Denene & Roy were married on March 31, 2012 at The Baker House in Lake Geneva, WI. The ceremony was held on location with the reception following immediately afterward. The Baker House is an overwhelmingly beautiful venue with so much to take in as a guest and as a photographer. Each room is exquisitely decorated and unique. The customer service Denene and Roy received fromt the staff at The Baker House was over-the-top. To view Denene & Roy’s entire wedding gallery follow this link: Baker House Wedding Photography.
They had a first look around noon and we jumped right into the photography to get the meat and potatoes photography captured before the ceremony. We started by getting getting photos of the dress and shoes and rings set up around the Baker House. The bridal suite we used to shoot the dress in was stunning. After Denene finished putting on her beautiful dress we went across the street to shoot on the piers and around The Riviera. The ceremony was very fast and we completed the family photos and a few more romantic session photos before arriving at the reception. Below are some of the photos from their big day.
Photographers on hand were Matt Mason, Kerry Trampe and Josiah Thorngate. Cameras used included Canon 5D MIII, Canon 5D MII, Canon 7D. Matt Mason and his team of photographers are Lake Geneva wedding photographers serving the Geneva Lake region including Walworth County, Milwaukee, Chicagoland and beyond. Use the Contact page to get in touch for your photography project.
As a wedding photographer in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, one of the areas of wedding planning that can make the biggest difference for the final album is the wedding day timeline.
Here are some issues to think about when developing your timeline:
• First Look
• Greeting Guests
• Distance between ceremony and reception locations
• Family Photo Session
• Cocktail Hour
• Garter and Bouquet toss
One of the more stressful parts of the happy couple’s day centers around not seeing each other before the ceremony. Traditionally, the groom waits to see his bride until the moment when the beautiful bride walks down the aisle in all her glory. This is a splendid moment full of emotion. However, this traditional approach can really compress the time available for some of the most important photos of the day. Consider all that needs to be accomplished after the couple says I do: greet guests, family photos, wedding party photos, romantic photos, detail shots of the reception, etc.
So what is a first look? This is a special moment when the groom is able to see his bride for the first time before the ceremony. Often these are among my favorite photos of the entire day. I usually like to position the groom looking away out over a field, or at the end of pier, or even by a beautiful old oak tree. Here are a few examples of the first look. Photos capture a special story as the bride approaches the groom. It is a wonderful, romantic and precious to see their expressions as they see each other for the first time simultaneously.
As I describe this special event to brides and grooms this isn’t a replacement to the walking down the aisle photo but actually in addition to that moment. So in essence you are adding to the day by getting a second special look instead of replacing it.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch this video of a couple who were initially against the idea and now are strong proponents of the First Look.
BOTTOM LINE: If you do the first look this will generally bring the following benefits:
• More photos
• Less time pressure
• More time together on your big day
• Less stress
• Get to the party sooner
In my experience a receiving line is one of the least efficient way to greet guests. This can take more than an hour. However, sometimes you have very little choice in the matter. A common way to resolve the desire to greet your guests is to dismiss the rows. I find that this usually cuts about 50% off the time of a traditional line. Another great way to maximize your timeline is to greet guests at your reception after you have finished your meal but your guests are still seated. If you do the third option you need to hide away after you walk down the aisle so you don’t accidently end up doing an impromptu receiving line because you get mobbed. Another idea is to do a “soft entrance” and greet people informally at the cocktail hour.
Family Photo Session
When planning out your timeline I suggest thinking about how many family photos you will want from your wedding photography package.
• Do you have a large family or a small family?
• Will you want to focus on immediate family or will you want to have many extended family portraits?
• Are there many shots that will require children under the age of five?
I have had family photo shoots that are done in 15 minutes and some that go well over an hour. My biggest suggestion here is that you choose first the list that is important to you as a couple. Then share this list with each of your mothers and see if you are missing anything major. Don’t delegate the list writing to someone else or they might copy and paste a huge list from the internet of groupings you don’t really care about. Have this list in mind when we go over your day. Ideally you will email this list one month before your ceremony.
