Sarah & Elia / Blue Dress Barn Wedding / Michigan


*Note: I'm 5'10" not 4'10".

The idea for this particular post came about towards the end of last year. I was thinking about how prevalent the "vintage" look had become and wanted to at least address it on the blog since I don't edit weddings for my clients in that style. I've had a couple potential clients ask specifically if I "did that vintage look" and I'm sure they immediately crossed me off their lists after I responded with, "I'm sorry but no." Even though I tried to explain why I'm sure all they heard was "no" and they were obviously right to try to find another photographer who would provide them with what they wanted. Anyway, a few weeks ago I decided I was going to re-edit some images from my friend Elia's wedding last summer in Michigan at The Blue Dress Barn since their wedding seemed to be styled that way in general...and it was in a barn.

Now perhaps I should take a moment to clarify that I have always been proud of the work I did for The Darling Bee for the launch of their website and enjoyed creating an editing style that was consistently "vintage." I think it works perfectly for their vintage product and styling service and I love seeing their work at weddings. I am also happy to admit that as an artist (did I just type that?) I am often intrigued by some of the gritty vintage stylized editing out there. I'm just saying, I get it.

However, I'm also well aware that what looks good now might not look good in a few years. Or even in a year. In fact, I started re-editing some of these a couple weeks ago and when I came back to it on Friday I really didn't like what I had done but I kept going if for no other reason than to finish what I started. I blunted down highlights, pushed black levels up, messed up the white balance, tone, and color...and uploaded them before I could change my mind. Nothing crazy but at least noticeable. Now that I've posted them all I've kind of swung back to thinking that I do actually like much of what is here.

But that's the problem. It's not consistent and consistency matters. It matters a lot at a wedding. I want my clients to have images that are timeless and photographs that remind them of the fun they had that day with their friends and family without being overly processed with whatever the latest fad the wedding industry has seized on that year. I want my clients to have artistic simplicity not a mess of filters and presets. And yes, degrading your images to make them look vintage is easy, you don't even actually have to do it. Google "vintage Lightroom action" and you'll see what I mean.

Ok, I think I'm just going to stop there. This post is starting to feel preachy and grumpy and that is definitely not my intention. I just wanted to give it a try and explain why I probably won't be doing it again. I hope that makes sense...and if not, there's plenty of photographers who will happily time warp you right back into the '70s.

NOW, about these two crazy kids, Sarah and Elia. I can pretty confidently say that Elia has been a friend of mine longer than anyone else I've known. I remember moving to Michigan in second grade and living at my aunt's house while my parents were househunting and Elia lived right next door. Somehow we became friends on our walks home from school and have been friends ever since. He has a memory like an elephant and could definitely tell many an embarrasing story but thankfully he doesn't have a blog. Anyway, I'm not sure at what point I began hearing about Sarah but it was sometime over the last few years and as I made my way back "home" to Michigan now and then I always enjoyed our brief meetings. Even from those small conversations I could tell that she was the one for Elia. I was so happy for them when he called to tell me they were engaged and was honored that they chose me to be their photographer. 

Obviously Sarah did a great job planning her wedding and I loved all the fun details she had prepared all around the barn but what I really enjoyed was seeing so many old friends having a blast celebrating with Sarah and Elia. I know Elia will be relieved that I'm not posting any of his dancefloor moves and would probably be perfectly happy if he didn't appear on the blog at all but it was all too good not to share at least a few from their big day.

I guess I should wrap this up since this is a "photo" blog but I just wanted to say how thankful I am to have true friends like Elia and how happy I am that he found Sarah. Congratulations to you both! Hopefully I'll see you soon.


What's that? You want to see a yearbook picture? Well, I couldn't find second grade but here's third. And yes, third grade was probably a hard one for me with those teeth. I suppose I at least had a bunch of hair...