Saturday, December 29, 2007

I can say I knew them when...

Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallThis weekend my sister brought up her girls up from the LA area to visit our family for the holidays. Well, that and to spend the afternoon getting some new modeling shots for her daughters' portfolios. Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallI hadn’t seen her girls recently, so it was quite a shock to see just how much like 24 a couple of 14-year-old girls could look. It wasn’t too much of a problem, except that traffic kept stopping every time we got out of the cars to take some shots. I think my sister had better sleep with a shotgun under her bed. But she pretty much knows that. In fact, she mentioned that during a lunch stop at a fast food place on their visit up here, a cop stopped her to say, “I’m glad I’m not you.”

Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallNow, I’ve always thought the girls were identical twins, but my sister has told me for years that she was pretty sure they weren’t. I suppose they have tests to determine that kind of thing now. Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallHowever, over the years, I’ve come to see that they aren’t quite identical, but it’s always been a chore for me to tell them apart, especially since I don’t see them that often. Sometimes they will seem obviously different, other times they still look nearly identical to me. The trick for this photo shoot was to “try” to make all their group shots make them look as near identical as possible. I guess that’s a big plus for twins in the modeling business.

Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallWell, to start the day, we set up the studio and got some nice head shots. But since we had a limited amount of light this time of year, we took the show on the road and headed for some of my favorite locations around town for some venue shots. We had a blast and the girls looked great. But 1500 images later, we finally ran out of day time. Portrait & Wedding Photography by Dave BallNow I just have to spend the next few days editing images. But that’s the easy job. My sister is the one who has to keep the shotgun loaded and by the door. However, the way these girls look, I think they'll be getting their fair share of modeling and/or acting offers in the not to distant future. And I'll be able to say, I knew them when...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Chance To Photograph A Rising Star

All images © David Ball: 2007Last September, I received a letter from my old alma mater informing me that former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, would be the keynote speaker for their annual fund raising dinner. I had been hearing a fair amount about his presidential bid and thought him to be a very interesting candidate. In fact, I liked him a lot and was hoping he could start getting more media exposure. But, at this point, he was still a 2nd tier candidate, and very few had heard of him. However, thinking this might be a great opportunity to hear the Governor speak AND get some good photos, I immediately offered my services as a professional photographer to the school. And to my great delight, they accepted my offer.

As it turned out, I was assigned to photograph the VIP reception, then was to continue photographing the evening’s events up to and through the Governor's address after the dinner.

Well, VIP photos are as VIP photos go. You pose the VIPs, tell them to smile and grab the shot. And then do it again as long as your time lasts. It's pretty boring, but that's how it goes. However, in-between the shots, I could tell that Governor Huckabee was a very gracious and genuinely affable man. It didn’t seem like he was “tolerating” the moment, but genuinely enjoyed greeting the guests. This seemed especially true when he was talking with the young undergrads in the university’s choir who were also at the VIP reception.

Since – as in most situations like this – I felt it was my duty as an event photographer to simply take the photos and try to stay in the background, I went about doing my job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thus I didn’t plan to “chat it up” with the Governor since I was working the evening in a professional capacity.

All images © David Ball: 2007However, as the VIP event wrapped up, it was time to rush the Governor to the next venue for yet another photo shoot. It was during this time that one of the university VPs (seen here walking with the Governor) unexpectedly and graciously started singing my praises to him as the three of us dashed across the mall. He went on an on about my "great photography" and that I was a huge fan of the Governor to the point that I could no longer blend into the background and just do my job. Thus I was introduced to the Governor and blurted out the first thing I could express which was something to the effect of, “I’m seriously hoping your campaign takes traction.” (Which seems to have been prophetic as he is now leading all the other GOP candidates in some polls.)

All images © David Ball: 2007Now this was not one of the more brilliant of opening lines offered to the man you would like to see as your next president, but as I was unprepared to make any conversation, it was pretty much the only thing that came to my mind on the spur of the moment.

Graciously, the Governor offered me his hand and made some small talk about needing a White House photographer should he be elected. To which I didn’t dare slobber out the first thing that came to my mind which was something along the lines of, “YESIWOULDLOVETHEJOB!!!”

You don't want to kid a photographer about a dream job like that. But I'm sure the poor man was put on the spot just as much as I was.

In any case, we ran to our next stop for the evening and the Governor was just as affable with the other folks in the general photo session which followed.