Distance between ceremony and reception locations
Weddings in the Lake Geneva area often tend to have ceremony and reception locations relatively close. In fact, more than half are at the same location in my experience at one of our beautiful resorts like Grand Geneva, The Abbey, Geneva National, Lake Lawn Resort, and Hawk’s View Golf Club. This is very convenient for your guests but it also tends to compress your timeline from the ceremony to cocktail hour because people need something to do before the reception. We have to be very efficient with the use of photography time.
On the other hand when there is a distance to travel between the ceremony and reception this can also take up precious photo time. Remember that wedding parties move very slowly for some reason. In either case we need to carefully consider the time and distance between ceremony and reception.
If you don’t do a first look, have a large family for family photos or have a lot of distance between the ceremony and reception you will probably need to use some of the cocktail hour to get key photos captured.
Garter and Bouquet toss
As we consider how to use the hours that come with your photography package we inevitably need to know if you are planning to do a garter and/or bouquet toss. If you have a lot of young single friends it is a very fun and often humorous part of the evening. On the other hand, if you only have a handful of single friends many tend to forgo the tradition. If you do one usually we schedule this near the end of your evening just before we plan to go, between 9:00 to 9:30.
As part of your wedding package with Matt Mason Photography we will go over these issues and see how they relate your big day. Thinking about this before our meeting will help to streamline our phone meeting. Click this link: Timeline Samples. This link is a PDF file with two different timeline samples. The first is a nine hour day, with one location, first look, and outdoor ceremony. The second is an eleven hour day, with multiple locations, no first look, church ceremony.
This week was the perfect week to do some experimenting with lighting, poses and some top models! Take a look at the results from Tuesday’s Model Shoot. We started in the studio. The girls brought tons of clothes and accessories. They had the entire floor of the show room littered with glitter and sequins and all things beautiful and girly. We started by reviewing some modeling ideas and tips and looking at some new poses and lighting we wanted to try. Then we took turns with the girls and one of the girls brought her boyfriend so we had a faux engagement session. Enjoy…
I was one of the first to own the Canon 5D MIII in Wisconsin on March 19 I drove to Mike Crevellos in Milwaukee, WI to pick up my new camera. I shot several text shots comparing to the 5D MII. I used a 25-105 f4 L lens on both cameras. For the outdoor photos I shot in Landscape mode, ISO 100 and had identical settings on both cameras. I was hoping to see a greater vibrancy in the blues and greens. For the indoor photos I shot in increasingly high ISOs with f8 and increased the shutter to maintain a proper exposure. I used a video light with white shoot through umbrella from Lowell Tota and set a custom white balance to 3200 Kelvin. I shot all the photos in Large JPG with no editing except to composite the photos next to each other. When I cropped the photos I cropped them exactly proportional.
You can see my test shots in much greater detail by visting my SmugMug site. Here is the link, 5D MII comparison photos to 5D MIII. I have included some low res versions below. Here is are my initial thoughts after having used the 5D MIII all afternoon:
- I like the solid feel and build of the newer model.
- Canon did a good job of staying true to the 5D series. I had no trouble adjusting to the new camera.
- That said, there are so many great new features I can’t wait to explore more. For example: New in-camera HDR, Dual Slots for Compact Flash and SD memory cards, extremely vibrant screen, improved menu features, a new rating system so I can pick out my favorite wedding photos as I shoot, the 61-point AF system, and a new audio out for listening to video as it is being recorded. The most astounding feature is the increased ISO capability.
- It was very thoughtful of Canon to use the same battery sustem and to continue the ability to use Compact Flash when I have invested in these needed tools.
- Regarding ISO I felt like the 6400 of the MII was very close to the 25600 of the MIII in terms of sharpness and color saturation. Look at the last photo in this series.
Veteran’s Terrace always puts in a great show with Christy’s Bridal headlining the fashion show. This year’s theme was The 80′s. The hair and make up and some accessories brought me back to those early years in my personal development and I found myself singing along to the music provided by Medleys in Motion.
Below is a Video we created to celebrate all the fun we have at this show each year. Take a look I think you will agree it was a great time.
