The Schmergusons: A Santa Barbara, CA Wedding! Part 2

Continuing the festivities from Kelly & Scott's wedding, here is Part 2 from their reception at the historic Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA!  This was a beautiful reception location and it was a bit funny that they could only book it 6 months in advance to make sure there weren't going to be any travelling shows coming through that night.  :)  Kelly's cousin also made these amazing comic book style movie posters for the wedding!  















Kelly and Scott did something really unique for the reception.  Normally, attendees will clink their glasses to get the bride and groom to kiss.  This couple requested that people write and recite limericks in order to get them to kiss.  They were hilarious!











Not a photo booth, but a video booth!  I'm hoping to see the end results soon!





And this band was amazing!  D. On Darox & The Melody Bakers.  Their business card says "Dirty gypsy blues with a slice of cabaret"







The Schmergusons: A Santa Barbara, CA Wedding! Part 1

This wedding was one of the most fun weddings I've ever been to- including ones I was invited to as a guest!  Here are some shots of Kelly Schmandt & Scott Ferguson's (hence "Schmerguson") wedding in beautiful Santa Barbara, California.  Despite the fact that I personally know incredible wedding photographers in Cali that I can highly recommend, I much prefer for West Coasters (can I call them that?) to fly me out for their wedding instead.  :)  I love weddings in Cali and generally find that it's a 99% chance of sun and 70 degrees just about every day.

I know Kelly from college in Nashville and I had never met Scott before- especially since it would be a long distance flight to meet for coffee like I do with most wedding couples.  I was a bit nervous going into it knowing Kelly so well, but having no idea about Scott and his groomsmen.  Maybe it's me, but as a male photographer shooting a wedding I generally find it easy to get comfortable with the bride and bridesmaids, but groomsmen can be hit or miss.  If I had to make a slightly sexist generalized guess, it's that generally women enjoy getting dressed up and going to a wedding, whereas most men generally feel out of sorts with a rented tux and a strange person taking their photo all day- at least until they've had a few beers at the reception.  This wedding was not the case.  Scott was easily the smiley-est person I've ever met.  His groomsmen also fit quite into his personality (you can tell by the hats and bowties).  These guys were a whole lot of fun to photograph!

Now on to some photos of getting ready and the ceremony!



The first look:





I'm telling you, Scott was smiling like this all day:




The ceremony took place in an office building courtyard... but you'd never know it by the fountain, vegetation, and architecture!


The groomsmen rehearsing to sing "All You Need is Love" as the bride came down the aisle:





The people that didn't seem to trust that I knew what I was doing.  ;)


One of the coolest things I've seen at a wedding was having Kelly's yoga instructor have the audience stand and do breathing exercises.


Which included a "laughter" breathing exercise.



This was told to me to be the most difficult, but important photo I needed to take.  It almost took me falling into the pond, but I got it.  :)



"Now put your hand on your hip... no, not you."  :)



Rebecca & Lucky: Part 2 [Athens Wedding Photography]

A bit behind on blogging in case my avid readers can't tell.  Here is part two of Rebecca & Lucky's Athens wedding.  I will say out of most of the weddings I shoot- these guys threw a pretty wild reception!  I start this series with the following shot of the father of the groom- just to give you an idea of the festivities to come. 06-13-OglesbyWed-6776




















Yep- the fire department showed up.  I'm not entirely sure if we had anything to do with it or not...but I assume so.  We waited until the firemen went inside the hotel before we lit the sparklers for the exit.  ;)




Rebecca & Lucky: Part 1 [Athens Wedding Photography]

Rebecca & Lucky (yes, his name is Lucky) were married in June at the Hotel Indigo in Athens, GA.  It was a bit toasty outside, so I was happy to have great locations indoors at the hotel for the shots during the heat of the day.  I will say these guys were a ton of fun.  Their reception was a pretty wild party, including a call to the fire department (photos coming in Part 2!).  Here are some shots leading up to the wedding, the canine ring bearer, and the ceremony!  :)






















Hali & Brian

I spend a good amount of time photographing families, brides, and kids.  I have to say this is my first "teen dating anniversary shoot."   Hali and Brian have now been dating for about a year, and to celebrate, we walked along some sketchy railroad tracks while we could hear a train off in the distance.  Isn't that how most people celebrate anniversaries?!   It was a fun day turning overcast skies into great pictures.  Hali is one of Keri's 5 nieces that help keep Keri young by explaining what #hashtags are and what "YOLO" means (we told her it really means You Only Love Oreos).  We had a ton of fun and I wish these two the best!  :)














