Weddings

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!  

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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!

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

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

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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!

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The first look:

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Which included a "laughter" breathing exercise.

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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.  :)

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

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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

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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.  ;)

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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!  :)

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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!

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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!

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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.  :)

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.  ;)

 

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?

Andy & Rachel's Wedding at Park Tavern- Part 1 | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

I've posted before on Facebook that often when sitting at a coffee shop editing wedding photos, I find myself smiling back at Photoshop.  Not because I love the program, my computer, or my coffee.  I smile because for wedding editing, I'm looking through photographs of two people on the best day of their life.  Almost every photo has someone smiling, laughing, dancing, and sometimes crying tears of joy.  Maybe it's the dumb reflex part of my brain wanting to mimic smiling faces I see or perhaps it's that through the hectic 8 hours of photographing a wedding day, I only get to truly reflect on the event when going through the photos days later.

 As a general rule, I'm not often outwardly emotional as my wife (who cries at sad TV commercials) would note.  However, having been married and seeing Keri walk down the aisle in her dress and having family and friends there, I know what it feels like to be overcome these feelings on this occasion.  I say all of this because I smile a lot at coffee shops, but the other day I found myself tearing up.  I'm not particularly close to Andy and Rachel, though I have spend time with them prior to the wedding and think they are a wonderful couple, so it surprised me to feel the saltwater welling up in my eyes.  It was the following two photos in particular that got me.  Maybe it's because I was in that same spot a year ago and wish I looked as sharp as Andy in his tailored suit.   For me, seeing these two photos of Andy as Rachel walked down the aisle really got to me.  You can see the childlike reflex of pulling his hands from his pockets to holding onto his suit like a security blanket.  He was overcome with this inexplicable emotion of seeing Rachel for the first time in that long white wedding dress.  I'm glad I was able to capture this moment on digital film.

These two photos aren't the most photographically impressive photos, but to me they evoke more emotion than most.  These two got me.  I'll post one more that I thought was sweet, then get on to the rest of Part 1.  This next one is pretty self explanatory of the mother-son dance, and to be honest I think explains a lot about the two photos of Andy above.  (p.s.- Andy, I hope this didn't embarrass you too much). 

Alright!  Now onto the fun stuff!  I have to first give a shout out to the vendors as they pulled of a beautiful and fun wedding!  Simply Charming Socials did the day of coordination and lovely decorations, Pink Cupcake Dreams brought delectably decadent cupcakes (I took a few leftovers home to Keri!), and DJ Andrew Wrobleski lit up the dance floor (more of those photos to come in Part 2!).

Cat Island, Day Two!

Just a quick update from Cat Island!  During the day I took the Gro-Pro out snorkeling on a local island and we kayaked through the mangrove to a secret beach.  Last night was the rehearsal dinner and dancing.  Nicci, the bride, surprised everyone by hiring a local drumline, Junk-a-Noo, to bring a 45 minute conga line (without stopping the music) through the resort!  Then, between beers, I was running back and forth on the beach getting star trail photos.  Having an incredible time at the Fernandez Bay Village!  Here are a few shots from the day:

 

 

Cat Island, Bahamas Wedding

The blog will be pretty scarce this weekend as I'm in the Bahamas shooting a wedding.  I know, I know- I work too much.  Don't worry, I'll try to get to the beach this weekend to get a little sun.  :)

No wedding photos just yet, but maybe a teaser to come Sunday.  I just wanted to put something up to let all of my avid readers know I haven't forgotten about you!  When I get back, there will be plenty of photos to update you on.  Coming up, I have two beautiful summer weddings that somehow slipped away from the blog (so sorry!), more fall family portraits (call me soon if you want to book one!  The weather will turn cold soon!) and more real estate related work.  Have a great weekend!  Here are a couple of shots from day 1:

 

Double-Header + 2 Portrait Session Weekend Teaser!

My friends generally know that I often have busy weekends.  However, this weekend was my first wedding double-header in a while- one Friday and one Saturday.  On top of that I had a maternity/family session on Sunday and a 3-month baby session on Monday.  Needless to say I was a bit nervous about it all week.  My main fear, oddly enough, was that I throw my back out at the Friday wedding and was unable to shoot the Saturday wedding.  That obviously didn't happen, but I did find out for sure that I have begun getting tennis elbow from lifting about 15 pounds of camera, batteries, battery grip, flash, and wireless flash trigger over 1,000 times each day with poor form by my right arm.  Both nights I actually had to ice my elbow!  I'm getting old!

Both weddings went great.  If you were outside at all this weekend you know the weather was some of the best Atlanta has to offer.  Blue skies, warm days, cool evenings- just about everything you could ask for in a wedding- both of which were outdoors!  I'll give more dedicated posts on both weddings once I get through editing the photos, but I will say I had a ton of fun all weekend.  Rachel and Andy had such a fun group of guests and bridal party at Park Tavern that I ended up spending most of my time on the dance floor!

