It had been over a year and a half since I last photographed a wedding, but since I did so many in the past it was as they say, like riding a bike getting back into the flow of shooting a four hour event. Mattie & Kenny's wedding was at The Westin Tampa Bay on a narrow piece of land between Tampa and Clearwater floating in the middle of Tampa Bay. From the rooftop deck with its clear glass walls, the feeling you are floating on water, as seen in the above photograph, was pretty cool even with overcast skies.
It turned out that Mattie and I had a few mutual friends, including my eldest friend Terry and his wife Beth, both of whom attended the wedding giving it a rather familiar feeling. The atmosphere in her room as she was getting ready was very loose and full of laughing. I began my shooting for the day by making a photo of Mattie putting on the finishing touches.
Mattie had seen images from another wedding I photographed in the Westin a few years back and also wanted some photos featuring the lobby's unique waterfall. I used two shoot through umbrellas to provide enough light on the bride and bridesmaids for the portrait above.
The reception was in a room with floor to ceiling windows facing southwest which flooded it with light during the late afternoon allowing me to use that light as a hyper backlight in the above portrait of the bride & groom having their traditional first dance.
Cupcakes continue to be popular at weddings, with dozens under the wedding cake itself. I got to have one of the cupcakes as a closing treat when I was finished shooting. I often say I shoot weddings just for the cake!
From start to finish it was a joyful and surprisingly emotional wedding for Mattie & Kenny. Not often have I seen the groom get so emotional during the vows and also during the speeches at the reception. They also were not afraid to smash a little cake, which I also found refreshing since some newlyweds nowadays opt for a clean cake eating which is no fun at all!
Thank you Mattie & Kenny!