Tag Archives: destination wedding photography

What is Wedding Photojournalism?

  First, let’s talk about what wedding photojournalism is not.

  Wedding photojournalism is not photographs of people standing around looking into the camera.  Wedding photojournalism is not a simple shot of the bride and groom as they kiss at the end of the ceremony.  Wedding photojournalism is not a bland photograph that the viewer simply glances at and goes to the next shot.

  Wedding photojournalism is capturing the emotions of the day as they happen.  Wedding photojournalism is shooting photographs that evoke an emotion.  Wedding photojournalism is capturing the joys, the laughters, the tears and the looks of love that a couple exchanges with each other and also with their guests and families.

   It seems as if every photographer’s web site I look at has  line that says they’re a wedding photojournalist, but all of their galleries show photographs of people posing for them.   Look closely for claims of wedding photojournalism.  If you don’t feel some emotion while looking at their photographs, chances are it’s not real photojournalism.

  I had the pleasure of photographing Kyle and Roxanne’s wedding at the new Tampa Museum of Arts last week.   It’s wonderful to have a beautiful, interesting venue to shoot a wedding in, but to me it doesn’t matter where the couple gets married.  I’m so much more interested in the way they look at each other, the way they interact with their guests and whether or not they’re able to forget I’m there and let their true emotions come through.

Mother and daughter before the ceremony

   I got a little emotional when I first saw this photograph of Roxanne and her mother comforting one another before the ceremony.  I actually got a lot emotional when I saw it.  My first thought was:  THIS is a photograph.  My second thought was:  THIS is why I do what I do. 

  But, how quickly things can change. 

Three seconds later

   According to the time code on my image data, this shot is exactly three seconds after the top shot.  The two shots are literal definitions of the term “gamut of emotions”. 

  Roxanne and Kyle’s wedding day did run the gamut of emotions.

Green elevator, green dress

  This shot is Kyle’s sister as she stepped into the green elevator with Roxanne to go to the ceremony.  That’s the actual color of the elevator.  Kyle’s sister said she could blend into it with her green dress.  She tried to.  Roxanne reacted to the much-needed comedic moment. 

  Photojournalism.

  There were rules about shooting in the Tampa Museum of Arts.  You could not photograph the exhibits.  They are protected by copyrights.  There were, however, ways to use the Museum’s beautiful interior and exterior design to enhance the photography.

Waiting to make their entrance to the reception.

  This is Kyle and Roxanne as they waited on the second floor for their cue to make their entrance into the reception.  To me, there’s something about the annonymity of the shot, combined with the graphic elements of the Museum that make me love this photograph.

  Kyle is a very personable and charming man and I think this photograph of him chatting with Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and her husband shows captures those qualities. 

Kyle chats with Mayor Pam Iorio.

    Of course, you must shoot some posed photographs, even as a photojournalist, but I believe in adding some photojournalism even to the posed portraits.  They don’t have to look posed.

  Again, classy, confident Kyle posing, in an un-posed way.

Zimmerman, Kyle Zimmerman

  This was actually a portrait I did of Kyle while dialing in my exposure and lighting and waiting to shoot Roxanne.  I told him I thought he looked very James Bond-ish.  The minarets of the University of Tampa loom in the backround. 

    Again, a posed moment with a photojournalistic angle.

Photojournalistic Portrait

  I’ve found out that very often, the almost-kiss is much more romantic and dramatic than the actual kiss itself.     

    Of course you have to photograph beautiful portraits of the bride.   I really love this shot of Roxanne standing alongside the Hillsborough River looking confident, beautiful and completely at ease.

Roxanne by the Hillsborough River

  I love shooting everything during the wedding day, but particularly love the emotions of the reception.  By that time, the stresses of the day’s preparations have melted away and it’s time to relax and have fun, surrounded by the most important people in a couple’s life.

  The bride is always the center of attention as these two anonymous young men unknowingly helped to illustrate during the reception.

The center of attention

    I always say that I can only photograph what’s there.  This reception celebration had ample opportunies to capture the stress-less moments following the planning and execution of a wedding day.

The reception.

 

Toasting their guests

    Light is the seasoning of a photograph.   If you know how to do it, a photographer can greatly enhance the quality of the photographs by using it well.  In the shots above, the disco lights used by the DJ add to the ambiance of the shots, as do the backround lights of the city of Tampa in the overhead shot. 

  I also knew that the Tampa Museum of Arts had colorful lights on the exterior of their building but they were not lit while we were doing the exterior portraits of Roxanne and Kyle.  I had truly wished to incorporate them into the portraits.

