Wedding Photography: Jason and Claira

Jason and Claira wedding reception entrance

            You can never really prepare for every variable in wedding photography. This makes it a daunting, yet immensely rewarding endeavor. In most cases, you don’t know the bride and groom all that well on a personal level, yet you’re in charge of finding out who they are at their core and documenting that true self on the most important day of their life. It is made far easier when both bride and groom’s true selves are as loving, friendly, and caring as Jason and Claira.

Jason and Claira kiss


But back to those variables—here’s the location list for this shoot: hotel (exterior & interior), bride and groom’s home (interior), church (exterior & interior), yacht club reception hall (interior), yacht club docks (exterior). That’s a lot of places! As you can imagine the lighting and atmosphere were drastically different in each location, and we were flying from place to place at a steady clip. The result is a gallery of many moods—the sheer excitement and elaborate process of the bridal party getting ready, the relaxed attitude of the groomsmen playing video games and getting ready at the last minute, the composed ceremony of the church, and the exuberant celebration of the reception.

Nicole getting ready
Jason ironing
Flower girl in aisle
Wedding reception entrances
Jason and Claira on the dock

            Speaking of the reception, here’s a fun first for me: Jason got a bit over-zealous with the garter toss, landing it in one of the hall’s light fixtures. The yacht club staff had to find us a ladder, and I (among the tallest, and only person of such height not in a suit) had to climb up and get it. One of the rules of photography is to blend in and not draw attention to yourself, but sometimes you become part of the show anyways.

John Saves the Day

            My goal at a wedding is always to capture a “mantel piece” photo—one that I imagine the bride and groom putting in a fancy frame, prominently positioned in their home. I think there are a number of those here, especially because I managed to capture the elusive “smiling child” on camera. Looking through these photos, I see not just perfect framing and poses, but the love Jason and Claira share captured in smiles and subtle gestures.

Jason and Claira first dance

            One last thing: I mentioned that learning about people on the spot is one of the challenges of wedding photography. This is made A LOT easier when the groom has sleeves of Nintendo tattoos and you wear Mario Odyssey socks to the shoot. Jason and Claira added a ton of cool personal touches to the wedding: the groomsmen all got Star Wars cufflinks, and Darth Vader earned a spot on the cake. We all really hit it off and felt at ease once we had something to talk about aside from shooting schedules. It was great being a part of their wedding and I’m glad they’ll have these photos to look back on for decades to come.

Vader Cake
Shoes and rings
Rings in plants
Clairas wedding dress
Stormtrooper Cufflink
Groomsmen getting ready
Jason walking the church steps
Bridal party
Ring bearer walking aisle
flower girl walks the aisle
Claira walks the aisle
Claira walks the aisle
Jason and Claira sign
Wedding party on the church steps
Jason and Claira reception entrance
Jason and Claira first dance
Jason and Claira first dance 2
Jason and Claira prayer
Jason and Claira Docks 2
Jason and Claira dock 3