Vermont Wedding Photographers
Before I put on my “wedding hat” and become one of the many Vermont Wedding Photographers for the day.. let me share a little story with you…
About a year ago I made a video called “Risk, Regret, Reward” and this was a sit down interview with me that spoke a little about my past, my story and how I got started with photography. In that video, I mention at one point that photography alone is not my passion nor is what totally motivates me to do what I do. That maybe a little strange to hear, as I am a “photographer” and you are reading this on my blog. The truth is, that photography is just the end result of something much more that I am passionate about. It’s the byproduct of living a life where I have control over a business that I truly love, and lends me to new experiences that I would otherwise never have. I think most “photographers” have it wrong. They think that it’s photography that they love (and that maybe the case initially) but as time moves on, and you do this for many, many, years or more.. you start to feel differently, and you start to understand what it means to –actually– do this full-time and the truth is that the little “spark” that got me into photography that was only as deep as photography itself.. is now the least of why I love to do what I do. It’s not to say I don’t still get excited to make compelling images (I love sitting back and picking out nice shots to share after a wedding), but lets face it.. if this was the only thing that I cared about doing.. then I would have burned out long, long ago (and many people do). I have said this before, and I will say it again..
photography is my “magic carpet” that takes me from place to place, meeting new people and sharing in new experiences and THIS is what it’s all about for me.
So, today I am going to take you back to my home state of Vermont for the wedding of Whitney & Joe. Joe is an old high school buddy of mine, one who I admittedly have not kept the best touch with over the years but is a very special person, as is his whole family. When I was in 11th grade my mother (grandmother who adopted me) had a heart attack and had to move into an assisted living program (I referenced this in my Risk, Regret, Reward video). At this time she could not have kids living with her, and although I was only 16 at the time it was time for me to move on, and out on my own. Joe, and his family took me in for the summer until I could figure out what I wanted to do and that was something in my life that I will never forget and is one of the reasons Joe is the special guy that he is.
I was beyond excited and honored when Joe contacted me, almost out of the blue now all of these years later about his wedding. After all I know there are so many talented Vermont Wedding Photographers. It brought back a lot of memories, and it also reminded me about the things I was speaking about above, and why I love photography and what it means to me, and how it’s gotten to a point where the end results of “photography” are the least of it. Did I love going, taking a trip and making nice looking images.. yes, of course. But, whats the real take away here? I got to be apart of his story, I got to help him plan parts of the wedding, I got to be there with him. It’s the experience that I desire and drives me, much more so than any end result. Just think.. if you could sit down with Barbra Walters, and ask her what drives her to keep interviewing people and reporting on stories.. its not going to be the actual process of the interview, its going to be the –experiences– she gets to partake in and the people she gets to meet along the way. The “interview” becomes second nature to a pro like that.
Thank you Joe.. and Whitney!.. for allowing me to come and be apart of your beautiful day, for trusting me with capturing everything, and for just being cool, laid back people that appreciate life and others. You may have flown me from Miami to shoot your wedding.. but my Vermont blood will never escape me 🙂 Thank you both so very much.. I was happy to be a Vermont Wedding Photographers for the day!
