In my twenty-five years as a wedding photographer being asked to photograph Preston Bailey’s wedding is one of my most treasured honors. After all, Preston Bailey is the biggest wedding and event designer in the world. He truly is what all other wedding planners and designers aspire to be. When Preston asked me to photograph his Valentine’s Day nuptials in 2013 I was floored. I remember getting the call and barely being able to contain my excitement. When I hung up the phone a wave of emotions rushed in. I laughed, I cried, I freaked out, I was so taken aback.
I had first worked along side Preston and his team in the South of France a few months prior. It had been a long time goal of mine to photograph a Preston Bailey wedding and I achieved that goal just seven months prior. The ironic part was that I wasn’t hired by Preston himself, I was brought on by Michelle Rago Destinations the planner. Michelle Rago is an amazing destination wedding planner out of New York. There I was in St. Jean Cap Ferrat in the South of France working along side Preston Bailey. Technically I had achieved my goal, now however, I had a new one, to get Preston Bailey to hire me directly. Little did I expect for him to ask me to photograph his own wedding six months later in New York.
I think when we set goals for ourselves we have a vision of how we think they will unfold, but it never usually happens the way we picture it. The important lesson here is to set your goals high and don’t give up until you reach them….
Here are a few images I took of Preston as I had the pleasure of watching him look at the gift album I gave to he and Theo shortly after I photographed his wedding. He loved it! The smile says it all…. Time to set more goals!
Happy One Year Anniversary Preston and Theo!
As 2013 comes to an end it’s always fun to go back through all the shoots I did from the year and relive some of my favorite images and stories. After all isn’t that what photographs are supposed to do? They bring us back to the thoughts and emotions from those moments. I hope you enjoy these images. And here’s to a healthy, successful and joyous 2014.
This image is one my very favorite images of 2013. I captured this in February at an ice castle in Minnesota as part of a styled shoot for Minnesota Bride Magazine for winter wedding inspirations. I just received word that this image received an honorable mention from Junebug Weddings 2013 “Best of the Best Wedding Photo Collection”. So happy that they like it too!
This wedding image was captured on Elbow Beach, Bermuda at the Mandarin Oriental Elbow Beach Resort. I love the greenery growing out onto the sand, something you do not usually see. The green along with the blue of the sky and water really adds to the beauty.
From this same wedding the bride and groom released mini hot air balloons called Kongming lanterns. I have seen them before in pictures but I had never had the opportunity to experience them in person, let alone get to enjoy the challenge of photographing them… It was so fun to watch the guests’ faces as they let each one go. I am not sure who had more fun, me or them.
On of the best things about photographing a destination wedding is getting the opportunity to get to know the families and guests more intimately as you spend multiple days with them as opposed to just one day. I love photographs like this one shot at the rehearsal dinner just outside the tent on the beach. Here is an impromptu family portrait, destination style.
Washington, D.C. – I will never forget this day as it was the same day as the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, August 24th, 2013 and I’ve never seen so many people in one city! It took us almost two hours in the limo bus to get to the Jefferson Memorial where this image was taken. I am not one to choreograph a staged picture as this one appears to be; the story is that the bridal party wanted to photobomb the couple’s picture so I told them after I took a few pictures to come in from behind and do whatever they wanted. They snuck up from behind in a very slow, exaggerated gate, something like the cast of Westside Story krump dancing. This image was one of the couple’s favorite images from the day.
The next five images are from a wedding I shot in September at a family home in Wayzata, Minnesota. There are always a few weddings each year that stand out in my mind and this wedding was definitely one of them. Jessica and Corey and their family and friends were so warm and welcoming that I wanted to pack them into my luggage and take them home with me! I have found Minnesota to be such a beautiful state and the location of this wedding was really conducive for capturing some beautiful wedding images.
Along the pathway down to the lake.
I loved this moment of the bridesmaids crying during the ceremony. The ceremony was short and all the guests gathered around instead of sitting so it was very intimate and emotional.
I liked this perspective of Jessica and her bridesmaids relaxing together before the ceremony.
The bride and groom each included their dogs in the wedding. One donned a doggie tux and the other dazzled in her tutu! They sat stil long enough for me to capture this portrait of them.
I shoot a fair amount of boudoir portraiture. Some of my brides give these pictures as gifts to their grooms and the other half are of wives wanting to surprise their husbands. I love making my clients feel beautiful. This session was shot in Atlanta in a beautiful sun-drenched loft. These pictures hold special meaning to me because one week after we shot these images Hillary found out she was expecting. She had been told she wasn’t able to have children. I had unknowingly captured some of the very first smiles of her as an expectant mom.
This image was from a ‘fashion the dress’ session I did with Grace. She wanted to do a pre-wedding shoot in her dress. Together we created some fashion styled imagery in downtown Los Angeles. Derek snuck into a few of the images but it was defiantly all about the bride. Isn’t it always… 🙂
I love shooting bridal fashion and this image is probably my favorite warm weather bridal fashion shot of the year. This shoot happened in Miami in the Wynwood Arts District. We were shooting at a cigar factory and this was the vacant lot just adjacent to the factory. I immediately gravitated to this location and knew I was going to place my bride on those wooden pallets in the middle of that empty lot with that incredible yellow wall in the background. I moved myself just so that my camera angle made the swan’s wing look like the bride’s veil.
