Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary, AnnaMaria and Chris!

June 28 marked the one-year anniversary for AnnaMaria and Chris, who were married at St. Andrew with their reception at Brookside Country Club. AnnaMaria came to me from Lindsey and Ben the year before who were referred to me by Carly and Matt the year before that, and now AnnaMaria has sent to me Erika and Jeremy, whose wedding I will photograph this November. I love to keep the chain going and love seeing everyone again at all the weddings!

Here are a few to remember from AnnaMaria and Chris' day:

Happy Anniversary, AnnaMaria and Chris!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leah and Andy

What wedding blog post would be complete without a weather report? Considering the topsy turvy weather we had on July 12, I'd say one is in order. The weather alternated between brilliantly sunny and torrential downpours, but was always hot and very very humid. However, that did not have any effect on the beautiful ceremony and reception held in the tent at The Lakes Golf and Country Club. And we were lucky enough to have the sunny parts of the day when we wanted to do portraits on the lovely manicured grounds of The Lakes, so I guess we can't complain too much.

To say that Leah was a gorgeous bride would be a major understatement. Leah also went out of her way to choose different, untraditional things for her wedding as well, including a custom handmade dress and the most unique cakes I've ever seen at a wedding.

Enjoy the show.

This wedding was chockful of very interesting tattoos, this one on Leah's sister.

Leah's mom, having a "private" chat.

Love this shot.

This one too.

Oh, and this one.

Holding the brooch for the chartreuse sash. Aren't her eyes fantastic?!

Mom, Leah and sister Holly all had matching star tattoos on the same spot on their feet.

Some quickie portraits before the ceremony.

Leah really loves the camera! It loves her too!

She's just beautiful!

Love this shot of mom giving Leah a hug.

Melissa got this great one of Leah waiting to be called down to the ceremony . . . .

. . . . while I was downstairs preparing for the processional. Unfortunately for the guests, we had one of those torrential downpours just as they were arriving. Here, The Lakes guy tries to clear the ceremony area of excess water.

I didn't really show this image because you can see the runner is wet from the rain, but because I just like the arrangement of legs and feet.

One of the many touching moments during the emotional ceremony.

Mr and Mrs

Portraits in the pines.

Melissa's eye for detail and composition is awesome and I love this shot she made of the salad dressing bowls.

Dad's speech.

This is so sweet!

The amazing cakes I was talking about.

Another great shot by Melissa.

And another one. No drinks were spilled in the catching of this bouquet by the male interloper.

Another great shot by Melissa, capturing the last remaining light in the evening sky.

Congratulations, Leah and Andy!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Well, this isn't something I do everyday. Continuing my recent county fair kick, I headed up to Bucyrus - the bratwurst capitol of the world, in case you didn't know - for the Crawford County Fair where the night's feature was bull riding. Yep, bull riding.

I've never seen bull riding in person, only snippets on TV. So when I saw there would be bull riding at this county fair, I was actually pretty excited. My hope was that I could get down into the riders' area and shoot the story of the bull riding. Luckily, it seems that the smaller county fairs don't have as beefed (sorry!) up security as the larger fairs and I was able to do just as I'd hoped.

I got in on the action just after the children-riding-sheep intermission so I was able to tell the story from start to finish. I am very excited about the images I was able to make and hope you'll enjoy them.

The night's bull riders, waiting to start. Because of the low number of entrants, each rider was able to have two rides.

Casting a wary eye. I learned that some bulls, such as the one on the bottom, have horns that turn down and are actually floppy, like an extra set of ears.

Getting the order in which they'll ride.

There is an elaborate process of stringing up the bull in various places, which invariably makes them a little testy, but I guess that's the point.

Donning the chaps.

And practicing the moves.

Time for a prayer.

More fancy chaps.

More bull strapping, which includes a cowbell.

More praying. This bull riding stuff is serious business. The emcee told of new security measures and how the hardshell vests and helmets have saved lives. Still, for some, a little added protection is in order.

The helmet, which, actually, only a few of the riders wore. Hence the prayers, I guess.

Now, onto the action. Eventually, they all end up on the ground.

I certainly don't envy this guy's job: pull the gate open with a rope and run for your life. Makes weddings seem like a breeze.

I simultaneously love and loathe the look in the bull's eye.

The way the light is hitting this rider and bull just makes it look eerie.

Uh oh. Some bulls definitely seemed more aggressive than others, and this one wasn't fooling around.

The guy next to this bull is a bull fighter. The bull fighter's job is to distract the bull from the rider when he's down.

This guy was looking dead at me, with "dead" being the operative word, I'm sure. I shot this at 35 mm, so he was actually extremely close to me. I'm glad I was behind the fence.

Oooh, and here he comes.

I've included this shot so you can see just how close I was shooting and how close the bulls come to the fence. For most of the shots I took, my 24-70 mm lens was through the fence rails. At one point, a bull came to a screeching halt in front of me and threw a big load of dirt right in my face! They really know no boundaries. The guy to my left had been sitting on the fence just a few seconds before and jumped to safety just in time.

I love the bull's long tail standing straight up. Those white "lines", off to the right of the bull's head? Yep, that would be snot. Like I said before: best viewed from a distance.

See ya.

A small break in the action, so I walked around in the pen area for a few minutes. The bulls look so sweet here.

This guy did an amazing job riding and staying on.

Strapping up the next bull in line.

OK, keep an eye on this guy.

Oh no.

He's headed right for the fence where I'm standing.

Ooooh, ow.

Holy cow. (ugh, sorry again!)

The bull seemed satisfied that he'd put the rider in his place.

These guys dragged the bull rider from under the fence. He hit the fence pretty hard and seemed a little shook up, but he got to his feet rather quickly considering.

EMS was standing by and called in right away, although the orange board proved to not be needed. Thankfully.

Show's over, time for autographs.

Winding down yet another fun day at the Crawford County Fair.