By Scott Sady
Erin and Brian’s wedding was a custom affair. They followed the traditions they liked and discarded ones they didn’t to make their wedding day reflect their personality. The couple got married at the Hacienda de las Colinas in San Rafael, California. Normally I work shooting weddings in the Lake Tahoe area, but since I went to school in the photojournalism program at San Jose State way back when, I always love it when I get a Bay Area wedding to photograph, so I can visit old friends. This one took place on the 4th of July, and as with many of my clients, Erin and Brian liked my style of photography and pretty much wanted me to just do my thing all day. We had minimal family portraits and a group portrait of all the guests that they wanted, other than that they trusted me to capture the moments and emotions of their day, and were always game when I had an idea for a photograph. Even when it involved climbing upon some decorative wine casks.
Since my training and background is as a photojournalist, having worked as a staffer for the Associated Press in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and as the lead alpine events photographer for USA Today in the last two winter Olympics, documenting the emotions and the moments of the day is second nature to me. Often folks don’t even realize I am taking their picture which is the way I like it. Natural. However I also like to mix a fine art style into the shoot. As you can see in many of my recent posts, I often shoot some images with a pre-visualization of the post production photograph. I have an idea of the effects and looks I like to create with the aid of my computer, and when I see an opportunity to shoot for that post production, it makes a creative look and mixes well with the straight photojournalistic wedding photographs that I take as well. You can see two examples below in the portraits of Erin in front of a painting and in the bathtub. Neither of these scenes were particularly impressive at the time, but with the light at the time, I had an idea of what they could look like. Fortunately Erin was game to climb in and out of the tub in her dress, among other things, and let me do my thing.
This was one of the shorter weddings of the year, only 5 hours of shooting time. I usually prefer to shoot for 8 hours on a wedding, which allows me the time to make a wide variety of images. 4-5 hour days seem to fly by in a whirlwind of activity. Fortunately, when I got home and looked at the pictures, my experience and instincts paid off, and the pictures came out just the way I had expected.