A crisp February day greeted us for Katie & Doug’s intimate wedding ceremony and reception at the historic Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park. We love this venue for intimate weddings and receptions. The Butler’s Pantry does an EXCELLENT … Continued
A crisp February day greeted us for Katie & Doug's intimate wedding ceremony and reception at the historic Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park. We love this venue for intimate weddings and receptions. The Butler's Pantry does an EXCELLENT job catering, and the space inside the Palm House is just beautiful. For Katie's family this was the 3rd wedding in under a year, so they were all pros at pulling off a beautiful event. As you all know we've had a wintery spring, so it was rather cool out for photos, but Katie was a great sport and even had a fun fur jacket to go with her wedding dress. The ceremony was just close friends and family, and immediately following the Butler's Pantry staff flipped the room to prepare for a beautiful dinner service, while the guests enjoyed cocktails and passed appetizers, and we took photos. I always love when couple's do something out of the ordinary, and for Katie & Doug that was forgoing a traditional cake in favor of dozens of mini cupcakes in flavors like Strawberry Daqueri and Pina Colada. Yum!
Because most of our St. Louis weddings are larger, we don't often get to work at the Piper Palm House, but we always love it when we do and highly recommend it! It would also be a beautiful location for bridal showers or rehearsal dinners - for those of you looking :). We are so honored that we got to be a part of Katie & Doug's special day and intimate celebration in the heart of Tower Grove Park. Congratulations - we wish you all the best!
Before I get into how amazing Michele & Tony’s wedding was, I wanted to share a bit of our wedding family tree. Like most good businesses, we track where our weddings come from and how people find out about us. … Continued
Before I get into how amazing Michele & Tony's wedding was, I wanted to share a bit of our wedding family tree. Like most good businesses, we track where our weddings come from and how people find out about us. Mostly it's referrals from our other AMAZING couples (which is just the hugest compliment, and we SO appreciate that!) So one day Joel and I started tracing back a kind of wedding family tree that started this whole chain of referrals we've had over the past 3 years. So indulge me a minute as I take a walk down memory lane...
3 summers ago we shot Amy Sebeck & Josh Diebold's wedding. Amy's cousin, Nicki booked us for her wedding the next year (as did Nicki's sister Alyssa the following year). Nicki is friends with the Green family, and when Jenn (Michele's sister) saw her photos she booked us for her wedding. Now Michele had actually booked someone else for her wedding, but after she saw Jenn & Andy's engagement photos she decided she had to have us and broke her contract with her previous photographer and signed with us. And we are so glad she did! Furthermore we are so glad we shot Amy and Josh's wedding (which has led to many other weddings beyond the ones listed here), without whom we would not have gotten introduced to this fabulous cluster of couple's and families we've grown to love!
Thanks for indulging me...now on to the main event. Michele and Tony got married in January, and I must say that we don't get too many January weddings, but it is certainly a fun change with the winter atmosphere. Having just had Jenn & Andy's wedding last fall, it was a fun reunion to see everyone again so soon. The girls were all getting beautified at Michele & Tony's, while the guys were at his parent's. We then made our way to the church, which got PACKED out - standing room only! There is a lot of love for this couple :) After the ceremony we hit the Millstadt fire dept and then on to a friend's house where we rocked their amazing barn. And I just have to give a shout out to all the girls who were freezing but such great sports!! On our way back to the reception we stopped by West End Tavern, which is actually where Michele & Tony had their first date (aahhh!). Then it was on to Turner Hall for the party.
I have to say that of all the dad speeches we have heard Mr. Chuck Green does some of the best. Maybe it's because we heard him speak at both is daughter's weddings in such close proximity, but he did an excellent job that brought tears and laughs and was just plain precious! We also really enjoyed the band, the Well Hungarians, who were not only amazing musicians but did a great job emceeing the evening as well. It was a great day, and for a great couple! Michele & Tony we love you and are so excited for you and all that the future holds - congratulations!
