Wedding: Naomi & Matt

posted on: January 30, 2007

Intersetingly, I first met Matt at Costco where he was working as Photo Lab Tech. I was running some test prints through their machines and testing out the effects of different papers, inks, and processing. For the record, I LOVE Costco for my personal family and vacation photos, but don't use them for my client or fine art printing (not that they aren't worthy!) Matt helped me understand that mini-labs make automatic corrections to images which actually ends up ruining the ones I've already corrected and processed! From then on, I learned that I needed to make sure the lab turned off any auto-corrections to my images before printing them. I digress... so anyway, that's how we met.

When Matt stopped working at Costco I felt like I had lost a good friend behind the photo counter and was sad to see him leave. However, even after that, Matt & I kept running into each other. Apparently we both spent a lot of time working at Caribou Coffee in Rochester Hills, and one day he was sitting fairly close by when I was meeting with another photographer who wanted to assist me. He ended up taking a look at some proofs from a recent wedding I shot and mentioned that he and his fiancé still hadn't found a photographer for their wedding. At that time they still hadn't decided on a date, but I gave him my info. I think a month or so went by and I hadn't heard anything from him until I ran into him while he was serving at Mongolian BBQ! He had lost my info and asked for it again. After a few more coincidental meetings, we finally managed to sign an agreement for their wedding day. I still had never met his fiance, but knowing what a great guy he was, I knew she HAD to be an amazing person!! Sure enough, when I first Naomi on her on the wedding day, not only was she incrediblly beautiful, but also incredibly kind and down to earth. I could tell they were a perfect match!!

We started off the day at her apartment, which she and Matt had recently started furnishing together. I just love their sense of design!

Naomi spent the last few minute of her free time writing thank yous...

Watching Mom cut the hanging ribbons off the dress - not so hot. Showing that the Bride digs Radiohead - now that's hot.

I love this candidly captured detail shot of her beautifully simple Y-necklace...

As I was pulling up to the ceremony site at the Stoney Creek Metropark in Shelby Twp, MI, I noticed the groom walking along lakeshore. It struck me that he was walking alone, and from such a distance (he could've parked closer- especially since it was raining). It felt like his backpack combined with the foggy treeline in the background made it feel like he was embarking on an important journey. I just had to steal this moment from my inside my car with the 85mm lens as I drove by.

Before the ceremony began, the minister pulled the groom aside to pray with him... such a touching moment...

I love that, in spite of the rain, the outdoor ceremony still went on and everyone brought umbrellas and sat outside. Luckily it was only misting by the start of the ceremony, though it had already poured a few times that morning. The bride had little care that her satin dress and delicate slippers would be dragging over the wet grass and dirt, and I love that about her.

I can just feel the pride in her father's face, and the happiness in Naomi's heart as they both look down the aisle at her soon-to-be-husband.

I love it when a minister gets the crowd laughing. It seems to help everyone relax and particpate in the joy of the ritual.

Even though it was raining the whole day... the rain managed to hold off for the ceremony, which was great since they didn't have a back-up location!! There was even a point at which the sun broke from the couds behind me as the bride & groom said their vows to each other. Unfortunately, even a picture cannot do the moment proper justice... it was something you simply had to experience in person!

Sometimes the moment just before the kiss is the most telling about a couple's relationship... to me, this one says, YUMMY...

... and this one says.... EWE!!

I have to be very honest and say that the grand entrance into the reception is rarely an image I really like showing-off because even if the bride & groom are happy, there always seems to be a big red EXIT sign directly above their heads!! Now, I can use a long focal length to eliminate the chances of including that sign, but it also means that I have to stand too far back to get a dead on shot of the entrance without obstacles of people or tables in my way. Since this was one of the few times when that wasn't the case, I'm happy to share such an exciting moment!!

Isn't this such a cute moment?? I love it!!!!

The comedian du jour, pulling another stunt at the buffet....

Matt & Naomi wanted to get their guests involved in the kissing game, so they requested that guests demonstrate a kiss for them to repeat anytime everyone started clinking glasses. To add an element of surprise, the DJ had a stack of placecards that he used to call on random guests to demonstrate the kiss. Funny thing is, the bride & groom are the ones who actually started clinking the glasses to get their GUESTS to kiss!!! There were a lot of great moments including some third-party assistance and kissing of the feet, but I think the one that went above and beyond for me was this couple who chased each other around the room at full speed before he finally caught up to her and gave her a kiss. Unfortunately the bride & groom didn't follow suit on this one, but I give the guests an A+ for originality and effort!!!