Jazzfest (2 months late)

For the past few years Keri and I have driven to New Orleans in the spring for Jazzfest.  It is possibly the best trip we go on each year.  We love the music, the city, the friends, and of course the food.   If you haven't been, I can't recommend it enough.  This year was a bit different in that I was only able to go to the 'fest one day due to travel restrictions.  In addition to that, the one day I went... it was cold, windy, and rainy.  It took a normally slower Friday (versus Saturday) and forced most people to pack into the few spots of dry land.  The rest of the people were relegated to mud sloppin'.  So, overall, not the best experience, but we still got see a few great acts and eat some amazing food.









Sasha Masakowski




 Brushy One-String




 Ana Popovic




Meghan and Greg Engagement Photos

Meghan was referred to me by her brother, Brian who knew me back in my days in real estate.  Brian is an interesting individual due to the fact that work friends described him as either "really funny" or "really good at Microsoft Excel" - two traits that generally don't coexist with your average person.  As it turns out, both are true, so I knew I was in for a treat when I went to meet Meghan and her fiance, Greg.  We met at a coffee shop overlooking the Chattahoochee river in the Walton Apartment complex in Marietta a few months ago to discuss their wedding.  As with the family of hers that I already knew, both she and her chosen man were very funny and intelligent.  We had a great time getting to know each other and a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking their engagement photos near that same coffee shop.  As for Brian... he got his certification online and will be officiating the wedding.  I think he's also taking wedding gigs anywhere in the Caribbean. Their wedding is in December, so be on the lookout for those photos just after the new year!











Greta and Chris Teaser

It's been early winter since my last wedding and I was very eager to get back in the game!  What a way to start off, with Greta and Chris's wedding at Kellum Valley Farm and Ruins in north Georgia.  A gorgeous venue and a damn good lookin' couple!  Here's a sneak peek at a few shots from the weekend!










Photos in a Location not Named

I've mentioned on here before that I don't do as much personal photography as I'd like to.  I get much so wrapped up in my business and forget why I got into it in the first place.  It helps to have a friend that wants to shoot too, however for this shoot in particular... I'm going to leave the particulars out.  We both figured it best to not give too much info as we may not have been invited in, per se   We went shooting at a well known place in Atlanta that has had a few movie filmings recently.  It's a really incredible place on a few acres of land in a great neighborhood.  It's a place most in-towners have seen and said "I wonder what's in there?"  Let me tell you, it was an amazing experience.  I'll let the photos tell the story, though I will say even though we found artifacts of life, we never came into contact with anyone (luckily).


'Lil Mac 6 Months

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to take 6 month photos of Mac Brown.  Aside from his pretty awesome name (I always think of Mike Tyson's Punch Out when I hear "'lil Mac"), he also happens to be a pretty darn cute baby.  I'd say he did a great job being a model while on a cold floor in front of a big flashing light.  Maybe next time I'll bring an electric blanket to put underneath the white seamless paper.  Photographing babies is always a learning process for me.  :)

And for those interested in the white backdrop setup, here it is- though you can't see the big studio light & softbox off the camera left.  Sorry Kacie for including you- I just had to show that "about to freak out" face of Mac's.  :)



A Day in the Park with Lila and June

A few of weekends ago, we had a couple in town with their two daughters, Lila and June.   Aside from the fact that "Lila and June" would be the best name for a Nashville country duo (don't worry, Daddy is helping push them in the musical direction), they also just happen to be two of the sweetest little girls I know.  Sunday afternoon before they went back to Nashville we were able to spend a couple of hours at a nearby park and walk the trails of the old Decatur Water Works.  Though it was a cloudy day, I think we were able to still get a few casual fun shots of the girls.  Apparently while on the way to Atlanta on Friday, June said to Mommy and Daddy, "I don't wanna go to Georgia!"  By the end of Sunday in the park she said "I want to STAY in Georgia!"  :)

Working for Their Wedding | Lindsey & Mario @ Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, GA- Part 2

In case you missed the photos from Friday of Mario and Lindsey's wedding, click here!  Now, check out Part two of their beautiful wedding at Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, GA!  


Homemade cake by a family friend and Dad rehearsing his toast:


One of Mario's brothers' notes for his toast....



...and he was a huge hit.


