January is an enigma. It’s cold. Especially this year, I mean, it was COLD. However, it carries its own beauty. A separate look and feel to the light when compared to summer. It’s part of what makes light amazing. For contrast, check out the warm tone of Rachel and Anthony’s Engagement Session photo that won 3rd place in our Image of the Year Competition.
Much like Rachel and Anthony’s Engagement Shoot, we were blessed with gorgeous weather. A few spotty, high clouds, but otherwise awesomeness. It was the type of day where temperature can’t be perceived, even though we may have all frozen a time or two. We ran the gamut of fun. From the endless class of the Cleveland Public Library to Voinovich Park for some epic photos painted with Downtown Cleveland’s vibe. It all ended in the Columbia BallRoom, amidst friends and family (and photographers). Classy, creative, yet downtown, yet barn…. Mind blown.
Prep was at Rachel’s parents’ beautiful home. It passed my test as a worthy backdrop. I’ve added it to the list. The list is like spam. You never get off the list.
Rachel was giddy. She went through a personal journey to relinquish control to me when it came to photography. We laughed, we cried, and I almost got Dr. Phil involved, but it turned out alright. By that morning, she was cool with it. The planning was done. I had her back. She could just relax and enjoy. Soak it up and take it in. You can see it in the images. She’s so happy.
I love these personal notes. I absolutely love them. See how he bolded/scratched out a word? How freaking cute is that?
We take time to capture details. Not because you need a photo of everything you wore. That’s a subset of the whole. The point is the memory behind the piece. I adore the shoe photo here. The rainbow was crafted by light passed through her parents’ chandelier. It’s a reminder of home, yet a shoe specifically purchased for her future. Poignant. Oh, my, the dress. I love it. You did well Rachel. Yes.
I can’t say enough about Rachel’s father. I met him that day, but I could tell instantly how genuine he is. The poor guy has married off two daughters in the span of like 6 months. That’s strength. I would not wish such a task on my worst enemy. My worst enemy is fair-weather fans. Ok, I would wish that on fair-weather fans.
You’d think, “Marcus, you’ve seen a bunch dad’s first look at their daughters. No big deal.” Wrong. I was a marshmallow.
Real moments can’t be over-stated. This image encapsulates why I do this job. That and the rock-star fame, of course.
That’s Rachel….in a wedding dress…..when she was ~6 years old. My heart hurts.
Rachel wanted her first look to be perfect. I don’t blame her, it’s an important moment. She was stressing it. That’s ok. It’s normal to stress. Anthony was nervous. Even though this was a huge moment, they had the comfort to be vulnerable. His reaction to her was adorable. It was natural, not contrived. Love it!
Dapper. The socks. Nailed it.
We had some fun in the Cleveland Public Library as seen on the top photo. Negative space is powerful. Naturally framing one’s subject draws a more powerful picture. They’re not worried about a camera here. This is why I hide 😀
Anthony’s portrait at the bottom was an 0ff-the-cuff idea that we had at the church. We were left with some time before the ceremony (due to good planning!). I saw this chair and the idea popped in. His bad-assery level is at a Marshall “11” right here. He might be one of the best bad-assers I’ve ever seen.
Contrast. Gorgeous day for the city skyline at the top. The ever-struggling doldrums of bridal shoe-wear at the bottom. If I had to encapsulate a wedding in two images, these are the two I’d pick.
The reception was held at the Columbia Ball-Room. It’s a gorgeous space. High ceilings with a barn wedding vibe. It’s lit with these massive soft-boxes that resemble lanterns. I approved of their location, which is important. If I say “no good”, they have to find a new hall venue….. That’s not easy.
Who would I be if I didn’t show off the fact that they’re showing off our awesome Engagement Session at the reception? I’m loving this sculpture they were gifted. She has a giant rock on her finger, along with a Bible and a cat. Let’s be real, what else do you need?
Rachel and Anthony entered to their own choreographed dance. I mean, they toiled over this thing. It was minutes long and they stayed N’Sync the whole time (See what I did there?) Their moves were impressive. Anthony got third place in a dance contest on their honeymoon. He lost to an old, portly gentleman. TMI.
I knew they would smash the cake. They’re personalities far too outspoken to be nice. I really enjoy this image of their cake-caked kiss. Cake.
The image on the left is one of my favorite of the day. This couple is so fun and outgoing, but I was elated to capture a moment alone. I can sense the weight of commitment in their posture.
The final images speak volumes. I don’t even know how late it was, but long after their first dance I discovered them together on the dance floor. No pageantry. Not visiting. An excellent end to a cold January’s day. I was oh-so happy to usher in the New Year with Rachel, Anthony, and their dearest loved. Thank you for the opportunity!