Westin Colonnade Wedding Photos
It was February, 2006 at a high school “fashion show” where he stood outside of a gymnasium waiting to speak to his crush for the first time. Backed with his friends close by, Chris exchanged a casual “hello” with Lindsey, and further was invited to dinner with a group of her friends at a local TGIF. All was going to plan, except his car failed him and was un-able to make it. Frustrated, and embarrassed Chris waited two months to make contact again. It was back in the days of “Instant Messenger”, and Lindsey found herself glued to her computer screen as Chris finally made contact one night. The three hour conversation ended with a request for him to call her. He did, and Lindsey (with shaking hands) asked Chris to the Prom. He was excited, and said yes! That same weekend, they went on their first date.. and then the day after the Prom they sat together on the beach, and Chris asked Lindsey to be his girl. She was so excited, she said yes! That was May 7, 2006.
Fast forward, almost 10 years later..
Chris’s sister was moving to North Florida, and he decided it was a good time to get all the families together for a bit of a “going away party”. So, Lindsey’s entire family was invited, and plans were made to have a large get together of both families to celebrate. Funny enough, Lindsey had a thought.. well.. maybe more of a “fantasy” that this would “be it” and Chris would ask her hand in marriage. After all they had talked about it before, and it was something that they both thought they wanted. So, it was safe to say this was in the back of Lindsey’s head. However, in 10 years there have been many times where Lindsey had this feeling, and it did not pan out. So.. LOL.. her hopes were not up too high. So, everyone sat for dinner, bowed heads and everyone prayed. Lindsey, thinking this would be the perfect time.. was quickly disappointed when nothing happened. After dinner, all of the kids (6 out of the 8 nieces and nephews) were outside playing and Chris also went outdoors to play with the kids (Lindsey, watching and thinking what a wonderful dad Chris will be one day). The sun was setting, and the sky was beautiful. Everyone wanted to take a “family photo” So, after a few shots.. the family walked away and then a picture was taken of just Lindsey, and Chris. Then.. it was weird, as everyone kept taking pictures of the two of them.. and Lindsey asked Chris “why is everyone taking pictures of us?”… as Lindsey contented to smile for pictures, to keep the “ball rolling”, Chris looked over at Lindsey and said
“I don’t know. My family is crazy. How would you like to spend the rest of your life with my crazy family?”.
–then– he got right down on one knee and the words that she had dreamed about for 10-years, and the look on his face that was more beautiful then she ever could have imagined, now real and looking her right in the eye said..
“will you marry me?”
Lindsey did not even let him finish, and was yelling “YES, YES, YES!!!!”
It was one of the best nights of Lindsey’s life (and Chris too I am sure).
It’s incredible to hear stories like this, High School crushes that last a lifetime. It will be such an amazing time when Chris, and Lindsey look back at their life together one day.. old, and accomplished. Funny enough, during their church ceremony I remmeber father was speaking about how in this day in age people give up too soon, and that many people will jump from one relationship to the next.. only to live life bouncing from one relation to another and never truly being happy. He spoke of the difference of that, and in what it means to truly build something. To invest your time and effort in the right person, and to make something more meaningful, stronger and everlasting. I of course, naturally thought about my own life, my wife (who I have been with for 8 years), and my 3yr old son Austin. I reflected at their ceremony on my own life, what I am building, and how I would not trade that for anything else in the world. I am so happy, and I am so happy for people like Lindsey and Chris. I feels incredible to be apart of something solid, and to be with the right person.
Lindsey, Chris.. it would sound so silly and so “plastic” to say how much I enjoyed working with you. You both were so unique, and so un-like most people in this “day in age”. From the moment we started planning out the engagement session, and you told me all about the things that you two do together I could tell that this was a very, very, meaningful, tender, and sensitive relationship. One, in which I can relate with. I would be lying if I did not say that this alone, motivated me to go the extra mile in anyway that I could to bring that “feeling” to a captured photograph.
I really wanted to tell your story, I wanted to plan the details, and I wanted to be apart of it.