  It wasn’t until later that I noticed Kyle and some of his buddies outside the Museum, taking some time for man-talk and play.

  The exterior lights had come on by this time.    I used them.

  Good photojournalism is telling the story of a wedding day through the photographs.  You have the emotions of a mother and daughter together in the last, few moments before the ceremony.    You have the laughter of a bride and her bridesmaid as she tried to blend into a green elevator.  You have the drama and beauty of the romantic portraits.

  You have to leave and call it a day sometime.

  I think this shot of Kyle is a good close to the story.  He’s married the woman of his dreams. 

  He’s the king of the world in a $1.99 LED headband.

The King of the World in a $1.99 LED headband

  Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your incredible day.

The Pictures are Everything

  A man called me a few months ago and said he was getting married soon and wanted to meet with me about photographing his wedding.     He said he and his fiance “loved” the photographs on my web site. 

 His deep, gravelly voice said:   “The pictures are everything”.  I figured him for a lifelong smoker. 

  I was wrong.

  His name was Randy and he told me that it was to be a very small, private wedding.  There was not going to be a videographer and none of the guests would be taking photographs.

  “The pictures are everything”, he said again.

  We set up an appointment to meet at his home.  It was just a few miles from my own.

  I knocked on his door at exactly noon.  The door swung open, a massive man of a man walked out, extended his baseball mitt-sized hand and said, “Hi, I’m Randy.”

  “I know who you are,” I said. 

  He didn’t acknowledge my comment, but invited me in and introduced me to his lovely fiance, Lynn.  They offered me a drink.  I accepted.  Randy went to get it.

  “That IS Macho Man Randy Savage, isn’t it,”? I whispered to Lynn.  She said yes.

  Now, for the first time in a very long time of meeting clients and potential clients, I was nervous.

  He wasn’t the first celebrity I’ve ever met, but he was the first international celebrity who wanted me to photograph his wedding.    I had photographed HSN’s Lynn Murphy’s wedding last year, but had known her as a friend for a few years, so it wasn’t  the same.  Plus, HSN is only shown in the USA.

  Macho Man Randy Savage was an internationally-known professional wrestler and celebrity. 

  This day, and every other day we met for planning sessions and talked on the phone, he was just Randy.  He wanted nothing more than to have incredible wedding photographs for his bride.  

  “The pictures are everything”.

Lynn and Randy pose on the beach following the ceremony.

  The wedding was planned for Lido Beach in Sarasota at 7:15pm, about one hour before sunset.

The view from the Lido Beach Resort 7th Floor

  Beach weddings can be dangerous affairs.  You have to be concered about storms moving in, high winds, overeager, pasty-white  beachgoers creeping into your shot and bright sunshine that makes the couple squint or have harsh shadows on them.  The latter is always my biggest concern and I shared that with Lynn and Randy.

  “The pictures are everything.” 

  They meant it too.  They empowered me to direct the location of the setup of the bamboo trellis so it wouldn’t be directly backlit by the setting sun.  They trusted me to help choose the correct time of day to minimize the harsh sunshine. 

  They gave me everything I needed to capture the beauty, romance, emotion and incredible moments of the day.

  Most of all, they gave me themselves.

Lynn and Randy pose in the seagrass after the ceremony

    Their reception was to be a sit-down affair inside the glorious Lido Beach Resort.    The pair had met near there many years ago and wanted to return to that site to seal their union.

    The room was lit only by candles, as Lynn had requested.   

Elegant Reception Room

     Most of the reception photos were shot by that candlelight, allowing the glamor and mood to remain, enhance and maintain the dignity of the event.

Elegant Lynn Photographed by Candlelight

   Macho Man Randy Savage didn’t attend the ceremony.  He wasn’t even invited.

  It was very clear that this wedding was no different than any other union.  Lynn was the focal point. 

Bride on the Beach

    One of the first things they did after seeing their photographs was to place an order for a 24 x 36″ canvas wrap for over their piano.  I was incredibly flattered to have something that large being placed as one of the focal points of their home. 

  Randy reminded me that during our first meeting I had gotten a little cocky and said to them that one of my goals was to replace the large art print that was then hanging over the piano with one of their wedding photographs.    Success.

The Kiss photograph is now one of the focal points of their home. I could not be happier.

  “The pictures are everything”.

  I completely agree.

