Lauren and Mike country wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

A little healthy fear is a good thing right? I’ve heard that before. When it comes to wedding dresses, I have a healthy fear  - a very healthy fear.  But as a photographer, one of the parts of the job is to get photos of the wedding dress. Usually that means taking it out of the wrapping and handling it and sometimes hanging it in unusual places. This is the part where I really wish I had a picture of Bob’s face when I told him I had an idea. We were at Lauren and Mike’s beautiful country wedding. Now normally, Bob gives me that “Oh, good Lord ” face when I say I have an idea. To his credit he ALWAYS listens. Sometimes he tells me I’m an idiot. Well, usually he tells me that but he’ll usually go along with my idea and find a way to make it way better. When I told him I wanted to take Lauren’s dress out of the house and hang it in a barn that had horses and chickens roaming around in it, he just kinda stared at me. I swear his instinct was to say,  “No, friggin’ way. Do you have any idea how many things can can wrong doing that stupid idea.”

He never said that.

Oh my God, were we nervous. The No. 1 rule is don’t mess up the dress before the bride even puts it on! This was taking a chance, but we really thought it would be worth it to get Lauren some really cool shots of the dress that matched the day. So we did it. On the way out of the house, with both of us carrying the dress, we ran into Lauren’s dad. Why not add a little pressure? So we asked him if could help in opening the gate and maybe keeping the horses away from the dress. Plus you can watch idiot photographers climb around a barn with your daughter’s wedding dress. What a guy. “No problem. Let’s do it.”

So there we were in the barn stepping over chickens and figuring out the best way to fasten the dress to a barn beam. Bob handled being on the ladder to hang it up. Anyone who knows me knows that was the prudent play. If I was up there, it would have ended with me in a face full of manure with a lot of explaining to do to Lauren. But it worked. We got the photos we wanted. I only fell through a stack of haybales once (a victory) and the dress was fine. Wow was it a relief to hang it back up safely in the house! Anyway here are a few of the shots we got.

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Ask us! | Scranton wedding photographers

OK, so you already know that planning a wedding can be a giant pain in ass, right? There were probably things you never even thought about. Am I right? Well maybe I’m partly right because weddings these days are absolutely DIY affairs that bring more of the couple’s personality to the table.

But jeez, there’s a lot to consider. How much do you know about chair covers? Now, I know a stupid amount, but not too long ago, I didn’t know a whole lot.
But there’s good news, too. It doesn’t have to be the daunting task so many people make it. And here’s why. You have help available to you. If you are planning a wedding and starting to meet with venues and photographers, use them. Use the hell out of them. This is not their first rodeo. They know some tricks. They’ve  seen the successes. At times they have seen the failures. Don’t think because you are just meeting about a venue that you can’t ask about photographers. Don’t think because you are meeting with photographers you can’t ask about flowers or music or lighting. Any good professional who has been in the business for a while will be able to give you solid advice and get you off to the right start. This is your first wedding. Why not get a little advice from people who have been to hundreds? We always tell our clients that whether they hire us or not they should feel free to ask us questions. Of course we want your business but more than that, we want you to have your dream wedding. So please ask. We know things. Remember – I’m a chair cover expert!
Denise and Chris Hillside Farms Wedding near Wilkes-Barre PA
DIY wedding details from Dan and Susanna
Ellie and Sean wedding in Lancaster
Ellie and Sean wedding in Lancaster
Jessica and Mark wedding at Spring Hill Farm
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Jessyca and Sam wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

If you’re a Penn Stater, where else do you go for photos after you get married but Penn State? Well, we couldn’t get out to main campus again like we did for Jessyca and Sam’s engagement photos, so we did them at the next best place, the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus. Jess and Sam are such a fun couple. We had a blast with them at Penn State over the winter. And I think the residual effects of frostbite for Jess and Sam were worth it. I mean the pictures really came out nice. ;)

We had a much nicer day for their wedding and a great time at Wilkes-Barre getting to know their wedding party a little and having a bunch of laughs. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s no coincidence that Jess and Sam scheduled their wedding for a couple weeks before the Nittany Lions football season started. Maybe there were other reasons, but I’m guessing maybe, just maybe it was a factor. WE ARE …