One of my highlights for 2013 was being invited by Sony to become a Sony Artisan of Imagery. I have been shooting Sony cameras for a little over a year now and loving photography even more. This image was shot in Tennessee during the Sony Media Excursion at the end of October. Sony invites the top bloggers and other media outlets to come try out their new cameras. This year Sony released the Alpha a7 and a7r. These new mirrorless cameras are pretty great. I shot this image with the a7r at a horse farm near Lynchburg, Tennessee and the Jack Daniels factory, which by the way was the next stop.
My favorite compact Sony camera is my NEX6. It is a small camera with a big punch and great features including Wi-FI. You can send your image right to your phone via the Sony Play Memories app. I love it! I shoot pictures with my NEX6 and send them to my phone and right from there to my social media outlets. If you are looking for an amazing point and shoot with interchangeable lenses that are incredibly sharp at a reasonable price, this is a great choice. Look at the detail in this image shot with the stock lens that comes with the camera.
I shot this ceremony image in San Francisco in late February. Of course the dogs steal the show in this image. This wedding was featured in the fall issue of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine and is the first same-sex wedding ever to be published in the magazine.
This is a one year anniversary portrait photographed in Los Angeles. I cold not photograph Analisa and Trent’s wedding as I was booked on their wedding date, so they came back to me one year later and asked if I would create some images for their one year wedding anniversary. I love to incorporate movement, so as one of the several images we captured I took the opportunity to try movement here. I was across the street allowing room for cars to enter the frame. The composition and the colors all work together to make this image pop. I think this photograph is a little bit of skill and a-lot-o-bit of luck. The fact that a blue cab passed by to match the dominate blue tones in the image and the fact that I caught it in the perfect part of the frame was fortuitous. With good intent there is always room for luck.
I am always striving to move beyond the typical. Photographing details is an important part of photographing a wedding, not only for the bride and groom to remember all their creative hard work that went into planning their wedding, but also to support the other vendors involved in the wedding. Not to mention you need great details if you want to have your wedding published in a wedding magazine or blog. I had already photographed the shoes in the bride’s room during the getting ready photos, yet the idea of these amazing red shoes popping off the white of the Rolls Royce was something just a little different and it was definately worth it to try something different.
I like to “play” photography as I like to call it. I shoot ninety percent of my weddings for myself. I know if I am happy and excited at the end of the day so will my couples. I asked the bride if she would lay down in the first row of her ceremony chairs and from there the fun began.
I had only about thirty seconds to capture this image. I loved the light and the colors of this location and knew I had to grab a shot here, however, we were running late getting to the church. The bride came down the stairs into the lobby and I asked her to quickly sit on the edge of the couch and look out the window and fired off about three frames before hearing the stern reminder from the wedding planner that we were running late. My tenacity paid off.
The best part of photographing any wedding is the thrill and desire of capturing those amazing once-in-a (blink of an eye)-lifetime moments. This image is exactly one of those moments. The father of the bride walked into the room and saw his little girl in her dress for the very first time.
My bride really admires photographer Annie Leibovitz’s body of work, as do I, so I was happy to create an Annie Leibovitz inspired bridal party portrait upon her request.
This is on the beach in front of the renowned Hotel Del Cornado in San Diego CA. We headed out to the sand after their vows to take advantage of the late afternoon light, better know as the “magic hour.” This is my favorite of the many snaps captured as the bride give her new groom a sweet peck on the cheek.
This cowboy has a lot of character. The great lines in his face and his blue shirt make this image powerful yet simple. I like it as it reminds me that most of the time the simpler the image the more powerful it can be.
As much as I love my cameras there are times I am without one, and like most people today I turn to my phone to lend an aperture. So to round out my list of my top 25 favorite images of 2013, this is my favorite image captured by a non-camera. Shot on a evening walk while Austin Texas. I was there to photograph an engagement session for an upcoming March 2014 wedding. I headed out to grab a bite to eat and came across this cool building and shot this image. I learned one very imaport lesson. Never ever leave home without a camera! Photographs happen no matter where I am. I look forward to all the photographic opportunities that await in 2014. Happy New Year!
Last week I shot a wedding in Wayzata Minnesota. It is such a different feeling in Minnesota then it is in California. The houses are so cool with architectural detail you don’t find here. I saw this amazing old fashioned copper bath tub in the master bathroom that belongs to our bride Jessica’s mother and I just had to get a shot of her in it. I love shooting weddings that take place at a family members home. The couples are so relaxed among familiar surroundings and there are always sentimental pieces that can be used in the photos to make them more meaningful to my couples and their families.
Robert Evans Studios
Sony a99, f/2.8, 1/320, ISO400
One of the things I love to photograph when I am at my weddings is grandparents. I know how important my grandparents were to me and the few images I of them, I treasure now that they have past. Beyond the obvious portrait of the grandparents with the bride and groom, I look for great candid moments; the grandparents, laughing, smiling, dancing; something you can look back on in the future, a photograph that really captures their spirit.
This has to me one of my favorite grandparent images I have taken over the years. I love her passion, AKA her opinion…. Several years back I used this image in an ad. It read: “Don’t let Grandma find out you did not use Robert Evans.”
Kids at weddings are such a joy to photograph, especially the flower girls and ring bearers. This image was taken in the balcony of the church, while scouting to see what the view was going to be during the ceremony. These three flower girls had the same idea. They were looking down on the guests laughing and giggling and just being little girls. Thank goodness for little girls.