  (Please be advised that these photographs and all other photographs on this site are registered and protected by US Copyright laws.  I vigorously pursue all infringers)

Florida Wedding Photography Made Simple

It was a busy few days. 

In the previous post, you saw a preview or Ryan and Julia Roeling’s wedding photographs from Saturday night. 

 On Friday, I had the pleasure of photographing the preparations, ceremony and reception for Lindsey Smith and Adam Johnson.  And, it was a pleasure even though it was the largest, most detail-oriented and specific wedding shoot I’ve had in a very long time.  Adam and Lindsey even insisted I bring a second photographer to the shoot, which is something I’ve always resisted.

  Why?

  The standards I set for photographs that are delivered to the couple are incredibly high.  I didn’t think I could find anyone who had the same  photojournalistic backround and experience and was willing to shoot a wedding.  For various reasons, many true photojournalists won’t photograph weddings. 

   I reached out to a former St Petersburg Times photographer I met and bonded with while shooting portraits of John Travolta and Kellie Preston.  He said yes.  We’re still editing the photographs, but I am impressed  by his credentials, personality, interaction with the couple and their guests and most importantly:  The Power of His Pictures.

    That’s the  focus of this blog. 

 How to make Wedding Photography simple:  Deliver great images.

  I believe in the Power of the Picture. 

  It must have impact, technical perfection, mulitple layers of interest, lighting that’s appropriate for the scene and evoke an emotion.

  Simple, eh?

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Lindsey's Pre-wedding Preparations

  It can be simple as you can see from Lindsey’s preparation photograph above.  It’s an incredibly simple composition and shot, yet it’s an incredibly complex, complicated moment as she sits in the chair having her makeup done, amid organized chaos inside the hotel’s Bridal dressing room.  Only she knows what, exactly, is on her mind at this moment.

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Bridesmaid's Luscious Lashes

  Again, a simple composition, a true un-posed, unguarded moment amid the organized chaos of a Bride’s dressing area before the ceremony.  It’s also a striking image with power, beauty and drama.

  I always encourage brides to allow me to document these pre-ceremony times.   Often, these are very emotional times, with great opportunities to photograph unguarded moments that help to tell the whole story of the day.

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Wedding Rings on Wedding Dress in Extreme Black and White

 

  Simple, yet dramatic portrait of the wedding rings amid the details on the back of Lindsey’s wedding dress.  Yes, I flexed my artistic interpretation on this shot.  Yes, in case Lindsey  doesn’t like the extreme nature of the photoshop finish on it, I’m including a clean, very white version of it as well.

 

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Veiled Bride in Thought

  This is also from Lindsey’s dressing room as she had her veil placed on her and adjusted.  Simple photograph, simply-lit, but with a power about it because of the undeniable beauty of the bride, the woman in the backround (also veiled) helping adjust it, but primarily because of the gaze in her eyes.

  What must she be thinking, feeling?  I have no idea.  That’s Lindsey’s private, simple secret. 

    The simplicity of wedding photography goes beyond simple set-ups and compositions.  Those, sometimes are very complex and detailed, but never, ever time-consuming.  One of my roles as your wedding photographer is to make sure that the time spent posing for/with me is minimal.  Time spent with your loved ones and friends is always more important.

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Simple set-up, Simple Lighting, yet elegant portrait of an elegant bride

  That’s Lindsey before she left the hotel to get to the Church on time.    Due to the late arrival of Lindsey’s hair stylists, which pushed everything back,  the time we had to do pre-bridal glamorous portraits was cut down to three literal minutes.    We shot several simple set-ups in that time with the results being…..beautiful.

    I wish I would have had more time to do elegant bridal portraits around the breathtaking lobbies and lands of the hotel they were dressing in.  I didn’t, but I have enough experience with wedding photography to know that flexibility is one of the keys to staying sane and staying calm when no one else around you is.

  This is one of Adam’s portraits shot post-ceremony.  For this set up, I always put the bride in the front with the groom in the back (which I did before shooting Adam in the foreground).    This was the first time I ever brought the groom to the foreground and I truly like the finished product.  I am still learning, experimenting and growing.

AdamPortraitExtremeWeb

Firefighter Adam Johnson on his Wedding Day

    Adam is a firefighter, a manly-man who rushes into burning buildings and puts his life on the line to save yours.  I wanted to do a portrait of him that is extreme in it’s finish and, as always, powerful in its presentation.  (I am including a softer, cleaner version of it in the final delivery of images in case Adam doesn’t appreciate this interpretation.)

  This photograph has depth, mulitiple layers of interest, dramatic lighting and a fantastic main subject. 

