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all time favorite wedding images 04.23.2008

I was recently chatting with some friends at a party, and I was asked if I knew what my favorite wedding image was. I laughed at the notion that I could ever narrow it down to a single frame, but it did get me thinking of some of the more memorable images I've captured over the years, and today I'd like to share with you 20 of my all time favorite wedding photographs. Of course, if you ask me tomorrow, I may have a completely different set of images. I am always striving to create better images that capture moments in time that the subjects will cherish forever.

I define my style of photography, as capturing relaxed portraits, amazing details and real moments. I feel these images do a good job representing my abilities in doing just that.

These first few images are scans from back in the film days... the 90's!

I absolutely still love this portraits of a bride from July of 1999. Her expression was real, and she was just a gorgeous person inside and out.

This shot hung as a 30x40 print in my gallery for years (until I got a plasma television). It was taken the weekend after the image above and the cool thing about it, I took it with just one hand on the camera. We were walking up towards that fence on the left of the frame and I was pulling my rolling camera bag with one hand, holding the camera in the other, and I just saw the sun peaking through the trees and had time to focus and fire one frame before the sun came out and ruined the exposure.

This kid was classic. Also taken in July of 1999. His expression and hair sticking up made this one of my favorite relaxed portraits of all time.

Ah, from 1997. The first time I ever used the now infamous "[ b ] squat". It was a super hot day in August near Lake Arrowhead (over 100 degrees). There weren't any good spots to shoot and I didn't want the bride to melt. We found a little patch of shade so I just had her squat down, let the dress poof up around her, I focused on her face with my rented 85mm/1.8 lens and let the rest blow out. (sorry for the scratch in the scan).

Back to the modern era of digital. I've gotten as much response over this image from just about any image I've ever taken. We were shooting all the portraits before the ceremony, and this is reaction from when the groom first saw his lovely bride.

This was one of my favorite images of 2004. It had rained all day and we didn't get to shoot outdoors during the "good light". The rain finally let up after the reception and we took a few images on our way out. I just liked the color and light, and didn't mind the motion blur and slight miss on the focus.

I always try to capture the amazing details of the day. This Reem Acre gown was lit beautifully through the window light at the Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica last May.

Ah, relaxed portraits 1.2 style. This was the first wedding with my 85mm/1.2 Canon lens. I shot this wide open and I love the look that the lens produces and I just loved that the groom thought I was hysterical!

This shot was taken after I shot the wedding at the Vatican. We were in a cab on the way to the reception. I literally just turned around, fired one frame and loved the real moment that I captured. I love this sweet moment between these two souls. I don't even mind that it isn't 'good" light... the moment was just so perfect.

I love this shot of my photographer friends Jim Kennedy and Stephanie Brockman. They eloped up near Sonoma and I ended up signing their marriage license. This is the light I love and we got lucky because it poured for days and days before the ceremony and the blue skies came out just hours before the wedding.

Also up in Napa Valley, I love this because she just bit him without any prompting from me. I just shoot what happens. i don't ask questions. There's another shot from this wedding that was taken after the reception and the bride ditched her dress and just went skinny dipping with the bridal party, but that wouldn't be right to show it here!

Can't really beat shooting at the Vatican. St. John's Lateran.

More details! Linda from the Cake Studio is the best! Her cakes both look and taste amazing. This cake is long gone, but the photos will last forever!

I love this moment during the blessing of the meal.

One of my recent favorite relaxed bridal portraits. I love the light, the expression and everything about this image.

This was an unforgettable moment during a reception a few years back. Something the couple will never forget. The shot taken right after this one showed the bride's dad licking the frosting off of his fingers.

Just seconds before the dad walked his youngest daughter down the aisle. I literally try to be a fly on the wall when shooting and wouldn't dream of interrupting a moment like this by asking them to pose for the camera.

This could be one of my favorite relaxed portraits ever. I just love this couple, and I love the fact they weren't aware I was shooting. I also love the flip flops... my kind of groom!

Ok, I could have picked any of a million beautiful brides and placed it below... I have shot more stunning brides than anyone I know. I chose this shot of my sister on her wedding day in 2001, because it was the first time I really ever saw my sister as a beautiful young woman. Of course you never want to think of your sister as hot, because that's gross right? But on August 12, 2001, I was floored by how stunning my sister looked and she is just a gorgeous person inside and out.

Lastly, this shot has to be one of the most commented on images I've ever taken. We were shooting near Cancun, shortly after the sun set, and I was racing the light to finish up the portraits. When all of a sudden, along come this dude in his Speedo, walking through the background. Of course I kept shooting because that's what I do and got the best smiles out of the couple during those few seconds. Good times!

Well, that was a fun little trip down memory lane for me, thanks for indulging me. And if you know anyone who is getting married and looking for my style of capturing relaxed portraits, amazing details and real moments... please use the "send to friend" link below and I promise I'll take good care of them.

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