It has been a crazy, crazy year. I photograph Dave and Doug’s engagements way back in October and I am finally posting their wedding photos! Woo hoo! When we photographed the engagements there was still a ban on gay marriage in Utah. That changed at the end of 2013 when for about 2 weeks gay marriage was legalized due to a federal judge’s ruling. Doug and Dave were married during that first Monday it was legal. They along with hundreds of other couples crammed into courthouses and city county buildings to have their marriages recognized.
And then the marriages were put on hold. Right now the fight is in front of the Supreme Court to decide if Dave and Doug can remain marriage. Well, that doesn’t mean we still can’t have a wedding ceremony and a celebration! Woo hoo!
Dave and Doug held their wedding ceremony at the Jewish Community Center above the University of Utah. The ceremony was out on the patio overlooking the center’s swimming pool. It offers a beautiful view over the Salt Lake Valley and I warned the couple that I would be grabbing them for some formal shots as the sun set and during the night time when the city was aglow.
It was a wonderful ceremony. The vows were written independently by each groom but they could not be better orchestrated. One would vow to limit watching horror movies and the other would vow to put up with those horror movies. It seemed they even went in order. It was hilarious, incredible, and a tearjerker all in one.
A hit to future grooms (and brides) turn your hands so the photographer can see the rings a bit more. Sometimes you hide the rings with your fingers! I try to remind people before the ceremony—maybe we should practice?
Of all the wedding ceremony photos you gotta get the first kiss! And the couple can slow down a little bit. You don’t need tongue but you want more than a peck on the lips.
If you can’t tell these grooms have plenty of personality. They definitely march to the beat of their own drum.
Gotta get the details. Creative bow-ties, boutonnieres, and cufflinks. And since a gay couple has 2 grooms you gotta tell the difference sometimes.
I like to bring my lights to make group shots look amazing. 90% of the time people look better with a bit of flash. I think it helps fill in the eyes and add a little catchlight.
And then we had about a half hour or so with the two grooms to create their formal wedding photography. We went down by the pool and found some ivy, trees, concrete, and the pool itself. It isn’t too often you have a pool location for wedding photography. When you have it, use it.
One goal in all photography, whether is is weddings or portraits, you want to capture the personality of the subject. If they are a wacky couple—show them being wacky! If they are a serious couple—your photos will be more serious.
And now the traditional photographs of the toasts, cutting the cake, the first dance, and even both grooms exchanging and then simultaneously throwing their garters into a crowd of single people.
This is one of the photographs I had planned back when we first talked about the JCC as the location. I had photographed at this venue before and I knew the city would be a sea of lights and perfect for some night portraits. It turned out just as I planned!
It is always fun to have a photo booth. Right now I don’t offer a photo booth as part of my services. Some are digital and are an actual box to sit in. Others can be like this photo booth and nothing more than props, black background, and a Fuji Instax camera. You get a bunch of instant Instax film and you can then share the photos or in the case of Dave and Doug you have a commemorative wall of instant photos. Pretty dang cool.
And the car has been decorated. This is nothing to the shape of the car I drove when I was married almost 20 years ago. They got my car bad, I couldn’t even see because they used cans of frosting and Oreos.
I have finally mastered the art of walking backwards at night with sparklers pointing at me and getting photographs nice and sharp of the wedding couple.
Congrats to the new couple. I am looking forward to the day when gay marriage is finally legalized. Don’t worry everyone else… just because gay marriage will be legal, it doesn’t make it mandatory. So you can still have a regular marriage as well.