Alli & Ryan
In some respects, they were the perfect couple to shoot with. Alli and Ryan were generous with their humor and excited to have their day in Duluth documented on a warm and humid day. The site they selected, the Kitchi Gammi Club, near the Lake Superior shore was an early ninteenth century mens’ club that is today a national landmark and favorite location for weddings. In the aftermath of the ceremony, Alli asked me me to identify my favorite image. It was an easy selection; a touching moment Alli shared with her Dad an hour or so before the ceremony. Seated on a couch, they held hands and her father’s expression, although fleeting, spoke so eloquently of his letting go and accepting an emotional transition in his daughter’s life.
Francesca & Chris
Chris brought my photography website out of the dark ages with a dramatic design that was immediately dramatic and visually appealing. Within months, he and Francesca, the Princess of Lombardy, Italy, were engaged and I became their photographer. Our shared journey touched upon the most significant highlights: engagement, wedding, pregnancy and newborn. They chose an apple orchard west of the Twin Cities that was repleat with old-timey farm implements, there were the requisite posed tractors, critters and ripe apples. Like so many of the nifty couples I’ve shot on wedding day, Chris and Francesca decided to say their “I do’s” beneath a dome of sun and clouds. As always, I concentrated on capturing images that had a “fly on the wall” quality…just as I did during an illustrious four decade career as a television photojournalist. Chris and Fran, like so many couples, were anxious to document their day with images that were a visual testament to their shared love.
Jen & Mike
The idyllic setting felt so familiar: stone and mortar buildings, so common in Scotland and Ireland. No coincidence because the farm was built by the iconic Mayo brothers and that’s where more than a hundred guests gathered for Mike and Jen’s wedding. With a glass of champagne in hand, Jen underwent a 70-minute makeover in the former horse stables. The setting, with its many stone buildings and walls, was a candy land for wedding photographers. At every turn, the proprietors had established nifty settings for posed portraits. Even Jen’s father, Poppa Griffin, contributed his classic Chevy Nova Supersport for pre-ceremony portraits. When the ceremony got underway, one moment was especially poignant. Jen released about 30 monarch butterflies to honor her deceased sister.
Laura & Bryan
For me, a wedding is a grand tableau in which loved ones gather to celebrate shared joy. And for me, shooting with Lauren and Bryan was another example of
celebrated joy. My own. I should make clear that Laura and I were work colleagues, I was a long-time photojournalist at Kare TV in Minneapolis and she was a weather forecaster/presenter, so we had a history. Beyond that, we were friends who had a desire to do it right. After she and Bryan selected an old Wisconsin farmstead for the ceremony, Laura and I visited it and other shoot locations in western Wisconsin. When game day came, we were ready. With a sense of purpose, we sprinted from one location to another as we shot on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. Then finally, as late afternoon began to cast long shadows, and friends and relations took their seats, Laura and Bryan exchanged tearful “I do’s.” Reflecting on the day, my favorite images were of the couple hand-feeding dairy cows and Laura’s burst of laughter while she fed a cow. That moment was priceless. How many times, as a child, had I fed cows on our family farm in Wisconsin?