Cameron & Ashley were married at St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Their reception was held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. From start to finish, we had a great time. I knew it would be a enjoyable day after shooting Cameron and Ashley’s engagement portraits in San Diego. They are a very casual and fun couple, which always helps to make a wedding day go well. I don’t think I saw Ashley stressed throughout the day. Even when the limo had a flat and was late to take her to the wedding, they both seemed to be enjoying themselves and relaxing. I was impressed.
While the girls were finishing up getting ready, we took photos of Cameron and the guys. It didn’t take us very long. In fact, when I let the guys go, they were a bit startled… ”That’s it?” One of them said.
Yep, that’s it.
They were all very happy to be released to relax and probebly grab a drink. But that’s how we roll. Weddings are not about photography sessions. As important as wedding photography is to the wedding, that is not what the day is about. A wedding is about family, friends, love and commitment. The photographer’s job is to capture moments and help the couple remember and recall the emotions, events and people who attended without getting in the way. So that is how my team and I operate.
The Biltmore is a great place for portraits because everywhere you go, there is an opportunity for open shade, no matter what time of day it is. So I just hunt for open shade and settle the group in that area to take the portraits.
This portrait was taken inside the Biltmore lobby as we walked to the limousine. We had a few minutes so I used the window light and got this shot. I have to take my hat off to Ramon Bacaui (hair) and the makeup artist from M.A.C.. I see a lot of makeup and hair, and Ashley’s crew was truly great. Thanks to all of them, Ashley looked like a million bucks. It also helps that she’s a natural at posing for the camera.
Now she’s hiding behind a wall to make sure Cameron doesn’t see her.
The St. Francis church is a bit tricky to photograph because there are a lot of rules that restrict the photographer’s movement. So this is about as close as you get. So the photo team spends a lot of time shooting and reshooting the same basic shots at different times during the ceremony. Our shots go from full length shots to wide architectural shots, no closeups. The church is a very beautiful one, so any shot is a nice one, but you don’t get to capture mom or dad looking on as their daughter gets married, because we are not allowed to get into a position for the shot. With those restrictions in mind, we got some great shots. You’ll see a number of them in the slideshow.
I love this shot.
This one is another favorite. The flashes are set up for the family portraits on the alter of the church, but they do a great job as backlight and sidelight for a portrait looking back into the church pews. There is not one forward light on this at all. Two backlights and a sidelight. All the forward light comes from reflected light off the marble alters of the church.
Such a perfect moment in the back of the limousine. I love it. This is the kind of shot I would want printed for my wall if I were the groom.
I just like the simplicity of the design and colors in this shot.
We had a good time after the wedding taking portraits. The Biltmore has an attendant following us around with drinks and fruit and cheese, etc… which was much needed. Ashley was famished. So we took a little extra time on the front lawn for a drink and a snack before we finished the portrait session. I do love the casual nature of this portrait, so much so, that I made it the cover on the slideshow.
Do I have to even say that I love this shot? I love the Biltmore architecture, the bride looks great, the tree has all sorts of great texture on it. I just love it.
Ashely, you look amazing. Cameron, you have a lot of great photos to choose from!
Everyone goes to the roof of the Biltmore to shoot. We did as well, but some of the best shots are upstairs, inside, near the windows. This was all window light, no additional lighting.
This shot makes me think we are up on the empire states building in New York City. I love the shot, the stone, the lights in the background…
This was another window lit shot. The light from the window is the blue soft light from the twilight sky and the light from the interior lights is warm and soft because it comes from a lot of lights throughout the lobby of the hotel. The ISO was high, so it has a natural grain to it, which was enhanced by NIK Silver Effects Pro 2. I knew it was going to be a great shot as I was taking it. Sometimes, you just know.
Ashley’s sister makes the blog post because she is an extremely memorable character. She is the kind of person that owns any room she happens to occupy. Her toast was completely entertaining. I partially liked the look on the Bride’s face in this shot though. I don’t recall what exactly was being said, but I think the sisters may be ganging up on the groom.
I love the emotion in this way Cameron is holding his bride.
I love sweet moment like this one as well.
Nice cake topper. But Cameron is not allowed to dip kiss Ashley anymore… he almost dropped her.
And finally, I have to say that the band, The Groove Merchants, was fantastic. They kept that party going all night long. I have to think that Ashley and Cameron’s friends would probably party late no matter what, but the energy in that room was clearly five notches higher because of the band. I enjoyed every single song!
Thank you Ashley and Cameron for trusting me with your wedding photography. It was an honor.
Slideshow Music by Jonny Blu, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.
Makeup by M.A.C.