn’t have been at this wedding- and I’m so very glad to have been there for both days. 🙂

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This man was afraid of neither the camera nor the dance floor.

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Some traditional Greek music was played, and these older fellas got out and showed us the moves. It was amazing.

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So these two have been best friends for 70 years. They immigrated to the states together. I’d love to shoot a documentary of these guys!

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This sweet couple did a traditional Argentian waltz. You’re never too old, guys.

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Hannah & Carl :: married!

Sometimes, the enthusiasm, joy, (and beautiful goofiness) of the subjects are big enough… that I find myself afraid that I can’t capture it all in the photographs I’ve been hired to take.  Yes, I do still get nervous sometimes. After all, some days you can only shoot once. 🙂

Hopefully, I DID capture just those things and more in the following series of images from Hannah & Carl’s big day. Enjoy!

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The big day took place at Springhouse Gardens just outside of Joplin… hands down one of the best venues our area has to offer.

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Being beautified isn’t always a painless process…
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SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sweet daddy. 🙂

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I love how Hannah & Carl handled the ‘first sight’… even during this emotionally charged moment when the groom sees his bride for the first time on the wedding day, they couldn’t hold back their acting side and enjoyed some big laughs…

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Of course, the emotion DID eventually take over. 🙂

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Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a certain WIll Ferrell movie quoted during a wedding party shoot…

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Beautiful daughter of the groom / niece of the bride. They were pretty much besties that day.

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9art photography, joplin mo wedding photographer- hannah & carl at springhouse gardens24The game ‘washers’ was a pretty big deal at the wedding… it got intense.

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Hannah found a forbidden bowl of frosting before the ceremony… this might be the most mischievous I’ve seen a bride…9art photography, joplin mo wedding photographer- hannah & carl at springhouse gardens28

The girls got it on it too…. this is one of my favorite images from the day.

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For photographers:: how to shoot a wedding, part 1 (BEFORE the day)

THIS POST IS WRITTEN FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS.  That being said, if you’re a future bride stumbling across this, this may help you out too when it comes to choosing your photographer and planning your day! So read on. I promise we won’t say bad stuff about you.   😉

9art photography, joplin mo wedding photographer :: hannah & carl at springhouse gardens

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I recently had someone let me know that they’d been asked to shoot their first wedding.

Firstly. WHEW! There’s nothing like being the one chosen to capture life-altering moments that can never be repeated again. That’s awesome and amazing. On the other, more stressful side…

You’re the one being chosen to capture life-altering moments that can never be repeated again.

That’s a lot of stress. And that’s why I know amazing, professional, experienced photographers that will never TOUCH a wedding.

But every photographer is different.  Some absolutely live to photograph weddings, and chances are, whether you plan to make weddings your specialty or not, you’re going to be asked to shoot a few.

So whether this is your first wedding or you’ve been at it for a little bit already, here are some tips on how to go about this thing… including several lessons I learned the hard way and would like you to not have to. (so listen to uncle Mark, kiddies).

#1: when you meet up with the bride to talk about her day, listen. very. closely.  

Yes, you have YOUR style, YOUR approach, YOUR equipment, YOUR favorite shots to take… those are important, and these things probably play a good role in why you’ve been hired.  So there’s that… but one thing to never, ever forget is that this is the BRIDE’S day, not yours. If she’s seen your work and hired you, she already trusts your style.  Now it’s time to ask her what she wants from her wedding pictures, and to listen.

Ask her about her wedding day. How she met her fiancee, what her family is like, her sense of humor, how she’s decorating the reception, what’s unique about her big day, what things she’s seen wedding photogs do that she HATES… watch her get excited. Take notes.  Get excited with her! Get as solid a feel as you can for what is important to her. Showing that you care and are listening will help her trust you more later, and knowing what’s important to her is  what you’ll want to remember on the day of.

9art photography, joplin mo wedding photographer :: epic high five wedding party

#2: Make a contract.

Don’t know legal jargon? That’s ok. Chances are,  the bride you’re working with won’t know it either. There are several ways you can go about this… including checking out sites like legalzoom to see wedding contracts that other photographers and lawyers have already written up. You can use one of these for now, altering it how you want, or you can use a couple of these to help give you an idea of how you want yours set up. There’s some big reasons for having a contract. No-one wants to think about them, but they CAN happen.

