Mari and Alec

Mari was a referral from my friend Fumi who I also shot a wedding for.  It was another one of those perfect Hawaiian days where the sun was out.  They had their very small ceremony up at Chinaman’s Hat.  It’s a big park overlooking…you guessed it, Chinaman’s Hat.

 This was right around I got my Holga.  A 120mm medium format toy camera.  I fell in love with using the Holga especially after seeing the gorgeous photo it captured of Mari.  Soon after this I started using the Holga at other wedding as well.  Recently at Nikki and Rhey’s wedding I picked up a polaroid camera.  It’s okay to be a little artistic while shooting a wedding.  I had also bought a wide angel lens, and upgraded my camera to a Canon 50D.  I lovingly call her Bertha.

The wedding was a laid back classic Hawaiian wedding.  Kumu and all.  I remember sitting in the car shortly after the shoot uploading my photos directly to give to the bride.  It was some sort of arrangement that I had with her.  Then I took my originals back and started photo editing.  The real surprise was when I got the film processed and came up with this image.  It certainly was a great time to start to play around with toy camera’s while finding a way to incorporate them into weddings.  It was also a way to introduce new brides to a unique way to capture their moments.  The only problem was that you can’t control film, sadly this is the best one that ever came out.

 

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Charisse and Victor

I finally decided to hit the wedding expo in either 2010 or 2011.  I went there with my friend Jill with a little stool, and a bunch of brochures to pass out.  The owner of the bridal expo felt so bad for us that they gave us a real table the next day.  I felt completely naked compared to the other photographers with flashy screens, gorgeous backdrops, and high tech marketing to bring in the highest paying brides and grooms.  Actually, it turned out to be the best idea to go, because I was able to take on a couple of new clients.  My policy since then is that no bride and groom should go broke to have wedding photos for their special day.  It also turns out that I made friends along the way.

Charisse and Victor commissioned me to photograph their engagement shoot, their wedding, along with their newborn baby shoot.  They’re the first real clients that I had.  The tension mounted for me when I realized that I was expected to be a professional, and not just an amateur.  I had contracts signed and shot lists prepared.  All of the sudden it wasn’t just the bride and groom in the limelight, but also yours truly.

The wedding was held at a small chapel and intimate setting on the beach.  I was finally ready to start photographing the real deal.  While I was certainly terrified, I was also excited to finally prove to myself that I could do this.  I could finally become what I always wanted to be…a photographer.  It wasn’t National Geographic.  It was better.  I was making memories for young couples ready to take the leap into a new life with each other.

Charisse has a sparkle in her eye that shines through the camera.  While she was nervous she photographed beautifully.  Her radiance from her pregnancy also penetrated the lens which made the day even easier to capture.  When all was said and done with the photos edited, I felt proud of the work that I had done.  While some photos still didn’t come out the way that I wanted to, I knew that I had broken some new ground.  I had finally arrived.  I was a photographer.