Wedding: Jill & Jonathan

Ever since October, when I finished shooting Jonathan and Jill’s engagement session, I was excited to see them walk down the aisle.  They are just a really sweet pair and act very natural in front of my camera!

We started off their wedding day with shooting some pictures around their hotel The Seelbach Hilton in downtown Louisville before heading to the Mellwood Art Center for the reception.

The wedding ceremony was intimate and personal, with one of Jonathan’s best friends officiating. The reception was full of energy thanks to yet another friend of the couple, DJ Kenny Burke, heating up the dance floor.

These two really know how to throw a party! The reception was a non-stop dancing, singing, swinging, hugging kind of night. And I actually joined in dancing with them after I finished shooting. What a fun night!!

Congratulations Jonathan and Jill!


DJ: Dj Kenny Burke, 502-773-0584,                                                     

Caterer: Lundy’s

Dress: Symphony Bridal, style 2910

Grooms Suit: Giorgio Fiorelli                                                                                                

Cake: A Pinch of This, Adrienne Wilson,

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Amber and Aaron’s Mayan Wedding

Exactly 13 full moons ago Aaron proposed to Amber in Tulum, Mexico, a place they have visited many times since they first met.  On June 22, a day that would end in one of the biggest full moons of the year, they tied the knot at the beach in Tulum, surrounded by their closest friends and family in a beautiful Mayan ceremony.

It was an honor to photograph this wedding of two of my closest friends. Their wedding day started off with a light rain shower and would end, after everyone went to bed, with yet another rain storm. During the ceremony, however, the weather was perfect: not too hot and with a light breeze.

They were married on the beach of Dos Ceibas, a small community of cabanas in the palm tree jungle right on the beach. The staff was very generous and welcoming and made everyone feel like family! I can highly recommend this place for weddings.

As if this occasion wasn’t special enough, to everyone’s surprise, we witnessed a sea turtle lay her eggs on the beach and then waddle off to the sea.  Truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment and a perfect way to end the day!

Congratulations Amber and Aaron!

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Derby 139

Members of the University of Louisville Cardinals National College Basketball Championship team carry the Rose Garland to the Winner's Circle before the start of the 139th Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby is commonly known as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”. But I would refer to it as Louisville’s own excuse to party for two weeks straight.

As with most years I cover the Derby alongside many other talented Courier-Journal photographers and my assignment was “Hats”.  Shooting hats at the Derby is fun, and after my 2pm deadline for the paper I continued shooting anything else that made Derby a day to remember.

The first few pictures were from Derby Eve’s Unbridled Gala at the Galt House.  The event drew celebrities and raised money for Blessings in a Backpack.  Some of the celebrities were Jane Seymour, Lauren Conrad, Lance Bass, Jennifer Tilly, Luke Bryant, Jo Dee Messina and many others who, quite honestly, I just didn’t recognize.

Derby Day was rainy and muddy, but it wasn’t any less fun because of that.

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Wedding: Diane and Criss

With just a few months available for planning their wedding, Diane and Criss managed to pull off a fabulous day celebrating their love and commitment in historic Loretto, Ky., where her father lives.

They were wed by Commander Ben Brown, U.S. Navy Retired surrounded by their closest friends and family in her father’s home, which was built in 1909.

We got lucky for the portrait session when I found old cars of the same era as her father’s home in someone’s front yard. After a quick introduction to the owner and request for permission to shoot, we descended on his property. It was quite a sight to see their large limo pull into a gravel driveway and photograph the wedding party while locals slowly drove past, checking to see what was happening.

We continued on to Makers Mark, the famous bourbon distillery and a Kentucky landmark. The distillery was also kind enough to allow us unlimited access to its property. Although it was rather cold that day, we managed to shoot at some nice locations.

Congratulations Diane and Criss!

DJ: Masters of Music/ Kenny Sauter                                                                                            Flowers: Swans Landing/ Sheilla Pawley
Dresses: David’s Bridal                                                                                                                  Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Cake: Ellen Leake, Lebanon
Photobooth: Art House Photobooth, New Haven.
Limo: Skaggs Limo, E’town

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Engagement: Jill and Jonathan

I really had a great time photographing Jill and Jonathan’s engagement photos at Bernheim Forest this afternoon.  The weather was just spectacular and the location perfect, bursting with fall colors. Here are some of my favorites.

