Back in March, Washington, DC legalized gay marriage, which was a huge and significant step for human rights. I have always been an advocate for human rights and gay marriage, so the moment I had gotten asked to shoot the wedding of Jeffrey and Brian, I was extremely excited to be apart of such a momentous occasion. I had met Jeffrey while shooting promotional images for Kimberly Wilson's yoga studio, Tranquil Space, and whom I've done a lot of work for in the past (I mean, a LOT). During the session, Jeffrey and I struck up a conversation about photography, and during it, he inquired if I shot weddings. Once I found out where the wedding was going to be held, I was beyond stoked about answering "yes".
I got to take a look at the church where the ceremony was going to be held and instantly knew I'd need two people for this. Thankfully, Andrew and I were starting up our wedding photography portfolios and were just beginning to get into business together, so I immediately called Andrew to see if he was available. Thankfully, he was, and I went about sharing the details about the ceremony and a run down of the schedule. Andrew likes to get to the location extremely early as a precautionary measure, and after shooting a wedding with him before & seeing this put to practice, I felt like it was something that had to be a part of my routine, too. We scoped out the lay of the land well before anyone else even arrived and got a flood of ideas for images we'd like to capture. Plus, I got to show him the church and we generated a game plan, although that's always the easy part with him, since we always seem to be on the same page about everything.
When Jeffrey and Brian arrived, I'll be honest: I got giddy. We had been planning this wedding for months, so to see the happy couple enter the church was a great feeling. We started to get the couple portraits out of the way, as well as some of the family and group shots, since we knew that there was going to be a whirlwind of chaos and congratulations after the ceremony was completed. Andrew and I noticed this gothic-looking door and ivy and wanted to incorporate them into the shots, which worked out well. What worked out better was Andrew and I, as I'm definitely the ridiculously goofy type that can take over posing the subjects while he sits back and takes awesome candids (I'm so jealous of his ability to do this).
One of the shots Jeffrey said he absolutely wanted was one of them entering the church and capturing the image from the back. I made sure that Andrew and I were both inside the church to capture the moments before they walked in, but at a certain part of a guitar solo that was played right before they entered, I scooted my way to the back where they were and made sure my settings were spot on - I was NOT going to ruin the one shot Jeffrey had been dreaming of! I posted what I feel is the best one of the images I captured of this above. What do you think of it?
We timed everything perfectly, and as Jeffrey and Brian finished setting up the church, Andrew and I took some detail shots of the church. We were like kids in a candy store at this point, since the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church is simply gorgeous. If you get a chance to shoot inside a gothic church, take it!
The ceremony was spaced out perfectly, allowing Andrew and I to maneuver with ease and execute our game plan efficiently. Part of the plan was getting up to the balcony to take some wide angle shots during a prayer, and as Andrew captured the candle lighting ceremony, I was able to sneak away and get some great atmospheric shots. As the ceremony went on, I would occasionally check the screen to see what I shot and could not have been happier with the results. It's a great feeling when you can look down and instantly know you got the shot you wanted!
We finished up at the church, and as predicted, Jeffrey and Brian were bombarded by friends and family, so having the portrait shots before the ceremony worked out beautifully. While they were busy, we headed to the reception hall to attempt getting detail shots. However, it seemed that people had beaten us there, so we didn't get to get any room shots of the landing without anyone in it. I was initially upset because I know how important this is - that is, until I found out there was a part 2 to the reception downstairs, which was the main event. So, I snuck away and got some detail shots there. Receptions and cocktail hour tend to usually be a space of time where you never get glamorous shots of anyone, so Andrew and I were able to take a breather and compare notes. We got to socialize a bit and Andrew did his thing where he manages to pull gems out of what appears to be rubble, and it was clockwork from there.
I couldn't have been more thrilled with getting the opportunity to shoot these two gentlemen. They're such a cute couple when you see them together, and after being together for 11 years, you could see how much more this meant to them - to finally be able to say "we're married". I think the best part for me was talking to people and overhearing others saying, "wow! I can't believe this is official!" It was pretty surreal, since just last year, it was unthinkable that something like this could be achieved. I was so honored to be a part of this, and I know these two will only have the best yet to come!
Enjoy some of the other images in the Flickr gallery I created here. (I don't like the WordPress gallery anymore and feel I should really start using Flickr again)
Until next time,