Like A Perfect Storm


A number of elements are required at any event to have a really great shoot. For MJ and Shuai’s wedding ceremony, the situation was about as good as it gets. The setting, pastoral and lovely, was on the grounds of The Connors Center in Dover, Massachusetts. (Oddly, though I’ve photographed almost 500 weddings, it was my first time working there.) The afternoon ceremony occurred under a full canopy of cloud cover that created a nice soft, even light (preventing harsh shadows, especially on faces), plus providing rich, bold colors (no glare on surfaces, due to the sunlight. Think polarized sun glasses). Two other very basic elements helped the situation, as well….time and mobility. The ceremony was about an hour long (outdoor weddings, typically, only run about 20 minutes), so I had time to really capture the event from many different angles and, most importantly, to search out small details and storylines. Unlike, for example, a church wedding, the more casual outdoor setting gave me the freedom to shoot from wherever I wished, thus obtaining different perspectives in the images. Several out-of-the-ordinary events, like the guests throwing paper planes at the ceremony’s conclusion, added unique features. Finally, a wonderful collection of adorable and playful children topped everything off beautifully. It was like a photographer’s perfect storm.






A Symbol Of Unity

One aspect of wedding ceremonies you often see is the symbolic unity of the bride and groom through their marriage.  One way of doing this that I love is the unity sand ceremony, where the bride and groom alternately pour sand of different colors into a beautiful piece of glassware. The patterns of the different colored sand can be quite striking, as well as symbolic. This ritual started as an alternative to the unity candle when it was too windy at outdoor ceremonies. MJ and Shuai had a gorgeous vase inscribed that they’ll be able to proudly display for many years to come.