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!

I had a wonderful time covering Kacie & Don’s wedding and reception in HD at the Omni Severin Hotel last night. The couple was very laid back, and the bride was beautiful! I told photographers Stacy and Mary (who provided the photo above) that I thought she resembled Michelle Branch. The most challenging part of the day was getting accustomed to a whole bunch of new accessories I acquired to work better with our HD cameras, but I had a good handle on it all by the end of the night, and I’m quite happy with the purchases I made. One tweak here and there, and I may end up preferring to cover all our weddings with this gear, which is possible because the HD cameras will also shoot in our customary DVCAM format. The best part of the day was getting to work with my good friends Stacy & Mary, and the Omni’s Amanda Coffey, all of whom referred this couple to me. I also got to work with Jeremy Gearries of DJs Direct for the first time, so I appreciate his letting me use his equipment to test my new audio gear. I can’t wait to start editing this video, as the whole event looked gorgeous in the widescreen format, but it may have to wait until we get back from our vacation. We’re leaving for Cancun on Wednesday!

Update: Stacy & Mary just added more images and info from this wedding on their blog

I’ve just spent the past few days moving and consolidating five room’s worth of stuff into two to make room for a new tenant, and boy I am exhausted! That’s a LOT of furniture, equipment, books, etc., and I’m not exactly Mr. Universe. Hopefully, I’ll have enough energy to get through the wedding tomorrow in one piece. So if you happen to drop in on me, do note that I am now in the back of the suite instead of the front. Don’t worry, I haven’t skipped town and your wedding masters haven’t disappeared forever! My address is still the same as well. One really cool thing about this move is that for the first time in 10 years, I’ve been able to organize my studio from the ground up in a way that makes sense for the business’ current structure and workflow. I can’t wait to show it off once everything is organized.

Just in case one of the 2.5 readers of this blog happens to know someone who might be interested, I have a beautiful 1134 s.f. five-room suite for rent right next door. Windows in every room, kitchenette, great part of town, and an awesome landlord! 😉 Just putting it out there…

I did some videotaping yesterday for one of the cutest couples I’ve gotten to know in recent years. They’re not married, engaged or even dating – in fact, that would be kind of icky. They’re Tiffany Stoner and Nate Rowe, sibling partners of Nathanial Edmunds Photography. We were working on a video intro for their new website, and I’m not sure how much “fun” it was for them to be on camera, but they sure had ME on the verge of cracking up the entire time! The way that they bicker and complete each other’s sentences, it’s no wonder many people (like me a few years ago) initially assume they’re married. Tiff wrote a neat story on their blog recently that sums them up really well. I can’t wait to piece together what we shot, especially the outtakes! Tiff also brought me the sweetest “thank-you” gift today. I’m looking forward to a doing a couple more family-related things with them coming up – I wonder if that could include swapping twins?

This coming week is going to be a challenging one at the studio, as I will be moving my entire business out of its three rooms in my five-room suite and into the other two. I’m making room to sublease to a new tenant, Gene Voss of First Security Insurance Services, which will be the first time I’ve had regular company here for a few years. It does get lonely sometimes, and just having another person around has always helped keep me motivated. Until that time, however, I will have much painting, carpet cleaning, utility switching, moving and organizing to look forward to. Thank goodness I’m all caught up with the wedding edits!

And by the way – GO HOOSIERS!

Are there any sensations in life more invigorating than that first feeling of spring in the air? I was fortunate to have a couple of fun things lined up to get me out of the studio on this gorgeous day. First I went to Ami Gallery and Photography Studio to tape a couple of talking head shots for two of their photographers. Lois Wyant plans to use these and several previously shot videos to allow visitors to “get to know” the photographers represented by the studio. Cool idea! After Jim Wyant nailed an unrehearsed yet eloquent on-camera presentation in one take, he shared with me a heartbreakingly beautiful album of his recent mission trip to India. This work earned him a rare perfect 100 score by the Professional Photographers of Indiana (PPI), a feat made all the more impressive when you consider that only five perfect scores have ever been given in Indiana, and Jim has earned THREE of them!

Then I met up with my good friend, photographer Angela Talley, who treated me to a delicious lunch at Chappie’s in the Village Center at WestClay. We were joined of course by her ridiculously perfect little girl Lucia, who has got to be the easiest baby to get a smile out of. The weather was perfect for strolling with Lucia to and from Angela’s beautiful home and studio a few blocks away. I just love that area and wish we had a good excuse to move there!

It was icing on the cake to return to the studio and learn that we just got hired to cover the wedding of developer Bob Lauth’s daughter Leigh Ann this spring. This represents a feeling of coming full circle for me, as it will be the first wedding we have covered with international Gala Award-winning event designer Gary Bravard in about seven years, and with 600 guests at Second Presbyteran Church and the Indiana Roof Ballroom, this has all the earmarks of a classic Bravard event. Also, Leigh Ann’s mother Robin hired me eight years ago to cover her daughter’s Park Tudor graduation weekend, which ironically also included a ceremony and reception at the same two venues. I’ll never forget the great performance that night by The Why Store, or the sight of Colts owner Jim Irsay hamming it up for me on the dance floor, which might make some handy blackmail footage someday!

The kids and I just spent a fun weekend at the Omni Severin Hotel to give Mommy a little breather. I’ve covered many events there over the years, but this was my first chance to experience their four-diamond hospitality from a guest’s perspective, and they did not disappoint. (Not that they could have disappointed us anyway, since our stay was on the house!) We took full advantage of their pool, movies, video games, gift shop and excellent food. Despite my failed efforts to prank call Carrie Logie soon after check-in, she was kind enough to surprise us with cookies and milk delivered to our room. I can’t thank Carrie and her staff enough for accomodating us, and for being so good to IndyVisual in general.

When we weren’t racking up incidentals in the hotel, we strolled around Circle Center Mall, goofed off at Pan Am Plaza, took a trip to the top of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, enjoyed the boys’ first horse-carriage ride (even spotting photographer Erin Hession and company along the way), and made the mandatory stop at the kids’ favorite store, Downtown Comics. All in all, a perfect weekend with the boys on one of my last remaining free ones before the April weddings hit.

I also need to give thanks to videographer John King for a spontaneous and enjoyable dinner on Thursday. John was the most established videographer in town as I was getting started, and we first met oddly enough at a convention in Orlando. The first lunch we had there ended up being one of the most impactful moments of my career, as John unselfishly passed along to me a lot of wisdom and insight that immediately helped me take this business to the next level. He continues to groom tomorrow’s media professionals as an instructor at the J. Everett Light Career Center, and I have been honored to serve on his advisory committee there ever since.