**Matt Mason and his associates are Lake Geneva Wedding Photographers. They specialize in telling your story through extraordinary imagery and fusion film. Fusion brings the best of photography and film making into a “rockstar music video” of your day. If you want to know more about Matt Mason Photography please click on the Contact tab and reach out today.
I have had so many couples tell me that the one of the most important parts of their day is getting great wedding photos. While it is such an important aspect often the schedule of the day doesn’t reflect the importance they feel in their heart. From my perspective of having shot weddings for over six years and I have developed some tips for getting the most out of your wedding photographer.
- Be sure to do an engagement session before the wedding. This allows you and the photographer to better get to know each other. You also figure out what works and what doesn’t work so that you are not “practicing” on wedding day.
- Be on time. While this may seem obvious being late can cost you dozens if not hundreds of precious photos to remember your day. I’d suggest you make your time line conservative. Have a serious talk with people who are “time challenged” so they don’t make you late.
- Go through your timeline with your photographer in detail and ask him/her their thoughts on how realistic the timeline is.
- Give your photographer a detailed family photo checklist. This checklist will make help speed things up and ensure that you get these important photos from your day.
- Share this list with both of your parents and make sure they are happy and that you have negotiated with them for important portraits.
- Enlist an assistant to the photographer who knows most of the family to run the checklist. This person can get the next group on deck ready while the photographer shoots the current group. Things move fast and efficiently this way and the experience feels much less chaotic.
- Go through the photographer’s portfolio and point out images that you are really drawn to. This will help them get a mental picture of your style and inform their approach to the day.
This is a multi-day series of photos for the Best of 2011 in Matt Mason Photography. If you have a suggested MMP photo for a category please email me the photo at matt@mattmasonphotography.
This is a multi-day series of photos for the Best of 2011 in Matt Mason Photography. Categories will include, The Bride, The Shoes, The guys, The Girls and many more. If you don’t see your wedding a particular category please understand that this isn’t an indication of how much I like a couple. I have amazing and wonderful clients. It is also possible I overlooked a photo as I have 49 weddings to go through as I choose each category. If you have a suggested MMP photo for a category please email me the photo at matt@mattmasonphotography.
Kristen LeBlanc & Jim Vandelogt were married at Holy Family Catholic Church in Inverness, IL. The reception was at Biltmoore Country Club in North Barrington, IL.
Kristen & Jim got the only real December snow the night before their wedding which made for a most beautiful backdrop for the photo session before the ceremony. After Jim and his two dogs chased all the geese off the fairway the couple met up for their first look on a bridge on the Biltmore Country Club grounds which is right out the back door of Jim’s Dad’s home. (Click here to see all the photos from the day.)
The wedding party joined us on the bridge to start taking photos. Oh, one of the highlights for me was the shotgun photos. Even though it is a gun owner no-no I love the view looking down the lens at the barrel of a gun. There is just something exhilarating about that photo. Of course, I always make sure the gun isn’t loaded and that people do not touch the trigger when doing this pose.
Kristen thoughtfully bought all the girls multi-colored boots which keep the girl’s feet toasty in the winter wonderland but also created beautiful splashes of color for the photos against the white backdrop.
Holy Family Catholic Church made for an amazing ceremony venue. The architecture was modern and yet reverent and thoughtful. I have never seen a larger statue of Jesus in a church. It appears to be chiseled out of ice which Jesus’s hand reaching out to the congregation.
Biltmore Country Club did a great job of serving their guests with a wonderful meal and the decorations were over-the-top. We spent quite a bit of time shooting around the club including the men’s locker room which made for some interesting reflection shots. Biltmore is a beautiful location for shooting indoor and outdoor wedding photos. Below are some favorite shots from Kristen & Jim’s wedding.
Every year Grand Geneva hosts a big party for their members. This year the theme was The Academy Awards. Members arrived to a red carpet and Paparazzi snapping photos. They were treated an elegant meal, live entertainment and awards were handed out.
Mark & Gretch Productions provided the musical entertainment complete with a full stage and amazing uplighting and Christmas decorations made for a magical evening. Here is a link to the photos we provided as the Paparazzi in addition to our photobooth. It was an honor to serve at this fun and well produced event.