#elopementphotographer

Leonard and Sarah's Wedding

Dramatic portraits make me happy

So a few weeks ago I had the extreme pleasure of capturing moments like the one above for this happy couple. You may recall the image of them we captured during the engagement session at Hungry Mother State Park on the bridge over the lake. Meeting them that day for the first time, I quickly knew we would have a great time working together. They are so in love, and they share that love for Leonard's son Jake that I also had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with. Those moments led up to the big day, and that's what I am writing about now. Before I get much further here is a short video I shot, that my good friend Wes and partner at Throat Punch Productions put together for me on the fly. Take a sec to check it out then I will meet you on the other side.

 

I hope you watched it and left some feedback. I would love to do more of them and I learned a lot from the first attempt. Stay tuned for more of that and Wes wrote more about our new venture HERE. He is a much better writer than I am. Ok, back to the newlyweds. Sarah and Leonard were married at her church in Marion, VA. It is a small church established in 1859 with a stunning wooden door and high ceilings. The church also sets at the base of several mountain ranges so it was a perfect backdrop for such an incredible day. 

The weather was moody to say the least but we were blessed to miss almost all of the rain and had the opportunity to be out side for shots like this.

I love how engaged they are with one another here.

The ceremony was lovely and the church quickly filled with friends and family of the couple. Immediately following the service, even though the pastor almost forgot to have them kiss LOL, we had a few minutes for portraits just of the new Husband and Wife before packing up and heading to the reception several miles away, also at Hungry Mother State Park. This was amazing because we wanted to remake the photo I mentioned above, and thought the weather would refuse us the opportunity but once again, fate was on our side.

From the wedding day :)

From the wedding day :)

Ok I know  I am rambling so I will leave the rest of the story to be told visually through the images from the day. Let's go!

I usually keep my blog post's to a few images but wanted to incorporate moments from the entire day for a change. This couple was so much fun to be around and so was their entire family. I had multiple people stop and speak about the engagement pictures or to express their gratitude for being there. Often it's the small things that make a day special, and together I think we truly told the story of Sarah + Leonard Gardner!

All of the last images below were shot on 35mm film, and developed by The Darkroom Lab. I want to really shoot more and more on film, so be watching for those soon.

Shot on film

The couples stamp

The couples stamp

The Grandparents of the Bride

The Grandparents of the Bride

Beautiful Church for the wedding.

Beautiful Church for the wedding.

Alex

Carvers Gap, where more often than not, fantasy becomes reality! I write about this location often and passionately for several reasons. I grew up in Roan Mountain, went to school there and until I was 18 it was my home. The sad part about this is, while living here I never visited Carvers Gap. Like never. I'm very glad that I have found the amazement that it offers at this point in my life, as far too often I think we live our entire lives and miss the magic around us daily. Growing up and attending school here led me to meet Sundae. I think we may have even rode the bus together after my parents moved closer to my grandparents. I say that because today's post is about Alex, Sundae's daughter. I had never met or spoken to Alex prior to our session but that was not an issue because she is awesome. Sundae and I went back and forth on a few dates as the weather was insane this year and ever-changing and at this point, I also believe its because we were supposed to be on the Roan on this particular day. You can never truly predict the weather on the top of the Roan, and today was one of those days where every few minutes, it changed. This was a bit of a challenge as a photographer, but one I gladly welcome anytime. Let me start in the parking lot.

Once we finally found a suitable day and the time was set, we were good to go. We agreed to meet at the trailhead parking lot for introductions and to strategize. This never takes more than a few minutes, so we donned our rain jackets, umbrellas, and were afoot. Luckily the rain never really set in and never developed into something unusable. We were greeted with dramatic racing clouds over us and the mountain tops, misting rain, and even had a brief appearance of a rainbow. I mean minus a unicorn or bigfoot running out of the neighboring woods, what else could I ask for? As an adventure photographer, an avid fan of anything AT, I was enchanted. I'm not great with words and will not try to be, but will simply let the imagery speak for me. I hope you find the joy, the excitement, the wonder in these that I do. Alex was incredibly patient with my direction, open to any and everything I threw at her and with a lovely smile the entire time. I truly couldn't ask for more. I would love to know if you have a similar place that you love to frequent and I'm always open to more unique experiences like this one was. Now to the meat and potatoes, because what post by a photographer is complete without pictures?

As always, all images shot with my Fuji Xpro2 and combination of my xf16mm and xf90mm lenses. 

