With only a day’s rest following my adventure in St. Kitts, it was time to quickly get back to business on Sunday for Melody & Dylan’s wedding at my church, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The deep spirituality of this couple blended beautifully with the inspirational music and grandeur of the sanctuary to create one of the most moving ceremonies I ever have seen there. I loved the way Dylan told me during his on-camera interview that his planned proposal to Melody got delayed because his “work schedule got extended.” (He’s a lineman for the Colts, and the Super Bowl was the culprit!)

The reception was a nicely paced affair at the Woodstock Club, with a very spirited crowd jamming to the music of the multi-talented duo Dave and Rae. It was nice to catch up with former clients Amie & Matt Paradise, who referred the couple to me, and Katie & Adam Wright. (Check out these great shots of Katie & Adam’s adorable baby from Jessica Strickland’s blog!) The majority of Dylan’s fellow offensive linemen from the Colts were there as well, and groomsman Ben Utecht was particularly hilarious all night, espcially when he took over the mic for “Ice Ice Baby.” But nothing made the night more joyful than the genuine warmth of Melody & Dylan themselves, who obviously have so much love to share with each other and those around them. The icing on the cake was having my longtime buddy Rich Johnson shooting with me (as he will much more often this year), along with photographer Scott Barrett, with whom I was working for the first time.

Covering Jill & Kevin’s destination wedding in the beautiful island of St. Kitts over this past week was truly an experience of a lifetime! The travel to and from there was long but enjoyable thanks to the company of photographer Hether Miles, with whom we had collaborated on the wedding of Kevin’s sister Jennifer a few years ago. The mountains and beaches of the island itself reminded me of Kauai with its abundance of natural beauty unblemished by major development, and the jaw-dropping view of the island from the air was a vision that I will never forget. The expansive St. Kitts Marriott Resort was a great locale for most of the festivities (volleyball, golf, spa, etc.) enjoyed by their 30 or so guests.

The ceremony itself on Thursday was certainly not your typical gazebo wedding at a pretty resort. Instead, it took place miles away on an unpopulated beach near the black, jagged wall of a cliff. Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners, who referred the couple to us did a superb job in scouring the whole island with the couple to find this unique and memorable spot. The cool breeze, setting sun, crashing waves and steel drums made for a postcard-pretty backdrop. Even more palpable was the genuine affection the couple had for each other, which was apparent during their emotional, personalized vows.

The reception followed soon after next to the resort’s north swimming pool, where everyone was greeted by a cute and hilarious little diapered monkey who gamely posed for photos with each guest and stole sips of their cocktails. (I hope he had a ride home!) The local band kept a Caribbean vibe going throughout dinner and then kept everyone in a dancing mood with disco and R&B classics for the remainder of the evening.

In addition to being an incredible time, the whole week LOOKED incredible in HD, so I can’t wait to put all this footage together and share it. The festivities are not yet complete, however, as there will be a formal reception for the couple at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in a couple of weekends. The video that I will be producing for the reception highlighting our week in St. Kitts is intended by the couple to be a focal point of the evening, so I will look forward to putting Hether’s beautiful shots together with my footage to bring the islands to the IMA!

Where will the ceremony be? My vote is for historic Brimstone Hill Fortress.
We enjoyed a fun birthday party for Matthew on Saturday at Pinheads. His friends had a great time duckpin bowling, while Chris and I mostly got to sit back and let everyone entertain themselves. I guess this gets easier as the kids get older, though we’ll probably have our hands full at the twins’ party next weekend. I won’t be in town for their actual birthday on Thursday because…
Although I normally take Mondays off during the wedding season, I’ll be spending most of the day packing up my HD gear to get ready for a pretty exciting business trip, Jill & Kevin’s destination wedding in St. Kitts on Thursday. Consultant Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners is already on location with the couple scouting possible sites for the ceremony (tough job!), and I’ll be flying out with photographer Hether Miles first thing Tuesday. This should be quite an adventure, and I can’t wait to report on it when I get back late Friday.

Here are the highlights from Kelly & J.R.’s wedding last weekend at Friendship Baptist Church and reception at Valle Vista Golf Club & Conference Center on 4/14/07 in Greenwood. Enjoy!