  • the bride needs to know EXACTLY what she is paying for. Don’t assume. Don’t let her assume. Spell it all out. Explain it in person. Write it down. If prints or a disk or a book are add ons and not included in the fee you’re getting paid, make sure it’s typed up somewhere.  If you’re only planning to be there X amount of hours, clear that up before the day. Then no-one can misunderstand later, and you’ve got the agreement in writing if she wants to say later that you didn’t provide what you promised.
  • The bride can use all the peace of mind she can get.  That contract isn’t just for you, it’s for her too…  you signing off on statements like ‘I’ll be there at the time we agree on and won’t leave before that’ will help set her at ease.
  • If something goes wrong outside of your control- a zombie army hijacks your camera bag and you never see the big-day-memory-card again- you need a contract in place that basically says you can’t be sued. I know you’ll wrestle zombies to the ground to save those wedding images if you have to, but they can be overpowering. And people can still try to sue you in the midst of an apocalypse.

#3:    Set a timeline meeting before the day.

Shooting a wedding isn’t just shooting a wedding. It’s helping plan one. More important than location scouting, knowing about the color schemes, or what cute props to bring… is sitting down with the bride to hash out EXACTLY how the day is going to roll.

What was the biggest news flash for me as a newbie photographer? The fact that bride and the wedding planner are not the only ones in charge of the flow of the day; so am I. It’s not an egotistical statement- just a realization that pictures take up a fair amount of the day, and no-one is better qualified to plan that, than the one taking them.

This is something that will be trickier when you’re starting out… if you haven’t done it yet, you don’t know as well how long to allow for the bridal portraits and other segments of the day. But chances are, you still have a better idea of how long things will take than the bride will .

There’s nothing worse than running out of time to get pictures, because no-one thought to allow time for them. The closest second to that horrible feeling is the one you get when everyone looks at you to let them know what to do next (bc they all know we’ve got to cram the pictures in somewhere) and you have no idea because you never got to talk it over with the bride BEFORE the day. And the bride is no help on the day itself. She’s got so many things, people, and dress alterations stressing her out that she doesn’t have brain space left (if you’ve gotten married, then you’ll know what I’m talking about)!

This is a HUGE part of what I do when I’m working with the couple. When the time comes around to start setting hair appointments and to tell the family what time of day they’re showing up for the formals, I tell the bride to call me, and we set up that meeting to plan out the whole day. Working both backwards & forward from the ceremony (the only locked in time of the day) we decide how long each segment of the day will take and in what order those segments will go. This discussion will vary a lot depending on if you charge hourly, which I do, so time is a very conscious decision on several levels.

We address things like:

  • are the couple open to the groom seeing the bride before the ceremony? (for everything that’s holy, talk the bride into saying YES to this).
  • are we traveling to any spots AWAY from the ceremony location to take portraits? (that’s up to you to suggest, if you have spots in mind)
  • how much of the reception is it important to have coverage of? Some brides are ok with you taking off as soon as the cake is cut… others would like you there for a couple hours of dancing.

The less questions you have to ask the bride the day OF, the better. The timeline meeting sets it up where the bride still has total control and input, but doesn’t have to think about it the day of. That’s good for both of you.

Once we go over all the hairy details, I e-mail that timeline to the bride so she can use it in her itinerary, or, at the very least, pass it on to her wedding party.

Here’s an example from the last wedding I shot…

TIMELINE:
2:30- photographer arrives. ‘Getting ready pictures’ begin (everything should be ready for the most part except the actual putting on of the dress)
3pm- ‘first sight’
3:30pm- couple portraits / wedding party portraits
5pm- family pictures
5:30pm- chill time (everyone gets in place)
6pm- CEREMONY
6:30pm- reception begins (eating, visiting, photog gets detail shots)
7:15- reception ‘events’- cake cutting/toasts/bouquet toss/ 1st dances
8:30- photographer exits

9art photography joplin missouri wedding photographer :: kaitlyn & dak passionate wedding portrait

#4: ask for a ‘family formal’ shot list.

I don’t typically ask the bride for a full shot list; it’s common sense to shoot most of the things that are important to her…. the bouquet, her walking down the aisle, cutting the cake, etc etc. If it’s important to the day, it’s automatically important to your camera. (DO ask if there’s anything unusual or special about the day that she wants captured though, and take notes!)
That being said, there’s one part in particular that I may not be able to predict myself… and that’s which family members she wants in pictures, and what combinations thereof.  It’s obvious that mom, dad, groom, & grandparents are in there… but what about cousins, uncles, great aunts, or, in more complicated situations, dad’s new fiancee if the parents are split up? You don’t want the bride to have to make those decisions on the spot during the day, and you won’t be close enough to the family to necessarily make those decisions yourself either.
That’s why I ask the bride to create a list of the exact family pictures she wants, complete with names. After that, I ask her to choose someone (a sister, a friend) who knows a good portion of the family, and isn’t afraid to grab that list and help yell out names and usher people toward the stage so that this brief segment of the day can go smoothly.  I ask the bride to give that entrusted individual the list and inform (well, ask) them of their job.  Then for good measure, it’s also a great idea to print that list out yourself so that you have it if it’s forgotten.
That’s all for part 1. Next week we’ll go into actually SHOOTING the wedding… which is it’s own animal. Happy planning!
9art photography, wedding photographer, joplin missouri :: bridal party fun

Jessica & Caleb :: Mrs. & Mrs!!