There are two distinct ways to get a man on the dance floor, as shown here:


Working for Their Wedding | Lindsey & Mario @ Donaldson-Bannister Farm in Dunwoody, GA- Part 1

I shot Lindsey and Mario's wedding in October last year on the same weekend as Rachel & Andy's wedding.  I also recently met with the woman who helped with the venue to put it on, Linda Shulin.  When I initially met Lindsey & Mario and heard they picked a beautiful location that generally doesn't host many events, I didn't think much of it other than "cool!  I new venue to check out!"  During and after the wedding, I came to find out how much work went into just getting the wedding approved there, let alone the WORK they all put into it!

When Keri and I had our wedding, we did it semi-DIY by choosing venues where we could bring all our own stuff versus paying the venue to do it all or contract it out.  We thought that was a challenge at times.  Lindsey and Mario chose a historical home owned by the city of Dunwoody that had never seen a wedding in recent years and was being modestly maintained by volunteers.  Lindsey, Mario, their families, Linda and I'm sure a number of others made it happen through much paperwork, permitting, and heavy duty landscaping!  It helps that Lindsey is a lawyer and Mario is a landscape architect.  :)

I was told a number of hours were put in for many days making the venue as beautiful as it was that fall day.  The most notable of which is that the location where the actual ceremony took place (the grassy area with the hand-made-by-Mario white arbor) was an old swimming pool just 2 days before the wedding!  Mario, friends, and family filled it in and sodded it so they could hold the ceremony there!  I don't know about you, but I've never heard of so much hard work going into a wedding on top of all that jazz about finding a dress, caterer, DJ, and god-awful photographer.  ;)  Check out the photos below from one of the most beautiful DIY weddings I've ever heard of.

This was a POOL a few days prior!

And finally, a groomsmen idea.  :)

Imaging USA Day 3

Here is Day 3 of Imaging USA, including portfolio review, an aerial photo booth, the 8x12' Sharpie mural by Jai, and the Lifetime Achievement Award given to Greg Gorman.

The aerial photobooth.  Pretty cool idea from Leah and Mark

Jai's PPA masterpiece

Greg Gorman was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Award and Degree Ceremony Tuesday night.  Check out his website (specifically the celebrities) to see the incredible work he's done.  You've likely seen it before. :)

Imaging USA Day 2

Imaging USA Day 1 was a ton of fun, and Day two continued on with the same emotions.  Day two was where I realized what a historic organization PPA is.  To give perspective, I asked an employee "so, how many of these events have there been?"  The answer I got was "I dunno- maybe 120 or so?"  I knew PPA has been around, but I had no idea they celebrated their 50th anniversary as an organization in 1930!  You can read more about PPA's history here, including some amazing stories that range from World War I Signal Corps photographers becoming honorary PPA members to George Eastman introducing the first Kodak camera and film system to convention goers in 1888.  Once again, I was so happy to be a part of this historic organization and convention.


In addition to classes and the expo, PPA students were taking certification exams.


Dane Sanders giving away prizes after his class.


The Muñoz Brothers taught a very exciting and humorous live shooting class


Including posing tips...


The official PPA mascot for the event- Flash- heading downstairs to the Expo.


David Bergman showing the Nikon booth area how to snap great event and sport photos.


Photographing the volunteers proves to be quite humorous.  They were barking questions as me from below.  "What's your f-stop!?  What camera setting are you using?!"  When I would tell them my answer, they would always reply "NO! That's wrong!!!"  :)


Lindsey Adler teaching a small group of PPA students.


Michael Barton came away with a few awards at the Grand Imaging Awards ceremony, including photographer of the year.


This character also won an award for best image with his shot of the final shuttle launch.  I was amazed at how he took this photo.  Because NASA won't let anyone around for miles, he set up his tripod a few miles inside the "danger zone" the day before the launch.  He set the camera up on a sound trigger and hoped for the best.  The next day, he went to find his camera had captured a number of images, including this winning shot!

Imaging USA Day 1

Last August I was approached by the marketing director for the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).  She had seen some of the work I did at Social Media Day at Terminal West last summer.  She said she really like my event work and that they were unimpressed by last year's event photographer at their yearly Imaging USA event.   I was extremely flattered to be chosen as the photographer to photograph photographers.  :)  It was last Sunday through Tuesday at the Georgia World Congress Center.  It was a ton of fun, albeit a little crazy with over 10,500 photographers in attendance!

