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 entrée, 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.


SummitStar Press - Angela Yee said...

Super shots, sounds like an amazing experience, Dave! :-)

Dave said...

Thanks, Angela. It was an incredible night. I'm still editing photos 3 days later.