Your wedding was one of the most “real” and down to earth weddings I have ever attended next to my own. My assistant Jorge, even came up to me.. and said “Bro.. I think this is the nicest wedding you have ever brought me too”. I said… welcome to Vermont 😉
So before I get into this Vermont wedding, I wanted to take a moment and set the tone of the surroundings where Joe got ready for the big day. Just so you know (if it’s not clear in the pictures), we are in the middle of no where on top of a mountain in Vermont. Zero cell service, totally disconnected and at ease 🙂
I know Joe love’s Subaru’s I remember he used to have one back in school, and I think his mom even worked at the dealership at one point. I saw this old, rustic truck and loved it! Open roads for miles, and miles. Totally bliss when compared to my life here in Miami, FL. LOL. I do miss Vermont, and hope to shoot many more Vermont weddings in the future because there is nothing like it. I will gladly hop on a plane and fly home to be a Vermont Wedding Photographer anytime! I would bet that this old Vermont barn is over 100 years old, and probably has a crazy history and story to it. Most of the buildings in Vermont (the older ones) are like this, and it makes for a wonderful, detail rich backdrop for any photography. I said to my assistant (Jorge).. “boy it would be so nice to do a styled bridal / fashion shoot here”. Just look at the environmental contrast here. Such a playground for the “creative mind”. Unfortunately I only had about 20min to work some magic with the guys.. I got lucky with this shot.. in two ways.. 1. The sun was lighting them all in the same direction as the barn. So, that was nice. 2. They are guys. LOL. What I mean, is that this shot “works” because of the rugged nature of the content, AND the harsh sun around the eyes actually adds to the “tuff guy” feel I was going for. I love dynamic shots as this, things that LOOK like they just happened yet did not. Here I wanted to get the guys all interacting in the back and use them to help “fill the space” yet, use some controlled lighting for Joe. What I love about this shot is the mix of ambient and artificial light all coming together seamlessly. This was totally Joe’s idea (above with the couch).. they wanted to bring it out and have some fun.. and I encouraged it. Before we left.. I HAD to go back and get some styled shots with him and that truck! So cool, so rustic, and so Joe. I REALLY loved this little segment we did. Back inside the house, we did some shots of him getting ready with the “best man”. Here is one, where he made good contact with the camera, and kinda tells the story. After the time with Joe and the guys.. we drove about 30min more to where Whitney was, which was the same location as the ceremony and reception.. at her parents house. The two rings shots above are interesting because I used a toy train car for the one of the left, and a wooden squirrel for the one on the right. Pretty cool huh?! This is the living room in her parents house. This is also her dad’s pride and joy. Trains. He collects them, and takes a lot of pride with them. I spoke with him through out the day and was utterly impressed with him. He is a very hard working person and even built this house.. so, I guess if he wants to have trains in it.. LOL.. he will! For the shot above, I wanted to showcase this room as much as I could.. so I shot wide, and then noticed the mirror laying on the floor. I propped it up, and got a very creative composition at the same time 🙂 Some interesting lighting going on above with the mirror shot. I actually had a flash off camera far left.. and one to the right. I did NOT want to spill light on the back wall, as that would draw attention away from her.. so, I kept the back wall on the darker side and lit only her, and it was a surprise to get a nice highlight on her face with the mirror.. almost looks like I know what I am doing..
Even got the family dog in this shot! I will mention.. that.. when you look at images like the ones above.. you would think that I was just there and it all just happens natural. While, yes this is true it does.. I also am in control of whats going on. For example.. see the image above / right.. the bridesmaids were NOT standing between the bride and the mirror at all.. “I” came over, and said.. “hey.. do me a favor.. keep talking like you are.. but, please stand here”. Now, I have taken control and ALLOWED for moments to happen AND great photography at the same time. Nothing fancy, nothing “posed” just.. in control. Now I get to play with my fancy lights.. and outside we go!
The surrounding Vermont landscape is breathtaking. Vermont Wedding Photographers have it easy! Here I wanted a softer feel and look, and turned off the light and used natural light. I joke, and roll my eyes when I here some wedding photographers speak about how they are of a “specific style” and say that they only use natural light.. LOL.. I think in order to call yourself a professional you need to know, and understand how to make nice shots regardless of the situation you are in. Notice how I can go from natural light, to artificial light for more control and they both look very good. This is very important as every situation is so different. I wish I could get a sign like that for every wedding.. and if I could it would say this.. “TURN OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE” Thank You 😉
I am not sure what is more impressive.. the fact this tractor is how they brought guests up the mountain driveway, or that the driver is a kid about 10 years old. I really love weddings like this. It was not at a hotel, or some meaningless venue. It was at her parents house that her dad built himself.. (and I mean with his own two hands). All of the family came together to do all the decor, and make this day truly special. Check out that view! This is what I want one day. A house in the mountains far away from all the crap most of us have to deal with day after day.. Just a peaceful tranquil setting. At this point the sun was starting to go down.. and we had some time to get some styled shots of the two of them together. They did NOT do a “firstlook” (which is fine) but, I was in fact scared we would not have enough time to get enough content. I was wrong. We did, and it shows. However.. LOL.. this wedding is an exception.. most of the time (especially for Miami weddings) you really need to consider a first look to get the most out of the photography! Whats this… another couch? It looks like it was in the middle of a large field.. AND IT WAS! It took about 5min to just walk over to it. A Vermont Wedding Photographers dream!
For this last shot.. I told my assistant to get into the trees with the light so we could blast it all over to create this effect!