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an east coast styled wedding…

March 16, 2011 wedding

so last year at wppi, philan attended the workshop of justin & mary, and that is where this little adventure began.  we love their style of shooting and how they approach weddings, so when a spot opened up at one of their “walk through a wedding workshops,” philan jumped on the opportunity.  a few little problems: there was only one spot open in the class, we have four kids and little brig wasn’t even a year yet, the class was only a few days away, oh yeah, and it was in massachusetts.  so it was decided that i was going.  it seemed easy enough, fly standby to boston, get to gloucester (wherever that was), shoot all day, and catch a flight back in the morning.  i got to ohare on wednesday around noon for a 2 pm flight.  got checked in, through security with a rolling case of photography gear and one change of clothes, and then the wait began.  bumped from the 2pm flight, the 4pm flight, the 6 pm flight, grabbed a starbucks, and just when i thought the trip was a bust, i got on the last flight of the evening, 9pm. got into boston around midnight, now time to get a quick bite to eat and get to sleep.  the only place in the entire airport open was…dunkin donuts, more coffee: decaf and a donut.  it didn’t seem very economical to get a hotel room, after all i had to get going again at 6am.  so i hunkered down on a couch in the convention center wing of the airport hilton and tried to get some shuteye.  tried, with bright lights overhead, a janitor vacuuming the halls, and my legs wrapped around my rolling case.  wonderful, about 3 hours of sleep and then woken up by the friendly voice of an underpaid overworked security guard.  kicked out of the hotel.  so it was around 4:30 and i had to catch the subway at 5:30, so that was it for sleep.  i wandered the vacant airport looking for some free wifi to hook into.  made my way to the subway and to my next stop, the train station.  but of course the train to gloucester didn’t leave for another 2 hours.  this time, my bed was a big uncomfortable wooden pew in the train station, again legs wrapped around the bag trying to get comfy.  the iPhone alarm clock worked.  any guesses as to what was for breakfast…yup only a dunkin donuts in the train station, coffee and an apple fritter.  the train ride was enjoyable, heading up the east coast from boston northeast towards gloucester was gorgeous, through some beautiful little towns and for a short time, right along the coast of the atlantic ocean.  stepped off the train in gloucester and grabbed a cab, actually, shared the only cab in town with two other guys.  got a nice little sightseeing tour of the town before i made it to my destination… a cute little rental cabin overlooking the ocean.

i walked in and met the hosts justin & mary and the graciously offered me breakfast, coffee and donuts.  one the other 16 photographers had arrived, all from the boston area, we settled in for an amazing morning of intense hands-on lecture.  thank god i brought with the iPad, the notes were flying.  i can see why justin & mary are such accomplished photographers…they compliment each other so well.  mary grabs your attention and holds it with stories full of laughter and emotion and when the technical stuff comes up, justin jumps right in with an explanation with enough detail to get his point across, but not over your head.

and then it was hands on time.  we started at the cabin with details and hair/make-up… then headed to a quaint church for some tips from the masters and then the playing really began.  our bride (a fellow photographer) and her groom were perfect together.  they are engaged to be married this year so their connection was genuine.  this was a styled wedding, a mock wedding of sorts with all kinds of details.  being able to shoot an actual couple made the experience so much better.  after the church (where i got to play “father of the bride”) we headed to the annisquam yacht club.  once the sun had set, we stopped at dunkin donuts before heading back to the cabin for some real critiquing by fellow photographers.  it was real, with constructive criticism flying.  and right when i was headed out to catch the last train out, one of the other photographers, tricia of pattison photography offered to give me a ride back down the coast to boston.

crazy.  remember how this whole thing started in vegas at wppi with philan at the justin & mary seminar.  well, on the way back to boston, i find out that tricia actually knows philan.  well, knows as in remembers being in line with her and chatting with her while philan waited to get into the justin & mary seminar with 6 week old colden-brig asleep on her lap.  what a small world.  well, i got dropped off in boston around midnight, just in time to find a comfy padded chair right outside of dunkin donuts.  i grabbed some much needed sleep for about 4 hours and then headed to the terminal.  where i waited for a standby seat.  i had to get home, i had a wedding to shoot on saturday and it was friday morning.  i was about 15th on the standby list.  after i missed every flight from boston to chicago between 6am and noon, and while sipping on another cup of dunkin donuts coffee, i realized it was the weekend of the chicago marathon.  all the flights were booked with everyone from boston trying to get there with their running shoes.  ugh.  so i bought a one-way ticket to new york laguardia (my first time near the big apple) where i relaxed with a frosty beverage, the first non-dunkin donuts drink for the whole trip.  i moseyed to my terminal and walked onto the plane.  finally, i was on my way home.

was it worth it, three days of travel, a gallon of dunkin donuts coffee, sleeping on benches, brushing my teeth and washing my face in the airport bathroom, changing my shirt once… well, you tell me.  check out the pictures of the amazing east coast styled wedding and let me know what you think… enjoy.



a special thanks to our entire wedding party for the day: lara kimmerer, peter higgins, deborah parker, spring smith, kat hanafin, and derek fowles

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  1. Yes… It was well worth it. This post made me realize that I need to start shooting more than just the bride and goom along with their details. All your photos of the scenery really tied this day together. You can really feel the day by those photos. Amazing work! L-O-V-E

  2. Gorgeous pics! The bride looks like Rachel McAdams and the groom Ryan Gosling… was like the notebook all over again! Love the vintage theme. Beautiful pics and wedding!

  3. Great stuff! I am doing their Walk Through a Wedding this week. I am so excited but definitely I am grateful that my travel only involves me having to drive from Raleigh, NC to Charlotte with a pit stop in Greensboro to pick up a friend. You are die hard;).

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