Jess and Sam wedding portraits at Penn State, Wilkes-Barre

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Jess and Sam wedding portraits at Penn State, Wilkes-Barre
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  • September 14, 2014 - 12:48 am

    martha - Great and creative photos, good job!ReplyCancel

Maggie and her Martin | Scranton portrait photographers

The Martin guitar wasn’t the first thing I noticed on our last senior shoot. The first thing I noticed was the charming young girl with the killer smile standing in the middle of a field leaning on a guitar. She was surrounded by hip high plants and flowers.  I thought, “This is going to be incredible.” We had a beautiful day in a perfect spot with Maggie, a super cool senior. Throw in the fact that she’s a musician, and it was a perfect mix. And yeah I had a little guitar jealousy too when I found out it was a Martin.

But the Martin took a backseat to the shoot that took us from a field in Archbald to a small building with a cool brick interior to some railroad tracks.  We love the photos that came from this one. Maggie was so natural in how she moved and got set up for photos. It made taking her photos a real joy and exciting for us. We love her photos and are grateful for being able to work with such a talented girl. Thanks, Maggie.

 

Lauren and Michael first look at Buehler’s Idlewild Inn | Scranton Wedding Photographers

I feel like Bob and I are not too surprised by things anymore. Then we find a place like Buehler’s Idewild Inn out near Lake Wallenpaupack. First, kudos to Google Maps for finding this place. And huge kudos to the owners for offering a really unique wedding experience. Over the weekend, we shot Lauren and Michael’s absolutely stunning wedding there. We just love them. Loyal readers will remember we did their engagement photos in NYC. Talk about opposites! The rustic and homey feel of Buehlers was an amazing contrast to NYC, with big open spaces and no TV. Such a wonderful setting for a wedding that placed the highest premium on friends and family.

It as also an amazing place to do their first look. It was a great private moment for Lauren and Michael in a stunning location so we wanted to share the photos. We love how they turned out and the whole day kept the same feel. There was a closeness in this wedding that was hard to match and how much Lauren and Michael love each other just seemed to spread to the whole event. You can’t ask for anything more than that. Congrats to the new bride and groom. We love you guys.

Finishing strong | Scranton wedding photographers

Turns out we might be a bit different from other photographers.

We hear from a lot of couples who meet with us. Sometimes it’s their first meeting with a photographer, sometimes it’s not. But we consistently hear stories about the number of hours a photographer is willing to work on a wedding day. On some levels I understand it. They can be long days, sometimes 14 or 15 hours long.  Some photographers choose to limit it to 8 hours or they will shoot ceremony and the first hour of the reception and things like that. OK, fine be me. Bob and I tend to look at it from a different perspective. We are in it until the very end – and no we are not trying to make other photographers look bad.

Our reason is very simple, early on we got some of our best stuff near the end of the reception when the crowd is loose and the cameras are forgotten. Anyone who has ever been to a wedding will tell you the last dance can be beautiful. It can be raucous. It can be both. Why pass up that chance? Weddings are special. The last dance of the night is special. A sparkler exit is special. The bride giving her dad one last hug at the end of the night is infinitely more intimate than the hug at the end of the aisle. We want that shot. So we stay and hope to get it. A lot of times it’s there. Sometimes it’s not, but it’s more than worth the time to find out, don’t you think?

So we thought it might be nice to share a handful of late-night shots with you. Thanks for looking.

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Denise and Chris Hillside Farms Wedding near Wilkes-Barre PA
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Heather and Michael wedding Quarry Hill Farm
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Danielle and Keith wedding in Scranton

Brianne and Ryan wedding at Radisson in Scranton

Jessyca and Sam cake smash | Wilkes-Barre wedding photographers

Normally we see it coming. The groom always has that look like he’s up to something. Not this time. Sam was cool. Nothing to see here – nothing coming. The planning was perfect, the timing impeccable – a sneak attack that caught Jessyca completely stunned and laughing out of control. The time honored cake smash went off perfectly. In fact, I think the cake was still being cut. There was no waiting on this one. It could have been a total cake face plant but Same was merciful. Just a  little icing on the cheek, but it was a great moment from Sam and Jessyca’s wedding – among hundreds of great moments.

