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.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Greetings! I’ve created this blog to help assist soon-to-be brides (and their grooms) with their wedding photography choices ... especially with regard to what I have to offer should you choose me to be the person to record your images for the day. Choosing the right photographer is of utmost importance to a bride & groom since your photos will be the only tactile images you will have left to remind you of your special day. You may have some video images recorded as well. However, video is no substitute for the heirloom wedding photo album that you will pass on down to your children and their children.

Thus, whether we have or haven’t had our first face-to-face meeting yet, I hope postings to this blog will help impart to you who I am and what I have to offer you as your wedding photographer.

I am also of the opinion that your photographer should be someone who you trust as an artist and with whom you feel at ease. When you hire your photographer, you are trusting that one person to capture the mood and emotions of these irreplaceable family memories. You want to save the events of the day and play them again in your mind when viewing your wedding album a year from now as well as 50 years from now.

Your other vendors will supply various goods and services needed throughout the day. Many of them won't even be at your wedding. But none of them will share the kind of time with you that your photographer will. Your photographer will be with you almost from the start, until the end of the day. In my opinion, your photographer has to understand you and what you want. He or she needs to be a person with whom you can feel completely at ease.

This is not to say that your photographer should be around you during EVERY moment of your wedding, but he or she should be there at the RIGHT moments.

So stay tuned to this blog as I share who I am, how I work and what I have to offer you as a photographer. It is my hope that after reading several entries to this blog, you will come to say, “Yes, I think Dave should be our photographer.” OR … “Well, I don’t think Dave is going to work for us.”

Why that last part??? Let’s face it, you first need to choose the right partner for life. You then need to choose the right photographer to capture your wedding to that partner. If I’m not the right person to photograph your wedding, I DON’T want you to choose me. We both need to be happy with our choices to partner in capturing YOUR day on film.

So first make sure you are choosing the right person to be your life long spouse, then make sure you are choosing a photographer who will best capture the moments of your day as you want them to be captured.

So read on, and let’s see if we are a match.