June 29, 2011

confessions of a second shooter | lisa + dan

I had the amazing opportunity to shoot with the super fabulous Krystal Muellenberg Photography this last weekend.  I have to admit that I was completely in shock when Krystal said she'd be happy to let me join her for this wedding. I'm pretty sure my husband had to get out the chest paddles and resuscitate me.  I mean, seriously's Krystal Muellenberg!  She is the epic of all epicness.  The experience and observations I walked away with that day I cannot put a value on. From the awe of watching a true pro in action, to my realization of lenses and other equipment and what worked and what didn't, to working on my inner confidence and continually telling myself "you can do this!" to being ever so humbled in watching Krystal do what she does best hoping someday I might be half as good as she. The smiles, the joy, the love that filled the day - it was A-MAZ-ING and I cannot thank Krystal (and Lisa) enough for giving me the opportunity to join her for Lisa & Dan's wedding. It was a true honor! And I hope my cupcake pops tasted at least somewhat yummy ;)

Before the day of the wedding I think I spent every free minute I had reading blogs and forums on "How to be a good second shooter". They all said the same: help with setup, carry bags & equipment if needed, round up family members or wedding party for any formal shots, make sure the primary photographer is always hydrated, look for shots they aren't able to capture, get other angles, and remember it's not about you and more importantly don't give up after the first time {if you have a bad experience which I DEFINITELY did not}. I can definitely say WOW! In a good way, of course. I think the biggest outcome for me from this experience was the realization of key things: the fast-paced timeline, the equipment needed, and just the pure fact of watching a pro in action really gives you a sense of what it's all about and what I want to strive for. The day was overwhelming to say the least for a newbie to the wedding photography world, but it was exhilarating and so much fun. Although I knew the day would be fast, I didn't realize how fast Krystal really is.  But when you're that good, it just comes natural. It was fascinating to watch her work and I tried to make sure I wasn't being a "lurker" or taking shots of everything she was, I hope I was able to find a decent balance and get a few great shots on my own. Krystal will always out perform me but to take a step back, replay the days events in my head, and think about what I analyzed from all my observations is priceless. I really can't wait to do it again!  Now if I only have $5K for my list of equipment I decided that I need. lol

Funny thing about a small know everyone. So when Krystal told me she had a wedding in Gays Mills, I said "Gays Mills?! I'm from Gays Mills! Who's the bride & groom?"  The minute she said Lisa Peterson I said "Yup, I know Lisa!"  Lisa's brother Brian and I were in the same class at North Crawford and I always remembered seeing Lisa around and thinking she was so pretty.  Well, her wedding day definitely was no different. In fact she was more than pretty. She was beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, all of the above! I am still in awe that this entire wedding was made possible by Lisa and her family and friends. They made practically everything for the big day and it completely paid off. This backyard wedding was a picture perfect scene.

Daddy tying his little girl's sash on her wedding day: Priceless
A little bit of Krystal in action. I was in awe....ladies & gentleman, she is fast, accurate, and just plain GOOD!
Waiting inside for the groom to get in place for the 1st look.
Another action shot ;)
Lisa's parents' backyard is pretty much a miniature botanical gardens. So so so pretty! I must admit that I have always wanted to see their house & backyard because I knew it would be marvelous to look at.  Her dad even dabbles in some photography so it was fun to talk to him about that and all his adventures with his wife. He had some really neat pictures in the house of trips they've taken together including an awesome sunset silhoutte he took of him and his wife that hangs above their whirlpool tub in the master bedroom. I couldn't think of a better spot for Lisa & Dan to celebrate their love for each other than right there in the family backyard which is breathtaking all by itself!
A fav.
Love, Love, Love Dan's gentle touches on Lisa the entire day! Swoonage!
Another fav!
Talking to relatives in Europe. I think I could have listened to them all day even though I had no idea what they were talking about. My vague guess is that it sounded like German, but I'm not positive. I wish I would have asked them if that was correct. I believe the last name 'Piessens' descends from Belgium which has 3 official languages: Dutch, French, and German {if Wikipedia is correct ;) } So cool!
I love these next two shots showcasing the state of emotion and focused mind just before the grand entrance. It's like she's saying "Ok, take a deep breath...this is your moment...I'm getting married today"...and then next scene enter with the biggest "here I am and I'm sooooo excited to become Mrs. Dan Piessens".
While editing this preview, I noticed I had so many of Dan "assisting" Lisa. I guess it's fitting since I was assisting Krystal that day so why not portray the beauty of that. It was so apparent how much Dan loves Lisa and was there for her every minute and detail of the day. So touching!
 Each table had individual and unique salt & pepper shakers. So cute! This of course was the bride & groom's table.
 I didn't realize it when I took this shot, but totally love the couple kissing in the tent. I think it adds to the feel of the day. Love all around!
 The Piessens: Dan, Lisa, Aida, & Hazel
Lisa is a veterinarian and has such love for animals. Meet her fur children: Hazel Sophia (be sure and look in the above shot on the left for Hazel's awesomely pink nails!)
 and Aida Monro. Don't you just want to kiss 'em?!?!
 Such a cutie...I'm pretty sure he was showing off his totally rad dance moves just for me :)

Be sure and check out Krystal's blog post on Lisa + Dan's wedding {HERE}. Again, such a huge thanks to Krystal and Lisa for letting me be a part of such a beautiful special day!