I was going through some notes for new poses I was going to try out when I reach the steps of the SF City Hall. Jacquelyn, my bride for the day, has sent me sample photos of the styles she wanted. They were creative, playful, non-traditional. It got me excited.
I've just been reviewing my City Hall wedding portfolio and realized I need to change things up a bit. Things have been quite routine. I take them to the same spots, have them pose this way and that way. It was getting quite boring. For me at least. I know to the couples I work with this is all new to them. Most of them have never been to this building and have never been the center of a photo shoot before so the whole experience is all quite new.
I wanted to try something different. And Jacquelyn's request couldn't have had a more perfect timing. Reviewing the photos she emailed, I saw some of them were styles I was already doing. Some were not and with each of these photos, a certain corner in the City Hall would pop up in my head where I thought it would work out perfectly.
I was almost as excited as I was on the day I covered my first wedding here. Giving the list I was holding a final once over, I folded the piece of paper and called Jacquelyn. They were outside Room 168 and I tell her I'll be there in just a few seconds. I hurriedly made my way there to get the show started.
Arriving at the infamous yellow hall, I scoured the faces sitting and waiting to my left. My eyes landed on a beautiful, stylish couple who looked like they were expecting somebody. Jacquelyn guesses right and calls my name. I smiled back not just to be polite but because they looked purrrrrfect for the photos I was imagining. They looked sharp, relevant, confident.
Jacquelyn's beautiful short lace dress fell perfectly on her statuesque frame. Her accessories looked like glamorous vintage pieces. Her teal & gold velvet pumps were to die for and I thought the feathered white bouquet and her net birdcage cap were elegant final touches that screamed old Hollywood glam. I've had beautiful brides before but she's definitely up there on top. I even (dorkily) asked if she was a model and not surprisingly she said she has done some modeling. Even her haircut appeared edgy, her bangs falling across her eyes just so, making the onlooker guess what they're saying.
Dale wasn't far behind. His look was crisp, casual, distinctive. He looked like he belonged to a rock band and kind of reminded me of Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray. I loved his preference for a black vest on top of a gray plaid shirt folded just enough to give us a peek at his fierce colorful tattoos. I applaud people who are unafraid to work plaid on plaid. His black, gray & teal tie served as a great accent as his bride's chosen pair of shoes. They were a gorgeous couple.
More than a few times, I'd position Jacquelyn and she'd do something with her hands or angle herself a certain way that I wouldn't have initially thought of and it would create a certain look that made the shot look different, better. I love it!
This was the first wedding I've taken at the City Hall with the tree all set up at the rotunda. It was a gorgeous white and gold tree that majestically stood in the background of their beautiful and intimate ceremony.
I noticed Dale wasn't smiling so much during the pre-ceremony shoot but from the moment the commissioner initiated the beginning of the ceremony until after they were married, there was an obvious change in him. He was smiling. He couldn't let go of Jacquelyn's hand. He was happy.
As we were taking photos outside the building there suddenly appeared a group of people with red balloons. I have no idea what they were celebrating but it was a neat sight I knew I wanted to take advantage of. I had Jacquelyn and Dale stand to the side of the group and it turned out nice.
This day had a lot of beautiful surprises and reviewing the final edited photos, I personally think this is the best set I've had so far at the City Hall. Maybe even in my whole portfolio, as short as the pictorial was.
To Jacquelyn and Dale, thank you for just being your awesome selves. Your distinct styles and confidence played a huge part in how your photos beautifully turned out. Jacquelyn, you're beautiful inside and out. Your striking looks is amplified by your kind and soft spoken nature. The feisty look you exuded on your images doesn't give a clue to your humble and low-key personality. Dale, it was a pleasure seeing how happy you were being married to your wife. You looked like the luckiest man in the world. And you are.
Here's to a beautiful life (and beautiful children) ahead!
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