“We clutch that picture to our hearts because we expect each other to always be the people in that picture. But people change. People aren’t pictures. And you can either take a new picture or throw the old one away.”
— https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/18278582-i-wrote-this-for-you

Before and After Portraiture

F1.8, 1/100th, 55mm, ISO 50

So I have been considering topics to blog for 2 days and actually set the matter aside as I was busy with other things, then I decided to re-edit some of my favorite images and upon doing so came up with this brilliant plan. Don't mind my sarcasm here lol. I think its easy to see photography or images we like and hit the like button, or slam that heart if your on Instagram. ( everyone should be on IG, its my favorite ) I think often times, that as photographers some members of society think we charge our rates to simply show up and push the button. Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows, I kid around about just pushing the button but when it comes down to it I do much more than that.  The details of how I work on a shoot are ( cue dramatic action film intro music please) coming to this blog in the near future so I won't waste anytime on that today. So what I'm doing is posting a few images below and that will start with the RAW or SOOC image and then the edited image along side it. I hope this achieves several things. I hope to express how much time and effort is put into my work when no one is watching, and honestly I hope to prove that "having a friend with a camera" doesn't mean that you should actually trust them to capture moments in this life that you want to pass down and remember for years to come but also appreciate for what they are as a whole. I spent all day today re working these images and most of them have never been seen as they are images I never released from the initial shoot.
Ok, about the shoot to start. My friend and fellow photographer Nathan Mays, in the off seasons invites groups of fellow creatives to his studio in Bristol to hang out, network and sometimes we shoot.. these images came from that night. All images where shot with my previous camera, the Sony A7ii and the Zeiss 55mm lens. Lighting was provided by Nathan ( thank you ) and we used his Alien Bee Einstein Strobe heads. If I ever find myself in the place where I need a studio again. Einstein's will be my lighting of choice in case anyone wonders how I feel about them.
Haley, and Lilly were invited to model for the group and I remember Nathan whispering to me that someone needs to start shooting, the models where ready and no one was taking advantage of them being there for us.. So here I went! Not sure his trigger would even work on my camera body, but luckily it did. The images below are the results.  Ill list camera exif below each set for any photographers who might be curious.

BEFORE

F1.8, 1/125th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE   F1.8, 1/125th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F1.8, 1/125th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE  F 1.8, 1/100th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 1.8, 1/100th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/160th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/160th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/1250th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/1250th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE  F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5, 1/200th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE  F2.5 1/200th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F2.5 1/200th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE  F 2.5. 1/160th, ISO 50

BEFORE

F 2.5. 1/160th, ISO 50

AFTER

AFTER

I appreciate that you came by my site and hope you enjoyed the intimate look at my before and after images. The last 2 shots are double exposures and where just something different to play with and as you see, I had to adjust for the ceiling and the other photographer in my shot, but was able to make a very dramatic image still. Please leave me your thoughts below in the comments! -J

Planning and timing your Wedding Exit

#meadowviewconventioncenter #militarywedding #sparklerexit #wedding #kingsporttn #magmod

In this blog I'm going to share how and why I approach your exit on your wedding day a little different than some other photographers and how it works wonderfully for me. If your reading this your most likely in one of two categories: Your either engaged and planning your special day, or maybe your a fellow photographer curious to create more dramatic exits for your happy couples. I hope this helps and lets get into it!

I'm not going to discuss lighting, or posing here but I will say that its important to trust the photographer you hired to create something from their vision, hopefully combined with your own. So your probably wondering what I could possibly be referring to when I say planning  and timing for your exit. The normal response if asked when this will happen, is the end of the night so what am I talking about? Let me take a second to explain why and how I like to do this differently. 

 

So if your planning the wedding, then you are fully aware how hard this process can be. You are also aware how much time and effort you have spent over the guest list among the other details. So you clearly invited those your surrounded by and are glad they are celebrating with you so why wouldn't we utilize them to maximize the effect of your exit? It never fails, the weddings that decide to keep with traditions and have the exit at the end of the night are missing a large number of guests at this point. Maybe they brought the kids, or maybe they are older and not wanting to dance the night away so they have said their goodbyes, hugged necks, and wished love and blessings over you. So the list of people available to send you off in style is diminished by the end of the party. While this is not the end of the world by any means, I like to suggest a different option to have a dramatic send off. 

How do I do this? WE FAKE IT!! Yes you read that correctly. With a little planning, and 10 to 15 minutes of your time, you can have a much grander tunnel of loved ones to send you on your way.  So we line up everyone we can get our hands on and create a line as big as space allows. This can be achieved inside or out, and with whatever method you choose to use. Sparklers, bubbles. etc. PSA- order your sparklers in advance if this is your preference and make sure to get the correct ones.. Regular sparklers will not work. They wont last long enough or put off enough sparkle for lack of a better term.

So in short, we take a few minutes, fake the exit, then let everyone return to the after party! This way everyone can relax knowing its taken care of and the night can end organically rather than orchestrated. This is simply my opinion but a method that has worked well for me for years. I would love to know your thoughts on this and how you may prefer the exit differently!

Next up "Working with your photographer and making time for wedding portraits"

 

JG

#boonenc #ido #northcarolinawedding #ocf #weddingportraits #lightingiskey

My favorite locations for adventurous couples!

My favorite locations for adventurous couples!

Sunset over Sams Gap after a day of fly fishing #sunset #easttennessee #blueridgemountains #samsgap #wolfpackoverland #jgp