Tag Archives: groom

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.

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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.

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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)

Julia and Ryan’s Tampa Bay Wedding

    I can only photograph what’s there. 

    I stress that to the people I shoot for all the time.  Delivering photographs that have power, impact, drama, beauty and emotion is not just the responsibility of the photographer.  The subjects have  more to do with that than I do.    Not even the best photographer can photoshop romance or love into a photograph when it doesn’t exist between your camera’s focus point. 

  The subjects must provide those parts of the collaboration for this kind of result.

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  Mrs. Julia Roeling and U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling.

 

Mrs. Julia Roeling and U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling.

Mrs. Julia Roeling and U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling.

      Julia and Ryan are the perfect couple to shoot with.  They’re both confident and classy to begin with. 

      Basically, all I have to do is show up, set exposure and focus and press the shutter.

 

Mrs. Julia Roeling (Waters).

Mrs. Julia Roeling (Waters).

  Any hack with a camera could photograph her and have great results.    (It does, however, take a professional photographer with working knowledge of using, manipulating and controlling light, creativity, composition, camera control, working photojournalism, as well as the knowledge of how to inject and document emotion, and create drama to photograph her like THAT.   (Smile)

   Julia and Ryan gave me unlimited freedom to decide how to do their portraits.  So, how do you make those decisions? 

  As always, Julia was beautiful, elegant and regal on her wedding day.  She should be photographed in ways that capture and display those qualities.

  Ryan is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and an active duty Officer in the U.S. Navy. 

  He should be photographed to reflect a sense of power and presence, as well as to capture  his dignity, pride and masculinity. 

U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling on his Wedding Day.

U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling on his Wedding Day.

 

  I always strive to deliver images with power, drama and emotion, but this wedding held kind of a special responsibility to me.  I got my initial training and experience as a photojournalist in the Navy.  It’s one of the reasons Ryan and Julia told me that they hired me for the day.  

    Ryan is quite familiar with the level of professionalism and the incredible amount of training that goes into preparing someone for service in the military.    He knows that whether you’re a U.S. Navy photojournalist, a pilot, a surface warfare officer, a bubble-head (submarine corps), a cook, a yeoman, a security guard or someone’s wing man, that when you’re called upon to do your job, it happens.   Instinctively.

    And, one never forgets it.  I’ve been off active duty for more than 15 years, yet my shutter finger and my mind still function as a single unit. 

    There was one other reason I wanted to do an incredible  job for Ryan and Julia (and their warm, fun families and friends) is because I respect Lt. Ryan and those like him for the sacrifices they give to us all with their Military service.  And, of course, to Mrs. Julia for her new role as a Navy wife.  It’s also a very difficult, demanding responsibility.

  Stepping down from my soapbox, I will close with this:  I can only photograph what’s there.

  You’ve seen the romantic, formal photographs (albeit only a tiny, tiny fraction of them).  Believe me, those shots were only the beginning of what Ryan, Julia and, myself and my assistant Broderick Winn did together before the ceremony.    Ryan and Julia chose to see each other before the ceremony and to spend an hour together shooting pre-ceremony portraits.  It’s becoming quite the popular trend)

    But, of course Julia and Ryan like to do other things than simply appear regal.

  They appreciate humor and laughter.

One too many paparrazi in the limo following the ceremony.

One too many paparrazi in the limo following the ceremony.

  They understand and embrace love, romance and passion as in this shot from their first dance:

Romantic First Dance.

Romantic First Dance.

 And, Julia especially, knows the value of tossing a Coach purse as opposed to a bouquet of flowers to make sure that “All the Single Ladies” (ALL the Single Ladies), pursue the toss with vigor, passion and enthusiasm. 

 

Modified Bouquet Toss with a Coach Purse.

Modified Bouquet Toss with a Coach Purse.

    I can only photograph what’s there.   In this case it was romance and passion, laughter and love and  formal military protocol,  but also sexy shots, scenes from Top Gun, hijinks and highlights.

  PS:  If you’ve never seen their engagement session, see my main web site cover photo:  www.timboylesphotography.com

If you wish to be notified when their  photos are publically posted, leave me a comment or email.

Thank you for reading!

Charley, Lindsay and Lindsey Rose Belcher’s Wedding

Sometimes even Charley Belcher sits in the back seat.

Lindsey Rose and Lindsay Belcher

Lindsey Rose and Lindsay Belcher

Lindsay and Charley Belcher

Lindsay and Charley Belcher

  The bride is always the center of attention at a wedding.  If you have a young, beautiful  child, they usually upstage you too.   

  Charley Belcher don’t mind. 

  He wakes up half of  Tampa Bay population’s every weekday morning as the features guy on Fox 13, but on Friday, June 5, 2009 he married his love, Lindsay.

    His daughter,  Lindsey Rose Belcher, was his Best Man.  No doubt if you know of the relationship between these two. 

Lindsey Rose Belcher's smile.

Lindsey Rose Belcher's smile.

    The ceremony was held at the Largo Botanical Garden.    This is the moment Charley greeted Linsday as she made her way to the ceremony.  Unposed.   

Charley Belcher greets his bride-to-be

Charley Belcher greets his bride-to-be

  There were so many great moments during the day.  This is one of my favorites.  Some of the photos are even too personal to share in this public forum.    Some were not.

Ceremony

Ceremony

  I always tell my clients that their wedding photography has more to do with how they enjoy it rather than my sometimes shaky camera work.    Charley and Lindsay’s day is a great example.  I can only shoot what’s there.  If your day is full of love, your photos will reflect that. 

Ceremony

Ceremony

 

Ceremony--A Kiss for Lindsey Rose

Ceremony--A Kiss for Lindsey Rose

 

Ceremony

Ceremony

  If it’s full of joy and laughter, your photos will reflect that.  I cannot shoot what’s not there, but I can capture those moments when they are there.  It’s what makes the difference between a wedding photojournalist and a wedding photographer.    

  Like Charley and Lindsay’s wedding.  It was full of those emotive moments.  I could have photographed those two all day long and you’d be able to see what they feel for each other in each and every one of those shots.  I hate to admit it, but you could almost count that another “easy shoot”. 

  I love posing my clients for glamourous portraits, but it’s not my favorite part of the day.    I’d much rather deliver an album full of emotional, spontaneous moments than an album full of portraits.   But, if done right, the portraits can also deliver a true feeling of emotion.  Again, Charley and Linsday’s wedding, did that too.

  They both, absolutely, had a bit of poser in them.

 

Largo Botanical Gardens backdrop

Largo Botanical Gardens backdrop

Beautiful Posers.

Beautiful Posers.

  Thank you Charley and Linsday for letting me be part of your most-special day.

(I was honored to shoot Charley and his daughter, Lindsey Rose, another time.  http://timboylesphotography.blogspot.com/2008/09/do-whatcha-gotta-do.html)