Entries in wedding (3)


The Shootout

I am a Nikon shooter while one of my dearest photographer-friends shoots Canon. While Nikon and Canon users often riff on each other on everything from lenses to color rendering to the crispness of the shutter click, the “joke” most of us understand is that the quality of images depends on the photographer, not the equipment.

Which is why, a couple weeks ago, my heart started pounding when my friend and I had an informal shootout at our mutual friends’ wedding. We both had as much gear as we dared carry to a wedding that we weren’t shooting. He sported his new 5D Mark III and what I’m guessing was an 85mm f/1.2L-series (showing my Canon ignorance here), while I clung onto my D700 and 50mm f/1.4.

We had several couples hungry to model for us outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan. “Choose a spot,” he instructed to me as they scattered, waiting for further direction.

I surveyed my options: concrete building, concrete plaza, and strong, setting sun. My friend quickly staked out a spot at which he had taken a photo of my husband and me just minutes ago, where the light was soft, subjects backlit, and landscape verdant. I sighed and directed a couple in the opposite direction: a concrete wall with sunlight reflecting off the pavement—and spontaneity—as my only hope.

In the end, our images illustrated that we shot what we each knew best. He captured softly-lit images of couples standing in formal poses. I shot the couples in more risky lighting, semi-photojournalist style. The images aren’t my best work, but the experience helped me start thinking faster on my feet, decked out in a pair of 3-in. high heels.

 Aptly Noted wedding photograph  Aptly Noted wedding photograph


What Jasmine Star Didn’t Say

Like thousands of people, I’m a huge fan of Jasmine Star. Doubtless her photography is beautiful, but she even acknowledges other photographers can produce similar images. What does distinguish her is not her Cinderella tale of photography success or her social media empire. Rather it’s her authenticity, spirit, and ability to resolve, reveal, learn, and laugh at her own missteps and obstacles that cause clients and photographers of all backgrounds and interests to flock to her websites everyday.

Jasmine is beyond the popular girl; she’s the popular girl who’s savvy, passionate, modest, and hilarious. You can’t even talk smack about her to make you feel better. Instead, she’ll give you the tools herself to make you better—in photography, business, marketing, and your craft.

On Mar. 8, I attended her D.C. stop of her national tour, The Fix. The event combined networking with fabulous photographers from D.C. to to London, England (!), dishing out pointed business advice, and Dr. Phil-like sessions for audience members brave enough to reveal their ruts.

Many people have blogged about what they learned from The Fix; below I share nine takeaways that Jasmine Star didn’t say in words but through actions and attitude:

  1. Humility and humor are priceless; a self-deprecating joke can do wonders to warm up a reserved audience.
  2. Why be normal when it’s the outliers who stand out?
  3. Always challenge and question yourself; others will, so you will at least be prepared.
  4. Help others; the top is only fun with others around you.
  5. If you have great images—and great arms—show them off!
  6. We’d all be international photography stars if the road to success was smooth. Cling on to your camera straps.
  7. If the stage goes up in flames, the show can still go on when you have amazing support staff.
  8. Kindness begins with a smile.
  9. Photography is tiring and all consuming. You bet you’re worth $$$.

Jasmine Star--The Fix taken by Aptly NotedThe Fix in D.C., Mar. 8, 2012


It Began with a Wedding

Future brides often fixate on the dress. My obsession was stationery. Yes, I was excited to marry the love of my life, to be with family and friends, and to celebrate the next stage of life—but I couldn’t wait to design my wedding invitations.

The hours spent sketching and perfecting every line and curve in Illustrator flew by. I was hooked. Peonies, my favorite flowers, took center stage in the invitation, RSVP, and thank you cards. A medley of my favorite flowers was featured on our program, table numbers, and seating cards. I also designed a custom logo that interlinks our first initials (in 2006, two years before Jane Seymour introduced her similar—and in my opinion, not as elegant—pendant).

After receiving our letterpress stationery from Sugar River Stationers, I fell in love with the look and feel of letterpress stationery. Furthermore, my design was selected as an Editor’s Pick in Brides magazine. Maybe I had something here, I thought.

Aptly Noted Peonies RSVP