Had so much fun at Jessica & Caleb’s wedding.  These are very sweet and genuine people, not to mention just really good looking. Also enjoyed getting out of Joplin to shoot this day in Neosho, Missouri at the Civic  & the Neosho United Methodist church.

Thanks to Lori Marble, Jessica’s wonderful stepmom who was the one to recommend me as a photographer to the couple. Wayyyyyyy back when I went to good ol’ Crowder College, Lori knew me… and she will forever refer to me as ‘sticky boy’… possibly my most ridiculous nickname to date. It was earned bc I was always putting up flyers on campus and the maintenance lady would often complain to Lori about all the tape I left on the doors (yep. that’s it).

Doesn’t matter if a nickname is cool or not… if it sticks, it *sticks*…. 🙂

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_011saw this awesome little diner across the street from the church and asked Jessica what she thought about taking pictures here. It just so happened, its’ her favorite restaurant in Neosho. 🙂 Didn’t get a chance to try the burgers at Charley’s grill, but good GRIEF they smelled amazing.

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one of my favorites!

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_022I couldn’t resist… you can’t see them here, but family members were hanging around while we did these last few in the church. Poor Jessica was getting more and more nervous with the ONslaught of ONlookers…

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…So I just went with it.

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_028it was a fun bunch. They more than made up for being outside on a very hot day.

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lots of brotherly love. Maybe too much. Maybe too brotherly.

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my view, + peripheral. _036

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_038follow the break for the ceremony & reception… plenty more fun to be had. Including batman.
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Kaitlyn + Dak :: married, oh yeah!

    What a dream wedding this was for me to shoot. Super laid back people, great conversation between (and during) shooting, unseasonably gorgeous weather, an intense passion between the couple so beautiful to capture, plenty of time allowed on my part to get everything I needed to get, and just a general sense of fun and people refusing to take themselves too seriously… even if it IS their day.

    That’s a pretty common vibe to all the dandy brides and grooms I have the pleasure of working with. I am lucky, lucky, lucky… or, to phrase it more accurately, very very blessed, to have the clients I have. 

    Enough jibba jabba (as Mr. T would put it). On with the show!

kinda want this to be a magazine cover. Sooooo… which one of you magazines is going to do that? 🙂

Kaitlyn apologized for downing a hamburger during portrait time. I said ‘don’t apologize… go AT IT!’ 

(PS… whatever fast food chain that was… we can’t even SEE your patties. For real. That’s a pathetic burger).

anticipation.

beautiful St Peters’ church, here in downtown Joplin.

Yay!

we switch to drama pretty quick.

this old school spiral staircase at St Peters’ is one of my absolute favorite spots. The light is so beautiful in there…. perfect for catching the intimacy I wanted to convey for this VERY-in-love and passionate couple.

these next two were some of the couples’ favorite shots from the day… the ones I was thinking ‘this will probably be a little too far out’… goes to show, you should never argue with your gut. 🙂

lots more pictures after the break… click on to keep going!

the reception was so nicely done. Love the colors and the attention to detail. Love Springhouse gardens, the venue where this took place. And cupcakes. I really love cupcakes.

one of the simplest shots of the day, but also one of my favorites. The red really ‘pops’ (yep, that’s the token art class 101 word you were looking for).

some guys need a little coaching on how to give that GQ look. (No amount of coaching would ever work on me if the lens were flipped, actually). But not this guy… no sir.

oh, we got normal bridesmaid pictures too. But I prefer these…

EPIC HIGH FIVE!! I may start demanding one of these for every shoot from here on out.

the flower girl requested she and the bride go for a spin. The sweet bride obliged. 

1st dance

HOLD ON!

let the wild rumpus start!

MAN he got into it. Just glad I was there with a camera.

final shot of the night. Last shot doesn’t usually turn out this epic. It was a beautiful night!

Tony + Kayla :: the big day

     Tony & Kayla’s big day took place at the one and only Springhouse Gardens, Joplins’ premiere outdoor wedding venue. I’m no stranger to the venue, but I certainly don’t get tired of it…. it is simply beautiful.

   And so are this couple… very, very sweet (and funny) people.

   I first met Tony a few years ago, when he was a groomsman for a wedding I shot for Malachi & Angie. Always a groomsman, never a… 

well, not anymore!