VSCO very recently released VSCO Film 03 their third set of film emulating presets. I have owned the first set since it came out, and I do use several of the presets in much of my standard editing. The first … Continued
VSCO very recently released VSCO Film 03 their third set of film emulating presets. I have owned the first set since it came out, and I do use several of the presets in much of my standard editing. The first set contained two of my very favorite film stocks (Kodak Tri-X for black and white, and the sacred Kodak Potra 400...which has a look I fell in love with at first glance). While the film presets are not a perfect match, they do a very good job...definitely the best I have ever seen. When the VSCO announced their third set, I was intrigued. In the past year, I have begun shooting with Fuji's line of instant film (FP-3000b for B&W and FP-100c for color). I fell in love with the old Polaroid pack film cameras (I may or may not have occasionally slept with my Polaroid 250 ). It's hard to explain, but to me, it is not doing something "vintage" per se. Vintage to me often means aged and dead and having an antiqued character. But with these Fuji pack films, it is more like reaching back into the past and pulling something directly into the present. It has the character of the older things, but it is still fresh and living.
This is what VSCO Film 03 is...instant film. And, it is because of the two Fuji presets that I knew I had to buy this.
Granted, the majority of these films included in the set are many of the popular consumer grade Polaroid films from years gone by and the revivalist films of the Impossible Project. Honestly, I never really cared for these films. My family was (admittedly) too cheap frugal to pay for the more pricey instant film, so I never really grew up being exposed (pun fully intended) to these stocks. Thus, they really hold no nostalgic ties to my heart. Nevertheless, I was willing to give them a shot in this set...after all, I did pay for them as well.
First thing for me to mention is that with all of the presets (or any lightroom presets for that matter, of which I own very few), they usually require some tweaking to get them to the place where you need them to be. That is not a bad thing. In fact, I like that because it still leaves plenty of room for each persons' style to shine through. I am still on my quest to get my Portra 400 setting exactly where it should be so that it will work on 80%+of my images and look outstanding. I might never get there, but I am going to keep trying. On to my reactions for this specific set, though. As will the previous VSCO set I own, the B&W presets are absolutely outstanding. They have a feel and look to them that I really connect with. The tweaks that I do to them are usually minor, and with some, I might not even need to change anything outside of general exposure. Of all the B&W's in VSCO 03, the FP-3000b is definitely my favorite (not surprising).
One of the very nice aspects of VSCO is that they do multiple versions of each film stock. For example, with the FP-3000b, there is standard, plus and minus effects to various degrees, negative, and early pull (which I have never tried in real life, actually). It gives you the chance for multiple "strength" settings, you might say. Typically, with most settings I prefer the minus type settings so that the effects are more muted (ESPECIALLY in the color ones). Speaking of the color ones, I have to say that I do not expect to use many of the color ones from this set on anything other than personal work. While they look great for what they are, my professional work does not have the toned, faded "instagram" type look to them. I could be wrong, but I feel that for weddings and such, I will be sticking with my beloved Portra 400. In my personal artistic work, though, I think they work great for a number of applications.
So, enough with my rambling...here are some samples for you to look at with the appropriate preset listed below each image. Enjoy! Definitely check out VSCO. Click HERE to buy one of their amazing products!
P.S. All of these photos were shot last April when my wife and I visited some of her family in California...they were shot over the two days that they took us to Yosemite National Park. I figured that it was about time I did something with them haha
We were not taking any more weddings for the year when we heard from Katie and Ben. In fact, as their wedding date was only a bit over a month away, the whole thing was sudden for us. However, our … Continued
We were not taking any more weddings for the year when we heard from Katie and Ben. In fact, as their wedding date was only a bit over a month away, the whole thing was sudden for us. However, our groom, Ben, is the brother of some friends of ours, and they had recommended us, and since we do love getting to work with friends (and their siblings!) we agreed to take on a final wedding for 2012 in the last few weeks of the year.
Ben is a petty officer in the Navy, and he was coming home from Spain on leave for Christmas, so wedding planning was in high gear for a Christmas wedding. Ben and Katie were planning a VERY intimate ceremony (there were 8 guests) and then a beautiful reception for all their friends and family following. We met up with them before the ceremony where they shared their first look in the beautiful Crystal Ballroom in the historic Renaissance Grand Hotel, where their wedding and reception took place. And because it was only a few days before Christmas we got to take some beautiful night photos complete with twinkle lights at the City Garden! Sure Katie was freezing, but who's counting? ;) In fact as I write this I'm remembering that she was our 4th Katie bride this year, and all but one of them had freezing wedding days...go figure!
