Saturday, May 24, 2008

Intimate Wedding At Lon's

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being the photographer for a very intimate wedding at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley, AZ. The entire wedding, guests and all, was a group that is smaller than many bridal parties. Parents, brothers, sisters and closest friends..... oh, and a couple of photographers to share the day and capture it for them.

The venue was one I hadn't been to before, but absolutely perfect for this wedding. Lon's and the Hermosa Inn is an older property with mature landscaping and an interesting history (check the link above). Off the beaten path, it lies just west of Camelback mountain, nestled among some of the older homes in the Paradise Valley area. As we drove through the neighborhood to get there the beauty of the area just made me want to move in.

The photo above captures something I'd never seen before at a wedding - a "ring warming". I thought this was a wonderful idea and was particularly suited to such a close knit gathering. The rings are passed from hand to hand, from one guest to the next as their body heat warmed the metal bands, a sort of blessing of the union with each one present giving warmth to the couple. That's Christine's father passing the rings across the aisle to Jameson's family and friends.

Unlike many outdoor weddings in the Phoenix area that are held in the glaring sun, this one was fully shaded on a small patio between the rows of low casitas. The combination of warm light from the sun and cooler shadows from the canopy of leaves overhead made for some interesting lighting. I decided to match the sunlight with warming gels on my flashes. This threw the background into a deeper shade of blue. On some photos I corrected the background and sandwiched the two together, but I rather liked the effect of the cooler shades in the background. In the photo below there was no flash, just a shaft of golden sunlight filtering through the trees.

As noted before, Lon's is located just West of Camelback mountain (seen in the background below). The parking lot is just over this low wall and we'd wait for cars to pass by and grab shots whenever there was an opportunity. I still ended up getting several shots of vehicles pulling into the drive straight behind them.

Many of the doors had such great character, including this one. When I met Jameson and Christine at Lon's a few weeks ahead of the wedding we saw this door within a door and planned to get a shot of them looking through. The door was quite old and only hanging on one hinge. I had to slip something small into the crack in the smaller door to keep it from swinging closed due to the angle. My assistant for the day - Darren - held a flash on the other side of the wall to light them while I lit the door with a hand-held flash.

All in all, a beautiful wedding at a great venue. I want to thank both Christine and Jameson for choosing me to be a part of their day. I had a great time.