Albums. My Heart.

This week I received a large order of albums — delivered to me first for a quick check and photo documentation before I handed them off to their rightful owners.

I talk about albums a lot, but I can’t talk about them enough, so I’m writing about albums again. I love them. (Below: a photo of one album delivered to Isabelle (Bea) and Jonathan. That leather. Swoon.)

embossing on wedding album

Recently, I was with Steven and Liz as they opened their album for the first time. On Monday, I was there to watch Steven’s brother David and his wife Nola unwrap their wedding album. I watched them go through it for an hour as they held each other, got a little teary, pointed at a photo here and there as they exclaimed, “Oh, look at Grandma’s face!” or “I can’t believe he did The Worm,” and told me stories about some of the things going on behind-the-scenes (David bought a $200 tie the morning of the wedding because he refused to wear the clip-on rental, for instance).

For me, it was an amazing time: I was actually there as they re-lived the beautiful, happy, and memorable bits of their wedding aloud. Nola said, “I was floating most of the day. I didn’t remember much. Now going through this album, I remember all these moments. This was absolutely worth every penny.”

David said, “It seems like much more than an album. ‘Album’ feels like too insignificant a word for what this is. You should call it a novel.”

spine of wedding albumwedding album with cameo

Being there, listening to their comments as they leafed through their album, was immensely gratifying for sure — but when I started to filter it all I realized this was a valuable experience. Pretty things are pretty, but people are key. Nola and David told me that they’d agonized for hours over one of the spreads when they were revising their design — not of the flowers or the chuppah, but of their reception. Which people to include, which dancing shot to keep. It’s all something I knew — as Ryan Brenizer said, “Capturing a moment or a person as they really are is what makes a photo so special to you” (paraphrased) — but sometimes photographers get so caught up in the craft that sometimes they drift away from this thesis. Moments. People.

I also sent off these beauties to Steven and David’s mother:

white leather wedding album white leather with black fontforbeyon linear bound

For those interested, both flushmount albums are 10×10″ with Black Bean leather covers. Nola and David requested a custom font. The two parent albums are 8×8″ with white leather.

The Reverse Wedding Timeline

There was a moment the other week, when I was downloading and looking through cards from an outdoor wedding I helped shoot*, when I thought: gosh, this venue has amazing natural light, but the timeline did not work it to its advantage.

we wedding photographers often help out our colleagues by acting as second shooters or assistants (it’s a small world and pretty tight-knit)

Because, as “regular” wedding timelines go, it’s typically in this fashion:
– ceremony (in the daylight)
– formals during cocktail hour
– sunset portraits with the couple
– reception (as the sun sets and the rest is in darkness)

Sometimes, that amazing natural light that looks fantastic for sunset portraits means a face-full of bright sunshine as the wedding processional walks down the aisle. The guests are holding their hands up to block their eyes as they are seated full west, the couple squints as they walk down the aisle, and it’s just a little too harsh. It’d be nice, I mused, if we did the ceremony in the soft rosy light of dusk.

And I started to think: what if we did it all in reverse?

including a solar eclipse in an engagement picture

I think it’d take a certain type of couple to do a wedding timeline in reverse, but think of how awesome it would be! Consider this possible outdoor wedding (preferably done in the spring or fall):

- guests would arrive and receive beverages
– food (possibly lunch) would be served
– toasts would be given (in the sun)
– dancing in the daytime!
– cake cut and served before sunset
– family photos are done in the shifting light
– golden-hour portraits with the couple (an hour before sunset)
– in that beautiful time between golden hour and actual sunset, the ceremony is performed in that rosy dusk glow
– and in the darkness, people either continue to dance or everyone is already spent, so they go home :)

For some reason, it just sounds like a cool idea. I’d probably recommend that it be done after Daylight Savings time, so the sunset would be around 8 rather than 6.

I really want an offbeat couple to try this out sometime.

Edit: I was just alerted to the idea that some people have guests who might eat and leave before the actual ceremony. In that case, I’d say… hold out on cutting the cake until after the ceremony! I bet people will always stay later for cake, especially if they know there is cake :)

Vancouver.

I’m back from the Canada Photo Convention in Vancouver and… it was ridiculous. In an awesome way. I’m still mentally unpacking everything that I picked up from the conference, so I’ll post about that later. In the meantime, here are some personal photos from the trip. Truth be told, I took about 5 photos during the two days of the convention itself (that would be the iPhone selfies with people I’ve been friends with on the internet for years, but hadn’t met in person yet!) and the rest were taken on my last full day in Vancouver after the talks were over.

If you don’t feel like reading all my captions, all you have to know is: lots of sushi (I couldn’t get enough of that fresh fish). Lots of food, actually. Lots of mountains in the background — Vancouver looks like some sort of fairytale land. I’ve never seen a city like it. And while the cherry blossoms were in full bloom all over the place, I don’t think I took a single photo of one — which is pretty awful of me.

All photos were taken with the Fujifilm X100 and my iPhone. I actually hadn’t had much practice with the X100 until this trip, so the compositions are somewhat lacking :)

vancouver01

This meal in Austin would cost $40. Can you believe… $1 nigiri? The restaurant was in a hole-in-the-wall, ugly building covered in posters. I was scared I was going to get food poisoning, but I was so hungry that I didn’t care. The first bite of this was absolute heaven in my mouth. I’m pretty sure that this meal was the best meal of my entire life. Best part is, it was only $16.

vancouver02 vancouver03

I’m so happy to have met Orange County wedding photographer Luis Godinez, Xanthe from Australia!, globetrotter Kyle Hepp, Vancouverite Tomasz Wagner (who brought us to the aforementioned sushi shack), Aussie Mary Sylvia, and one of my roomies, Victoria wedding photographer Lara Eichhorn. Pardon my odd expressions!

vancouver005

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