The reception was a beautiful evening filled with friends, family, laughter and delicious food. Have you ever been to a mashed potato martini bar? We have. It rocked. We had such a wonderful time celebrating with Katie and Ben and all the fam, and we are so excited for what the future holds for them! Congratulations you guys!
St Louis Wedding Photographers Joel & Shannon at Graham Chapel I (Joel) do not remember the first time that I met Ashley and Josh, but it was quite a while ago…10 years or so, I would bet. Even though these … Continued
I (Joel) do not remember the first time that I met Ashley and Josh, but it was quite a while ago...10 years or so, I would bet. Even though these two amazing people were not a couple back then, in my mind it seems like they have been together for as long as I have known them. They always seemed like they were a perfect for each other, and it showed. Their families were friends with each other, and it was a match that seemed destined to be. We all knew the engagement was coming sooner or later. I still remember the exact moment when I received the email from Josh inquiring about photography for their wedding...Shannon and I had just left having dinner with our good friends at the Drunken Fish. I was probably a little more excited than I should have been to get that email, but I knew that it would be an awesome, wonderful wedding to be a part of.
I was right.
Their wedding was at the Graham Chapel on the campus of Wash U, and Ashley looked absolutely stunning. Josh was ever in his calm, strong-silent-type mood, but I could tell how excited he was. Once he saw her coming down the aisle in her dress, everyone could easily see the emotion he was feeling. It was a beautiful ceremony in a lovely church, and it is a place that we always love to shoot. Ashley has always been an avid follower of our work, so we had the task of shooting in a place we have 3 times before yet coming up with a whole new set of photos to do. There is no way we could just let her have the same photos as someone else...they deserved something special and unique.
We ended the night with their reception at Andre's South where everyone danced the night (or least a good portion of it) away. It was a great time, and we were so honored to be a part of two totally amazing people's wedding day. God bless you both!
P.S. A big shout out to Ash and Kyle from Forte who did the videography for the wedding. They were a great couple to work with, and they do great work. If you are needing videography for your wedding, be sure to check them out!
St Louis Wedding Photographers Joel & Shannon at Villa Marie Winery We love, love LOVE fall weddings. Especially ones that have gorgeous sunsets. It is funny, because I was joking earlier in the fall about how we almost never get … Continued
We love, love LOVE fall weddings. Especially ones that have gorgeous sunsets. It is funny, because I was joking earlier in the fall about how we almost never get great sunsets on the nights we are shooting. Well, Jaclene and Tanner's wonderful late November wedding made up for that for sure!
We first met Jaclene at the Gateway Bridal Show in our own home town, and we could tell she would be a great fit for us. We did her and Tanner's engagement session at the old Alton High School...where they had met. We always love when we get to do sessions in places that are special to the couple, and we had a great time going around the school and getting some really unique images. Their wedding was scheduled to be at Villa Marie Winery, which is a great place not very far from us. One thing that was very clear early on to us was how important family is two both of these two. It is so wonderful when the families are so involved, because it just brings a very special and precious feel to everything. Along with the note that Jaclene gave to Tanner, she also wrote one to her dad. This was not the only time during the day that he was overcome with the emotions of his daughter getting married.
Speaking of gifts, big props to Tanner for probably the best gift to the bride all year. It was not an expensive thing, and he honestly was not sure it was a decent gift. He had kept almost every ticket stub from every movie they had seen together from their first date until now. He put them all in a scrapbook for her. As soon as he told me, I assured him that it was a perfect gift. The look on Jaclene's face when she opened it proved it to be true.
It was late in the year, so we knew that most of the greenier would be slightly less than green. But, we planned accordingly to do some things that we knew would work. After the ceremony, we went outside to soak up what little of the daylight was left. Thankfully, we were rewarded with the amazing sunset that you see in these photos. It was the perfect way to head into the night. The reception was a blast. Tanner is a firefighter, and even though we did not do any photos with a fire engine, there were a few little things at the reception which highlighted that. The night ended with a great sparkler exist to send the couple on the way to their wonderful honeymoon!
Huge congrats to both of you. We have had a great time getting to know you both and so thankful you chose us to document your day! Blessings to you both!
