Sandra did her bridal session far after her wedding as a favor to me to help build my portfolio! We scouted out a cute local park near her house in north Austin, and were sure not to ignore her sunglasses and rockin’ personality. Look at this gorgeous and wonderful person!
Stacy and Dave had a really lovely ceremony outdoors at the Fern Bluff Community Center near Stacy’s parents’ house. Her adorable nephew was featured as the ring bearer and repeated the officiant after she said “May I have the rings, please?” 🙂 Dave’s admitted he’s not a huge fan of having his picture taken, but he really enjoyed himself and I made sure to keep the formals simple so they could get to their guests quickly! The reception was AWESOME. Stacy and Dave attribute that to the incredible amount of beer available to the guests, but it was also a group that really liked to have a good time! The emphasis was on family, fun, and beer (of course), not the details. Stacy said one of her favorite moments was when I asked her, “Is your cousin drunk?” The kid was wearing a tie on his head. He kept wanting me to dance and after I clocked out, I gave in!
Allen provided me the opportunity to do my first official pet portrait session. He wanted to fill some multi-photo frames he’d bought awhile ago with pictures of his animals as a Christmas gift to his wife. She has a special connection with them and he anticipated she would go nuts over these pictures! We had to get really creative since half the animals we needed to photograph were grumpy cats! In many cases Allen had to hold his babies to calm them down, but I was able to snag some shots of the dogs in their natural environment! He also needed an updated profile picture for his workplace’s personele directory…and a framed shot for his mom.
He told me a couple of weeks after Christmas that when she unwrapped the first frame, she wasn’t totally sure what she was looking at and he thought “oh great, this is a disaster.” Then she started to tear up, especially when she saw her little white dog. Needless to say, these photos meant so much to her and were a total surprise. Well done, Allen!
Things the Chee family is:
- Good at soccer
We carpooled to the shoot location just down the road, which was a good opportunity to get the Chee kids giggling 🙂 “What animal goes ‘quack’?” they’d ask. “Um….a pig?” “NOOOOoooo!!!” followed by peels of laughter. The kiddos had a great time. After the shoot, they asked if I could “come over to play” sometime. Mom and dad said “we hired the right person.” 🙂
Let me tell you about the time that my wonderful friends Sandra and Jimmy got married at House on the Hill in west Austin. The night before, I had shot my first wedding as a second shooter and I was absolutely electrified. Months earlier, Sandra told me a friend had offered to shoot their wedding as their wedding gift. They reassured me he was a professional so I was put at ease! After arriving, I scoured the venue for this photographer and didn’t see him. I saw some amateurs standing around with point-and-shoot cameras and I got nervous. I had brought my camera and one lens but the battery was dying from the wedding the previous night. I purposely did this so I wouldn’t be tempted to take pictures the entire time! Well, the ceremony began and there did not appear to be a photographer. I got out of my seat once but otherwise snapped from my aisle seat. It was beautiful and traditional, and Jimmy’s dad officiated. Sandra looked so beautiful and her dress was so her!
After the ceremony, I hugged her and congratulated her…and asked where her photographer was. She said she didn’t know. I asked her if they had a budget for wedding photographer, and she sort of answered. I wish I hadn’t even asked that question, because a few minutes later it was so clear to me that I needed to go home and get my gear. All our friends were asking me to take the formal group shots, and I just had to look at them and say “My battery just died. I’m so sorry!” So I left. 25 minutes later I was back with my comfy Mary Janes, my flash, all my lenses, and tons of batteries. The sun had set and the meal had begun under a small tin-roof structure.
Those 2-3 hours I realized how perfect it was that I had happened to shoot a wedding the night before and I had some idea what I was doing 🙂 One of the groomsmen passed a hat around to collect money to pay for my services, which was like a dream to me…all of Sandra and Jimmy’s friends and family contributing to pay for something that Jimmy and Sandra especially, as a film photographer, would sincerely cherish forever. And I felt honored, for so many reasons. So here it is, my second wedding that I never expected to shoot. I adore Jimmy and Sandra and they have thanked me, acknowledged me, and organized my 27th birthday party in which they presented me with a beautiful, hand-made piece of wall art talking about how awesome I am, and one of those giant checks that our friends contributed to to support my budding business. I was so moved. They are true friends, and I am so grateful I was there and able to give them the gift of wedding photos.
For those of you that are wondering, their photographer friend had a medical emergency in the family and left the house immediately, forgetting their cell phone. Things happen and it’s a good exercise in giving people the benefit of the doubt!