  This photograph is Adam’s chance to be in the spotlight.  It is with a specific intent that you cannot make out Lindsey’s face, only the dimly-lit white of her wedding dress.  It is with specific intent that you can see the iconic presence of Jesus watching over the two at the In Carnation Catholic Church in Tampa.    It is with specific intent that Adam’s face is somewhat in shadow, bringing out the power, drama and masculinity of this Groom.

  Total set up and shoot time for this shot.  Probably one minute.  Perhaps two.    Complex Simplicity.

  (Experience pays off when hiring a wedding photographer in ways that you probably may never realize until the wedding day)

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Lindsey's Light

  I call this photograph “Lindsey’s Light” for two reasons.  One, the incredible, natural light that’s adding a little drama and beauty to this simple, photojournalstic moment at the reception.  Two, because of the joy in her smile and her gaze as she talks with the real Light of her Life, Adam,  during their first moments at the Rusty Pelican reception.

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Tipping the Bride during a First Dance

  Lindsey and Adam had obviously practiced their first dance a few times.  It was slick and smooth with twists and turns.  It was this portion, however, of their first dance that I was shooting  for.  It’s one of the moments when their eyes lock on one another like no one else even exists or is present.  It’s the electric connection between them that makes this photograph powerful. 

    It’s an important image that truly captures a special moment between them.  I tell my couples that you CAN  capture emotions like love and romance in a photograph.  This one does just that.

    It’s also simply-done when you have a photographer who truly knows photojournalism and values, above everything, The Power of the Picture.

  Throw in a great-looking, loving couple, adoring parents, siblings, friends, fellow firefighters and a few bubbles and you have the makings of  heirloom-quality, wedding day memories and images.

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Bubble-infused departure.

  Thank you Lindsey and Adam for trusting me to do this for you.

  Thank you for reading!

(Ask about discounts for active duty military men and women, firefighters, police officers and others who place their lives on the line for people they don’t even know.  I am available to travel Nation and worldwide for assignments)

Lynn and Jerry Part 2

  Thank you all for for all your comments and views of the earlier post of HSNs Lynn Murphy and Jerry’s wedding photographs.

HSNs Lynn Murphy.

HSNs Lynn Murphy.

  Lynn and Jerry are incredibly flattered and thankful that people have been so interested in seeing their union, the love they have for one another, their families and friends and they have graciously allowed me to post some more photographs from their wedding day.   

Lynn and Jerry D'Hulster

Lynn and Jerry D'Hulster

  I guess I was kind of naive about who I was shooting that day.  Lynn and Jerry are both so down-to-earth, kind, friendly and caring that I very seldom thought about her “celebrity” status.  She doesn’t wear that cloak.  I wonder now if Jerry even realizes just how many people know her from her job as a host on HSN and what it’s going to be like to be the man that captured her heart and soul.

  It was kind of overwhelming to me that so many people would visit this blog to see parts of her wedding day.   

Lynn laughs with her mother, Maddie, before the ceremony

Lynn laughs with her mother, Maddie, before the ceremony

 Again, thank you all. 

   If you’re a family member or personal friend, leave me a comment or email me at:  tim@timboylesphotography.com and I’ll let you know where you can purchase prints and other items.    If you’re getting married, or know someone who is, and is interested in talking with me about shooting your wedding and giving you the same kinds of images,  please contact me the same way, or call me at:  727.504.9425.   I will travel anywhere for you. 

  You don’t have to be Lynn Murphy-beautiful to have stunning wedding photography.  All brides glow on their wedding days. 

   Enjoy the photos. 

The Romance of a First Dance

The Romance of a First Dance

Father-Daughter dance with Lynn's father, Jim.

Father-Daughter dance with Lynn's father, Jim.

The emotion of joy and sharing it with those closest to you

The emotion of joy and sharing it with those closest to you

Lynn, Jerry and Diana Perkovic

Lynn, Jerry and Diana Perkovic

John Creamans, Colleen Lopez and their spouses

John Creamans, Colleen Lopez and their spouses

 

Special time with close friends

Special time with close friends

Designer Anthony Mark Hankins and Lady's Day host Amy Leah Axelrod

Designer Anthony Mark Hankins and Lady's Day host Amy Leah Axelrod

Lynn and Jerry on the Gulf of Mexico

Lynn and Jerry on the Gulf of Mexico

Only have eyes for you

Only have eyes for you

 
Jerry admires his Love.

Jerry admires his Love.