If you can remember back last December, I traveled to Maui to shoot a destination wedding. It was an amazing time, the wedding was beyond beautiful, and the Travel channel was there to document this particular wedding. They were doing a piece on destination weddings, and happened to pick Daymeon and Leeann's event. The video was just released, and I've reposted it here on my site. You'll get a glimpse of me working with the couple on the beach for their formal wedding shots. Enjoy!
Life is all about time, or rather the lack of, right? Time is always the most scarce resource, even if you have all the time in the world, others around you, or even mother nature does not. As a photographer, "good light" naturally only happens in small fragments of time, and we counter this by using off-camera light, even when we don't need to in order to get even "better" light. I think we need to put all our cancer curing resources and task them into figuring out how to extend really nice sunsets to say... twice as long (I kid.... but seriously).
Here is a behind the scenes video I cut together today, it showcases a little bit of the stuff we did while we were running around the island.
Wow, ok... the last and final installment to this whole shebang, the trash the dress shoot. We met-up the day after the wedding, around sunset. Leeann and Daymeon's condo was just down the block from mine, so we just met at the beach that at across the street. Now, these might be my favorite shots from the whole week. It was my first 'trash the dress' shoot, so I was pretty excited.
The scene was pretty funny. We roll up, girl in wedding dress, guy with big camera, and Alice (my assistant) walking around to a good-sized mobile softbox. Toss girl with big white dress into the surf and everyone walking the beach stops to watch. There were actually other groups down there taking pics of family and friends. Before you know it, they have turned their cameras on us, taking pics of us doing our thing. Before you knew it, a crowd had gathered, with probably 30 sets of eyes on the shoot.
Getting tired of these wedding posts yet? This is the second-to-last one, so hang in there, cause this is the good stuff! Yes, by that I mean the lighting stuff. Towards the end of the wedding reception, I pulled Leeann aside to get some "fun photos." I had been eyeing the alter they got married under ever since I arrived early that day. I knew it would make a great location to work-in some light, and make some interesting compositions.
Started simple, with one light, 2'x2' softbox for front light. Then added some edging details to both the bride and flowers with a bare backlight directly behind Leeann.
Pictured above are Leeann and her best buds. It's great when you see a group of friends stick together, even 10 years after high school. Sure, new friends will come and go along the years, but there is just something about those high school friends that makes it special.
Soon after the portraits were wrapped, the sun dipped below the sea, leaving torches, chandeliers, and candles to light the reception.
Ok, so getting into the stuff I LOVE to do, setting up some fun shots, and bringing in some lighting. The formal portraits.
Got Leeann and Daymeon on the beach as the sun was setting. Even though we had some pretty thick cloud cover, we got some fun colors in the sky. Knocked these out in 5 minutes or less. The sun was setting and I had to get the couple back to their party!
Rain, the only hiccup in an otherwise perfect wedding, slowed to a sprinkle around 5pm. Originally set to kickoff at 4, the ceremony was pushed about an hour.
The officiate began the ceremony with a couple blows of a conch shell. A great touch, but I couldn't help but giggle a little bit. All I could think about was that ridiculous Spongebob character, Mermaidman. He blew a conch and yelled, "sea creatures, assemble!" Anywho... with the sound of the conch, and Daymeon waiting for his bride in the alter, Leeann started to make her way down the path.
Spent a couple shutter clicks with both bride and groom in the dressing rooms. The beach house on the property was icing on the cake to an already great location. The bride prepared herself in a room that had this awesome bed, had all kinds of drapery and style to it. Naturally, that's where I placed here for a few shots. Of course... once you are all done up in a dress like this, flopping down onto a bed is messy, so the girls helped her out, got a great pic of that.
Upon arriving to the wedding location, it was like something out of a movie. You know... those weddings that make you go "pfff, that doesn't happen in real life." There are literally 40-50 people working on setting up the wedding location. A dozen large work vans parked in the driveway of the property, you don't even consider they are all for this one event. As I opened the gate to the property, I quickly realized that, yes, all these vehicles, people, and resources are all here JUST for this. Running around like worker bees, you could literally watch it all assemble in front of your eyes. All dressed in color coordinated shirts, as to differentiate the various job duties. A half dozen people assigned to just arranging the floral designs, a team of cooks, a team for setting up furniture, etc. All this for a wedding with 24 attendees. Of course, having CNN around pays off, and the coordination company pulls some strings, and upgrades every feature of the wedding.
Let me just say, this was a difficult job. No, not as in, shooting the wedding "job." The job after it is all said and done, the job of selecting the "picks" of the bunch to give the newlywed couple. It was literally the coolest place and wedding arrangement I'd ever seen. Naturally this led to WAY more pictures than I would have liked to filter through. Of course, all of the photos turned out pretty darn good, I mean... look at this place! Hence my breaking the wedding into a series of posts. Even now that I've gone through and made the selects and shipped the photos off to the couple, it's hard for me to try and write one or even two posts on this experience. Too many good things in this bunch. Hey, it's a photo blog, get ready for some pics!
A wedding, in December, in Maui. This gig was more than I could have asked for, timing, location, everything... It was a location and setup that was too good to be true. Stop for a second and imagine a tropical location, a place that is literally perfect for your dream wedding, now paint the picture. I'd bet the farm the picture in your head doesn't have anything on this place. In many ways it felt like a dream just standing there, able to be a part of the whole thing. It's a beach house, tucked right on the beach, and all you hear are the waves as they crash over the black rock formations and sand.
Still in Maui, loving every minute of it. The wedding event, as well as the trash the dress shoot, are over (pictures on this coming later this week). We scheduled a couple extra days to vacation in paradise after all the wedding busyness before we head back to the mainland. Anywho... had a fun story to share with you all today.
Pictured above is myself (left) and my good friend, Andy (right). Yes, that is a wave coming right at us, and yes, it was quite a few feet taller than we were. Maui had just been slammed with a monsoon. Heavy rains and winds reformed the beach overnight, creating to what Andy and I were to soon find out the hard way - very high, hard hitting waves that only left a few inches of water for you to land in when the wave punished you. This was... about wave 4 or 5, and the biggest and last one we decided to try and take-on that day.
Water, it's a pretty powerful force. Clearly something Andy and I didn't have a full respect for until we were completely owned and nearly drowned. We were in about the worst point for this thing too. As it hit, we were both instantly at it's mercy. It sent me directly to the floor, hitting so hard it knocked out any air that was presently in my lungs (which was most needed at this moment in time), and put me in a tumble of which I couldn't tell you how many times I rolled as I was still in the middle of the aquatic carnage. Andy didn't fair much better, as his body board was wedged under his arm and the sea floor, the water attempting to dislocate his shoulder.