I just returned from a nearly two-week vacation in Wisconsin, where my wife’s family covened to celebrate her grandparents’ 65th anniversary. This is always a tricky time of the year for someone in my business to take time away from work. In fact, halfway through the trip, I flew back to Indy to videotape another wedding before rejoining the in-laws the next day. It helps that this has been a relatively “quiet” July, with four weddings and two open weekends to help me avoid falling behind much with the editing. Tomorrow heralds the beginning of by far the busiest August I have ever seen with six weddings booked, and a seventh considering. As hot as it’s been lately, I hope for ours and our clients’ sakes that August is hotter than July only in the business sense this year!

The wedding I shot mid-trip on July 22 took place outdoors at the Eiteljorg Museum downtown. Rebecca Raymond of Event Fantastic, who referred the clients to me, kept the day running smoothly and everyone’s spirits upbeat, despite some heavy hearts due to the recent sudden passing of one of the groom’s relatives. Photographer Andreas Nemitsas, a talented and wonderful soul who lives in my neighborhood, captured the beauty of the day in his usual artful manner. Sarah Bean of the Eiteljorg was a picture of quiet efficiency behind the scenes the entire day, and the band Zannadoo kept the dance floor packed, including the longest horah (the traditional Jewish “chair dance”) I have ever seen – and I’ve seen many!

We made it through the busiest June we have ever experienced (and I’ve seen a lot of busy Junes) with the expectation that our two bookings in an unusally slow July would give me some time to stay on top of editing of all the June weddings. However, we received two last-minute bookings that have turned this month into a more “normal” July and put that effort to the test. So far, I have two June weddings remaining to complete, so our clients are still getting a great turnaround time compared to most quality videographers in the industry. The big test will come next week, when I’ll be leaving town for our annual summer visit to my wife Chris’ family in Wisconsin. Not much time for editing then. I will squeeze in a little work when I will fly back to Indy briefly on Saturday the 22nd (taking a vacation from my vacation) to videotape a wedding at the Eiteljorg Museum. Crazy, I know!

This past week I finished editing Leanne and Kyle’s 6/23/06 wedding and reception at the Omni Severin. I will post their highlight segment shortly. It was a relatively laid back Friday affair with no dancing, aside from a first dance under a perfectly aimed spotlight. They were a wonderful, spiritual couple, and it’s amazing how that inner beauty sometimes shines through to the surface sometimes, as it does throughout their video.

I also got a wonderful card from Nicki & Austin (6/16/06) that said the following: “We can’t thank you enough for your excellent work on our wedding video. You were by far the most professional one could be. I would highly recommend you to anyone. You are peaceful and calming. It really made our day to watch our video after all the hype was over. You are truly the best!” Thanks, guys!

Yesterday I shot a wedding and very animated reception at the Ritz Charles. Debbie and Mike are an “older” couple in their 40’s, but I haven’t seen a more youthful spirit in any couple yet this year. They were so easygoing and fun to work with, and it meant a lot to me that they thanked me in their welcome speech at the reception. (So much for being invisible!) They were referred to me by several vendors – Anne Clidence of the Ritz Charles, Dave Cohen of Jerry Goldberg Photography and Brandon & Cybil New of B&C Digital Media. (Thanks to all of you!) I was pleasantly surprised to see Jennifer Montoya of Majestic Events there, too, and then she reminded me that I had referred the couple to her! How quickly I forget. So obviously, the chapel and ballrooms were gorgeous – lots of white with elevated bursts of red roses. I had a great time working and chatting with Dave and DJ Brian Whitis, who did a superb job of keeping the dance floor packed with an older crowd while keeping things just slightly under control when, uh, shirts started coming off…

I just got this rave via e-mail from Courtney & Brian about the video of their 6/10/06 wedding in Columbus: “Bob, we wanted to thank you SO MUCH for the wedding video. It was beyond what we ever imagined it would be. We both absolutely love it as does every single person we’ve showed it to. You did a fantastic job and we will treasure it forever. We wanted to let you know how many compliments we have had on it and will gladly recommend everyone we know to you. I think ours is the best one on your site :), but I may be biased!! Thank you again so much!”

I also got this e-mail earlier from Kelly & Peter about the video from her
6/10/06 wedding at the Indianapolis Art Center: “We absolutely love it! I knew we would since we had seen your work, but it was really great to revisit the wedding from a different perspective. It made me cry more than the actual wedding day!” Someone also e-mailed me a link to a thread on The Knot that Kelly started. Apparently, her highlight clip has brought a lot of strangers to tears! She had started a funny thread prior to her wedding questioning her sanity for going outside her budget to hire us. Thankfully, a previous bride raved about us then, just as Kelly is now. The toughest sell about videography is that the importance of it is not always fully appreciated until after the wedding, by which time our clients (many of whom didn’t even initially want a video) believe that it was their best investment.

So here’s what been happenin’… After a long Fourth of July weekend during which I took the boys to King’s Island and later watched the fireworks downtown here, it was back to business as usual, and busy it has been. I finished editing the Aufmann wedding that I shot on 6/18/06 at the Ritz-Charles with consultant Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners and photographer Joe Defabis. I also mostly finished editing the Singleton wedding from 6/17/06 that took place at the State Capitol building and was the luxurious Conrad Hotel‘s first-ever wedding reception. The only thing I’m waiting on is a song choice for their highlight segment, though I’ll have to wait until the couple returns from their honeymoon in Africa for that.

Last night I shot a very memorable wedding and reception in South Bend. The sister of the groom, Kristen Leep, whose wedding I am booked to shoot on 7/7/07 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, called me on Wednesday “just in case” I might be available on short notice to cover her brother’s wedding, and I was! The wedding took place in a beautiful fountain area just outside the Morris Performing Arts Center downtown, and the reception was held in a grand ballroom in the adjacent Palais Royale. The event was about as extravagant as any I’ve seen in Indy, involving canine attendants, butterflies, umbrellas, apples, a very tall cake, and a former governor in attendance. I had a nice time working with Master Photographer Gary Mester, and it was a pleasant surprise to see Indy’s own Impalas bringing their brassy soul to the reception. But nothing topped the fun of simply observing the couple, Beth and Jim, who were about as wild and fun-loving a couple as I’ve ever seen. If this is how the Leep family rolls, then I’m even more excited about covering Kristen’s wedding next year!

I titled this post “Wandering Indiana” because yesterday’s wedding confirmed that that variation of our former state slogan should be my motto for the year. I’ve already shot weddings in Cincinnati (close enough), Fort Wayne, Columbus, Terre Haute and now South Bend, with more coming up in Bloomington, Muncie, Evansville, Bedford and Crawfordsville. While I hope the brides haven’t forgotten us in Indy, it’s definitely been a joy to branch out a bit. At least today I’ll be “staying home,” as I’m shooting a wedding and reception at the Omni Severin. (Thanks for the referral, Carrie!) This will be my fifth one there out of the last dozen I’ve shot. I’ll be working with the always-fun photographers Stacy and Mary, whom I just found out will be working at the aformentioned Leep wedding next year along with Jessica Strickland. The last time I worked with them, they had a wedding to shoot in South Bend the next day. Today, I’m returning from South Bend before working with them again. Coincidence?