All images © David Ball: 2007I didn’t have an opportunity to talk with the Governor any further, but listened as intently as I could during his address later that evening. Unfortunately, I was quite preoccupied with working the room for the best photo locations, so I kind of dipped in and out with my attention. But he gave a very impressive message regarding the young Christian students of my alma mater being the exact type of young leaders we need if our country is to have a brighter future. Which might seem more like the banal platitudes one would expect when a politician is addressing a room full of university alums. However, as I have previously demonstrated by my lack of quick thinking on my feet during my brief introduction to the Governor, I am likewise not doing his message justice as I describe it here since I am unable able to adequately recount the effect of the Governor’s presence and message as he delivered it with his southern humor and gracious style.

Nonetheless, his audience obviously “got it” when they gave him a standing ovation as he hurriedly exited the room to catch a flight to his next campaign obligation.

All images © David Ball: 2007After returning home and processing the photos, I felt it might be appropriate (considering our brief meeting) to send the Governor a little gift album of some of the photos from that night along with a note expressing that it would be my great pleasure to offer my professional services as a photographer to his campaign should he have any upcoming events in our state.

Unfortunately, I have the misfortune to live in the great blue state of California which – if I remember correctly – hasn’t been carried by a member of the GOP since Reagan ran for office. There is no greater feeling than to know that your vote means about as much as ten thousand "Who's Line is it Anyway" points when it comes to a Presidential race. However, I digress…

I also assumed that my gift might be brought to the Governor’s attention by a staffer, but that it probably wouldn’t go any further than that.

So, all this to say, I thought if I was really lucky (if the Huckabee campaign lasts as long as our state's primaries), perhaps I might get a call from a staffer saying I could tag along with my camera during a California stop .

All images © David Ball: 2007So what comes to my mail box a few weeks later??? To my great surprise nothing less than a very gracious, self effacing, hand signed, personal note from the Governor thanking me for my gift album along with high praise regarding my work and a final note that my contact information has been forwarded to his press secretary for future reference.

Well, it’s a long way from being offered a position as a photographer on the White House staff, but I was still very impressed that the Governor would take a moment from his busy campaign schedule to bother sending me a personal note. Besides that, the California primaries aren’t until February 5th which – politically speaking – is a hundred years from now. He needs to focus on Iowa, New Hampshire and the early primary states. However, come January and February, you can bet that I will be answering my phone on the first ring.

All images © David Ball: 2007Funny thing is, the Huckabee campaign was considered a long shot at best when I took these photos in early October. His national poll numbers weren't even in double digits. Now, just a few weeks later, the latest Rasmussen Poll has him 4 points AHEAD of Giuliani not just in Iowa or New Hampshire, but in the NATIONAL race as I write this. It's a very real possibility that this man might be our next president. Who knows!?! Stranger things have happened to former two term Governors from Hope Arkansas who play musical instruments. (In case you didn't know, both Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee play a musical instrument.)

In any case, as I’ve been following the Governor’s campaign more closely since my experience with him, I’ve noticed many other written reports and blogs with the same kinds of personal warmth and charm by others who have only met him once … as well as others who have known him for years.

Perhaps what I like most of all is that the Governor carries his power lightly. He comes off as a strong man with firm opinions and well thought out positions, yet he delivers his message in a soft spoken, Southern way that is not abrasive. He really seems like the kind of candidate who can collect a lot of Reagan Democrat crossover votes. And if he wins Iowa (as the polls suggest) and does well in New Hampshire, Florida and South Carolina ... who knows. We might be seeing a President Huckabee sworn in on January 20, 2009.

All images © David Ball: 2007In any case, I got some great photos, got to hear the Governor in person, got to see some old college friends I hadn't seen in 25 years and - who knows - might have gotten a contact for a future job offer.

Well, a guy can dream anyway...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

David's Senior Portraits

I love doing senior portraits on location. Fremont has an abundance of great venues for casual and fun shots like this. The only problem is deciding when to stop. I get on a roll and want to keep on shooting.

David and his family hired me for the 2 hour package, but we ended up spending about 2 and a half hours altogether. I just had a lot of shots in mind I wanted to take, so we just kept going until we lost the light.

We took David to 3 locations for this series of images. First stop was downtown Fremont. I've found a really great old brick wall that provides a wonderful urban city look. We started about 1:30 as the light was best for this location starting about then.

