year of the weddings and firsts

Julian & Corrinne I’m no big time photographer, of course, but in moving some of my latest edited photos to the backup drives, I noticed that I’ve broken my record for weddings shot in a year and by a good percentage, when compared to previous years.  That’s pretty cool.  Hopefully next year will end up seeing at least one more.  It’s certainly not something I want to do every weekend, but an average of one every three weeks would be nice.  Which reminds me that I’ve broken two other personal records – two weddings in one weekend (in September) and most recently, three weddings in three weeks.  Fall is a good time for a wedding, I really like the outdoor fall weddings a lot.  Oh, earlier this year I was supposed to have two weddings in a single day, however, it didn’t work out in the end.  Probably best that way, it probably would have killed me!  :P  Of course, this slows down my turn-around time when you mix this with all the family sessions and what-nots going on, but I’m still doing pretty good with getting the images to clients in a timely manner.  This wedding I just finished editing was 3 Saturdays ago, not half bad, not the two weeks I’m used to, but not bad at all.  The next one should edit up quicker, then I can concentrate on my last one which will probably take longer than both of these as it was just plain a longer day.

But let’s see…  some other facts from this year…

First weddings shot at some key locations that I’ve always wanted to shoot a wedding at.

First wedding where I needed someone to translate (language) for me during family photos.

A wedding I can describe as a country Pinterest wedding (very cute).

My most glamorous wedding so far.

First time I second-shot for someone else.

First Catholic wedding that wasn’t a Mass (I didn’t even know they could do that).

First wedding where I had to practically force a bride and groom to do family photos and a (very shot) bridal session.  ;-)

First time I saw a child from a previous relationship participate in the symbolism of “two becoming one” (a sand pouring).

First weddings I hired assistant(s) for some help and second shooting.

First weddings I used off-camera lighting with flashes and transceivers.

First print-on-demand photo booth wedding (talk about busy fun).

First wedding where my couple faced their friends and family during the ceremony with the priest’s back to the audience.  (The same Catholic ceremony.)

First catered reception (believe it or not, all before have either been buffet, no reception, or cake and punch receptions) AND first reception where they had a high enough regard for me to actually assign me to a table with guests for the meal.

The hottest wedding ever on the hottest day of the year.

The first time I had a bride and groom ride off in a horse-drawn carriage.

First non-reception wedding where I got to use that time instead as a date with my husband.  (No charge to customer, of course, lol.)

I’m sure I could come up with more really random and insanely boring wedding facts, but my files are done copying, so now it’s back to work!

(I’d also like to add that it’s really helped having cable internet as opposed to the DSL I used to have…  wow, what used to take me all night of leaving the computer running now takes 20 minutes!)

they grow up so fast *sniff*

Mitch & EmilyI can’t believe it’s already been over a week since but two Saturdays ago my littlest brother got married.

It was quite an ordeal for us because not only was I family and photographer, but Kayleigh was a flower girl. You can imagine the craziness that ensued.  She made quite the cute flower girl, though, even if she did take off her dress twice before the ceremony.  She was so cranky beforehand, it was so freaking hot though (and the next day she woke up with a fever and another infection, so that might have contributed).  I think we had a high of 97 so it felt a lot hotter.  Maybe not the hottest wedding I’ve ever shot – did one last summer that was so horrible a groomsman almost passed out – but if it wasn’t that hot, it certainly rivaled it well.  Of course, we were there at the hottest times of day, too, and then during the reception, I was in this side room for the photo booth, not really a room, but an add-on made out of canvas and windows where the breakers kept blowing.  But… can you tell all of that in the pictures?  Nooooooo  :)

I’m very happy with the pictures.  I also wasn’t the only one covering it, her brother did as well, so they are getting more than one angle of a lot of stuff.

But most importantly, they love the photos.

But go figure, the next Saturday… more like September than July!

Two more for now!

Emily bridal party

Creative Wedding Favors that Your Guests Will Love for Years

content_marketing_opi_photo487501-21-2013Your wedding is all about you. It’s a day you’ll never forget, and one that you want all your guests to remember too. In all the stress of planning the wedding, you might opt for some generic wedding favors, but you shouldn’t do that! While whatever you give your guests as a wedding favor will of course help them remember your big day, giving your guests a creative gift will ensure that their memories of your wedding are just as vivid as yours. Check out these ideas for creative wedding favors that you can give your guests without putting too much of a strain on your wallet.

Different Kinds of Mugs

Rather than simply giving each guest a generic gift, opt for some variety and let people choose their wedding favor. One way to do this is by making a variety of different kinds of mugs and leaving them on a table for guests to pick up on their way out. Create coffee mugs with the wedding information on them, so coffee drinkers will remember the big day. Create beer steins too, so your guests can instead choose a beer mug if they want to remember the wedding while having a pint. The great thing about mugs is that if you buy them in bulk from they are fairly cheap, meaning you won’t be spending a ton of money on party favors. Another idea for your wedding is rather then giving out the mugs on your guests’ way out, give them out before the dinner. That way, they’ll be drinking out of them during the dinner, and the mugs will become extra sentimental!

