When another photographer whose work I admire asks me to document the wedding of their child, it’s a huge compliment. So when Rachelle, another Grand Rapids photographer who does great work, told me that she had recommended me to her daughter Gabby and that her and her fiance Brian wanted me to shoot their wedding, it was a great honor for me and I jumped at the opportunity. It was a beautiful day and I had a great time documenting the occasion and creating awesome images with Gabby and Brian that show how totally in love they are.
The wedding was at Christ Church in Grand Rapids, and the day began with Gabby’s mom helping her into her dress.
Gabby and Brian had complementary Vans footwear.When I first met Bryan at the booking meeting, he had a very short haircut, so I was surprised to find a full Afro on top of his head when I saw him again on the wedding day a year later… surprised and delighted, because it looked great on him!The church has a very nice path to a garden area which we decided would be a nice spot for the first look. Gabby’s mom had warned me that her and Brian might be shy in front of the camera, but once they saw each other they were so overcome with emotion that I’m sure they forgot I was even there. It was beautiful to see and for the rest of the day it was clear how happy they were to be together.
If you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, isn’t this the same spot as the night-time portrait from the beginning of the blog post?” then yes, you’re right, guilty as charged. But when you can totally different looks out of the same location by using different camera and lighting techniques, why not do it? The ability to visually transform a location in my photos to something completely different than what you see with the naked eye is one of my favorite parts of photography.
After taking some portraits at the church, we headed to the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, to the grounds of the Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) building which is a great location for photos with a variety of different looks all in one spot.I thought that the rough texture of the parking lot would make a cool background, so I climbed up on a fire escape for a few shots… and then sent Gabby and Brian up there for another.Once portrait time was over we headed back to the church for the ceremony. Gabby’s dad walked her down the aisle and also delivered the sermon.
With the ceremony over it was time for the reception.
We snuck out for a few photos at sunset. In actuality, there was no sunset as it was very overcast. However, instead of settling for boring light, I recreated the recreate the look of sunset portraits using flash lighting techniques.Later, once it had gotten dark, we went out for a few final night portraits. It was pitch black, so I had to use my flashes to create the beautiful, romantic atmosphere that you see in these photos.