We soon headed over to Lake Elisabeth and to a few of my favorite spots for some nice fall colors and greenery in the background. Unfortunately they didn't have the creek running that day, but we worked around it and got a lot of great shots with the park and the lake in the background. Soon after that, we headed up to the Mission San Jose area and got a bunch more great shots around town.

The Mission makes a great backdrop, but there are several other areas up there I like as well. A few of which I keep secret since I don't want all the other photographers to know all my secret locations. By the way, as you can see in some of these images, yes I do special effects like sepia toning, selective color, selective blurs and painter effects. I have senior portrait packages which offer these effects as part of the package.

Finally the light was fading, but out of the nearly 700 images we captured, we got a lot of winners. In fact, what you see here are only some of my favorites. If you've got any seniors in your house, give me a call right away and let's set an appointment. The fall colors will be fading soon. Now is the best time to get those great autumn color shots. But keep in mind; most of these locations are great for family portraits as well. Just give me a call.

Also, my apologies for cramming too many photos into this blog offering. I know I should have deleted a few of them, but what can you do when you take 700 shots and you can't decide which are the best? I think David and his family will have the same problem. But I try to offer my clients a little more than they bargained for. I'd rather give you too many photo choices than not enough.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Julie & Jason's photo paintings

David Ball: Wedding Photographer in the San Francisco Bay AreaA few weeks ago Dennis DeSilva from Studio Seven took a couple of his clients from one of his recent weddings to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for a few portraits. He suggested I come along and grab a few portfolio shots since this couple was attractive and would make great advertising pieces. So I grabbed my camera and came along. He was right. Jason and Julie are a very attractive couple, so we shot away and got some great images. Tonight I thought I'd try some more photo painting techniques and upload some LARGE images you can download in order to see what a photo painting looks like up close. Basically, the photo is treated with some painterly filters which are applied in various levels and strengths in different parts of the image to render a smooth, yet detailed image which when printed on canvas give an impression of a painting. Of course, this isn't a true painting, but the effect is similar and gives you a nice option when choosing larger prints for your wall. David Ball: Wedding Photographer in the San Francisco Bay AreaHowever, they even look great in your wedding album when printed on regular photo paper.

Either way, click on the images seen here and you'll get to see what I'm talking about. I purposely keep fairly true to life detail in the faces, but then treat the rest of the image with various filters to give a respectable impression of a painting. It is also worth noting that the second image within this posting is very lightly treated. It has been given only a light pastel chalk feel which helps smooth out the colors and skin tones and ends up leaving the subjects looking like they have nearly flawless skin.

All this is just something to keep in mind if you hire me as your wedding photographer. You'll look your best ... and even better.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dana & Shane

David Ball: San Francisco Wedding PhotographerIt's been a busy month. Last Saturday I shot my 7th wedding in 6 weeks mostly as a 2nd photographer for Studio Seven. Not that being busy is a bad thing, but I also have several school groups to shoot in September as well. In fact, I have to go shoot another one less than 6 hours from now. Oh well, I guess sleep is overrated anyway. David Ball: San Francisco Wedding PhotographerSeptember 29th was Dana and Shane's wedding which Dennis DeSilva over at Studio Seven hired me to help him with. Everything was going fine, until a couple of important family members failed to show up on time for the beginning of the ceremony. So we waited over 45 minutes to start ... which kind of through our timing out the window for the romantic shots we David Ball: San Francisco Wedding Photographerhad planned at the golf course next to the reception venue which was 20 minutes away. We just ran out of light and time to get to the golf course after the ceremony finally finished. Luckily, there was a very nice walkway next to another golf course just outside of the church. So we stopped the limos, grabbed our couple and got some really great shots on the spot. Improvisation is something a wedding photographer needs to be ready for when things don't go quite right with the best laid wedding plans, as is too often the case.

David Ball: San Francisco Wedding PhotographerBut, actually, I think these shots might have even turned out better than the ones we had planned. I love the random look of the posts in the wooden fence next to the golf course. And, all in all, I think we came up with some winners as you can see here.

David Ball: San Francisco Wedding PhotographerSo, yet another wedding in the can for this week, and another wedding to come next week. Think I'll sign off for now, and grab a few hours sleep before starting on the Fremont ISP school group portraits for the next two days.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Flower Girl on the Loose!

