Monthly Archives: January 2017

Looking at Life Through a New Lens

Photographing wedding portraits on River Street.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a two day photography conference in Orlando, Florida. I left super early in the morning to drive down and was making my way through Jacksonville at around 6am. As I do pretty much every time I cross the St. John’s River on I-95, I glanced over to take a look at the Florida Times Union building. That building always brings up some very good, and not so good, memories. In February 2005, while I was the Sport Photographer at the Savannah Morning News, I was invited to Jacksonville to help the Times Union with their coverage of Super Bowl XXXIX. It was a pretty tough weekend for me due to some circumstances beyond my control and some not so great choices that I’d made the night before the game. I beat myself up for a long time after the game because I had a desire to do more with my career and that was a taste of the big time.

New England’s Matt Light holds up the Lombardi Trophy as he celebrates with teammates and fans after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida Sunday February 6, 2005. (Richard Burkhart for The Florida Times Union)

As I was thinking back on that time and where I was in my life I began to reflect on my life today. Back then I would have never envisioned the life that I have been blessed with today! For one, I was a “serious photojournalist.” At that time I thought wedding photography was fine for making money, but it wasn’t as important as newspaper work. I’d never had that life experience of having my own wedding, so I dismissed it and didn’t give it much respect back then. I spent most of my time in those days working, partying, and complaining.

Today’s me would’ve never gotten along with that guy! I was given a lot of opportunity during my career, and I was able to win a few awards along the way. I photographed foreign dignitaries, President Obama on two occasions, and some very happy and emotional moments. I learned a lot about people and a whole lot about myself.

In 2008, my life changed for the better. I finally hit rock bottom and made some choices that put me on the right path. A year later, in 2009, when I met the lovely Rebecca, my life changed forever. Early in our relationship Rebecca asked if I ever photographed weddings and my answer was a solid NO! I thought- I’m a photojournalist and I document important life stories. A bit later in our relationship, there I was, standing on the beach at Tybee Island, in my wedding suit awaiting the arrival of my bride. As I watched her being escorted toward me by her father, I knew that this was one of the most important days of my life. A new chapter in our story was beginning that day. As I experienced our wedding day, I realized that this is what matters. Times like these are the most important life events you can ever document.

My beautiful wife and her father. (Photo by Christine Hall)

Me photographing my lovely bride during our reception and the resulting photograph.

From that moment on I put more focus into documenting weddings. I had a different perspective and I began to cherish each wedding that I experienced. It’s like I’m reliving my own wedding day over and over again through the emotions of those I am documenting. That’s why I absolutely LOVE what I do! I cannot imagine doing anything else today. In 2014, we made the decision that I would quit my job at the newspaper one month before our son was due, and I was scared. I knew that it was the right choice to focus on my own business, but there was a lot of uncertainty. Through God’s grace and a whole lot of support from Rebecca I know that today I can continue to challenge myself and grow as a husband, a father, and a photographer.

Hard at work photographing the first dance during a recent wedding .

Posted in Wedding Tagged |

St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church Wedding

Savannah is filled with beautiful and historic houses of worship. I was super excited and honored to have the opportunity to document Julie and George’s St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church wedding! St. Paul’s is a church that I have long hoped to photograph. I once toured the church during the Greek Festival, so I knew Julie and George’s wedding was going to be gorgeous! I was definitely not disappointed! Father Vasile was very helpful and accommodating! He made sure I knew exactly what was going to happen during the ceremony and where the best places would be for us to capture key moments. It was a beautiful and spiritual service.

Following the ceremony we headed to the Hilton Savannah Desoto for a fun celebration complete with Greek dancing!

Congratulations Julie and George! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your celebration!

              

       

Ceremony Venue: St Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church
Officiant: Father Vasile Mihai
Reception: Hilton Savannah Desoto
Cake: Baker’s Pride
Dj: Don Scott Rockjocks DJs

 

 

Posted in Wedding Tagged , , , |

Red Gate Barn Wedding

From the first time we met Eden and Pete we absolutely loved them! They are such a sweet couple with a great sense of humor. So when it was finally time to document their wedding we were super excited! Not only were they a lot of fun to work with, but the weather was gorgeous and it was our first Red Gate Barn wedding. We’ve been on the other side of the property for a few weddings at The Mackey House but it was our first time at the Barn.

Everything was perfect! The Chuppah was under the edge of a moss covered Oak tree overlooking the pond. The ceremony was so peaceful, as the glow from the sun shown down on Eden and Pete as they exchanged vows. Following the ceremony everyone was invited inside the barn for a relaxed reception celebration.

Congratulations Eden and Pete! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your wedding day!

                                                
Venue: Red Gate Farm Barn
Venue Coordinator: Megan Taylor
Officiant: Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal
Catering: Thrive Catering

Posted in Wedding Tagged , , , , |