My one-year anniversary, a 1950’s boat + good food – 9/1

My wife, Vanessa, has always had one nagging complaint (that I know of…) about me: I never create “satisfactory” photographs of her. And it’s true. I won’t deny it one bit. Most of the images I have of her are when she’s in incredibly awkward situations, or we’ve just woken up, or…or maybe it’s just the fact that I work as a photographer, constantly creating photographs of brides who are all fixed up for their wedding day and happy as can be. Vanessa has none of these.

And that brings me to my first story: how much do you want to spend on your wedding photographer? Ness and I were working with an incredibly restricted budget last year just before we got married (I was graduating after 8 years of undergrad education, and Vanessa was working herself through school as well, AND we made the wedding happen with only 6 months notice), and so we decided to spend about $1000 on our photographer. Now for what we paid I can’t complain. But Vanessa sure can. And she has. She just wasn’t happy with our photographs. (Any soon-to-be husbands out there, let me tell you, it was more sad to see my wife unhappy with photos of herself then it was to be unhappy with them myself.) Her biggest issue: she didn’t get a single portrait of just her.

So I’ve always had it in the back of my head to some how make it up to her. Well…her favorite wedding photographer is out in California – where Vanessa has never been – and so I did the next best thing: setup a photo shoot for the both of us during our 1-year anniversary. So we got dressed in our wedding attire and ran off to some good locations.

We were kinda blessed with this thing called Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore + golden sunlight between 6-8pm at the end of the summer + long sweetgrass + barns and such for the background. It just all worked out for us.

Now going into this photo session I had no clue how I was going to get images of Vanessa and myself together. 10 second timer? I didn’t want to rush into the frame for a single photo. This is when I became even happier with my Nikon equipment: they have a built in interval timer with the body I use. I just found the right composition for a photograph of Vaness and me, planned out the idea, threw the camera on a ball-head tripod (and for some photographs: on top of my 4Runner), and set the camera to shoot off a new frame every 3 seconds. It was like a photo booth, except the booth was the world. Fan-tas-tic!

You’ll have to excuse the wild hair on Vanessa: I rushed her out the door while she was getting ready so we didn’t miss the right light. She told me spot on that I’d be photoshopping all the fuzz (that…will take a while).

Well, she’s just made her Facebook profile using one of the images, so I’m going to see that as a sign of mild success of her happiness with the photos. (I’m pretty happy with the results, too).

Interestingly, it was my father’s birthday the same day we created these photographs, and he quietly invited us out onto Lime Lake to play around on his new 1950’s Chris Craft Cavalier boat. So I had to throw a few photographs of that in there.

And a good friend of ours invited us to a great BBQ as a 1-year dinner. And that’s there too.

Enjoy! More to come this weekend!

(and thanks to Vanessa for instinctively grabbing the camera and creating a few images of me! Any of solo images of me weren’t the tripod setup…go Ness!)


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