A Sesquicentennial Being photojournalists, our goal is and always will be to tell stories through our pictures. This story of mine started when I was a little boy growing up in Hershey, PA. My family took me to Gettysburg regularly, and some of my greatest memories were shared with my best friends - Listening to ghost stories in the basement of the Farnsworth House as a kid, and biking the battlefield with Katye as an adult. Sure, I'll always remember bouncing off rocks and climbing steep slopes across the battlefield, but when I saw my great-great grandfather's name on the Pennsylvania Monument, that's when it all hit home. To this day, I return to that monument with an enormous amount of respect and awe, reminded of the fact that James Purcell participated in one of the defining moments in our nation's history. July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of this year marked the 150th anniversary of the battle. I've said for years that, being a photographer, I'd have to do SOMETHING to document this. I was joined by my father-in-law, also a history buff, at 4:00 a.m. on July 3rd and despite my concerns (I have the tendency of losing people when I'm shooting, taking off at a brisk pace if I see a picture), Wes rarely was far behind. We endured through heavy traffic, a downpour, and the sun and heat that subsequently followed, walking across the field of Pickett's Charge ...
Summer in the City Summer wedding weather is always a guessing game, often right up to the last minute. We carry a prop umbrella at all times, hoping for an opportunity to stick our couples out in the rain, but in the case of Meghan & John, this wasn't really an option. We're talking deluge. Almost exactly when we were going to begin portraits. This smart couple built in extra time for portraits, so we were safe! But the good thing about being rained out is it forces us photogs to think fast! We tried a few lit photos indoors with that extra time, resulting in the photo above. It was all a breeze the rest of the day at the Park Hyatt in DC, which has this feeling of being on the edge of the city. A large patch of green across the street quiets down this pretty hotel venue, and makes for a nice portrait escape. Maybe it's just that the bride and groom were two delightfully composed participants - it put us at ease! Congrats guys!
Walking on Air... I can still remember my first pair of Air Jordans. Back in the day, they were THE shoes to own because Michael Jordan was completely money, and his sneaks were pretty cool. But, as the years progressed, my shoe choices changed, and I realized that I don't excel at basketball. But it was refreshing to see the Air Jordan make a comeback on Wendy & Joe's big day, as the groom, his guys, and even his bride-to-be, sported some snazzy sneakers. It was a day to reminisce about the past as well as celebrate the future of this cute couple, who were married in the incredibly unique and visually inspiring Epic Yoga Studio in DC. Enjoy our faves, and congrats to Wendy & Joe!
Cheers! Katye & I have heard a lot of toasts over the years. Hysterical, tear-jerking, touching, profound toasts. I wanted to start off Linda & Gavin's post by talking about one of those touching AND profound toasts, this one by the father of the bride. Linda's father quoted a passage from "The Importance of Living" by Lin Yutang, and the highly abridged excerpt went something like this... "In the selection of husbands for my daughters, I have only one standard: is he a reasonable person? We cannot imagine perfect husbands and wives who never quarrel; we can only conceive of reasonable husbands and wives who quarrel reasonably and then patch up reasonably." There's a whole lot more, of course, and I know I'm not doing the passage justice, but I just ... liked it. Maybe the old cliche' should be changed to "Eat, Drink, and Be Reasonable"? On that note - Cheers! Please enjoy just a handful of our favorites from Linda & Gavin's big day at The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek in Boyds, MD. Congrats to the Happy Couple!
The Light Fantastic! For our final pre-baby collaboration with phenom photog Eva Russo of Photoladylove, we spent the day with Gretchen & Brandon, starting off at the National Cathedral and partying at the Decatur House. Working at the Cathedral never gets old, with its stunning appearance both inside and out. We were also fortunate enough to work with our old friends at A. Dominick Events, who always seem to have unique style and clever tricks up their sleeves. How often do you see a "Flare Bar" with an assortment of glow sticks, shades, and rings? Congrats to Gretchen & Brandon!
The Brier Patch Hey everyone. Meet the newest addition to the Brier family - Charlie. Charlie arrived here on his scheduled date of arrival, a feat only accomplished by 4 percent of babies, so right away we knew we were dealing with an individual who is on his game. Charlie has been welcomed into the family by his big brother Tate, and has received a cool reception from a non-plussed Buddy the dog. We've spent the past six weeks doing our own extended lifestyle/baby shoot. So here's a little break from Spring wedding mania, a glimpse of The Briers in their natural habitat!
MFEO HC readers who have seen Sleepless in Seattle too many times will know what MFEO is. Katye here ... and I am one of those Sleepless-loving people. MFEO - otherwise known as "made for each other" - is the 90's movie reference that comes to mind when I think of my friend Shannon and her new husband, Dusty. Shannon and I worked together at USA TODAY, and when we weren't editing video, we were talking about weddings. At this wedding, Joe and I got to be GUESTS. A special treat. Shannon and I had talked for ages about photographing her pre-ceremony excitement, but since I was four days away from my due date, Joe stepped in to spend time with the bridal party before the wedding. We are so happy for these two - Shannon is the most life-loving person I know, and I'm so grateful I was able to be a part of her wedding day. Enjoy this abbreviated "blog-let" of the bride and groom before their "I Do's"!
In the Press Club I've worked at the National Press Club in the past, shooting assignments for editorial clients, and have been inspired by wall after wall of amazing photography. Little inspiration was needed, though, for Robert & Jeffery's Press Club wedding, as warmth and abundant smiles were more than enough to make for a stellar afternoon. The second in a trio of collaborations with Eva Russo of Photoladylove, please enjoy a sample of our favorites! Congrats Robert & Jeffrey!
Chapter One ... Early April was riddled with question marks for The Happy Couple. With the arrival of our second baby expected any day, and Katye out of commission, we were very fortunate to have the first collaboration with our very talented friend and Syracuse classmate (go 'Cuse), Eva Russo of Photoladylove. Thank you Eva! Us SU alums always say, it's all about the Photo Love. Eva and I recently traveled out to Savannah and Patrick's Charlottesville wedding, which began right where the couple went to school - on the UVA campus. We moved onto the exquisite Farmington Country Club for their reception, where we had a little impromptu groomsmen photo shoot in the library. As you can see, Patrick and his guys were downright jocund (yes, that's right, I said 'jocund'). I'm sure some adult beverages helped, as Savannah & Patrick both passed around 'The Jug', a vessel for distributing what seemed to be a supremely delightful mint julep. I learned that it's a tradition to pass 'The Jug' from guest to guest at family gatherings. Quite a bit of fun, no? Congratulations Savannah and Patrick!
Party of seven ... Maya & Dan were gracious enough to invite me into their home for our first consultation. There I met Dan's children - all five of them. And now I realize they were really prepping me for their wedding. Craziness ensues daily at the Brier house, and we only have one (and one on the brink). So I knew that the bustle of an evening at home with five children might look a bit like Maya and Dan's wedding reception. I was given explicit instructions to photograph them as much as possible - which is really what a photographer loves to hear. At least one kid was always within view, and more often than not, the rest weren't too far behind taking pictures of Katye and me. These kids gave us a run for our money, as it seemed one of them always had a camera in hand. At least we didn't have to lend them spare memory cards! The reception was held at one of our favorite local cafes, Northside Social in Arlington. Fresh yumminess were constantly replenished - pretzel sticks, beef tartar, and mini cinnamon rolls - just to name a few. All the while, the Northside staff was whipping up custom hot beverages, and pouring wine. Congrats to Maya and Dan (and clan!)