Though they had pre-classes Thursday through Saturday, Sunday was opening day of the Expo.  I had my lovely assistant, Curt, with me for part of the day.  He was a great mule on the Expo floor carrying my gear and also gave me the idea to borrow a monopod from Manfrotto to get some of the "aerial" shots of the floor.  People did look at my pretty crazy hoisting my rig 7 feet in the air, but it captured a few neat shots.  First up, I have a few shots from one of the most popular speakers, Jerry Ghionis:


My favorite shot of the weekend.  Can you tell who the excited audience volunteer is in this photo?


As people gathered on the 3rd floor for the Expo opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, my event contact, Sarah Ackerman, snapped this photo from above and posted it to Twitter.  With all the hustle and bustle of the #IUSA13 tag, the photo was at one point trending on Twitter.  :)


After the ribbon cutting:

My mule assistant heading down to the Expo with me.

Winter Post, Summer Wedding- Adam & Rebecca

Here is the other wedding from last summer that I completely slacked on putting on the blog.  Adam and Rebecca had a beautiful wedding in Marietta with their reception at the Roswell Mill (one of my favorite venues!).  The happened to be on the hottest weekend of the year, but fortunately they planned their wedding indoors.  It was quite a challenge getting any photos outside due to the 100 degree+ heat (as you'll see in one of the photos below).  I made sure to only run outside for a few shots at a time as there is nothing worse than a hot and sweaty wedding party.  A hot and sweaty wedding photographer is a different story... I wore all linen to try and beat the heat but by the time I got to the reception even my pant legs were soaked.  A/C was my good friend that night.  :)

Christmas In Febtober: A January Summer Wedding Post

With the New Year comes reflections on 2012.  Though I have no grand ideas and emotions I'd like to emote, I will say I am launching a few ventures this year to help Alex The Photo Guy keep the business strong in the new year.  I resolve to shoot more projects for myself and hang out with Marc Del Santro taking photos out in the wilderness (I have a few ideas for 2013 on that).  I also resolve to market my wedding business harder, update my website, follow-up on emails quicker, and stay on top of the blog.  With the latter resolution comes two blog posts- both way late, as they were weddings I shot during the summer at the height of the heat wave.  I generally stay on top of blog posts, but with wedding season continuing strong from summer to fall I fell behind on these two on the blog.

The first wedding I'm making up lost ground on was Sallie and Aaron in Asheville, NC.  Sallie is one of my sister's best friends and she had a beautiful wedding at the Biltmore UMC and Doubletree Hotel.  It was a beautiful location wedding, albeit a very hot weekend.  The one thing Sallie told me was "I HAVE to have a mountain view shot."  My trusty second shooter, Curt, accompanied me on the trip and we spent a few hours the day before scouting locations near the church that we could get to and from before the reception.  In the end it turned out, the best shot was in the parking lot of the church.  Few people saw this shot with their naked eye beforehand.  That's because the trained eye of a photographer knows he needs to to lay on the black asphalt with a long lens in order to avoid parking barriers and the rusted chain link fence below the hill.  Plus, it helped that the sun poked its head from behind the clouds for just a moment, parting the way for the mountains.  ;)


Meteor Shower at Chattooga Belle Farm

I was talking to Keri the other day about a photo contest I submitted to recently.  It wasn't so much about the contest, but about looking through my catalog from 2012 for photos to submit.  I realized that the downside to a good business year can sometimes mean the lack of personal projects.  I ended up finding something to submit, but it was a slap in the face to realize I had done very little shooting for myself this year.  This is why I was ecstatic when I spoke to Marc Del Santro about photographing the recent meteor shower.  It was about as last minute as can be when at 2pm he said "I'm heading to South Carolina in about 9 hours to shoot from midnight until dawn."  To which I replied "yes, Marc- I will invite myself along."   It was exactly that- finish up a shoot at 6pm, go to band practice until 10pm, then head to SC for shooting until dawn.  Marc also brought along the incredible Nadia D.  I can't tell you how much fun I had- not only for the photography and friendship, but for the fact that it was photography for myself.  Plus the meteor shower was pretty insane.

Light painting and general goofery provided by Marc Del Santro and Nadia D.

Andy & Rachel’s Wedding at Park Tavern- Part 2 | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Here is part two of Andy and Rachel's Park Tavern wedding.  Not surprisingly, Park Tavern knows how to host a good party.  You'll easily see below that this wedding was quite the party.  :)


Did I mention I was the second most talented photographer at the wedding?