Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm always going to remember Melissa and Tony’s wedding day because it was the wedding I almost didn’t shoot. About a year ago, Melissa and Tony drove down to Santa Fe from Denver. Laura and I took them out to dinner and we had such a good time at MuDu Noodles, we never even got around to talking about their wedding details. I didn't hear back from them for a few months, and a bit disappointed, I figured they had found another photographer. Finally, I got a call from Tony asking me if I knew of any good DJs. Before we hung up, I asked him who his photographer was going to be. Confused, he said "You're my photographer." Uh oh. To be fair to all couples, I can only reserve a date with a contract and a retainer fee. I guess I forgot to tell Melissa and Tony that, though. So they had assumed I was going to be their photographer the whole time, but I was going to be meeting with another bride later that week about booking their date. After a few quick, nervous phone calls to the other bride, we got everything straight. I found the other bride an awesome photographer, my friend Brett Butterstein. So in the end, I got to shoot Melissa and Tony’s wedding at the Inn at Loretto. The ceremony was beautiful and afterwards we found some incredible light at sunset for portraits. I guess I made Melissa and Tony late for their grand entrance to the reception because I had an anxious message on my cell phone asking me where we were because the DJ was waiting. But I think it was worth it (sorry Dan) because nothing beats the light in Santa Fe.

And here’s the slideshow:

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm turning 30 in November, and I can feel the age creeping in. After my marathon 18-hour day, (which I did for no other reason than Laura was out of town and I couldn't watch the rest of Six Feet Under without her) I was completely wiped out. Blood-shot eyes, slurred speech, thank God I wasn't seen in public. But it was certainly worth it to get to witness Amanda and Britt getting married. To see the excitement on Amanda's face as she walked into the Loretto Chapel with her father is why weddings are fun to photograph. I could never be a food/architecture/nature photographer because I'm simply not that interested in anything other than people and documenting their emotions, whether they be sad or happy. Luckily, most weddings are very happy and I get to see some awesome smiles and laughs. If you want to see some of my more downer work, just visit my journalism site ( It's the exact opposite of what my weddings are like.
And so I was able to get enough sleep just in time for Sharon and Joe's engagement session on Thursday. Sharon and Joe drove in from Kansas in Joe's smokin' BMW convertible. Considering I drive an older Volvo stationwagon, I was pretty impressed and felt cooler just sitting in the back seat. We hit all the hot spots Santa Fe has to offer this time of year: the downtown plaza, the mountains of 11,000 feet and the desert outside of town, which is bursting with wildflowers right now.

A lot of times during the engagement sessions I just ask people to "make out," but I didn't have to ask Joe more than once. That makes my job so much easier when I don't feel like I have to direct anyone, and I'm really looking forward to their wedding in November. Joe is promising me his 80-year-old mother will drink until midnight. These are my kind of people.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Well, it's almost 2 am and after 18 straight hours of sitting at my computer I'm wrapping up the perfect wedding of Amanda and Britt. I can hardly stay awake, so I'll keep this short. But here are a couple photos from the weekend. You can see the entire slideshow here:

I'll try to add to this tomorrow. I just remembered I have to wake up at 8 am to have breakfast with my good friend Vlad. Thank goodness I'm back on the coffee. (Just one cup a day though, Brett B.).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wendy and Amos
Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Labor Day weekend continued on Sunday to Albuquerque to photograph the cool backyard wedding of Wendy and Amos. Wendy is currently in the middle of a book tour supporting her new work "Microthrills," which is about her childhood in New York City "with her overly protective, sex-therapist mother." I haven't read the book yet, but Wendy's super funny, so I bet the book is too. You can check it out on her Web site: (My favorite part of her site is where her mother reads some of Wendy's dirty jokes on stage).

Their DJ kept everyone dancing under the New Mexico stars for hours and Wendy kept everyone laughing too. And Amos was smokin' in his custom made suit.

Here's the slideshow:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Alicia and Michael
Angel Fire, New Mexico

Last weekend was the Labor Day holiday. And even though I didn't have the weekend off like a lot of people, I certainly had a great time shooting Alicia and Michael's wedding in Angel Fire. Laura came up with me, and it almost felt like a vacation because Alicia and Michael put us up in the Angel Fire Resort for two nights with a huge room and a hot tub. I had never explored Angel Fire before, but Laura and I got an afternoon to visit the small town. We bought wine from a guy who looked like he was going to rob the liquor store, but actually worked there. We met a man who must have been Billy Bob Thorton's twin brother at the grocery store's check-out line who kept blaming the malfunctioning credit card machine "on the mountain. But I blame everything on the mountain." (He was our favorite, and we thought he was so funny we almost went back to buy something else from him just to say hello) And Laura found the "gourmet" coffee shop proudly serves Folgers only. Laura and I always have a good time traveling, and Angel Fire is definitely a place worth seeing, especially in the Winter during ski season, not to mention the area's stunning beauty at 10,000 feet above sea level. (In comparison, Denver, Colorado is around 5,400 feet).

Alicia and Michael live in Pennsylvania, but decided to have their wedding in Angel Fire so they could be married outside in the mountains where Michael's parents now live. It almost rained us out (as usual this summer), but the weather turned out great and so did the ceremony. I know Alicia and Michael are looking forward to coming back out West, and I owe them a tour of Santa Fe for sure. Here are some shots from the day:

Alicia was just about to walk out to the ceremony, and was holding back tears. It was one of those moments as a photographer I am always proud to witness.

Getting ready.

This is a shot Alicia's mother might wonder why I ever took. Actually, Alicia's mother is pretty cool and might actually dig this.

With all the rain, we're seeing more wild flowers than anyone can remember.

I love brides who will walk up mountains in high heels.

I don't get to photograph many small ceremonies anymore, but Alicia and Michael's wedding reminded me that you don't need 200 people to have a truly perfect wedding day. You can see the slideshow here:

In other news, I recently received a fourth place in the Wedding Photojournalist Association's summer contest for the engagement session category. The image is from a day spent in San Francisco with Kim and Neil. Here's the winning shot: