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When I have meme wars it’s usually with my video game friends. So, when I had a friendly and fun meme war with Lauren and her DJ Demarcus, I knew that this whole gig was going to be fabulous. Lauren, her future husband Mark, and I met at the Starbucks. Lauren is just as awesome as I expected her to be. Mark is high energy, super chill, and genuinely nice dude to hang around. He’s the kind of guy that immediately makes any mood 3x shades lighter.

Once we got all the boring paperwork stuff out of the way and started talking about engagement session. We ended up at Creve Coeur Lake. Check it out!

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TREE! Pink tree! Color! Framing! Fun! Woot woot woot!

 

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This is just another example of how fun Mark is. This dude is a trip and I dig him. 🙂

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Boats and light, lights and boats, boats and lights, lights and boats!

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Beautiful light, wonderful happy couple, and a dock. Win. So much win.

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Random awesomeness!  Guitars! Film looks! Light! Shadows! Woot! Woot!

Creve Coeur Lake

Here’s a personal shot! I stuck around after the shoot to see what I could do! Woot woot!

weddingarticle

Every week I try to come up with something new and interesting to share with people. I do this for multiple reasons. First, it’s fun. Expanding my mind with new information about weddings is always good (you know, because I’m a wedding photographer). Second, it’s fun to interact with people about a topic I love. So, this week, I used one of my nifty internet tool thingies (Buzzsumo!) to find out what were the MOST shared wedding related articles on Facebook during the past year. Here they be:

#5. 98 – Year Old Couple Recreated Their Wedding Day

Shared 106,300 times.

Thoughts: This is awesome. Just goes to show the your wedding day is NOT the best day of your life, it’s the START of the BEST DAYS of your life! Well done!

Read full article here…

#4. Their Wedding Day Photo Sparked Outrage Across the Nation. This is Their Reaction to All the Fuss…

Shared 136,900 times.

Thoughts: Not sure what the big deal is here. The “No Look, First Look” is a pretty standard shot. We do this at nearly every wedding that doesn’t have a “First Look.” I get that it’s a soldier, I get that it was released on Memorial Day, but still. The internet is weird sometimes.”

Read full article here…

#3. The Most Generous Bride on Earth: Couple Feeds 4,000 Syrian Refugees on Their Wedding Day

Shared 166,200 times.

Thoughts: This is cool. What an absolutely selfless way to take care of people. I am floored.

Read full article here…

#2. Meet the Turkish couple who spent their wedding day feeding 4,000 Syrian Reguees

Shared 261,900 times.

Thoughts: Same couple as the article above, and if you combine these shares, they are over the #1 single article shared below… Still a great story!

Read full article here…

#1. To my daughter with Down Syndrome on Her Wedding Day

Shared 375,200 times.

Thoughts: As a parent of a special needs child, this struck a chord with me. I think every parent in this situation has had the thoughts this man has had. It’s never a worry about the child living a full life, it’s always about connecting with others. My boy has told me before that he has no friends and it’s heartbreaking. Damn near cried while reading this.

Read full article here…

I debated writing this post. The last thing a newly engaged bride-to-be wants to hear is how things can go wrong at a wedding. However, when I thought about it, I think it’s important for brides to understand that there are A LOT of moving parts to a wedding. When you have this many people, something is bound to go not quite as intended. My hope for this article is this: If at all possible, hire rockstars for your wedding professionals. We’ve been there, done that, and we will make sure that your day is AWESOME, even if (dare I say when!) something goes wrong! Check out these 7 stories from personal experience. 🙂

7. Matt & Jamie’s Wedding – The Broken Wrist

I love this story. A couple of weeks before the wedding, Jamie went to her bachelorette party. Apparently, these girls had a blast on their party bus. I wasn’t there, but I’ve been told there was this bar on the party bus. Not like a drinking bar, like a metal bar you’d flip over on a playground.  3 am, couple of drinks… You know what? Let’s relive our childhood! Flipping over that bar seems like a great idea! BOOM! Broken wrist. Stuck in a cast, right before the wedding!