Last Sunday it was a beautiful day for Tippi and Travis's wedding out at the Sunol Valley Golf Course. I was a little worried we might get some rain, but it cleared up nicely for the wedding at 5:30.

After getting some pre-ceremony shots of Travis and his posse on the golf course, we got the wedding underway.

However, sometimes the flower girl gets away. I dunno ... guess she got bored or something. Good thing I was there to get it on film. Kind of makes the album a little more special if you can add fun shots like this.

I love shooting weddings when the bride and groom are so easy to photograph. You couldn't stop Travis from smiling all day. And his bride, Tippi, was just gorgeous from about any angle I could photograph her. I especially liked the "coy" shots we got from behind her bouquet.

Just after sundown, magic time for we photographers, I took Tippi and Travis down to the pond's fountain for a few romantic images. You gotta love water fountains for great backgrounds in shots like this.

We got some great images, even though I only took about 1100 shots. But that's plenty enough for them to choose 70 or 80 for a typically sized album.

It's always great to work with couples like this who make your job easy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

ISP School Portraits

Every year about this time of year, I shoot the school portraits for several ISP home schooling groups. Above is a group shot of the moms from the LINKS group in Fremont. It's always an interesting challenge to photograph all the individual children in a family as well as sibling and family portraits, then let the whole family view the images on screen, pick their favorites, complete their order, and do it all in 10 to 15 minutes for each family. But somehow, we get through every year, and I'm always hearing raves about the results.

The moms and dads seem to appreciate the individual attention and the chance to choose (on the spot) their best poses rather than to have to "hope" the photographer picked out the best images for their family.

I started this practice 4 years ago when I shot my first school group. I simply didn't want to have to come back and set up for a few retakes if a couple of the parent's didn't like their photos. This way, everyone is happy. The parents are choosing "exactly" the images they want without any buyer's remorse, and I can do all the set up and photos in one day without the bother of doing a "make up" photo day.

It's what they call a "win win."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

David & Cynthia's Family

Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing David & Cynthia's family. All 13 of them.

A week or so ago, I got a call out of the blue from David asking me if I could take a portrait of his entire family before one of his daughters moved to start a new job. He wasn't sure when all 13 of them would be together again, so he wanted one last family photo taken as children started flying out of the nest.

Now I had photographed his family before about 2 years earlier at an ISP school photo session, but had no idea David had kept my contact information. He told me he had been impressed with my work and extra service I had provided for his family by doing some extra Photoshop work at no charge on his last round of family photos. So that was nice to hear AND to know I got another job from paying attention to my clients' needs the first time around.

So we all gathered his entire clan at Fremont's Lake Elizabeth; one of my favorite outdoor portrait venues. Once the entire family managed to find the rendezvous point, we took about an hour to grab 3 different poses. And believe me, when you have 11 children to gather together and pose, it took the whole hour!

But amazingly, we managed to get all 13 heads looking towards the camera a few times for some nice casual family shots. I think once David and Cynthia see their proofs, they'll be very happy with the results. And hopefully I'll be hearing from David again ... when it comes time to marry off all 11 of his children.

It pays to work hard for your clients, they might just call you again!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Retouching Images

Recently I was helping another photographer with one of his wedding couples. He wanted to take them to Baker Beach in San Francisco for some classic shots against the Golden Gate Bridge as a background. The sunlight is beautiful during the last 5 to 10 minutes of sunset and makes for some gorgeous shots during those brief minutes. Unfortunately, our driver took a little too long to get us there in time, so we got down to the beach just AFTER the sun had sunk over the horizon. Thus we missed the golden light on the Golden Gate Bridge.

I rushed down to the beach with our couple and for about 5 or 10 minutes, grabbed what shots I could. However, for reasons beyond my control (and which I won't elaborate about here), I was forced to use an unfamiliar camera to grab my shots.

If you've ever seen The Ghost and the Darkness, you may remember the part of the movie where the character Michael Douglas plays says to Val Kilmer's character after he used a borrowed gun in an unsuccessful attempt to kill the rouge lions, "Don't ever go into battle with an untested gun." Well, I was forced to do just that.

So there I was shooting in the dim and dusky light, with an unfamiliar camera which was set wrong and which I couldn't fix. Well, I shot away and got some photos, but I wasn't sure how great they'd be.

However, being pretty swift with Photoshop ... if I do say so myself ... I think I managed to create a really nice shot, even a signature image, from rather poor material as you might notice from the before and after shots displayed above.

