Ling contacted me just a few months before her wedding to inquire about availability. Fortunately, it was the last date of the month that I had open. We met and everything went great. Ling described to me that there was going to be a Chinese Tea Ceremony first with a traditional wedding ceremony to follow later in the afternoon. I was excited immediately. I absolutely appreciate any sort of non-traditional aspect to a wedding day.
The day began at their house. It was fantastic. There was so much going on and so many opportunities to grab some really good candid, photojournalistic shots. The Chinese Ceremony began as Mark and the boys arrived. The bridesmaids had to keep them out until Mark offered a gift that was “worthy” enough. Mark and the groomsmen then had to participate in several games in which they had to win in order for Mark to be allowed to see and “take” Ling. All of the games were hilarious and they guys were good sports. At one point they had to watch Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video and replicate the dance. Later which they did again at the reception. It was great. The actual tea ceremony was amazing to watch and photograph. I really tried to get some unique shots without disturbing anything.
After lunch Ling got ready for the ceremony at St Paul. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, St. Paul is a great church for a wedding. Its gigantic, it’s beautiful, and it’s air-conditioned. The ceremony, as usual, was flawless and gorgeous. The light was perfect and the images of Ling at the altar are breathtaking to me. I always feel so lucky when I get a really really good image. It may sound odd, but I don’t always feel like the images that I take are 100% mine. What I mean is, is that the light has to be right, the darkness has to be right, the lens has to be right, the mechanics of the camera have to be right…. we all have to be aligned to get an incredible image. It’s like a band- everyone works together to make a sound. I work with several different elements that I usually don’t have much control over.
Mark and Ling wanted to travel to a lot of cool places for on-site shooting. We stopped at The Hot Metal Bridge and then on 21st street in the South Side. I love all of the photographs. I am very pleased with how they turned out and I think I was able to utilize the sun this time- rather than always trying to run away from it =)
The reception continued on the Gateway Clipper. This is the first time that I had an event on a boat. It was amazing. I think it is such a different type of venue and experience for everyone. The bride and groom arranged a surprise for dancers to come aboard and perform. There was a band and two dancers inside of a dragon. It was mesmerizing to watch and absolutely beautiful.
The day way amazing and I am very happy that Mark and Ling found me and chose to include me for their wedding day.
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