Tag Archives: polaroid

Jess’s Fine Art Bridal Portrait Session

08 | 03 | 2011

The great thing about bridal portrait sessions, as opposed to weddings, is that you have the real luxury of having time to make portraits, slowly.  I mean: I love the challenge and the rush of making portraits happen in the swirl of the events and obligations of a wedding day (what wedding photographer doesn’t?!).  And Jess’s session was slower than most because we intentionally sought to make images on our slowest, most deliberate cameras.

Bridal sessions are about the bride and certainly also about her exquisite refinery.  Jess’s dress was designed and lovingly crafted by Suzanne Hanley of Atelier des Modistes.  Sue is a genius designer and I feel lucky to count her among my friends.   I particularly love the lace chevrons (though, seriously, I can’t fathom how much time it took her and her team to make those) and the bustle, which reminds me so much of the wild, wild west.  Jess’s bridal session is also featured {here} on 100 Layer Cake today, with an interview from Jess about the custom dressmaking process.

Neither one of us could have known that Jess’s wedding day would bring rain (or rainbows) and mud or that the slow moments in the day could be counted on the fingers of two hands, so I am extra grateful we made time early in the summer before her wedding to make these portraits.

Jess found other value in making these images.  This is what she wrote:

“I thought it was really helpful to do the portrait session before, because it was an excellent introduction to you and Matt, and how you like to work. It was also great for me to hear some tips from you on posture, how to stand, how to act, etc., before the “main event,” so to speak. It was certainly a little more challenging to take photos alone, as opposed to how much more natural and easy it felt when I was with TJ.  But I think for people who haven’t been photographed much before [their weddings], it’s a great introduction. Plus seeing these initial proofs, I could then say to myself—well, I like it when I smile like this or that, and I love how my hair and makeup looks in these photos, and so onso it was a great dry run overall.”

photographs: Gia Canali

gown: Sue Hanley, Atelier des Modistes, whose little shop in San Francisco I featured awhile back; hair and makeup: Sharon Tabb.

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Collaborating With Your Wedding Photographer, 111: On Being Adventurous

02 | 08 | 2011

Well, you don’t have to be adventurous.  But you will be rewarded richly for your efforts.  It might look like this couple naturally appeared on the boughs of an enchanted tree, but in reality, getting this photo was decidedly rigorous.  The bride climbed down a steep creek bank in four inch platform heels (her idea, not mine—but I’m thrilled she did). The recipe is below – and I’ll share more of their enchanted forest photos soon!

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Happy New Year 2011!!

01 | 01 | 2011

Okay, it’s time for some changes (nay, resolutions) around here, like: it’s time to pay more attention to the blog (seriously!) and I’m going to start blogging about other kinds of photographs in this space, too.  I think it’ll be more fun for all of us that way.  Lots of you have moved on from your weddings, but you may want to commission other sorts of photographs (and I like taking and talking about getting great other sorts of photographs).  We’re still calling the blog {Pursuing the Picture Perfect Wedding}, but we’re going to broaden our scope.

In good faith, I’m starting with a Polaroid 55 I took over the summer as part of a family portrait session done all in Polaroid 55 film.  The best portrait sessions are the ones with the simplest concepts.  In any case, I like how quietly festive this image seems. That’s how I like to celebrate New Year’s Eve every year.

photo: Gia Canali

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Brandon & Serra’s One-of-a-Kind Los Angeles Wedding with Pretty Vintage Touches

08 | 03 | 2010

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I love the sweetness of Brandon & Serra’s wedding.  Everything, everything was fashioned to be personal, to be romantic, to be sweet and meaningful.  And the results were just about perfect.  Plus, this was one of the thriftiest and most resourceful wedding planning crews I’ve encountered.  Brandon and his twin brother, Brian, are the photographers behind Twin Lens Life.  And Serra is a maven of vintage fashion, and all-things-vintage, come to think of it.  Everything from fashion to decor was handmade or scored from vintage stores and thrift shops around Los Angeles.

Below: a few photographs of Serra & Brandon getting ready. I took just a moment right before the ceremony to get a couple photographs on my 4×5 camera.

{click any image for a closer look}

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Below: some of the ceremony details. Click any image to enlarge. Brandon & Brian made the wooden signs (that fancy W and the plumage!).  I love the lace draped tree. And the just-gathered feelings of the bouquets and arrangements.   Florals by Amanda Claverie, Rosebud Floral Design.

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Above: one of the zillion polaroids from Brandon & Serra’s wedding. Below: This ceremony was just about perfect (and complete with a rooster strolling through, if you look closely!).

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After the ceremony, while we took group photos and photos of Brandon & Serra, the guests entertained themselves with games and tea. This is handy tip to steal: have something fun for your guests to do while you do your formal photographs.  This is especially important if you plan not to see each other (and therefore not do any of the group photos before your ceremony).

It was hard to get Brandon’s twin brother, Brian, to hold still for a photo during cocktail hour. Since the boys are also wedding photographers, Brian made the rounds during cocktail hour getting a Polaroid—er, Fuji instant print—of each and every guest for the escort cards / guest book. They blogged {here} and {here} over on their blog, Twin Lens Life, about this project, which I think would be fantastic at any small wedding. Not exactly diy if you’re not a pro, but definitely handmade and one of a kind.  I’m looking forward to seeing—and doing!—more of these unique one of a kind projects at weddings, which seem to be gaining in popularity.

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Everything about this wedding was so romantically-styled, down to the tiniest detail. There were piles of old books, and gatherings of baby’s breath, an old typewriter, candles, vases of a few blooms, tiny ceramic birds. The table was like a tableau. But my favorite little details, besides the “tree” with the Polaroids that Serra and Brandon had taken together over the course of their relationship (pictured below), were their love birds, Frankie and Allie.

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A few more quiet moments before the end of the day:

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We had so much fun rotating through our (and Brandon & Brian’s!) collection of vintage film cameras, toy cameras, instant film cameras, et cetera.  I loved getting to share in the absolute joy of shooting along side other lovers-of-photography (their crafty guests were snapping as many photos as I was, it seemed!).  Congratulations, Brandon & Serra! Thanks for sharing! May your years ahead be happy and filled with lots of Polaroids! This wedding is also being featured {here} over on Snippet & Ink today!

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photographs: Gia Canali, venue: Heritage Square Museum, LA; florals: Amanda Claverie, Rosebud Floral Design; super 8mm wedding film: Tim Neilsen, Flicker Films, shown {here}; hair, Louis Santelices; pretty much everything else: handmade, thrift store or vintage shop finds.

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