Old Ruined Church Wedding | Katie & Andrew Wedding by St Louis Wedding Photographers Katie & Andrew’s wedding day was a wonderful, beautiful, COLD day. They had decided to see each other before the ceremony, so we could take family … Continued
Katie & Andrew's wedding day was a wonderful, beautiful, COLD day. :) They had decided to see each other before the ceremony, so we could take family photos beforehand, so after Katie was ready we went out to a beautiful old barn on a neighboring property. Andrew was there waiting, and he was speechless before his radiant bride. Their little bundle of joy, Braeden, also came to join mom in dad in his adorable little 3-piece suit. They are a beautiful little family! After the ceremony, we went off to this amazing ruined church named the Salem-Baum Evangelical Church Cemeterythat Katie stumbled upon when she was driving. It was a photographer's dream, and we had so much fun taking photos of the bridal party there. Had it not been freezing outside, we would have stayed longer, but our poor girls were frozen! The day ended with a huge celebration at the Legion, which Katie had had decorated beautifully in her pink and black theme. My favorite part were the dozens of different cupcakes though. So delicious and cute! We had a wonderful time celebrating with Katie, Andrew and their amazing families, and we are so excited for them, and all that the future brings!
Well, after many more hours than it really should have taken, I was able to put together a slideshow of some of our favorites from 2012. The trouble was not finding enough photos…the difficulty was in limiting the amount we … Continued
Well, after many more hours than it really should have taken, I was able to put together a slideshow of some of our favorites from 2012. The trouble was not finding enough photos...the difficulty was in limiting the amount we put in so that the video was not 20 minutes long. This was an amazing year for us...the best ever. So many people have told us that with our growth this year, we are now among the best St Louis wedding photographers. There are so many awesome photographer in this area that there are a number of people I would describe in the same way, so it feels great to be told we are at that level. It may or may not be true that we are, because we always see how much we can still grow, but my wife tells me that I need to learn to accept compliments. So, I will not argue :-)
We have worked our tails off this year, and we have met so many unbelievably amazing people. We have made some awesome new friends. We are so so so so so so blessed. God has been so good to us, and we are so very thankful. We pray that your 2013 will be your best yet. We know it will be for us.
Without further delay, here is a selection of our favorites from 2012!
St Louis Wedding Photographers Joel & Shannon | Jen & Matt’s Wedding We always enjoy working with couple’s who get us, and who we can relate to as well, but we have yet to have a couple whose wedding decor … Continued
St Louis Wedding Photographers Joel & Shannon | Jen & Matt's Wedding
We always enjoy working with couple's who get us, and who we can relate to as well, but we have yet to have a couple whose wedding decor mirrors our own - until now. We first met Jen & her family at one of our bridal shows, where we had our old doors on display at our booth, and it was one of those instant connections. We were super excited when she and Matt booked us, but it wasn't until we started talking about their wedding details that we realized how kindred our tastes were. She had planned a very vintage DIY wedding theme, and we loved it. She had an altar of old doors - just like our booth! - candle sticks made from stair spindles, and all of it came from her aunt and uncle's historic Belleville home. We actually ended up going there for pictures as well. We love all our nature stuff (as you can tell), but also love it when we get to do things that are unique and different, and this certainly was.
Jennifer & Matt, we've had such a great time getting to know you both and are so happy for you! We can't wait to see what the future holds for you - congratulations!
Natasha & Derek are one of those couples that we instantly hit it off with when we met them. Since they are both involved in the arts, there was a lot of shared interest and common ground. We love how … Continued
Natasha & Derek are one of those couples that we instantly hit it off with when we met them. Since they are both involved in the arts, there was a lot of shared interest and common ground. We love how quirky and goofy they can be, but how genuine and caring they obviously are as well. We'd take couples like them every day for year!
Their wedding was First Baptist Church in Maryville, IL, and the reception was at the beautiful LeClaire Room, in Edwardsville, our second time being there this year. We had a blast with them and all their crazy friends (especially me as I was running the photo booth!). It was so special to be a part of the new beginning of this amazing couple's "happily ever after". We still have a bridal session to do, so you guys are not done with us yet :), but we want to wish you guys all the happiness in the world. Here's to a lifelong love and a beautiful joining of two lives into one. Congratulations, Natasha & Derek!