The Gorgeous Wedding of Dolly and Matt

by on Jul.31, 2011, under Wedding Photography

This wedding blew me away. From the salon, to the church, to the reception... everything was amazing. When I first meet with a client, I try to help them understand that great photography can happen if you do two basic things. Number one: Let there be light! Number two: Give yourself time. Dolly and Matt did a wonderful job of both. All the locations had great light, and we had plenty of time to be creative and really get some wonderful shots.

We started the day at PJ's Salon in Fairview Park. This place was so much fun. Lots to shoot, huge windows, and just a great atmosphere to keep things chill while the girls were getting ready. From there, we moved to Dolly and Matt's home. I always encourage clients to get ready in front of a window, which can seem a bit weird to some... "You want me to get ready literally in front of the window?" It's an odd request, but it yields such beautiful photos. After getting Dolly and the girls into their dresses, we headed to the church.

The church was Our Lady of Angels in Cleveland. All I can say is wow. The ceilings in this place are so ornate and the space is so large you would think that the royals were getting married here. Fantastic choice and a really nice ceremony. After shooting some formals in the church, we hopped in the cars and followed the limo over to a local park. Now, this was one of those days where the temperature was already hitting the high 90's, but the humidity made it feel like 110. It was blistering hot. The best thing you can do in this situation is have all the guys leave their jackets in the limo, and move fast. We used the shade as much as we could to our advantage and actually stayed outside for quite awhile. After the park, we were on to the reception.

We pulled up to Ridge Manor over in Brooklyn, Ohio and when we walked into the main hall, I was amazed at what I saw. The D.J. company, Rock the House did a transformation of the space that really made things look first class. I remember pulling up to the reception hall and thinking... oh great, there are no windows, but Dolly and Matt picked a company that went all out. The uplighting around the room, the spotlights on the cake, and the monogram on the dance floor brought the space together and made things look spectacular. The evening was so much fun to photograph. The music kept everyone on the dance floor until the end of the reception, not an easy task for any D.J.

A beautiful day all around and I couldn't be happier for Dolly and Matt. Congratulations you two!


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To our dear friends, Chris and Brittney

by on Jul.07, 2011, under Uncategorized

One seldom gets the chance to shoot the wedding of a best friend, typically because a bridal party is involved, and you just don't get the opportunity. When Chris and Brittney decided to move to Texas, I have to admit I was a little bummed. On the one hand, I was overjoyed for Chris to find a great new job that would allow him to utilize his creative talents, but on the other hand, I knew that this would mean I wouldn't get a chance to see or work with him as often. It's a double edged sword, but I find that we all have our paths to follow, and the path to his new wife was absolutely the right one.

Chris asked Brad and I to come on down to Katy, Texas to "take some casual pics" here and there. Of course, for those of you that know me... there is no casually shooting a wedding. (To my credit, I did try, and yes, I still remembered to have a great time with my fiance) 😉

A few weeks before the wedding, Chris asked me to give a speech. I really was honored that he asked me to do that considering there wouldn't be a best man or maid of honor at the ceremony. (I still tease that speech = best man) It made sense. Brittney's father and grandfather talked about Brittney and how she grew up and what a strong person she is. So, here was my opportunity to share with everyone what I knew about Chris and how he developed his relationship with Brittney.

I guess to recap, I wanted to share a few words that I talked about at the wedding because the story of Chris and Brittney is really a beautiful one. For those of you that know Chris and I, we are extremely calculated people. We research everything. Cameras we want to buy, software we want to try, techniques we want to use on the next shoot... our planning process is what some may call... ridiculous. For as long as I've known Chris, he's always wanted to talk things over with me if for no other reason, to reassure him that he's making a good decision.

Chris had been living in Michigan for a little while and was starting to meet a few people through work... yada yada. One evening, he decided to attend a party at one of his co-workers houses and that's where he met Brittney. Brittney was the chance-roommate of Chris' co-worker. I say chance because I believe that she found the "need-a-roommate" listing on Craigslist. After one or two encounters with Brittney, I could tell that for Chris, this was no ordinary girl. He would not stop talking about her. Then, of course, the facebook photos of the two of them started popping up, and well... we know how the story eventually winds up.

Now, the funny thing is that when Chris was about to introduce Brittney to everyone, he told me that she's very opinionated and I actually might not like her. I remember thinking, "Finally! Someone who can help Chris make up his mind!" Over the next few months, their relationship grew strong. Eventually, Chris gave me a call one night, and told me that he was going to ask Brittney to marry him. He didn't know when, where or how as of yet, but the key here was that he knew for a fact that she was the one. No advice needed. No user reviews to investigate on amazon required.

I told Chris that if he knows... he knows. About a month later, I see a ring, and shortly after that, they're engaged.

I've been a best man "officially" twice... (It's up for debate as to whether or not I can say "three" times. Ahem... Chris...) 🙂 and obviously I'm not the one who's married...yet. However, I think that I give good advice when asked, so what I told Chris and Brittney at the wedding reception was that no matter where life takes them, be it Ohio, Utah, Michigan, Texas, or beyond... remember that they both have friends and family that love and care for them and that at the end of the day, those are the people who can be counted on to be there for you. Always.

And so, I say to Chris and Brittney, congratulations on your wonderful marriage. It was a pleasure and an honor to be your guest / one of your photographers. I hope that you look back on your wedding day and remember all of the laughs and bittersweet moments fondly. I love telling stories... and it was a privilege to tell yours.

All the best,


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