Jamie wasn’t having it though. She actually convinced the doctor to remove her cast for the wedding. Who does that!? Jamie does, that’s who! We had to be careful with it of course. She couldn’t close her hand all the way so we had to make sure her hand was positioned or hidden. Pfffft. No problem. Created some of my most liked artwork despite the broken hand! No problem!

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6. Ben & Kim’s Wedding – The Broken Shoulder

It seems like there is a competition to see who has the coolest bridal party. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding without one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen asking me if they’re the coolest group of people I’ve ever met. Yes, yes you are. All of you are cool and I love hanging out with you guys. However, this party was something special. Tons of energy and tons of fun. There was one particular groomsmen was in it to win it. So much so that he hung upside down from a tree and dislocated his shoulder just an hour before the wedding. No other wedding guests were around to take him to the hospital plus we had to get to the ceremony.

This is where my second shooter, Raquita (my awesome colleague, friend, and fellow professional wedding photographer) stepped in. She plopped that groomsman in the car and drove him up the road to emergency room. Fortunately, he was totally ok, just had to pop that sucker back in. He walked into the reception and received a very warm welcome from the guests!

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5. Ben & Kim’s Wedding (Yes, the same Ben and Kim) – Finger Food

This one isn’t so much of a story of what we did to save the day, but more of just a really funny moment. Ben and Kim were about to feed each other cake. Kim lovingly brought the food close to Ben’s mouth. With the excitement of a thousand 3 year olds, Ben chomped down. HARD. Really, really HARD. Ben did not realize that Kim’s finger was still in the cake. Apparently, it did not feel good.  Her face was priceless and we’ve got the photo to prove it. The whole reception hall burst into laughter, including Ben and Kim (after Ben made sure Kim was ok!) Love these guys. 🙂

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4. Doug & Jillian’s Wedding – The Sunset Gone By

Jillian wanted a shoot at sunset at Bee Tree Park. Awesome, let’s do it! As I’ve always said, it’s not crazy to lose 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there. We plan for that. Unfortunately, in this case, they got stuck making a stop on the way to the sunset shoot. If I remember correctly, there was some sort of accident that blocked them from exiting Quiktrip from their beer run. We lost an hour. That’s huge, especially, when you are on your way to a sunset shoot. What comes after sunset? Nighttime. No light. Fortunately, we planned enough extra time in the day that even losing that hour, we still had the 15 minutes of twilight. If push comes to shove, I can get a lot done in 15 minutes. It wasn’t sunset, but the photos still turned out solid!

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3. Michael & Chrissy’s Wedding – The Monsoon and Plan C

Wonderful couple here with a beautiful wedding on SLU’s campus. As the ceremony was wrapping up, we were planning to hit one of the awesome outside locations here in St. Louis. Enter the monsoon. It started to rain HARD, harder than I have ever seen on any wedding I’ve ever been. Cool. No problem. Let’s move on to Plan B. At this wedding, plan B was Ameristar Casino. There’s an awesome upstairs area Ameristar is cool enough to let us use as long as we respect the space. Well, we get to Ameristar and we quickly find out there is a HUGE event upstairs. Bummer. Time for Plan C. Plan C is the plan we make up on the spot when the backup plan fails. So, I made some friends with some restaurant managers and we rocked some shots!

Holy Rain BATMAN!

This is as we are leaving to take photos outside! #FrownTown

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2. Derek & Ashlee’s Wedding – The Harpist

One of the weddings VERY early in my career. These guys will always hold a place in my heart. At this wedding, the harpist was REALLY late. If I remember correctly, she was supposed to arrive at 10 am. Not sure what happened, but she showed up closer to noon. When something like this happens, I usually suggest doing what’s called a “First Look”.  This is when a bride and groom have an awesome private moment before the wedding. Doing this would have allowed us to start shooting all the other portraits right away. However, Derek and Ashlee were adamant about not wanting to do that. They wanted that first moment to be in the aisle. Right on. Totally respect it. Let’s figure it out. We needed to come up with a strategy to be out of the church by 5 and at the reception by 5:30 including travel time. The strategy: Pop a Red Bull, start cracking jokes, and use the IMMEDIATE surroundings of the Church to your advantage. Everything worked out fantastically. Bride was super happy! #BrickWallsAreAwesome

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1. Jeremy & Kristin’s Wedding – The Fire

This is the best story ever and its’ a two parter! It was the hottest day of that year, something like 105. HOT. Sweaty. Groom in full military uniform. Groomsmen in full tuxes. It was so hot that when the bride and groom did the dove release, the doves did not fly out of the basket! I kid you not! My hat is off to the group though, they hung in there. No complaining, no whining. Everyone knew they were to support the bride and groom. Mad respect guys.