So without further delay, here’s a series of fun shots from a time-honored wedding tradition. Thanks Jessyca and Sam for inviting us to be a part of your day. You guys were a blast to hang out with.

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  • August 25, 2014 - 6:58 pm

    Mary Beth Siracuse - You guys were awesome! Thanks so much for being part of Sam and Jessyca’s wedding day!ReplyCancel

    • August 26, 2014 - 9:52 am

      bobsanchuk - It was our pleasure. We had a great time, and Sam and Jessyca are a wonderful couple!ReplyCancel

Amanda and Brian engagement | Scranton wedding photographers

I suspect there is probably a reason I have a bar in my house. I also suspect there is a reason it’s where I feel most comfortable. I’m also guessing it’s not hard to figure out those reasons. Either way, I do get excited when our couples suggest we do some of their photos in a bar or restaurant. One, it feels like I’m not even leaving my house. Two, I love the options. I love the pockets of light in bars and the neon and cool signs and all the things that make for cool backgrounds.

So for Amanda and Brian to say they wanted to stop by Mickey Gannon’s, who we owe a great deal of gratitude, to grab some engagement photos, we were all in. First, they could not be a sweeter or more accommodating couple. You guys were just so great to work with.  And our friends at Mickey Gannon’s gave us so much room to work and were so generous with their time we could not be more thankful. We just love the photos and, of course, we went back a little later in the week for some of those wings!

Without further delay, here are some of the photos we grabbed and a few others from a stroll downtown. As always, thank you so much for looking and we hope you like them.

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Denise and Chris wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

Love can be found in a lot of places on a wedding day. It can found in the the vows and the look a husband-to-be gives his bride-to-be at the altar. It can be found in the long hug from a dad to his little girl. It can also be found in the details and the extraordinary effort some couples go through to produce meaningful, beautiful and treasured little touches on their wedding days. I am continually amazed at some of the ideas and the execution of some of these things.

Then Denise showed up and took this thing to a whole new level. As Chris and others were explaining to me on her wedding day, Denise did a mountain of work to prepare all of the little touches and the beautiful style of the wedding. I’ll stop talking so you can check them out and know that the bar continues to be raised.

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Alicia and Bobby wedding details | Scranton wedding photographers

There is really no part of photography I don’t love, especially wedding photography. I’ve talked about it a little before and the number of disciplines you need to master to do it really well. You need photojournalism skills, fashion photography skills, people skills and macro skills. And mastering them takes time. I’m comfortable in most of them but if I was honest, macro was probably not my favorite. I like people, so taking photos of flowers and rings and stuff was maybe not my favorite part. But I’ve been doing my homework. It’s important and now I’m really starting to see the joy in it.

So in this blog post, I wanted to offer a few tips on how to produce some of the trickier shots at weddings, the ring shots. They’re important. Don’t kid yourself into thinking as long as you have a shot of them, it’s good enough. They are as important as every other moment you capture, so treat them that way.

So how do you get good ones?

1. Get a macro lens. I hate to just tell you buy an expensive piece of equipment but you need one to really do them right. In the absense of one, use your fastest lens and open the aperture as wide as possbile. A shallow depth of field is often what puts the focus on the rings and not something else.

2. Clarity. Make sure the image or section of the ring that you want to be sharp is uncompromisingly sharp. It’s not always easy with a macro lens and it can be tough to trust the LCD on your camera. Do whatever you need to steady the camera and nail the focus.

3. Light, light, light. Nail the lighting. As a general rule of thumb, use sidelight to give your shots texture, but use whatever you have available to you and get creative. A great place to start for those just getting going in their photography is put the rings on a window sill and let them bathe on the glow of window light.

The shots below were lit with an Ice Light, which is designed by photographer Jerry Ghi0nis. It’s got a ton of uses but I get he most out of it when shooting details. It mimics window light and really does a good job.

So here are just a couple examples of some of the ring shots I got a little while back at Bobby and Alicia’s spectacular wedding.

