That is what we're going to cover in this chapter - everything you need to look for when you're researching different wedding photographers. In Chapter 1 we talked a lot about the different kinds of wedding photographers, and from here on out I'll be assuming that if you're taking the time to read this then you're interested in hiring an actual professional photographer, or at least want more information on the importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer. Hiring the wrong photographer will cost you a lot more than money, it can cost you a life-time of irreplaceable memories.Read More
Even though it means dealing with the atrociously hot summers of San Antonio, there is no where else I'd rather be a wedding photographer. Doug and Rebekah's outdoor wedding at Los Patios is the perfect example of this - it was sweltering, seriously we were all melting for their outdoor ceremony, but it was so stunningly beautiful that it was worth it and I'd do it all over again in a heart-beat to get these gorgeous wedding ceremony photographs. This was my first wedding at Los Patios and if you haven't been there before you need to go check it out - they're more than a wedding venue, they have a ton of small shops, spas, and restaurants. It's the perfect getaway-for-a-day, but right in San Antonio. All the beautiful architecture and landscape makes you feel like you're transported to another, secluded world. There were so many amazing places to take portraits of Doug and Rebekah, including a small bamboo forest. Everything was so beautiful I could have kept shooting them for another hour, but it was just too hot and the A/C of their reception was calling to all of us.
One of my favorite little elements of this wedding was how the couple both honored family members that had passed on. Rebekah had a pin on her wedding dress for her grandmother, and Doug added a four leaf clover to his boutineer for his mother. Their ceremony was very sweet, and I know I wasn't the only one fighting back tears when Doug knelt down to say additional vows to Rebekah's son. After the ceremony we took family and formal bridal party portraits, then finished up with the portraits of just Doug and Rebekah. Their wedding reception was just what you would expect from a Texas wedding - fajitas, cake, and a lot of dancing. It was such a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple, congrats Doug and Rebekah!!!
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You know what I love? An organized bride. Morgan had her engagement session planned perfectly and it was such a fun shoot! She decided to split the time between their wedding venue, The Oaks at Boerne, and Cibolo Nature Center. She had already done all of her research and purchased the photography permit for the nature center, and she had planned on two outfits - one for each location.
Not only was Morgan so on top of everything, but she also had scouted the area and knew at each location one specific place she wanted photographs taken! Now things don't always work out perfectly, but they did in this case! Both of the locations she wanted were so photogenic and it was so easy to get her and Cory to be their beautiful, in love selves in front of the camera.
We started with the river at Cibolo Nature Center, shooting a variety of images there before heading back to our cars. On the way back we stopped in the gorgeous fields and grabbed a few more images. Our next stop was the Oaks at Boerne where Morgan wanted to do a few different pictures with one of their swings. It was so much fun, and I finally got to visit the Oaks (they're a newer venue I've been dying to check out). Congratulations Morgan & Cory on your engagement!
At the end of this series you'll have all the information you could ever need to make sure you're hiring the right wedding photographer for you. We're going to start with the different types of wedding photographers you're going to come across because how a photographer works will have a huge impact on how your photographs turn out.Read More
I met Karissa 2 or 3 years ago at a hill country wedding where we were both photographing for a studio the bride had hired. Her now husband and her were engaged at the time and she wanted to hire me as her wedding photographer, but of course the studio wouldn't give her my personal information for privacy reasons. We ended up working together a few more times before her wedding, started becoming friends, and I was invited to her wedding as a guest! She is so quick to laugh, so easy to work with that we've become fast friends and though I had only met her husband, Newton, on their wedding day, she told me if they ever became pregnant she wanted me to document the birth. Of course I said yes, I've always wanted to document a birth but the opportunity has never come up.
Fast forward a year, and Karissa and Newton found out they were pregnant! The only weird thing was that her belly was growing really, really quickly. I made a comment, completely joking, that she must be expecting twins. Sure enough, there is a Baby A and a Baby B in there! After the initial shock wore off (which still hasn't hit me, and likely won't until she's giving birth) it was time to start planning! Initially, Karissa was wanting to do the gender reveal of the babies at a racetrack south of San Antonio that Newton frequently races at, but when the day came the ground was too wet from recent rain and we ended up at their house. Luckily we were still able to use one of the race cars with smoke bombs tied to the back of it to announce to them and their friends and family around the world (thanks, Facebook Live!) that they're expecting a baby boy and a baby girl! After the race car revealed the gender of their soon-to-be siblings, big brother and sister each grabbed an extra smoke bomb so they could get in on the smoke bomb fun as well. And of course that wasn't enough, so they also each ended up kicking a colored chalk-filled plastic football.
While we first only talked about my photographing the birth, I quickly became obsessed with the idea of documenting the whole pregnancy and the changing of their lives as a personal project. While Karissa shoots a lot of families, kids and maternity, I typically don't so this will be an interesting experience. You'll be seeing a lot more of this family on my blog & social media as I continue to tell the story of the Barta Twins.
It's not often I find myself in Dallas, so it's become sort of a vacation city for me, a place to get away to for the weekend when I just need to be somewhere unfamiliar, need to stimulate the creative juices. I first tried the Cosmic Cafe out of curiosity. I'm vegetarian and when I travel I love to try local vegetarian / vegan restaurants. The first time I ate here I had ordered take-out and when I arrived to pick it up I was so upset I hadn't decided to dine in. The atmosphere was so unique and interesting, I could have sat there for hours just people watching.