I’m looking forward to their wedding in July 2013. Congratulations!!!

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Mountain Workshops

All of last week I attended the Mountain Workshops in Henderson, Ky.  The Mountain Workshops are three concurrent programs, the Photojournalism Workshop, Picture Editing Workshop and the Multimedia Workshop. The workshops offers a hands-on learning experience in documentary-style photojournalism.

The annual workshop is a Western Kentucky University creation, in its 37th year. I’m a graduate of the WKU photojournalism program and have attended many workshops as a student and participant.  Since 2007 I have been on staff with them and am the official “behind-the-scenes” workshop photographer.  It is a great excuse to leave the daily grind behind and hang out with my photo family.

Some of these friends have been my previous bosses, such as Patty Reksten (The Oregonian) and Rodney Curtis (Midland Daily News) and some have been my professors.  I’m always excited to go every year and am a little sad it went by so quickly this time. But what makes it so special is that no one is getting paid for their work and yet they still come every year. That is a sign we are all passionate about what we do!

For more information please see our website:

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Boot Scootin’ Fun

Some people relax from work by listening to live music with friends, dancing, laughing, perhaps drinking. I do all of the above while shooting pictures! Yes, photography can be relaxing for me. (Some may disagree with that for themselves, and that’s cool.)

Last Friday, I decided to take my trusty camera with my 70-200mm out to the Outlaw Tribute at Headliners: Lonesome On’ry and Mean. Music ranged from Willie Nelson to Waylon Jennings to other old school country acts everyone knew. It was a fantastic show with lots of talented musicians all on one stage!!! (Johnny Berry, Steve Cooley, Scott Mertz, Eric Whorton, Kathleen Hoye, Tom Clay, Chris Douglas, Brian Aylor and more)

In case you haven’t heard yet, Johnny Berry’s song “The End” will play on the FX hit TV show Sons of Anarchy on October 16, 2012 at 10pm.  I already know many of us will be watching our hometown talent hit it big time.

Here are some of my favorites:

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The Miracle of Life

The sequence below was made on 7 separate dates (Jan 29, March 12, Apr 9, May 21, July 9, Aug 16 and Sept 10)

At first Kitty didn’t show much, but some time mid summer she grew a nice round belly. Garner was born on September 3, which you may remember was Labor Day. Now that gives Labor Day a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

If you are interested in doing such a sequence yourself and live in the Louisville, Ky. area, please give me a call at 502-552-4075.

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Maternity: Kitty and Tim

Kitty and Tim were expecting their first child and I decided to give their portrait session and old time look. I asked them to wear something “classic” and am happy with their clothing choice. The pocket watch, which Tim got on his wedding, and his fedora gave it a special touch. Their beautiful son was born 18 days after these photos were made.

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Wedding: Elise and Konrad

It was a real pleasure working with Elise and Konrad for their wedding at Louisville’s Cathedral of the Assumption.  Their wedding day was full of genuine laughter, hugs and the festive blending of two families, two heritages and lots of polka dancing.

Konrad and his family from Poland added some extra flavor to the celebration. Literally! True to Polish tradition Konrad’s parents presented the newlyweds a heart shaped bread sprinkled with salt and wine at the reception.

With the bread the parents hope the couple will never be hungry, the salt reminds the couple that their life will be difficult at times and they need to cope with life’s struggles. With the wine, they are hoping that the couple will never thirst and be healthy and happy in the company of many good friends.

Since the reception was at the Muhammad Ali Center I brought my own kickboxing gloves and let the couple have some fun in the boxing ring on the 5th floor.

Congratulations Elise and Konrad!

Florist – J Elizabeth Designs
Linens (tables,chairs,napkins) –
J Elizabeth Designs
Wedding Cake – Sweet Surrender
Grooms Cake – Plehn’s Bakery
DJ – Complete Music
Catering – Ladyfingers Catering
Wedding Dress – Bridal and Formal, Inc. in Cincinnati (Dress designed by Maggie Sottero)
Hair:  Strandz and Threadz
Makeup:  Pamela McCain-Butler
Second Photographer: Tony Matkey

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