UPDATE (4/22/07) Kelly sent along this e-mail: “I sent the overview clip to some of my family and friends and they loved it! Everyone complimented on what an amazing job you’ve done. I can’t wait to view the whole thing!” Me neither, Kelly – and thank you!

Matthew sipping a (non-alcoholic) pina colada in Cancun

It’s hard to believe that our first baby and resident genius is going to be a double-digit age in one more year, but for now, we’ll just celebrate Matthew turning 9 years old today. Chris and I like to reminisce about his first minutes, when the nurses first placed him in her arms. He made an immediate impression in the way that he calmly looked around studying his surroundings, and his curiosity and independence have not let up ever since. Happy 9th birthday, Matthew! We love you!

I’m sure that when Kelly and J.R. were planning their wedding for mid-April, they weren’t expecting snowflakes. But it’s been that kind of year so far, and fortunately, nobody seemed to mind. Their wedding took place at Friendship Baptist Church in Greenwood, and the reception marked my first return to Valle Vista Golf Club & Conference Center in over ten years. In fact, I just realized that I haven’t shot a wedding or reception on the south side at all in those ten plus years, which is kind of surprising considering how many we’ve done. But it was a nice change of pace to return there, and everyone was as hospitable as could be to me.

I got the chance to work with photographer Tonya Wittig for the first time on her own, though we had worked together many times over the ten years that she assisted Lois Wyant of Wyant Photography. DJ Rick Eberle of DJs Direct did a great job of keeping everyone involved and pacing all the formalities right through the couple’s departure. He also gave me a killer sound feed, as did the church earlier. This could end up being one of the best sounding videos I’ve done. The video should be completed over the next few days – one of the perks of getting married early in the season!

Here’s the highlight video from Kacie & Don’s wedding and reception at the Omni Severin Hotel on 3/24/07. Thanks again to photographers Stacy and Mary and the Omni’s Amanda Coffey, each of whom referred the wedding to me and scored some cameos in the clip. The widescreen HD cameras allowed me to capture some cool shots that I might not have managed otherwise. (Note: the HD resolution will not be visible on the web version of this video.)

The clients did not have a song preference, so I wanted to try one that I had never used before, preferably something new and fresh. After wracking my brain to come up with a good fit, I remembered a song from the movie “Meet the Robinsons,” which I took the boys to see last weekend. It was a cute, clever and twisty flick that looked awesome in 3D, but otherwise didn’t tug at the heartstrings much. That is, until its closing epilogue, set to this song, finally gave me a lump in the throat. It’s a song about possibilities and moving forward, which seemed appropriate.

UPDATE (4/13/07) I just got a very nice e-mail from Dan Rawlins, the father of the bride: “Kacie e-mailed the link to your website, and I just viewed your highlights video. Having been jaded and deluded by enduring other wedding videos I’ve seen, I clicked the play button with low expectations for the whole genre. I had no idea that 3 1/2 minutes of video could so perfectly capture the feel of a special day. Great work!”

UPDATE (4/17/07) Just got this e-mail from Kacie: “We’ve been sharing it with friends and family and everyone has been completely amazed at the quality of your product. The video truly captured the essence of the day. We can’t thank you enough!” Glad you enjoyed it, Kacie, and thank you for letting me be a part of your special day!

By popular demand (or rather, the demand of one popular photographer), here’s a sampling of images from our recent Cancun trip. Keep in mind that this is my first ever attempt to post a photo slideshow, and that these are all from my little point-and-shoot camera. Click on the image above to start. Enjoy!

Just checking in from Cancun to say that we’re having a wonderful time here on our kids’ spring break. I’m surprised at how accessible this piece of paradise is to Indiana, and we’ve run into an unusually large number of Hoosiers who apparently feel the same way. Our highlights so far have included swimming with dolphins, viewing the huge barrier reef from a submarine, enjoying the all-inclusive food and amenities of the Great Parnassus Resort and Omni Cancun (the photo above is from our villa), and basking in the beautiful weather and hospitality of the Mexican people. My mom and her friend Maew joined us for a few days from Thailand, which makes any trip even more special.

It’s a bummer to have to leave tomorrow, but I’ll have plenty to look forward to at home this month. In addition to a few more days of spring break, we have birthdays for each of the boys coming up, along with three weddings, including one in St. Kitts (have I mentioned that one yet?) and one for a groom who will be sporting a shiny new Super Bowl ring to go with his new wedding ring!