I LOVE my 105mm lens…lets me get some nifty close ups like this one…

trying on the veil for the first time!

a very serious man. Nothing helps a man look suave like a good cigar.

there’s malachi, over there on the left…

beautiful bride!

this is when we gave the LADIES the cigars…and told the men to act like ladies. I think Tony won.

Kayla is pretty much the coolest bride ever, in my books, for doing this…

the ceremony. perfect time of day. We’d had rain all week but were blessed with such a nice, perfect temperature, sunny day!

we DID it!

reception details…

Bethany + Josh:: MARRIED!

I’m starting this post with a little flashback to 2009, when I first began working with the Barringer family. Here’s a shot from Sarah & Doug’s wedding, from all the way back then…

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Now, it’s her sister Bethany’s turn…

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I’ve known Bethany for a good long time… all the way back to my good ol barista days, when we worked together at Starbucks. She’s made guest appearances at quite a few weddings I’ve shot, and it’s so awesome to finally be able to be there for HER big day. 

Bethany is such a fun spirit, and has found her perfect match in the hilarious Josh Huskey, a man whose goofiness is almost an art form in itself. I’ve been looking forward so much to shooting this wedding because of how much fun I knew it would be… and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Hope you enjoy these. 

   Shot #1: I passed by an open window where the groomsmen were getting ready and told them all to crowd in. 

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You’ve got to watch those reflections. you see me?

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I know the neighbor across the street from the church will probably never see these images, but on the off chance he does, forever thanks for letting us hang out on your property for pictures.

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Josh opening Bethany’s wedding day gift & card. 

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the fun socks tie in nicely for me…I often got in trouble for wearing ridiculous socks that weren’t ‘dress code’ back when I worked with Bethany…

(now I wear outrageous socks to every wedding I shoot). 

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finishing touches.

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snagged some solo shots of the groom while he was waiting to see the bride for the first time.

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oh the SUSPENSE!

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but seriously, he was pretty nervous.

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you can tell her can hardly stand it…

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joy.

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I was so happy to see such creativity with the bouquet. First time I’ve shot cloth flowers on a wedding day. 

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The couple demonstrating the dramatic poses that weren’t really ‘them’.

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THIS is ‘them’…

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Someone commented that they wondered what I told the wedding party to get these expressions. I don’t remember. But does it matter?

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Time for the fellas to have some fun….certainly wasn’t hard to get them to pose a bit.

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yeah. that was weird. But when a group such as this finds a random deer head hanging from a tree… well…

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the girls were much more reserved.

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ok, not really.

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this little guy is the son of another talented local photog, Becca Alves. What a cutie!

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Remember Sarah & Doug, from back at the beginning of this post? That’s their twins on either side of this shot…

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close ups on the decor back inside. The musical references are for Josh, a very musically inclined guy. He kept us all entertained with his piano performances before the events of the day started rolling…

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also one of the more unique cakes I’ve seen. Simple but beautiful.

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ending it on the ‘walking down the aisle’ shot. Proud dad all over again!

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There’s so much more from this big day, but I don’t want to absolutely overwhelm the blog. So if you’d like to see more, head to our facebook page, where we’ll be posting an extended preview album soon!

Jessica + Caleb

    I took pictures for Jessica’s family a few years ago, and can’t believe that I’m now working out plans to shoot her wedding. It was great to meet her fiancee Caleb, especially when I discovered he is a fellow ‘Batman’ fan and brought the shirt to prove it. 

    So I ran with that….

So yeah, the rest of the session is more romantic than superhero themed… but you know…batman can be romantic too. 

Can’t wait to work with Jessica and Caleb again for their wedding and July!  

Beth & Nick’s wedding

       First wedding I’ve ever shot at my own church…which is kind of crazy! Because it’s a pretty big church.  So glad to have the privilege of working with Beth & Nick last month… and we got some super fun shots, so take THAT dreary winter day! Especially when it comes to this amazing evening SKY…

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I’m putting my very favorites up here… you can follow the jump to see more from the day if you like!

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I love the little guy in the middle. He wasn’t quite ready yet for the group shoot… I told them it was so much better this way. 

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How do I get around guys feeling ‘awkward’ during group pictures? GO WITH IT! (excellent expressions, by the way, gentlemen…)

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joy! nervous joy, but JOY!

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Beth & Nick had an awesome coffee/espresso bar, as hosted by the fantastic coffee-shop Coffee Ethic out of Springfield. I’m in springfield and drinking a delicious cup of single origin coffee at this very moment, made by the barista you see in the middle of this shot behind the counter (yes, you’ve got to look pretty closely…) 

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see more by following the jump…

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good thing these ladies weren’t aware of the camera.

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had the opportunity to shoot a different perspective of ‘the kiss’ for this ceremony… I think it’s so fun to be able to get the audience as well as the couple for this once in a lifetime moment!

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the dj ROCKED it!

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