On some silly level, I saw some of my own relationship within yours and was oddly “at home” with you both right away. This was perhaps, one of the best examples of a photographer “attracting the right clients” and I am grateful that our paths crossed, and I was free on your wedding date!
Thank you both so much, for giving me control, total freedom, and having me by your side on your wedding day. I love you both so much, and am excited to see how life un-folds for you in the future with your new family.
Okay.. now.. lets talk about these incredible Westin Colonnade Wedding Photos! But, first.. BE SURE to watch this behind the scenes video of the tiger (me) in action. There are some very funny parts of the video, including watching me shoot Lindsey’s wedding dress in the bathroom, me barking like a dog (at a dog).. well.. it sounded more like a seal actually.. LOL.. but, regardless I had a TON of fun at the wedding, I was able to relax and be myself.. and this is the dynamic that I strive for at any wedding that I am apart of. The purpose of the behind the scenes video is to SHOW you what the dynamic is like, and to understand what it was like to be there yourself. This is something very powerful, as the biggest factor in hiring any wedding photographer should be largely based on personality, and in my case is how I get the type of shots that I do. Be sure to also subscribe to my YouTube channel for more great exclusive content!
Now, when I think of Westin Colonnade Wedding Photos.. the large, beautiful windows of the bridal suite (room 514) come to mind. As much as I like to be “different” and seek out new shots, in the the same locations, I can tell you that this dress shot (for me) will never get old LOL. On the flip side, when you think of Westin Colonnade Wedding Photos.. chances are your not going to be thinking about the bathroom. LOL. Well, you will need to watch the Behind The Scenes Video to understand this.. AND you can hear my exclusive commentary on the video as to why this was so important 😉 I spoke above in my writing about how this was a great example of me having the “right” client. The video really shows the dynamic of the wedding day, and what my interactions were like. This is incredible, as you can see how I get the reactions, and then the resulting shots that I do. THIS, is “Travis Harris” and is the one thing that is unique from any other photographer out there. Am I the best “fit” for everyone? Nope. I am not. However, when I have a good connection with my client and I am given the proper freedom to do my job without restriction.. you will ALWAYS get the best result 😉 Another highlight from the Behind the Scenes video! Watch me in action as I get this shot! I will do whatever it takes to make it happen. I know ALL TOO WELL what it means to “get the shot”, and I pick up on your little hints as to what is really important to you. I get it. I want it to be perfect too, and I want you to have the shots that I know are possible. This dog shot tho.. wow! LOL. Their are many exciting new renovations at the Westin Colonnade going on, and Wedding Photos will sure be changing in a good way as they wrap everything up this coming October! One of the nice things that they have removed, is the pictures from the wall here. I loved the pure grey wall as a non distracting backdrop for photos. Here is my bride Lindsey, posing with another one of my past clients Karina! A few years ago, Karina also got married and also had Westin Colonnade Wedding Photos too! Lindsey posing with mom, and mom helping with the final getting dressed details. Just LOOK at these stunning little girls! The three of them together, was like a big puff ball of beauty! This shot (above) with mom, and MOH although looks “candid” and “in the moment” is in fact.. Not. It was totally manufactured by me. What I mean, is this.. that, all too often people (clients) will say something like “We want natural looking photos”, just “candid” shots. Inside of my head I have to admit that I start laughing. Why? Because, a wedding day in progress does not work that way. Sure, during the ceremony there is a good chance to maybe capture some “candid” shots of whats gong on, family, etc. This is because they are all watching —you–. During the getting ready part of the day (about 1/2 the day) there is so much going on, and everyone is watching the clock, and running around (just look at my behind the scenes video to better understand), that people are not going to naturally do things unless they are “guided” to do so. I am not saying it has to be a “stiff” pose all the time, but I do feel that there needs to be some direction given based on light and composition. In this case (above), I told them where to stand, and gave loose direction on what to do. THEN, with my personality, I got the reactions that I wanted and CREATED the “candid” moment, that otherwise would never have happened. Does that make sense? 