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Steve senior portraits | Scranton portrait photographers

I tend to break a lot of rules. I’m not really crazy about them, and I’m not all that wild abut being told what to do. I supposes that’s why most of the stuff I enjoy doing tends to be creative with the ability to explore a little and figure out what looks good, sounds right and feels perfect.

That can be a real gift in photography – and sometimes a real curse. As a background, I have no formal training when it comes to photography. What I know and what Bob knows has come through figuring it out as we go. When we moved into a studio space, we did so before we had any studio equipment. Forget the fact that neither of us had ever actually worked with any studio equipment. But we did get the equipment and would spend time from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.  in our new studio practicing and learning how to use the equipment. No one told us the light goes here and the other light goes there. Our experience with studio photography was basically what we had seen on our own senior shoots.

It turns out that was a blessing because we were freed from the chains of  “you must do it this way” and allowed to experiment  to see what happened if we moved a light here or shot from this angle. There was a learning curve. Believe me, there was a learning curve and probably some embarrassing moments, but we kept pushing and trying and asking questions. Now, studio work is some of my favorite stuff to do. It’s not unusal to see us laying on the ground outside of our bay doors taking a photo. I have not seen a lot of studio photographers do that by the way. Sometimes our ideas fail. No question about it. Sometimes they don’t, and those are the times that are really exciting.

So we wanted to share a few photos from Steve’s recent senior session. There are some different angles and some shots you won’t typically see in a studio. In one case, we just took him away from the background and leaned him up against a kinda dirty (sorry Steve) metal door to get a different look. For us, our favorite questions is “What happens if we do this?” A lot of times we don’t know the answer, but a lot of times we like the result.

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Kim and Chuck backyard wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

Ahhhh backyard weddings. Don’t you just love them? I do. They are so warm and comfortable and just have a different vibe about them. I was just flipping through Kim and Chuck’s wedding photos from last month and I realized what an amazing day it was. First, Chuck has a few toys – like a bike and a plane – so that made taking photos a bit different and amazing. Second, the setting was just so beautiful with all these great little touches and details. Throw in the love of a big family and it’s about as close as you can come to a perfect day. So we don’t want to try to do a post that captured just parts of the day. Instead, below are a bunch of photos I think capture the feel of the whole thing. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed spending the day with our friends in the backyard.

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Megan and Michael wedding at Scranton Cultural Center | Scranton wedding photographers

In a previous post we had some shots of Michael just killing it with the band onstage at the Scranton Cultural  Center. Well it turns out he and his beautiful bride Megan take a pretty nice portrait as well. Michael got ready at the Hilton Scranton. It’s a great place to grab a few portraits because there are some cool mirrors and nice light hanging around if you know where to look. I really love some of the shots Bob got there. Megan got ready at her mom’s house. Again, nice light + beautiful bride = hard to miss.

I always find it funny going back looking at portraits. Megan’s look very serene and quiet. Meanwhile to her left is her entire bridal party and parents and anyone else who was there watching the photos get done. Oh and a quick thank you to Megan’s mom who was so remarkably welcoming. I rearranged quite a bit of furniture in the house to be able to position Megan where I thought the photos would turn out the best. I tried to put everything back exactly where I found it, but I am by no means an interior decorator so if I missed anything I’m really, really, sorry.;)

Here are some of the portraits from throughout the day. Enjoy.

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Alicia and Bobby Westmoreland Club wedding | Wilkes-Barre wedding photographers

It seems everyone does photojournalism now for weddings. That’s probably a good thing. Lord knows we do a majority of our work that way. Photos that look too set up or posed are not exactly what people are looking for. The last thing you want is someone stopping in the middle of a cake cutting to pose for a quick shot. The moment is gone the second they turn to focus on you.

But is there still room for the posed shot? Hell yes, there is. Portraits are a huge part of our business. But what we don’t want them to be is two people staring into the lens of the camera – except in really rare instances. What we want is to capture a mood or a moment, but one that we control. They should almost look like we snapped a private moment. That’s kind of the trick. There are all sorts of disciplines involved in this but it’s a little fashion photography and a little portrait photography all rolled up into one.  Not long ago, we shot Alicia and Bobby’s wedding at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre. It was a great setting for some portraits with a ton of dark wood and stained glass and unreal light. So we took them before the reception and wandered around to get their portraits. We love how they come out. And we’d love to hear what you think.