We get through the ceremony, the portraits,  and we’re looking forward to the reception hall and air conditioning. Nope. It doesn’t work. So, what I did was bring more equipment from the car and setup a photo booth in another part of the building that IS air conditioned. This let people get out of the main room and cool down.  Problem 1 solved.

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In the meantime, the reception hall. It’s July 4th weekend and it took forever to find a repairman. He shows up, but we’re out of time. We have to go back and finish out the rest of the reception. First dances, garter, and bouquet. As we start the garter and bouquet, I hear a pop. I shoot my head up to look DIRECTLY above me and what do you think I see? You guessed wrong. I saw fire. Her reception hall caught on fire. Yes, you read this right. Her. Reception. Hall. Caught. On. Fire. No kidding. The DJ (Gary from Jukebox Productoins) was awesome. He saw it too, and handled it perfectly. Calmly and quickly got everyone outside. Fire trucks show up. I feel SOOOOOO bad for this bride. So, when everything was calm, I went up to the fireman, and said, “Hey, can I do a photo shoot on your truck?” They said yes. A bad thing into a good thing. Awesome! The bride, her family, and I still joke about it to this day!

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Haven’t picked a photographer yet?

When I shoot weddings, I see myself as a Super Hero. Standing in defense of your day. Protecting you and your family from the shenanigans of misfortune! Let’s chat. If you dig my images, and if you want to make sure that your day is not only good, but awesome… Consider shouting out!

Our packages are an amazing value and we start at $1500. I’m super easy to work with, laid back, and ready to rock! We offer all day coverage, amazing albums, digitals, magazine quality editing, video slideshows, second shooter, no limits on locations, and much more. Also, we can definitely partner with you and help you find other amazing professionals that offer amazing value as well.

If this blog post is how you found me, definitely let me know! Any 2016 bride that books me from this article, will get a free Canvas image. If you are not a bride and read this anyway, you’re awesome! Please share with any future brides you know! This guy is looking to shoot more weddings this year!


 

 

Bridal Budler Logo

Steve from SA3 Studios: I want to introduce my buddy Blake Baker. He calls himself the wedding butler and it is exactly how it sounds. He will be your professional butler on your wedding day. I had never heard of this service and when I did, I had to know more. Also, he’s been to a billion weddings. He’s got to know some tips and tricks I haven’t thought of yet. So, I asked him to write up this post for us!

5 Wedding Planning Tips from the Bridal Butler

When my wife and I got engaged, we were not prepared for all the unsolicited advice and suggestions we received. It seems everyone has an opinion about how a wedding should be. From the dress, location, food, cake, everyone wanted to have a say. Not to mention the “horror” stories we had to sit through. And while we were grateful for some of the advice we received, we discovered that we really had to set our own guidelines for our wedding. In the end, we were better off making decisions together and only keeping the suggestions that made sense to us.

Now as I work with brides and grooms, I often get asked “What’s the best advice you can give while we are planning our wedding?” Here’s what I say I learned from my wedding (and the countless others I’ve attended or worked):

1. Pick the things that you refuse to comprise on and stick to your guns. Sure, it might be a battle depending upon who’s paying for the wedding, but it does make it easier to let go of all the other things that aren’t as important to you.

Wedding - Important Details

2. Keep your DIY expectations realistic. If you don’t own a glue gun and you have never hand painted anything in your life, then you won’t miraculously become Martha Stewart in time for your wedding. Do enlist the help of talented friends and family and don’t leave projects for the last minute. Also keep in mind that sometimes buying already premade items might cost a bit more, but will make the planning less stressful.