🙂 At the end of the day (even looking at this very detailed blog post) you can see both candid, and posed shots all through out. So there is a nice blend. Here are a few styled shots of Lindsey. I have taken over control of the room, and feathered the ambient light coming in from the main window. I have also added a second light, camera right, behind to give some further “separation” from the background. Together, I have effectively created texture, dimension, and mood with the imagery. Love these two shots of Lindsey, shooting through the vail! Another Westin Colonnade Wedding Photos favorite! Shooting in front of the large window. Simple enough, exposed for the outside sky and then added in my lighting to match that value, camera right. A basic, yet elegant pose to show off the entire dress. Now, I don’t have a daughter (I have a son), but if I did have a daughter.. I would want to do this on the wedding day. Look at the priceless reaction, and sharp image quality captured during this “first look” of dad seeing Lindsey on the wedding day, all dressed up. Also, if you look close you will see mom crying, while she watches this unfold. So, beautiful. Admittedly, it is a bit easier to work with the guys. LOL. Not as involved, and not as many details to worry about. HOWEVER, in this case Chris, and the guys were all in a conference room in the hotel. They fully expected that I would shoot them getting ready in this room, and that everything was fine. I walked in, and said.. “no way”. The light was horrid, and the background was not what we wanted. I asked about using someone else’s room, even for a few min. and thankfully someone had one! I can not STRESS this stuff enough.. if you want the best shots on the wedding day, you must have a nice room to work in, with some window light. When clients have strict expectations of me, my style, brand etc.. all of this comes into play, and I too have expectations of my clients. It is always a two way street in the drive of wedding photography. Both the client, and photographer need to come to a complete stop at every intersection 😉 Love this one (above). Both the Groom (Chris) and the best man had matching cuff links with their initial on them. Notice, how I have left the best man in white, and the groom only in the darker jacket. This contrast further mimics the highlight of the day (grooms day) and flows well photographically. Okay, here are your fully “candid” shots LOL. This is my favorite moment from the entire day (above). The moment where Chris sees Lindsey for the first time, and she is walking down the isle. The look on his face, and the receiving reaction on Lindsey’s says it all. Such a wonderful part of the wedding. The ceremony took place at St. Hugh’s in Coconut Grove. I have been to this church many times before, and have always loved the inside of it! One of the things that Lindsey wanted to do, was a butterfly “release” after the ceremony. This was a special event that her grandmother wanted, and sadly passed before the wedding day. This important tradition symbolizes many things, and in this case a free, and new beginning for Lindsey and Chris! As luck would have it.. one of the butterflies landed right on Lindsey’s flowers! Some more Westin Colonnade Wedding Photos “eye candy”. Take a look at this stunning reception room, and decor! All of the flowers were provided by Roman Cusco. Just breath taking! Another beautiful looking cake by Ana Paz! Here was a fun creative shot we did. I tried this last year at Julie & Joe’s wedding as well.. and I think this is a really cool composition! Something that I have not really done too much of.. is shoot outside of the hotel. This was a nice idea, and found some shots that I really loved! In this case above, I used a parked car as a reflection to Lindsey and Chris. Lindsey asked to take some images in the middle of the road! Sure. Lets stop some traffic! LOL. As you can see above, it was one hell of a party! Thanks so much to Jorge at Vision DJ’s for also proving that confetti!!
This wedding would not be complete without all the other very talented vendors that made it possible. I want to thank each and everyone of you for a job well done, keeping my bride on time (super important), and your beautiful artisanship.
Wedding Dress: Bijou Bridal
Headpiece: Eva Hidalgo
Flowers: Roman Cusco
Catering: Westin Colonnade
Cake: Ana Paz
Hair & Makeup: Marz
Music: Vision Dj’s (Jorge)
Planning: Lindsey (bride), and myself had a bit of a role 😉
Also, want to thank my man Javier at Captivated Films who is exceptional to work with on the wedding day! Def. a great guy to have for your wedding video!