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Denise and Chris Hillside Farms wedding | Wilkes-Barre wedding photographers

Well here’s a quick turnaround post for everyone. We shot a wedding over the weekend for friends Denise and Chris at The Lands at Hillside Farms in Shavertown. What a beautiful setting that is for a wedding. There were hay bales for chairs and antique decorations in the home, welcoming families and so much love and thought put into the day’s details it would blow your mind. Yes, Denise is a crafter – and an exceptionally talented one. The love these two have for each other just permeated the grounds all day in all of the little touches you could find everywhere you turned.

Normally we would do a post on just the ceremony or just the reception, and maybe we will come back to that in some other posts, but we wanted to give you a feel for what a wonderful day this was by just selecting some of our favorite images and moments from the day. There were plenty, including Denise and Chris reading letters from each other, but separated only by a wall. They didn’t see each other, but we thought it would be cool if they were close and able to talk to each other without actually seeing each other. It was such a moving moment. We hope you enjoy the photos!

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Denise and Chris Hillside Farms Wedding near Wilkes-Barre PA
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Denise and Chris Hillside Farms Wedding near Wilkes-Barre PA
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Jen and Joe Long Beach Island engagement | Scranton wedding photographers

Well, I can say I’ve been to the beach this summer. Wooohooo! Bob and I got back recently from Long Beach Island for some engagement photos for our new friends Jen and Joe. LBI is their spot, so we figured let’s go do your photos there. I’m not afraid to say it. Best decision ever! Wow, what an unbelievable day of hanging out and laughing and just having a great time. Joe is a bit of a photographer himself so that just added to the fun.

I seriously could go on and on about the day, but let’s just say that shooting on the beach and parks and areas on LBI is spectacular. Throw in Jen and Joe, who were so easy to work with and willing to try some new things, and it just ends up being an ideal day.  I got to watch Bob get drenched by a wave trying to get a shot he wanted. That was a total bonus. It was less of a bonus watching him walk around in shorts with his skinny chicken legs flailing all over the place but sometimes you have to pay a high price to get the photos you want.

Seriously, we really love the photos that came from their day and hope they like them as much as we do. Thanks again guys for inviting us into a part of your lives that is so special to you. We are deeply appreciative.

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Lauren and Mike New York City engagement | Scranton wedding photographers

This summer has been so nice. Bob and I have been lucky enough to do a little traveling and to have couples gracious enough to invite us to amazing places to take photos. One weekend it was the beach and another New York City.  Not surprisingly we love New York. I mean, who doesn’t, and as a photographer it’s just an incredible place to shoot.  It’s also super easy to get distracted there. Fortunately, we had Lauren and Mike as our guides and there were some places they wanted to have photos done.  What an incredible couple and they were so gracious in showing us around. Every time I go to New York I feel like “Yeah, I know this place and know my way around,” and then I find myself someplace I’ve never been.  Thank God for Lauren and Mike because I wouldn’t have gotten three blocks from Penn Station. I wanted to shoot everywhere.

So we visited some cool places, stopped along the way to shoot. We hit some spots that are recognizable and some spots that maybe aren’t, but have great meaning to Lauren and Mike. It was all part of a great day, strolling a great city with great people. Here are a few of the shots.

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Jessica and Mark anniversary | Scranton wedding photographers

I feel like I should title this post “A Day at the Farm with Friends.”

It was a year ago that Bob and I stepped onto Spring Hills Farm for Jessica and Mark’s wedding and were treated to a day unlike a lot we have ever seen. Every time we talk about it, we keep coming back to the same word – community. It just had that feel. It wasn’t a daylong celebration. It was a week of people traveling sometimes insane distances to be part of two people committing themselves to each other. The details, the ceremony, the speeches were all, of course, beautiful. But it was the gathering of a tribe of friends and family and the absolute immersion in the celebration that struck us.

So we went back!

