Monday, October 4, 2010

The First Look

When Jessica and her mom, Heidi, first asked me to photograph her wedding, I wanted to yell, "NO!" and run screaming from the room. The mere thought of documenting someone's special day scared me to death. At that point I had yet to take on the tremendous task of photographing a wedding, but was about to take the plunge with my cousin, Crystal. I decided that I would give them my answer AFTER Crystal's wedding.

About 6 hours into Crystal's wedding day, I turned to my parents and said, "I'm NEVER doing this again!" They giggled....or rolled their eyes.....or maybe a little of both. While Crystal, her family, and her friends were absolutely fabulous, and did everything to make my first wedding job as comfortable as possible, I was a complete and utter nervous wreck, and felt like it quite possibly was the craziest day of my life. I came home, and absolutely knew I was going to tell Heidi and Jessica, "NO WAY!".

I gave myself a few days......I started editing Crystal's wedding photos and found myself softening. The pictures didn't turn out so bad......in fact....I sort of liked them....most of them. I didn't totally bomb it......and Crystal seemed pretty happy. I rather liked how that felt. I worked HARD.....and came up with something to bless the bride and groom. ♥

So...I reluctantly agreed to take on another wedding, and began to panic right away, even though I had like a month and a half to worry about it. I met with Jessica several times prior to the wedding. Initially, Jessica and her husband to be did not want to see each other before the wedding. After talking a bit about the wedding location, and the timeline for the day I found myself encouraging what is called a "First Look". Not only would they have more time to get the shots she wanted, they would actually have time to actually "be together" on their wedding day. All too often, the bride and groom don't have even 2 minutes to themselves on their big day. They are rushed from one thing to the next with people grabbing their attention away from each other.

I was over the top excited when Jessica and Craig decided to go with the "First Look" idea. I was determined to make it the perfect moment for them. I scouted out a few spots ahead of time, and felt pretty comfortable with my options. Then......the day of the wedding....it decided to rain....and rain A LOT! I had about 15 minutes between the beauty shop, and the getting the dress on shots to find a suitable location that would be private, and beautiful. I ran a two block radius around the church in the rain to find it......and I did.

You should have seen the look on Jessica's face when I told her I found the perfect spot......an attorney's building around the corner. Jessica is such a great sport, so she trusted me, and I do hope that in the end....they loved the spot as much as I did.

Craig and I met in front of the church, and proceeded to jaywalk, in the rain, to the location I found (which happened to be across the street from the Police Department). I took some quick shots of him to get my camera settings, and gave him some strict instructions to face a certain way, and to close his eyes. He took direction well, and it was then that I knew what a GREAT guy Jessica had agreed to marry. The lump that was destined to later choke me to tears MIGHT have started to form when he happily did as I asked.

A quick 'text' to Jessica, and she arrived with the help of one of her fabulous bridesmaids, whom I shooed away, much to her dismay. I was determined to give this wonderful young couple a special moment on their big day. I got Jessica all settled. When she whispered, "I'm so nervous!", that lump in my throat.....got a little bit bigger! I snapped a few quick shots of Jessica before instructing her to turn around...wait for me to get in position and then walk towards her groom, tap him on the shoulder, and enjoy the moment.

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Once in position.....it all happened naturally, and that lump traveled right up my throat....


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and poured tears right down my face. I'm here to say that this moment I helped create for Jessica and Craig happened to affect me in a way I did not expect. It was quite possibly the most moving thing I have ever had the privilege to witness.

The excitement.....the nervousness....the sweet smiles, and tears.

The hugging.....hand holding.....whispers, and laughs.

The kisses...the love...the joy! I felt honored to capture their emotions.

I can only hope that it was half as good for them, as it was for me. tee hee.....I'm not even joking.

18 Live It or Love It:

Kerstin said...

OMG Corey - those photos bring tears to my eyes as they are soooooo soooo beautiful and the moments soooo perfectly captured. I once again wish I could stand next to you and learn from you.
I am doing a tut break til next year as I have soo much to do right now - rebuild our house and and and... so no chance to take time and thoughts into TUT....

Molly said...

Oh Corey! I have tears as well, and chills to go along with them. You did a phenomenal job!!!! (not sure how to spell that) What a perfect way to capture that first moment. You are super smart ;-)

I can't wait to see more pictures. ...and it doesn't hurt to have such good looking subjects!

inkyblog said...

wonderful! what great pics, they are so crisp and filled with light

Autumn said...

Gosh I love these shots. I'm so impressed with your ability to wing it! I can just imagine the brides face when you told her were you wanted her to go. Such a sweet capture. I can understand why you got choked up.

Jen said...

What a great idea. You captured the moment perfectly Corey.

The Johnson Family said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!! You did an amazing job on these pics Corey. The bride and groom were so luck to have someone as talented as you are document their special day!!

Mama Zen said...

These are gorgeous!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Why am I tearing up too?????

Corey, I absolutely LOVE these shots. What a wonderful moment you helped create and captured. So sweet. I bet in the years to come these will be the photos they treasure the most.

Great job!!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Why am I tearing up too?????

Corey, I absolutely LOVE these shots. What a wonderful moment you helped create and captured. So sweet. I bet in the years to come these will be the photos they treasure the most.

Great job!!

Nickolaus Clan said...

Awesome job! I love the one where all you see is the brides bodice and her worrying hands. Not sure why, but I really like that one. The curves of the building almost wraps its arms around them!

Aspiemom said...

You did a FANTASTIC job, Corey! They must be so pleased!

MommyOfThree said...

Amazing !!! Those photos are beautiful, you did a great job!

Marka said...

Awesome photographs! You're much better at wedding photography than I am.

Fresh Mommy said...

Awesome Corey!! Truly amazing!! I love it when couples choose first looks... and girl, you're ROCKING these weddings!

:)
~Tabitha

Gayle said...

What an absolutley stunning beautiful woman! I was literally breath-taken when I scrolled down. I can just imagine the beauty of the rest of the wedding. What a wonder process to be a part of.

mrsmouthy said...

Your pictures made me cry, too. You're such an artist--and that couple is GORGEOUS.

Christina said...

Oh wow. Corey, what an incredible moment you not only captured, but helped to create! I don't even know these beautiful people, and yet the photos touch me. You have the magic, my friend!

Jeanette said...

beautiful, really beautiful!!

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