All this to say, even if some of my photos don't come out of the camera perfectly due to circumstances beyond my control or due to the simple fact that as a wedding photographer, I sometimes have to "run and gun" my shots if the action is happening fast ... you can count on the fact that with my skill sets in Photoshop which I've developed over the last decade plus of nearly daily practice, I'll usually be able to make your images look incredible. All this is something you can count on from this photographer if you hire me for your portrait or wedding needs.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sally & Rob's Lake Tahoe Wedding

Just got back from shooting Sally & Rob's wedding at North Lake Tahoe for Dennis DeSilva over at Studio Seven. Normally I shoot as 2nd for Dennis, but he had other weddings booked, so I took the lead on this job. Wow! What a beautiful setting for a wedding! I hadn't been up there in about 10 years and had forgotten how blue that water really is! We started the day off running around the north shore looking for some nice "Lake Tahoe" shots. Sally & Rob really love visiting the Tahoe area, so they wanted a lot of shots with the lake in the background. The good news was we had most of the day to look for photo opportunities since the wedding wasn't until 5PM. The bad news was mid-day isn't the best time for close-up portraits. So we had to take a lot of long shots like this. Another couple of problems were that, according to Sally & Rob, the beaches were uncharacteristically crowded for a post Labor Day weekend. So we had to carefully frame our shots to get the romantic we were looking for without a bunch of distracting people in the background. Also, many of the beaches were privately owned and operated. So were turned back several times by unsympathetic beach guards. However, Sally and Rob were troopers, and we managed to get some great shots for all our driving around the lake. But, all too soon, we ran out of time and had to get back to the Tahoe Convention Center for the wedding. Again, the light was a bit of a problem at 5PM right out on the beach. In fact, I don't know how poor Sally could see her groom as she was facing directly in to the sun during the entire ceremony. But we just turned the fill flash on high in order to lessen the harsh shadows and still managed to grab some nice shots during the ceremony. Again, that lake just made a magnificent background.

Finally, about 7-ish the light was perfect and I got Sally and Rob to leave the reception for about 15 minutes so we could get some nice portraits and then finish with some walking-along-the-beach shots.

We had pretty much run out of light and had just returned to the reception when I saw how beautiful the arch and decorative lights looked against the lake in the background with the sun setting over the mountains. So I grabbed Rob and Sally for ONE last romantic shot. The light was too dim to really create anything but a carefully posed silhouette shot. So after quickly getting Rob and Sally in place, I had to grab a chair to get the extra elevation I needed in order to see their silhouetted faces against the water. And with the remaining wisps of twilight, I was able to record this wonderful end-of-the-day portrait. I think Rob and Sally will be thrilled when they see it as well as all the rest of the day's photos.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Are your photos safe?

This isn't something either the bride & groom, or the photographer should have to worry about on the day of the wedding, but unfortunately ... it is.

Sadly, there are low-lifes who will try to take advantage of large, and even medium sized, wedding receptions by walking in and walking out with whatever they can carry. In this case (see the video below) the warning is about the photographer's equipment. However, it's not just the equipment which is in danger, but also your irreplaceable photos which can be stolen along with the equipment. Not to mention the same is true for wedding gifts or any unattended purses or valuables.

A photographer can't carry all of his/her equipment all day. I try to keep my equipment to a minimum, but I need to keep near me a certain number of lens, flashes and camera bodies to adequately cover your wedding. This is why I bring an assistant with me to all of my weddings. He keeps my gear near me so it is ready when I need it, and keeps an eye on it all day. This is another issue you should cover with the photographer you hire to shoot your wedding. Be sure to ask him/her if he/she has a method to keep your priceless memories safe. Usually shooting with an assistant is the best method.

But the bottom line is to keep your eyes open during a wedding for anyone who shouldn't be there. Make sure your coordinator and family and friends who are helping you with the planning and execution of the reception are also on alert. And if possible, if your budget allows for it, it's a good idea to consider hiring some security.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Photo paintings

Nothing earthshaking to report tonight. Just thought I'd upload one of my latest photo paintings. Certainly no bride wants a whole album full of these kinds of images, however, a painting like this can make for an attractive yet affordable canvas print painting. You can even use a photo painting like this as a transition image to lead from one part of your wedding album's story to the next.

