Out near Clearwater Beach, high above the traffic and the tourists, on a balcony overlooking the Gulf, Matthew and Mara recited their vows. The audience was small, but meaningful, maybe a dozen in attendance. Private… secluded…. their own. That’s how they wanted it.
When I get a phonecall from New Jersey asking me to come photograph a “tiny” wedding on a Sunday morning at a hotel, my brain starts to ask a million questions. Some of them come out of my mouth and the customer hears them. One of those questions is, “Why do you want to have an outdoor ceremony in August at about noon?”. Many times the response is simply that’s what was available. Though I don’t like it, I can work with that. Quite frankly, the lighting is horrible and will make for “less than ideal” conditions for photography. As a photographer, when I hear this, my first instinct is to run away….. far away. No one wants unhappy customers. My second instinct is to take the job and do the best I can, after explaining to the customer about the situation (in secret hope that they can change the time!). After all, I want people’s photographs to be amazing, running away does not solve their problem. Everyone deserves great wedding photographs, not just the ones with huge ballrooms and deep pockets and perfect timing.
In the end, Matt and Mara hired us for two hours. Yup, just two hours. The ceremony ended up being nearly an hour late, so we just strolled around the gorgeous Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach with Matt and Mara and created some awesome images for them (while the tourists gave us funny looks). They were great to work with and the relaxed atmosphere made for great images if I do say so myself.
This sneak peek contains most of the images from the day: