Watertown South Dakota Wedding Photography: Another Thank You!

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Look what came in the mail yesterday.

We love getting thank you’s from our wedding couples.

Michael & ElizaBeth,

Thank you so much for doing such an amazing job with our wedding pictures. We have had many compliments on how well you guys captured our wedding day! Our wedding day memories would not be the same without you! Also, thank you for putting together the beautiful book for us. We are really excited to show it to our friends & family!

God Bless,

Jeff & Nicole Wilde

Another bridal show done…

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Our last bridal show this month was in Watertown, South Dakota. We talked to so many brides that had either been to one of our weddings or had friends that told them about us.

We still have some dates open for this year. We are already getting calls about next summer.

Although tomorrow is a holiday, we will be in the studio most of the day.

South Dakota Wedding Photography: Justin & Mirista engagement

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Mirista and Justin’s signature mat

South Dakota Wedding Photography: Kyle and Rachel engagement

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Rachel and Kyle’s signature mat

Sioux Falls Bridal Show Booth

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Another show done.

We had a great turnout on Sunday at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls. The people in charge of the All Occasions show took good care of us.

Your next chance to see us at a bridal fair is on Sunday, January 20th at the Watertown Event Cent for the the Watertown Public Opinion 2008 Bridal Showcase.

Wedding Photography: Get the slideshow!

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If you attended the bridal show on Sunday, you probably picked up one of our brochures. Look at it closely and you can find details about the reception slideshow of the wedding day that we include as a gift to all of our couples. We don’t charge extra for it! We’ve been able to do it for every wedding for the last four years.

We don’t just throw a bunch of pictures up on a screen helter skelter. We do a tight edit on all of the images, color correct them and then add special effects before cropping them. The slideshow itself is a mix of romance and fun, tears and laughter.

And yes, it is a great deal of work, but we think the results are worth it. You get to share your images with your friends and family. They might not otherwise get to see your wedding pictures.

Sioux Falls Bridal Show tomorrow

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Tomorrow we will be attending the All Occasions Bridal Show in Sioux Falls at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall from 1 to 5 pm.

Valerie and Steve from Square One Productions are designing and setting up our booth. They have promised us something very cool. We supply the prints and they arrange and light the images so they look their best.

We could take care of it ourselves, but we want to be fresh and relaxed, not frustrated and stressed from hours of setup.

Valerie and Steve do much more than just booth design. They can handle everything from tradeshows and conventions (A/V and lighting) to huge video dance systems. They have a very big truck as Valerie says.

We have a few new prints that will be on display this time including one from Dacey shown in this post. He’s pretty pumped up about it.

Feige New Year’s Card

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Brookings South Dakota Wedding Photography: Tim and Colleen

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While most people celebrate New Year’s Eve by attending parties with their friends, we photographed Tim & Colleen’s wedding on Monday afternoon and evening at St. Thomas More Church in Brookings.

We thought we’d share a few images from the reception slideshow of their wedding day.

We’ve known Tim and his family a long time. It seems just like yesterday that we did his senior pictures.

Almost everyone in the Brookings area knows who Tim is, especially if you followed hockey, football or baseball. Tim did it all and then headed north to NDSU to play for the Bison.

Tim and his bride Colleen now call Alaska home. Funny thing is that it was warmer way up north than what it was when Tim came back to South Dakota.

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You know it’s a small world…we were busy taking couple pictures and in walked the father with one of his good friends: a Bishop from Alaska. The Bishop visited with the couple for a few minutes and then offerred them a special Blessing.

The church was decorated for the Christmas season which made a beautiful backdrop for the wedding.

If you’d like to visit with us about your upcoming wedding, we will be at the All Occasions Bridal Spectacular this Sunday, January 6th at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall in Sioux Falls from 1 to 5 pm.

Sioux Falls South Dakota Wedding Photography: Nathan and Megan

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Megan and Nathan had a glorious wedding day. Saturday was full of sunshine and blue skies and Friday’s wind was gone.

First Lutheran in Sioux Falls is a beautiful church. It’s full of tall stained glass windows and a huge organ in the balcony.

We started out with Nathan and Megan with their first moments in the church foyer.

We went outside for a few pictures and then headed inside.

First Lutheran’s front entrance is the perfect place for a silhouette.

Pat Gustaf and his staff did an incredible job of decorating the church for the ceremony.

We did a quick fun session with the couple and the whole bridal party at Falls Park.

On the way back to the limo, Dacey had Megan and Nathan turn around and captured this image of the tower and street lights decorated for Christmas.

All of these images were part of the reception slideshow.

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Wedding Photography Signature Mats

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We’ve made a couple of changes in the way we do our engagement sessions.

As part of our wedding packages, we used to give a complimentary engagement session and one 5×7. No more. The 5×7 is going away. We are now doing 16×20 signature mats instead of the 5×7.

How’s that for cool.

There is only one condition on the 16×20 signature mat: you MUST put it out for the guests to sign.

Why?

We had several couples buy a signature mat print, only to decide at the last minute that it was too nice for the guests to write on.

Watertown South Dakota wedding photography: Katie & Bryan

8-28-07_NDX_86338-28-07_NDX_8736Ahh…The joys of computer work. Here’s a couple of images from Katie and Bryan’s wedding earlier this month in Watertown SD for you to enjoy while we keep pounding away on the editing, retouching and album designs.

Ok, enough of the whining…back to the images.

We always like to do a short session between the ceremony and reception. Everyone is much more relaxed. The pressure is off and the party is ready to begin.

After we left Holy Redeemer Church, we met up with the bridal party at Riverside Park where we had all we need for some fun images: a cool bridge, some playground equipment and a shaded path.

Tea South Dakota Wedding Photography: Nathan & Jennifer

8-26-07_NDX_96418-26-07_NDX_9649A couple of images from yesterday…

We went to Tea, SD on Saturday to photograph Nathan and Jennifer’s wedding. The St. Nicholas Church is very new and modern with some very cool stained-glass windows.

After the ceremony we headed toward Seratoma Park in Sioux Falls for some more pictures with the whole wedding party. We had a little session in the Butterfly House with Nathan and Jennifer and then headed to he playground with the ever lively bridal party.

Right before heading to the Convention Center for the reception we explored the edge of the Outdoor Campus.

After we sent the wedding party back to the limo, we did captured a few more “dramatic” images of the couple on the edge of the tall grass.

These two pictures were the last two in their reception slideshow.

Kendra & Jerae engagement

8-23-07_NDX_0245We thought we’d share an image from Kendra & Jerae’s engagement session. Their wedding is coming up next month in Madison and we have so much work to do.

Taking all the pictures is easy. It’s the computer work that gets in the way of sleeping. In two more months the rush will be over and we can rest up, but for now the old saying goes “You have to make hay when the sun shines!”

First Moments: Tips on making your wedding photography experience better

8-13-07_NDX_2610aThis image comes from Drew and Jill’s reception slideshow of their first moments.

We usually pictures start 3 hours before the ceremony. Why so much time? We like things to be stress free. Nothing is worse than trying to jam 2 hours of pictures into 30 minutes. We allow you to enjoy your day and talk to your friends and family while we take the pictures. If someone is running late, we have enough cushion to work around the missing person and still get everything we want.

We start with your first moments together. The traditional ideal was that the groom would not see the bride until she walked down the aisle. In fantasy, this works perfectly. In reality, it’s not the perfect moment. When couples see each other for the first time all dressed up, there is a huge flood of emotion. There are things that they want to share with each other. They want to fill themselves with the moment. They want to kiss, hold hands, hug and say “I love you!” You aren’t able to do that in front of a church full of people. The opportunity to be alone together after the ceremony doesn’t come until the reception is over and the dance has ended.

The moment is gone forever. It can only be enjoyed once. We want to make sure that you remember your day as one filled with joy, family and friends, rather than a frantic sprint where everything is a blur.

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Sunset: Jill & Scott

8-12-07_NDX_6527On wedding days, most photographers would prefer overcast to bright sun except for the last hour or so when the clouds could go away.

There is nothing spectacular about the location of this image of Jill and Scott, but we still think it’s cool anyway. You can’t see the DSU housing complex hidden in the shadows or the gravel parking lot they are standing on.

The success of any image comes down to having a recipe and recognizing the time to use it. When you have only one chance to capture a moment, you do not have time to figure out how to use your camera. As photographers, we need to know what works and what doesn’t and when to tweak our recipe for better results.

Part of that recipe is in the post-processing of the image file. We want to enhance the the good stuff and minimize the bad. The closer you can get “in-camera”, the less time you spend on the computer perfecting each image.

Photoshop is not something learned overnight. After using it for over 12 years, I can tell you that there is always a new trick or technique to be learned. Anything that gives you more efficiency is a good thing. It might be a $1000 software program or the lastest, greatest computer hardware. When you enhance every image like we do, speed is everything. That additional speed can allow us faster turnaround times and most importantly, more time with our kids.

Montrose South Dakota Wedding Photography: Jill & Drew

8-12-07_NDX_3575Here’s the closing image in last night’s reception slideshow.

We traveled to Montrose Saturday to photograph Jill And Drew’s wedding. We love to take pictures at St. Patricks for two reasons. It has wonderful stained-glass windows and best of all on a hot day like yesterday, air conditioning.

After the ceremony, we did a quick session at Falls Park and then went on to the Holiday Inn for the reception.

Russell & Kindra engagement

8-01-07_NDX_2246sepWe went to Russell’s farm to take his and Kindra’s engagement pictures.

We wandered the farmyard and ended up by the old silo, in front of the old hoghouse, the deck by the back door of the house and we even managed to find a little green grass.

Sioux Falls wedding photography: Jen & Mike and the reception slideshow!

7-15-07NDX_1977The above image is the final one in Jen & Mike’s reception slideshow from last saturday’s wedding. We started the day with Jen & Mike’s first moments, moved on through formals and the romantic and fun couple’s images, wedding party and family pictures. After the ceremony at St. Michael’s we headed down to Falls Park for a few more relaxed pics before heading to CJ Calloways.

We’ve done slideshows at every wedding for the last four years. We bring the projector and computer and have the DJ provide the music for a 6 to 10 minute slideshow that lets couples relive the day and share the memories with their friends and families. Most guests will never get the opportunity to see the finished wedding album, but with the slideshow we are able to give them a good look at many of the highlights of the day.

We’ve seen tears of joy and roars of laughter as the images are projected. It’s what makes the huge effort of putting together the show worthwhile: to see the reactions of the crowd.

Watertown South Dakota Wedding Photography: Jeff & Nicole

6-17-07_NDX_8915Yesterday we traveled to Watertown SD to photograph Jeff & Nicole’s wedding. We started out with a beautiful overcast day and light winds. We took advantage of the beautiful light and took the wedding party outside for some fun group pictures. After the ceremony, we headed to the Kiddie ponds for a short fun session with just the couple and then we went to the reception at the Redlin Center.

Clark SD Wedding Photography: Cassi & Dan 4.28.07

5-27-07_Cassie___DanCassi & Dan were married on April 28th in Clark. We had a great day highlighted with Harley Davidson motorcycles and sunshine. This is one of the last images of the day taken outside the Clark Country Club Clubhouse.

Look for Cassi & Dan’s wedding slideshow in the next week.

It’s been a month since our last blog post. It’s been a month filled with proms, weddings, confirmations, first communions and graduations. Our new senior and wedding brochures are at the printers and we are looking forward to another busy summer in the studio and with our kids.

Watertown South Dakota Bridal Show

1-28-07_NDX_9370This week we went north instead of south. The Watertown Public Opinion put on another successful bridal showcase. Our booth was seldom empty with brides and their entourages looking over our display prints and our albums.

Again I have to thank Valerie and Steve of Square One Productions for set up and design of our booth. They made our day much easier. The custom stands and lighting really made our booth stand out.

Valerie and Steve have an incredible video dance system. You might see Steve driving the big truck – We’re talking semi here – on their way to their next gig. They also take care of conventions with everything from lighting to projectors and screens.

The Watertown show was probably our last one for a while. If you didn’t get a chance to talk to one of us today or at the other shows in Sioux Falls earlier in January, please give us a call on our toll free line: 1.877.586.4143.

Engagements

1-27-07_NDX_7603It is the season for engagements. Sometimes a couple wants only a head and shoulders for the newspaper like this one of Jennifer and Nathan.

There is no limit to what we can put together these days: an image file for invitations, press printed folded cards, signature mats and even Vision Art albums for guestbooks. Yes, engagements can be more fun then ever before.

Jamie

1-22-07_NDX_3718Jamie, one of our December brides, is on the poster “flag” that we use in our bridal show displays.

Brandon & Heidi

1-20-07_DSC_4926_Brandon_HeidiBrandon and Heidi’s wedding was in November. We were blessed with another warm Saturday which made for fun outdoor images at Tuthill Park in Sioux Falls. We did formals before Mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Sioux Falls which gave us plenty of time at the park. After Saturday evening Mass, Brandon & Heidi had a beautiful ceremony and then everyone went on to the reception at CJ Calloways.

Our son, Dacey

1-19-07_NDX_0026_DaceyI like to brag about our son, Dacey.

Occasionally, we bring Dacey to the weddings of our close friends. He came along in October to Jessica and Andrew’s wedding and we put a camera in his hands and let him go.

Now Dacey grew up in the studio and is very comfortable behind the camera and working on the computer in Photoshop. He’s always looking for that different angle. We had taken Jessica and Andrew outside the church trying to find a place out of the wind. I looked down to find Dacey lying in the grass getting his own view of the couple.

When it came time to put the album together, Dacey had several images to include.

Someday not to far down the road, Dacey will be coming to every wedding, but for now he’s just content in being 11 and having fun with his friends.

Matt & Abby

We watched Matt and Abby grow up at Rutland School. We were honored to be able to photograph their wedding. We all went to their new home in between the ceremony and the reception. Looking out what was Grandpa’s garage, we captured Matt & Abby in an embrace.1-17-07_matt_abby

Kissing in the Trees

1-16-07kissing_treesThe slow season for photographers starts in January and goes through March. This is when we recharge the batteries, attend conventions and take a little time off. We are still photographing seniors, weddings, families and engagements, but just at a little slower pace.

We are going to put up some of our favorite wedding pictures from the last year or so and give a few details about why they are special to us.

This image is called “Kissing in the Trees”. It was entered in PPA affiliated print judging at the Northern Light PPA Convention in Fargo last Spring. It received an 85 from the judges and was top wedding print in the non-masters division of the SDPPA. Wedding images traditionally do not score very high in print competition. Anything over an 80 is considered worthy of a merit. The image also received a Kodak Gallery Award.

“Kissing in the Trees” was photographed about half a mile from the Terry Peak Lodge in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The bride and groom were about 20 feet from the edge of a gravel road. We had stopped a couple of times to take pictures on our way from their Black Hills Vacation Home where they were staying to the Terry Peak Lodge. It was a Tuesday afternoon right after the Sturgis Rally. The groom’s family was from Wyoming and the bride’s family was from Montana. It seemed that all the families and guests were ranchers. It was a very relaxed day. ElizaBeth, Dacey and I came out on Monday and we did a quick engagement session in a small clearing of wild flowers near the lodge. On Tuesday, we photographed the wedding with Dacey doing video. On Wednesday, we played tourist on our way home.

Sioux Falls South Dakota Black Tie Bridal Showcase: The day after

1-15-07_DSC_5364blogOn Sunday, we attended what was one of biggest bridal shows Sioux Falls has seen. Despite the snow, the parking lot and the streets surrounding the Ramkota Exhibit hall were full. Inside, the brides and their entourages searched the aisles to find their vendor of choice.

The Black Tie Bridal Showcase was a success.

Now you may think that photographers go to bridal shows to compete with each other. While we all like the opportunity to offer our services to brides, we all like to take a little time to kick back and talk shop. The world of wedding photography is a very small one. Those who have been in business a few years develop friendships and many of us try to refer to brides when we are already booked for a date. Those relationships help all of us raise the quality of wedding photography across the board.

Pictured in front of our booth is our daughter Rachel, handing out chocolate candy. You can see the back of Dacey’s head. He was handing out brochures.