cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wedding Photography

My First Wedding

So it's been a long time. May, June and July. Yikes. i suppose that means i'm not a real blogger anymore. I guess life happens to everyone. In June this blog turned 4 years old; the midlife crisis age in the blog world. In July this photographer turned 25 years old; the quarter century crisis age in the human world. Unfortunately i must report that i am not experiencing any crisis. No, the only crisis i experience on a daily basis is readjusting back into life in Brazil. I took my first trip back to the US in June. Three weeks visiting my family, three small weeks after nearly 18 months away. It was nice. On top of it all what made it even nicer was the culminating event i spent the last year preparing myself for--my first wedding photography job. Not meaning to exagerate, but photographing your first wedding is painful in preparation. If you have ever dreamt of entering the competitive field of wedding photography then you have probably spent mindless hours (days) browsing the web looking for advice, inspiration and other encouraging words from the professionals in the field. And if so, then chances are you didn't find any. One of the strangest things i came across during my study (yes, i consider it a study as i did it everyday) was the resentment from professional photographers toward new ones. Comment after comment on chat and message boards warning newbies to "go home and let the pros do the wedding, do you really want to be responsible for ruining such a special event?" Fortunately there are some very kind and helpful people in the business who stand out from these jealous old timers who actually do encourage and help. So my idea going into my first wedding was, well, he's right, i could mess the whole thing up. But on the other hand, we all have to start somewhere don't we? I also got pretty lucky on the fact that i not only got a beautiful couple for my first gig but also a beautiful setting. The backdrop was so stunning that you would have to be one fool of a photographer to mess it up.

I think it went pretty well. And my 25 year old spine was ready for the chiropractor by 10pm. The day started with the prep shots at the salon. The bride and bridemaides had rented out the whole salon for their hair and makeup. Unfortunatley the salon thought only two employees were necessary and the event took around four hours. By the time we got out of there and back up to the spa (wedding location) a bit of chaos errupted. The bride and groom are serious diy'ers (which showed in the delightful personal quality of the whole event) and so things were running behind schedule, including the cakes. As the wedding party scrambled to get the final details arranged, i found myself aiding the mother of the bride in cake decorating. yes. 7 three layer cakes needed to be assembled and decorated and there just wasn't enough time. If you know what's good for you; hire a wedding photographer who can be used in other areas as well including cake decorating, therapy and even manual labor. It all made me realize that the photographer isn't just the "artist on the scene" no-they are there as your employee and they are helping as much as anyone to get the show on the road. pretty great feeling. The fast pace of it all, the blink and you miss it. The pressure. the running. where are my shoes? Meeting the family members of both the bride and groom and having them clap you on the back with a big "oh you will do great, i can't wait to see them!" is sure to increase your nerves ten fold. The pressure helps though. Not gonna lie, as a perfectionist i loved the control. I would add a small suggestion however which probably would have helped me; EAT during the day.

The wedding took place at a lovely secluded spa in the middle of pea and wheat fields in Walla Walla, Washington, a city about four hours drive south east of Seattle. The bride and groom were not strangers to me, on the contrary the bride is my only lasting friend from those far off high school years. She was there when i got my first real camera and as my co-valedictorian (viking pride!) she knew that my obsessive perfectionism would surely result in suitable photographs. I couldn't have been happier to give her this gift (and to have done it successfully) and at the same time i am honored that she trusted me enough to give me the chance to be a wedding photographer. This has been something that has been lurking in my head for years, and i am ecstatic that it is finally ready to come out. I am now enterring the Brazilian wedding photography market in the areas of Indaiatuba, Campinas and the general São Paulo area and i couldn't be happier. i have a great way to come in photography as does every photographer, but it really does feel like a dream come true.

To view more photos of the K&J wedding, please visit my friend Rita's wedding blog at Missão Casamento where she is showcasing the photos for the Brazilian audience. For any information on my photography services, please email me at mallory (dot) f (dot) ramos at gmail or visit my photography website at Estou uma fotógrafa de casamento!


Nani said...