On my next trip up, last weekend when I shot these photos, I knew I'd be stopping to dine in and would be taking my time. The weather was perfect and I was able to sit on the outside porch for dinner. This visit I tried the Fold in Thyme with a Kirin Ichiban, (they have a selection of world wide beers), and for dessert I inhaled the Sweet Awareness. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was peaceful. This is the kind of place you fall in love with.
These images were shot with my Canon A1, a 35mm film camera, using expired Portra 160VC film developed by the Digital Pro Lab in San Antonio.
Duh. How could the Dallas Museum of Art NOT be one of my favorite spots? For starters, it's a great museum. For second starters, general admission is free. I have no problem paying at art museums, but some charge $20+ for general admission for non-members and I'm not rich, plus the whole point of art (in my opinion) is to share it with others. Putting a price tag on viewing the work restricts it to people with disposable incomes and that isn't everyone. Art is for all.
Art has always been important to me - when I was in elementary school I opened up an art market in the middle of the kitchen floor with a poorly labeled cardboard box and just one piece of kindergarten-level artwork to sell. As a young adult I went through a lot of stuff that no human should be subjected to, and half that are don't make it through. Lot's of ugliness. During these times my solace was in art. With art there are no right or wrongs. There are only ideas, emotions, and experiences. Art lets you jump into a different world the way books do. I'm sooo glad that this museum is free because that is something I needed in my earlier years, free access to experience artwork. This is such a huge win in my book that I try to visit the DMA every trip through Dallas.
But seriously, it's a really great museum. With four floors, a sculpture garden and expertly curated special exhibits you can't go wrong. They have literally all kinds of work, there is something for everyone here and they have a really cool area for creating artwork (it is built for kids but it is not a kid zone in the typical sense, it's basically a hands-on art area where anyone can create). An added perk of the DMA is how GORGEOUS the museum is, overall. I'm specifically in love with the sculpture garden and after my first trip here this location landed on my wedding bucket list. I would give almost anything to be able to shoot bridal portraits in the sculpture garden. I didn't create too many photos on my last trip there but here are a few of them! And get your butt over there to view some artwork (no, this isn't an advertisement, I'm not getting paid, I seriously just love them)!
Images were shot with my Canon A1 using Portra 800 film, developed by the Digital Pro Lab in San Antonio.
As a departure from the typical wedding blog posts I create, this one will is exclusively focused on the photographic art, not the story of the wedding day. I've had people tell me that all of my photographs are great, and while I appreciate the compliment I do not see the majority of my work that way. I'm obsessed and passionate about the light in each image, the composure, the placement of subject against background. As a general rule the wedding photographer doesn't have a whole lot of control over the lighting, location or set-up of the wedding ceremony and reception and those photos are geared towards documenting the event as beautifully as possible, and focusing on the emotion.
The fine art aspects of the wedding, the detail shots and the portraits are my favorite parts to photograph as an artist because I can truly create art. Enjoy the art that is know as wedding photography - personalized and one-of-a-kind artwork created on Allison & Adam's wedding day in downtown San Antonio. These images were all created at the Menger Hotel, around the Alamo Plaza, and at the Grand Promenade.
Rings aren't the first thing most people think of when they hear "wedding", but I'm also not most people. Rings are my absolute favorite part of the wedding day to photograph because like the couple, the rings they choose are quite unique to them. Taking those rings and incorporating various elements from their wedding day I get to create completely unique and personal pieces of artwork for the couple. No two ring shots are ever the same, just like no two weddings are the same.
paint brush ring shots
The ring photos always take me back to that wedding day. These rings are from a downtown San Antonio wedding, a wedding I was second shooting for the amazing May Carlson. She is a local film wedding photographer, and this was my first wedding shooting film at! She's basically my hero. Okay, so anyway, back to the wedding. The couple hired Keely Carnahan of Nobel Art to paint (yes, paint) a painting of their wedding reception, and as soon as I saw this gorgeous engagement ring I knew I needed to do something special. Keely was kind enough to allow me to borrow one of her brushes, we set the rings carefully on top and proceed to make magic. While we took two or three other set-ups of ring shots before these brush ones this set is my favorite.
metal airplane wing ring shots
This set of ring shots included a small metal airplane, and they show exactly why I'm obsessed with using macro lenses when photographing rings. The metal really reflects light well, and using a macro lens helps separate the rings from the background, creating such an interesting background for these beautiful rings. The groom is a pilot, and the couple included a lot of airplane themed decor at their wedding, so it only made sense to include these objects in creating ring photographs! There is one more ring shots from this wedding I really loved, it involved a new technique - and water! It's the first image in this blog post!
lime & linen ring shots
Not all weddings have such personal, unique decor I can use in the ring shots. These two images are from two different sets of ring shots at a recent wedding of mine. In San Antonio we love our tequila, and you can't have tequila without limes. Each table at this wedding reception had a plate of limes, and lucky for me there were a few extra limes I was able to use for this one photograph I've been wanting to try out! Just a simple ring shots with limes in the background, but by adding extra light to the limes I really got a good pop of color out of them! For the image below I just used the rings as a napkin ring, pulling a bit of the blue cloth through the rings. While there aren't any objects that are specifically personal to the couple, I included their wedding color with the linens and a little San Antonio with the limes.