In this case, this was a shot of the bride leaving her wedding which had just finished in the wine cellar at the Viansa Winery in Sonoma, California. I followed her up the narrow staircase and had her stop just a moment for a few shots. I think it has a very photojournalistic look, yet I took it with the idea of making it a very artistic and painterly image too.

If this type of artistry appeals to your wedding imagery aesthetic, then let's make an appointment to look at more of my images.

However, before I close this offering, I can't resist adding another favorite image from that same wedding. This was a TOTALLY photojournalistic moment. Just as the bride and groom were announced as Mr. & Mrs. for the first time and took their walk down the aisle, they turned and gave each other a spontaneous kiss at the rear of the wine cellar leading outside to a bright sunlit day. I was still at the front of the cellar where the ceremony had just finished and swung around to grab this shot. One of my all time favorites! Completely photojournalistic, yet I almost couldn't have staged it better if I had tried.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tatiana & Chris

Chris & Tatiana's wedding this last Sunday was an amazing event ... to say the least. I wasn't told the "exact" price tag, but let’s just say you could have afforded 5 ridiculously expensive weddings from what this one cost. Now as you might expect, a wedding of this size can’t be adequately captured by only one photographer; so I was hired by Studio Seven as part of a team of four individuals (3 photographers and 1 driver) who worked this extravaganza.

The day started off for me around 11:00 am as I shot some exterior scenes in front of the Four Seasons Hotel just off Market Street in San Francisco. Next I met up with the groom and caught some prep shots as he and the other groomsmen were getting ready. However, I did run across the bride in the lobby and squeezed off a few nice shots of her in her splendor. After finishing the pre-ceremony formals for the groom and his family, my next stop was the wedding at St. Ignatius Catholic Church on Parker St. Doing a little research to write this, I found out that this current chapel was rebuilt in 1912 after the 1906 earthquake destroyed the old structure. This building's architecture is a mix of Italian Renaissance and Baroque elements with a floorplan which follows that of ancient Roman basilicas. Truly an amazing cathedral! I was stationed up front near the altar to capture the bride and father’s entrance, then later recorded the magnificence of the interior ambiance with a wide angle shot. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay until the end of the wedding when they let loose 24 doves because I had to high tail it back to the hotel to start documenting the cocktail and reception rooms. It was truly almost unbelievable! I can’t show photos of it all here, but the first thing to greet the guests was a flowered archway with Thai greeters followed by a cocktail greeting area with dozens and dozens of different types of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from the various (mostly Asian) countries that the bride and groom had visited over the years. There was traditional Japanese folk music provided by a live 5 piece combo soon followed by a Chinese dragon dance with two (2-man) dragons and a multitude of drummers and cymbal players. Soon after all that, it was time for the main event. The guests were ushered into the ballroom to the sounds of a stringed quartet and pianist. The room was decorated in a beautiful lavender theme with a wall of candles behind the bridal party’s table. After a few toasts, and the first entrĂ©e, there were two performances by a combination of 5 members of the San Francisco Ballet Company. After several more courses which included the sorbet seen below, the bride and groom finally had their first dance … with their own logo projected on the floor (not to mention printed on the wedding cake, napkins and two flags on the balcony) as they danced. Soon after, the 9-piece band kicked into high gear and everyone had a great time dancing for what seemed like hours. While taking a quick break from my 12 hour day, I captured this incredible pre-eclipse full moon (seen below) out on the balcony behind the ballroom about 28 hours before the August 2007 lunar eclipse.

After shooting this wedding, I think I am prepared to handle just about any wedding someone might throw at me. I have to admit that I don't have an adequate vocabulary to describe this gala in all the splendor it deserves -- no one has ever accused me of being a poet -- but I do have the photos. And lucky for you, my specialty is capturing the images of the day and not the written description.

There were almost no breaks during the day and I have yet to finish editing the over 2000 photos I captured during the day. But, to be sure, there is no lacking for great photos from this wedding. The bride and groom will have some incredible images to remember their special day for a LOOOONG time.

ON a final note, it should be explained that this was an extraordinary wedding. Any potential bride or groom reading this description would be making a mistake if they assumed that all I do are huge weddings and that I am WAY out of their budget. Sure, I'd love to shoot big budget weddings like this more often. But most of my clients can't afford an extravaganza like this. However, you can be confident that if I can cover this kind of wedding, I'm able to handle the much more modestly appointed wedding even all the better. With the right photographer, you don't have to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks in your wedding album.