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3. Family traditions are great, as long as they work for you. Whether it’s a sixpence in your shoe, cutting the cake with an antique knife, or carrying your grandmother’s handkerchief, a family tradition should mean something to you and be a valued part of your day. If a tradition makes you feel uncomfortable, or doesn’t hold meaning for you, don’t be afraid to not include it.

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4. Don’t feel obligated to have a big bridal party. Just because you were in someone else’s wedding doesn’t mean they have to be in yours. Take stock of who means the most to you and have those individuals stand up next to you. There are many ways to make those not closest to you a part of your wedding.

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5. In the end, the wedding is one day. Some people get so wrapped up in planning their wedding, they forget about all the other conversations that have to happen to create a strong marriage. So take the time to talk with your partner and make sure that you are on the same page about the life you are starting together.

 

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Before 6

Blake Baker is the Bridal Butler and he is at your beck and call.

On the most important day of your life, afford yourself the luxury of focusing on what’s most important. From bringing coffee and breakfast to your doorstep to making sure the gifts find their way home, no task is too big or too small for The Bridal Butler.

From bringing coffee and breakfast to your doorstep to making sure the gifts find their way home, no task is too big or too small for The Bridal Butler.

For more information on exactly what he can do to make your wedding day spectactular, reach out to him on Facebook or his website.

 

 

 


 

 

Megan-23

One Park. One Photographer. One Couch. One Chair. Two Assistants. Three Lenses. Fifteen Families. Infinite Red Bull. Let’s do this! The big Power Hour Mini Session Weekend is coming quickly! Are you ready? Trying desperately to find that perfect set of clothes? Bribing your children to be on your best behavior? Praying that no one gets a black eye? Trust me. You are not alone. Let me give you some tips for a great mini session! Also, if you haven’t read the 10 Reasons Why Family Photography Is Hard, you should! But, before you do that….

5 Things To Keep Things In Mind for Power Hour!

5. Be relaxed!

Take a breath. Have a glass of wine. It’s going to be awesome. The best photos and moments come from families who are relaxed and not stressed out. I’m a father of three highly energetic, somewhat psychotic children. I get it. Still, when you’re on site during the shoot, leave it at the door! Yelling at the kids is just going to make it worse and if they start crying, they will look like they have been crying in the photos. Let’s try to avoid this if possible!

4. Be a little early if possible!

At the time of writing this article, we have 15 shoots to do. They are stacked one on top of the other. Being 15 or more minutes late is going to significantly impact how much we can create with you. In a normal session, it’s not a big deal, we just shoot until we’re done. In this case, out of respect for the next family, we will need to follow the schedule pretty closely. Please, please be on time!

3. Be ready to move quick!

We have an hour! We have a lot to do! We’re going to try move as fast as humanly possible. I will be moving quick and talking fast. I’d advise a cup of coffee. 🙂

2. Be ready to be real!

No fake smiles! The pictures that look best show a family just being themselves! No pretense, no goofy pasted on smile, no stiffness. Nope, nope, nope! Be ready to laugh! Be ready to be goofy! Be ready to be you! I want you to look back on these photos 10 years from now and go: “Yes, that’s exactly who I was then!” If you are a more chill person, that’s totally awesome too! Be who you are! I will help with posing, placement, lighting, and all that! I just need you to bring the awesomeness!

1. Be ready to have fun!

And fun we will absolutely have! We are going to play! We are going to laugh! I’m going to high five your kids! I’m going to make fart noises and elephant noises! I’m going to be make jokes! It’s going to be a blast! We’re going to make some cool stuff, and have fun doing it!

Location: Quail Ridge Park

Schedule:

Saturday, November 14th

9:30 – Robin

10:30 – Bonoras

11:30 – Erin’s family

1:30 – Heather’s Family

2:30 – Kristin’s Family

3:30 – Gilbert Family

4:30 – Amanda Thiele

Sunday, November 15th

8:30 – Trotter Familiy

10:30 – Kerry Family

2:30 – Josh McCreary

3:30 – Murphy Family

4:30 – The Worleys. 🙂

Didn’t take advantage of the mini session? Want to know before anyone else? Fill this bad boy out!