 

Here are a few photos from Rachel and Andy's wedding:

 

 

Lindsey and Mario had a beautiful wedding at Donaldson Bannister Farm in Dunwoody- actually the very first one that the venue has seen!  I initially thought they "just" planned the wedding (note: the word "just" is in quotations), but after the ceremony Mario told me the ceremony site- a beautiful grassy garden area on the property- was a swimming pool just about a month ago!  He laid all of the sod and did the landscaping himself!  Here are a few from their wedding:

 

 

Now here are a couple from the Sullivan family shoot followed by two from my sister's 3-month old- Hudson.  I know I know- I'm an incredibly efficient blogger!  I say that jokingly- more on these 4 events to come!

 

Lou and Erin Davis Wedding Preview!

He's a quick shot we pulled off just before the toasts at the wedding reception this Saturday at Wahoo Grill in Decatur, GA.  I had just a couple of moments to steal the bride and groom away for this shot that I'd had in mind all day.  I'm just glad the cars moved out of the way and the sun went down (well, that's kind of an expected outcome).  Congrats to the newly married couple!  They are off to Greece in a few days for their much anticipated honeymoon, but not before I give them an in-person photo lesson on how to take great vacation photos.  Maybe I'll start offering lessons to all my brides and grooms- what do you think??  :)

 

Where In the World is Alex the Photo Guy?

Yes, there has been a blog slowdown.  I knew you were worried, but don't be!  I've been out and about through the east coast and midwest with not enough time in the day (or sleep at night) to blog enough!

I was recently awarded an incredible photo assignment for architecture photography that has put me in Boston, New York, DC, Minneapolis, and Chicago in less than a month.  I was also able to shoot for a wedding in Hilton Head and visit my brother's family with Keri.  It's been an insane September for me so far spending less than 4 days at home between August 30th and Sept 24th.  I've been on 6 rooftops, 6 planes, in 4 rental cars, and in over 25 office buildings.  I had NYPD graciously move police cars and bomb surveillance units out of the way for one of my shoots and have also sat with my tripod for an hour and a half waiting for a shadow to move out of the way.  I've sat in rush hour in 5 cities yelling at the clouds to go away (I'm not counting Atlanta rush hour- I see that all the time).  It's been an incredible assignment, with still a few more cities to go.  Luckily I have time on the last few- the reason why I visited the cities I did when I did was to catch them before the leaves fall off the trees.  The other cities up next are southern or California.  I'm neck deep in editing for these (some of these aren't final products yet), but I'll share a few quick highlights.

...nevermind that jerk in the pic.  Someone should have stolen something out of his open camera bag.

Here's my map of August 30th to Sept 24th (click for larger):

Jessica and Jeff | Atlanta Wedding Photography

Jessica and Jeff's wedding was one of the most fun weddings I've been to, including many that I attend as a guest.  The two of them did a superb job of a true DIY wedding.  Take a look at the photos and see at how they turned a grassy field into a beautiful ceremony and an open part-time photography studio  into a warm party palace.  The incredible food was provided by the tastiest food truck I've ever met met- Ibiza Bites (see marshmallow fluff covered sweet potato fires below!).  There was beauty at every turn, be it the weather, the preparations, or simply the bride and groom.  I couldn't have asked for a better wedding to shoot.  Even after the bridal getaway, the DJ  (Andrew Wroblewski, featured below) spun tunes while the bridesmaids packed up the decorations and leftover beer.  I can't say I didn't end up with decorations and beer in my hatchback at the end of the night.  ;)

 

Carly and Russell Engagements

Last week I discovered that I never posted the engagement photos that led to booking Carly and Russell's wedding this spring.  I'd like to think it was due to my incredible artful eye and posing ability that they chose me over other talented Atlanta photographers, but really it was because they are just a darn good lookin' couple.  Carly even has modeling experience- and it shows!  I will say that they told me I made them feel pretty comfortable since Carly said Russell hates being in photos.  That was a compliment I take to heart because if you can't build trust with your clients on a shoot, then you won't have great photos and happy clients who want to come back for more!

Carly and Russell at the hand made kitchen table that they built from salvaged barn wood.

 

Sinclair / Brown Wedding!

Happy Monday everyone!  This post is long overdue, but I have the photos from Carly and Russell's wedding!  You may remember this beautiful couple from the engagement session I did with them back in 2011.  And now that I search my blog for the link to their engagements, I realize I never posted them... I'll have to fix that in the very very near future.  :)

Carly and Russell were married at the Druid Hill United Methodist Chapel and had their reception at the Atlanta Brewing Company.  I LOVE the brewery reception idea:  local beer, ping pong, darts, and catered BBQ!  We had an awesome time, the weather was perfect, and everyone danced their butts off to the Brian Wiltsey Band.  For me, this was also a great wedding as it was my first wedding with a true second shooter.  I've had an assistant before (my lovely wife, Keri), but never someone who could fetch AND shoot!  I can say he helped a ton and was integral in another wedding I shot two weekends ago in Asheville, NC.  Now, without further ado: the photos!

 

The bride walking outside the chapel with a blanket so the groom doesn't see her.  :)

 

Carly's sister played her down the aisle.

 

Carly surprised Russell with the Tech Trolley to shuttle them to the reception!

 

The bouquet toss was interesting on first attempt- Carly showed a little too much muscle!

 

... and with an hour left in the reception, Carly voluntarily decided to tip Curt off to the single girls out on the dance floor.  :)

 

Curt and I were having so much fun that one of the guests "borrowed" one of our camera for a moment to document us!