Personalized Flash Drive

Handing out a personalized flash drive might seem like an odd wedding favor, but in today’s digital age they are actually a terrific gift to give. Load up the flash drive with pictures and videos from the wedding, and include a playlist of the songs that you played during the celebration. There may not be a better way to remember the wedding then giving an audio and visual reminder, and your guests will enjoy all the fun and embarrassing pictures. Many people require flash drives for work these days anyways, meaning they’ll be a useful gift that your guests will use often.

Tiny Plants

Giving out little plants as wedding favors can kill two birds with one stone, and save you money on your wedding. Arrange the tables with beautiful, tiny plants for decorations (such as mini cacti) and decorate the pots with the wedding details. Once the party is winding down, inform the guests that they can take these plants home. It’s a very fun way for your guests to remember the wedding, since they’ll think of you every time they take a look at the plant or give it some water. Little plants are very inexpensive, and designing some stickers to put on them is also affordable. These plants are guaranteed to be a hit with your guests.

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family affair

bride's throw bouquetMy cousin’s wedding was Saturday and Stacey and I had been hired to do her photography.  This was a little different than other weddings we’ve done so far because everything, pretty much, was in one place.  The ceremony took place in the reception hall and the guests were seated at round tables.  We did a few posed pictures at the hotel before heading over, but there really wasn’t time for too much of anything, so we did some more right after the ceremony, before dinner.  The downside of doing a ceremony like this is that people (guests especially) expect you to go, go, go, go hurry up, no excuses, no waiting, now we want it NOW.  We hadn’t even been keeping them but 5 or 10 minutes and people were freaking out.

This wasn’t our first family wedding, but it was the first from my side.  It was also the first family wedding that I got a babysitter for!  That really did help out.  Shooting weddings can be complicated enough but add family to the mix when you are working and it really complicates things.  Not that I would not do a family wedding again, by any means, if family is in need of photos, no reason we shouldn’t both help each other out!  But it really can get complicated.  In all cases, I’ve also gone over and beyond what a photographer does, often being part wedding coordinator or planner, too.  Scheduling things, booking things, doing invitations, directing rehearsals, etc.  Then the previous times (pre-babysitter) I also had to be MOM.  For the most part it’s fine but every time when Steve and the kids have shown up and Kayleigh has seen me, she’s cried because she’s wanted me.  I’ve had to be distracted with children from “will you hold her for a minute” to “Mom, Mom, MOM, can I have a piece of cake?!”  Since my kids weren’t immediate family or in this wedding, getting a babysitter (aka the in-laws) was the best idea ever.

Not only all of this but I need – and want – to greet our extended family.  So I have to be hostess, too.  I’m blessed, though, on both sides I have a decent amount of family, I feel like we’re not real small but we’re not real big, either.  I know people who don’t even know the names of their great-aunts and uncles, yet I’m lucky enough to know every one of them except those that died before I was born.  Heck, I even know one of my great-great-aunts.  That’s pretty darn awesome.  It’s just too bad she lives in California so I’ve only gotten to see her twice now.  Then, of course, there are my mom and dad’s first cousins (they would be my first cousins, once removed!) and my second cousins.   So it’s great to see all of them, too, even if just for a little bit since my time is mostly spent working!

But this wedding is all said and done and it will probably be the last family wedding for a while.  I guess you never know, though.  Now it’s time to edit the photos.  Always a fun part, ha.  Shouldn’t take as long as some of the others, though, as due to various circumstances, there just plain aren’t as many photos to start with.  She’s still going to end up with several hundred, though!  That and if I say so myself, aside from some face merges I know I’m going to have to do, these photos largely don’t need much editing.

I also have to say that I love, love, LOVED the bouquets at the wedding.  The one pictured above was the tossing bouquet and you can see a pine cone in it.  The bride also had pine cones in hers and the bridesmaids’ were all pine cones and crystals.  Maybe this is more common than I think but I haven’t seen it before, I thought they were quite unique.

Antibiotics suck.

So yeah they totally suck, enough said.

A weird thing with E’s, too, the doctor prescribed 10 days but there was only 8 and slightly less than a half in there. Called the doctor’s office and they said call the pharmacy who, I know, is probably thinking I’m an idiot who didn’t dose it right. I know I did it correctly. They were like well we put as much water in there that it says (so they couldn’t possibly ever be wrong) so if the doc wants him to have another day and a half he’s going to have to write another scrip. Ugh. So the doctor’s office said well just forget it got now but if E had more eat pain we’ll do that.

Stacey and I are getting ready to shoot a wedding this weekend. It’s going to be interesting because it’s a bit unorthodox, but I think the weather is supposed to be nice enough that we can do some outdoor pics. Also unorthodox… for February.

I’m excited because we have scheduled several for this year already and have just experienced an influx in inquiries, too!