A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves on the farm again, visiting with Mark and Jessica and sharing some laughs and some memories and yes, grabbing to a few photos along the way. It’s funny because the photos were just what we did between telling and retelling our memories from their wedding. It was easy to fall back into that sense of community. A sincere thank you to Jessica and Mark for inviting us to be a part of your life together.

Oh yeah – and congratulations to Jessica and Mark for having their wedding featured on yet another blog! This time on Beauty & Lifestyle Bride.

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Megan and Michael wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

Who doesn’t love a guy who can sing? We all like to hum a bar or two in the shower, but I’m talking about a guy who can stand up in front of a room, grab a mic, take a deep breath and just kill it! Oh and do it with a killer band backing you and on your wedding day.

Michael you killed it, and I think maybe surprised a few of your guests in the process. I know Bob and I were stunned. Let me set it up for you quickly. We are at the Scranton Cultural Center over the weekend shooting the day for Megan and Michael. It was a spectacular and elegant  day that took us from St Ann’s to the Cultural Center.  Every part of the day was welcoming, sophisticated and filled with love. The party was going great and everyone was dancing and having a good time and then this. “We’d like to bring Michael up to sing a song with the band.” You never know how something like this is going to go. Usually it’s one of two ways. It’s someone singing a few hesitant notes to wild cheers or it’s something else. This was something else! This was a groom looking like he just stepped off the cover of GQ in his tux and turning into Robert Johnson. Just unreal.

I’ve talked about it before. Weddings never ever cease to surprise me. We have shot lists and schedules and timelines and then these things happen. They are moments that live forever with the couple and the guests. Some of those moments are small and often unnoticed by everyone else. And once in awhile they blow the roof off a place. This was one of those!

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Susanna and Dan wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

Do it Yourself has become so much of our lives hasn’t it? There are TV networks dedicated to it, and everyone always has a DIY project they are working on. I think it’s great, but weddings are a different scene altogether. Sure it always feels good to do something for yourself. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and those little things hold a more special place in our hearts because we put the thought and the sweat into them. Weddings go to a whole new level. The do-it-yourself details at weddings open up your family and friends to the things that are important to you. I love when couples take the time to think about those things – they always add a special feel to any wedding and say so much about the couple.

Susanna and Dan had plenty at their backyard reception. It was such a beautiful and thoughtful affair. From the family photos on the giant tree to the handmade pennants under the tent, to the mismatched chairs at the tables. They all provided this remarkable closeness with everyone there that I find it hard to explain but I know it speaks to who they are and how much love surrounded their day.

Kim and Chuck wedding | Scranton wedding photographers

So Bob sends me an email earlier today with the subject line, “easiest blog post ever.” In the text was “plane, Model A, Harley.” Yeah that pretty much sums it up. I’m not going to do a whole lot of talking in this post. I’ll let the photos do the heavy lifting. We photographed Kim and Chuck’s wedding this past weekend. We just love them. We’ve done photos for their family before, and I can’t even say we feel like part of the family. We are part of the family. In fact, while Bob and I were knocking down some food during dinner at the wedding, more than one person said, “Shouldn’t you guys be eating at the head table?” That means so much to us. We love being close to our friends and sharing in these great moments. It’s just really special. In this case, we not only had Kim and Chuck and family and friends but some pretty cool props to work with. Thanks, Chuck.

Hope you like the group shots – we can’t wait to get you the rest!

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  • July 8, 2014 - 9:44 pm

    Kim Stenlake - Hey guys, these are incredible! This is why I said we’d change our wedding date if you weren’t available. It made me a little teary to read your post, because you two really are part of our family. You’ve already been there for so many of our big moments, and we can’t wait for you to be there for more.
    Kim & ChuckReplyCancel

    • July 9, 2014 - 8:48 pm

      bobsanchuk - Thanks so much Kim! You know we’ll be there for the next big moment. Can’t wait!ReplyCancel

  • July 28, 2014 - 12:16 am

    DevillearsJohn - Wow.. That is what the location I love. Planes and bikes..! Great stills. I am sure that your marriage life will give you the best time you ever had. Thanks for sharing this images.ReplyCancel