Sooo Happy to see a new post. And WOW!!!!! I LOVE the wedding pictures. I am not saying that to make you feel good, I really mean it. I thought about becoming a wedding photographer at some point of my life. Not a dream, just a thought. But when I saw how expensive good cameras are and how much work it would take me to learn how to deal with them, I gave up. I still want to do something like this one day, but only as a hobby, on the side, because I am NOT at a creative person. I have a couple of photography blogs in my blog roll list (on the bottom right) if you want to check some out. I really think you will have no problems getting into this business. You are super duper talented.

I have been reading the magazines you sent me. Thank you again, and again!


Jim said...

Stunning photos. Have you submitted them to WeddingGawker? Is there a Brazilian equivalent?

Good luck dealing with the horrible world of ceremonialistas! As a florist, they drove Luiz OUT of the wedding business.

Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

Gooorgeous photos and what a wedding. Just a question though: would you agree to take photos at a friend's wedding again? My husband (a full-time newspaper photographer) has taken the photos at a few of his friends weddings and swears never to do it again because you end up missing all the good stuff- the perks of being a regular old guest. Ah yes, welcome back.

Mallory Elise said...

Ahaha i completely know what he means. I wasn't a guest, at all. The food was AMAZING and all gluten free and i didnt eat any of it! i had a seat, plate and even a place card but the chair was never pulled out. I accepted that though (didn't eat because i snuck up to the bedrooms to lie down for a bit while people ate, my back was killing me from being tense). I didn't get to enjoy it like a guest--but the thrill at the end makes it worth it to me. they are very happy with the photos which is something that will last longer than my enjoyment of being a guest. This wedding was alright because the bride is a friend from high school--so other than her family i didn't know anyone (we didn't go to the same college) so i wasn't jealous at seeing my friends drinking while i was working! I think the main thing is that before taking the job ask yourself "are you ready to work?" because it is work, its not a party. it's work. If it is a friend who is too close to me or if it's my family i might not do it just because there are too many people around that i will want to socialize with. a socializing photographer is a big no no. but if a friend really really wanted me, then i would do it. for them :)

Meredith said...

You did a beautiful job. Gorgeous pics.

Cris Torres said...

Hello Mallory,
I´m very happy to find your blog today ( only today, but never is too late..)
I´m from São Paulo, I´m Chef, and love photography, like you do. Your blog is really nice, congrats!
I hope you enjoy and have fun in São Paulo.
I also have a blog, about my travel (that ended in june)
Its in portuguese, but Im sure you will be able to understand.
Thank you for your time,
Keep doing a great job,

D. Hess said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Rita Gomes. said...

clap clap clap! :)

Polyana said...

great pictures mallory!!! now i know who's going to be doing my wedding... eventually... i suppose, haha.

Anonymous said...

The photos are beautiful! Congratulations, can't wait to see and hear about more. Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

These are absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on such stunning work--I L-O-V-E it. I also just shot my first wedding this month (but as a second photographer--which I think helped with the overall pressure). I'm still new to the photography scene, but I'm loving it!

Can't wait to see more weddings that come your way! I'm sure you will be on high demand!

Jana said...

Beautiful and artistic, you did a wonderful job! I have done that same research and know the emotions, its incredibly intimidating. I was gearing up for my first wedding (and then it didn't happen) but the nerves were killing me many months in advance. I think it would help if I could be a second shooter first, so I admire your courage! Might I ask what lens you used for the buik of it? Its time I get my first nikkor and I am torn between a few... I think you have a blooming business ahead of you =)

Moira - Tertúlia de Sabores said...

Congratulations Mallory!
The photos are beautiful, I'm sure this is the first work of many ;)
And here's the links to a portuguese site and blog that organize and photographe weddings. They do an excelent work, take a look for some inspiration:
Beijinho e bom trabalho

scarlet reynolds said...

Hi, I also own a wedding photography Sydney business and I found your blog while looking for wedding photography blogs. Anyway, I just love the "classic" photographic look of black and white photos. In fact, the photos here are dramatically taken. Brilliant!

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You did wonderful job. It seems that we can see that moment live.

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Unknown said...

Oh wow!
I love the pics ! U are really good!


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vishal said...

You made a great work. Beautiful smiles.

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