Happy Post Valentine's Day!

Congratulations to all the newly engaged couples out there. We hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

So this post is about you and your engagement story and a little about me and mine. Please use the comment area to describe how your proposal went. Here is my story:

A long time ago on a hot summer day…I had recently returned from coaching at the UCONN Women’s Basketball Camp in Storrs, CT. I had taken two of my former players with me this year to help coach and we had all visited New York together. While in New York I stopped by Tiffany’s to buy an engagement ring for my then girlfriend.

On to the next part planning the question. So I decided to make this a scavenger hunt theme. I spelled out each letter of W-I-L-L Y-O-U M-A-R-R-Y M-E and created a path around the Quad Cities to various places that meant something to our relationship. Then I wrote clues to the various locations and asked her sister to plant a couple of gifts along the way. Her sister had no clue what was the ultimate goal, she just thought it was a date thing. Oh so wrong. I sometimes wonder if she regrets her part in this? Hmmm.

So we left her house on a date, she was given a clue to the first stop and she had to figure out where we needed to go, at each point of the journey I either gave her a card, gift, picked up something for dinner (final spot we sat in a park on a swing and ate.), and so on. With each stop she also received a letter from the question. How she didn’t know what was going on I really don’t know, but after 11 years of marriage I have figured out a few things.

So hours later we are at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf, IA and we are sitting in the swing eating a sandwich and enjoying some wine, she now has all the clues, letters, and the sun is setting over the pond. I ask her to figure out the words from the letters and she is confused at her attempts, so I got down on my knee and helped her out then showed her the ring and asked her in person. Pretty good night I would say.

OK, your turn now.

Choosing a wedding photographer: Review from the Knot

According to the article the first step is style. Understanding your style and each photographers style.

Your style: are you looking for upscale formal, are you planning to invest in large prints or coffee table book, is it a country relaxed wedding, do you want a lot of photoshop features or more natural images? Look around your home or think about your dream home and how it will be decorated and then how will your wedding photos enhance those homes.

Photographers style: when your looking at their work try to read the expressions in their clients faces. Did they look happy and natural or forced. Where the photos engaging throughout the samples? Did you like their colorization, photoshop techniques, did they pull you in with their work or turn you away as to over the top? Were they creative os pretty standard fare?

When you meet potential photographers, what vibe do you get in person? Yes, you really loved their work or maybe friends told you that you had to have so and so to photograph your wedding day, but was their chemistry their between you and the photographer when you met? were they open to your vision of the day, did they have ideas you liked when you talked. Just the other day I was meeting a potential client for videography (they already had chosen a photographer and a friend had referred me for videography), when talking about a possible First Look the bride kept saying their photographer hadn’t made any suggestions during their meeting yet I was and they were thankful. Now, I’m not saying anything bad about their photographer it’s a personality not ability thing. I get into the moment of your wedding as we meet and think about what I can bring to the creative part of the day, many others already no their wedding day plan and fit their style. I’m sure come wedding day this photographer will have a plan, have spent more time with the couple creatively, and they will capture the love of the day.

Next, they suggest to see a few full wedding albums. I apologize here as we have never invested in full albums and we will rethink that this year and possibly add it for the future as it is a great way to see our work in a setting you can imagine your wedding photos at your home. We haven’t done this as we don’t sell prints and give our clients digital and photo CD full printing rights. When we meet we show couples our work digitally.

Compare packages: How many hours do you want/ need for your wedding day? How much to they charge for staying later because things got off schedule? What do you get in each package and how does that compare with other photographers you meet? I know we are sometimes hindered because we do not sell prints making your photographic needs one stop shopping. I also know we are on the lower end of pricing for wedding photography not because we deserve less money but because I know how much a wedding costs and don’t like breaking peoples banks. I love photographing and filming weddings more than I like charging people for my services. I spend hours editing films and photographs, I spend a lot of money of equipment trying to stay up to date and I am happy with the income and time I get by being a part of your wedding day.

There is more to the article and I encourage you to read it by following the link above. Please choose your photographer wisely and even though you might not choose us to photograph or film your wedding day please know we will be happy to help in any way we can make your wedding day what dreams are made of.

Thank you!

January 13th, 2019

Writer’s block: Trying to think of a blog post and can’t think of one.

Moving on today I am going to talk about wedding venues and churches. Over the 13 years of filming weddings I have been honored to film at some pretty cool locations. Also, some unique places too.

First I would like to say, I love Catholic Churches and plan to spend some time this summer photographing and filming Catholic Churches in Iowa. The stained glass add so much color on sunny days it is beautiful to be a part of these ceremonies. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other denominations and locations, it’s just that as a history buff I have always enjoyed traveling and seeing Catholic Churches especially in Europe.

Ok, back to the topic, see writer’s block and ADD at work here.

In Davenport, Iowa my favorite wedding venue is Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Rock Island it’s Blackhawk State Park and Lodge. Moline it’s First Congregational Church, and Bettendorf is Lourdes Catholic Church clearing the Quad Cities.

Now, if you have a small wedding try out Miss Effies Flower Farm in Donahue or Old Saint Anne’s at Pioneer Village in Scott County Park.

For barn weddings try The Barn at Brophy Creek or The Barn at Allen Acres in Rockford, IL and of course their is Celebration Barn in Iowa City too all great locations for both a ceremony and reception.

In Dubuque, of course we can’t forget Hotel Julien and Grand Harbor Hotel locations but also the Dubuque Arboretum.

In Chicago or actually Oak Park Grace Lutheran Church is a favorite and South Carolina Hilton Head is a great area for a beach wedding. Speaking of beach weddings St Lucia is awesome for a destination wedding.

Well, I don’t have time to shout out all the great locations to get married but know wherever you choose to have your special day will be a great locations to celebrate your love.

Thank you to all the couples who chose us to share their special day and the venues that hosted those days. I can’t wait to revisit some old friend venues and meet new venues this year!

Happy Wedding Year 2019!

Happy Wedding Year 2019

As 2019 has finally arrived it’s time to wish all couples getting married this year #HappyWeddingYear2019.

Since this is the first blog for 2019 it will be a review of the #Bridesmagazine article “The 2019 Wedding Trends You Need to Know” https://www.bridesmagazine.co.uk/gallery/2019-wedding-trends

Wedding Colors: For 2019 the article says Coral is the color of the wedding year. I love color it add so much to the wedding day from the ties, socks, bouquets, and of course bridesmaids dresses. I look forward to seeing with brides around the country do with coral and any other color they choose for their special day.

Wedding Dresses: A return to classic simple dresses. While these are gorgeous, my preference is the details in lace but once you Say Yes to the Dress ultimately it’s your day and your look that will be perfect!

Wedding Cakes: More opulent cakes coming to 2019! That should be fun!

Grooms Suits: 3-piece suits back in vogue for grooms in 2019.

Wedding Stationary: Illustrated Invitations, with email, wedding websites, Facebook pages, and all other forms of communication it’s nice to see that the wedding invitation is still be snail mail and means something to the couple and their guests. I need to remember to ask my couples to send or save a set of their invitations for my use in their films a very important detail to incorporate in capturing their wedding.

The Exit: Colorful confetti sounds great, hope it’s biodegradable! Last year we filmed a couple being pelted with birdseed by the groomsmen I guess confetti is softer on the face.

Bridesmen and Groomsgirls: It’s OK to swap sides to celebrate the side of the isle that your closest too.