One of the things that was important to Naomi, was to have a picture with her grandparents. Since grandma & grandpa were getting ready to leave and were already outside, we moved outdoors for a group picture with the family. While everyone was gathering together, I was adjusting my camera settings for the outdoor lighting when I noticed this moment beginning to happen. I immediately stopped what I was doing to grab this moment even though I knew there was a chance it would be too overexposed to rescue (click here to see the original image straight from the camera). If this were an insignificant moment, I would have completely tossed this poorly exposed image. However... this was someone very important to Naomi, and it was such a touching moment that I had to find a way to rescue it. So, through the magic of Photoshop's Layers and Multiplying, I was able to rescue quite a bit of detail and salvage the image as a B&W. Two months after this image was taken, Naomi's grandfather passed away. I feel so honored that I was able to capture him sharing in the joy and love of his family in the last few precious moments of his life. Every time I look at this image now, I break into tears just thinking about what it means in the grand scheme of life. Cherish those you love, never take them for granted, SHOW them how much they mean to you EVERY chance you get.
In Loving Memory....

A couple's first dance says a lot about who they are and for me, these images represent the intimacy and gentle affection between Matt & Naomi..

The first dance was followed by a combined Mother/Son & Father/Daughter dance. At one point, Naomi's Dad switched it up by dancing with Matt, which surprised Naomi & her new mother-in-law!! This picture was taken just after the dance ended... I just love how they're all laughing about it together.

Last but not least, after the sun had gone down... the clouds began to lift and scatter the colors of dusk across the sky.

As always, you can see more images from the wedding day by clicking on any image above to start the slideshow. Please vote for your favorite image above by leaving a comment below. The image that gets the most votes will be given to the bride & groom as an 8x12 gift print. Thank you so much for visiting!!!

24 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. I'd prefer to be able to start the slideshow myself rather than having it start w/ music when the page loads. I'm always listening to other music when I'm on my computer already and the "intrusion" of another song is jarring.

    That's just my .02, though ;)

  2. Absolutely gorgeous Anne!!! wow. #24 is just incredible, as are 54, 112, 116!! i love them all, but those really caught my breath!

  3. Hi Anne-

    I agree with what Megan said, but the images are lovely...what is that song? You always pick good ones!

  4. Very nice photos .... can you please let me know what you use to generate the slideshow?


  5. That was one of the best slideshow's I've seen in a while. Every picture was just beautiful. My favorite is of the bride kissing her grandpa, what a wonderful moment to capture. Beautiful, beautiful photography.

  6. Thank you so much!!! The song is Sweet Sweet Baby by Michelle Featherstone and is available on iTunes. The slideshow program is ShowIT Web 2.5 pro.

  7. Hey Anne,

    I love #73 & #117! Beautiful pictures!


  8. Sometimes, when I see these pictures, I miss Michigan.

    As usual, your photography is really good. What equipment do you use?

  9. your blog and insight into your work is inspiring. part of my goal for this year is to open up a bit more on my blog. i'm going to stop back here for inspiration. thanks so much.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I love all the photos, particular the best man kissing the groom, and the bride kissing her grandfather. But, I also need to know: Where did Matt get his suit? That's exactly what I want!

  12. Aufbau - I miss Michigan too!! My most valuable pieces of equpiment I own are my ears and eyes. Sometimes I see the world through one of my Canon cameras too.

    Michael - Wow!! I'm glad I could be an inspiration!

    Fred - hmmm... not sure... maybe Matt can answer that if he looks in the comments section. Most of the guys had the same suit with a little pin stripe in it. Do you have a Men's Wearhouse nearby?

  13. Anne, I loved the YUMMIE pre-kiss moment. Love the Baby song on the slideshow. Thanks for sharing!

  14. great pics Anne.. thanks for sharing!!

  15. Beautiful work Anne! You did a great job. Very moving!

  16. Beautiful work, Anne. Your background in graphics is evident in your gorgeous compositions!

  17. Thanks!!

    Julie, I'm not sure I'd consider myself as having a background in graphics, but I do have a background in art. ;-)

  18. Ann, your images are soo beautiful. The one shot that you took of the apartement should be on a magazine cover somewhere.

  19. Those are incredible images Anne. I love your commentary regarding each as well!! AWESOME work!

  20. Anne Ruthmann, you do beautiful work! I always love looking at your photographs and reading your kind advice on OSP. Thanks for being you!

  21. Anonymous6:33 PM

    We like the picture of Matt & Naomi taing their first kiss after becoming husband and wife...

    Don & Susan Delida

  22. These are fantastic photos, Anne. I'm looking at venues to get married at in Michigan this fall and came across your blog. Was this place as magical as your eyes and your Canon portray it to be?

  23. It's a park on a lake, which doesn't have any inherent magical power over any other park on a lake, however, I believe just about anywhere you get married can feel more magical purely because of all the love in the air. ;-)


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