...can you tell I like alliteration? Anyway...I thought I'd apologize in advance for my ultra-long post, if you just want the photos, click on the 'continue reading link at the bottom, or you can go directly to the slideshow from Gina and Greg's wedding at Hollins House, by clicking here. And you can skip my admittedly wordier than usual post about their wedding...
I had the honor of being chosen to shoot Gina and Greg's wedding last year, and boy was I thrilled that I got to do their wedding. There are a multitude of reasons, but to start; I really like them. They're both so fun, (not to mention the obvious: uber attractive), and they're up for anything photo-wise, and they're photogenic (those two don't always go hand in hand). They're one of those rare couples that can go from silly and goofy, and in the next moment, give me a super-dramatic posed shot, which as I"m sure you can imagine, is incredibly fun for me.
I started to realize just how fun they'd be to shoot, after we did their super-fun engagement shoot, at the Boardwalk, and then walking around downtown Santa Cruz for a bit. It's still to this day, one of my all-time favorite engagement shoots. If you haven't seen it already, I urge you to go check it out, (by clicking here!), because really, there are some great shots (if I do say so myself). =) When we did their engagement shoot, they were up for any type of shot, even coming up with some fun poses of their own. And if I asked them to do something, they just completely went for it (like I said, a photographer's dream, right? Right.).
Now, to be fair, Greg and Gina have both been in front of a LOT (I mean, a serious lot) of cameras, so even if at some point one of them was camera shy, they'd gotten over it well before we shot together. Gina (isn't she so beautiful??), has modeled, is a singer, in a band with Greg, and is also an actress, so she's very comfortable and familiar in front of the camera. And Greg is in this band you might've heard of, called SMASHMOUTH(!!). (Which, to be honest, was very exciting for me, because I've loved Smashmouth since college, but I'll address that more down below). So obviously Greg is used to having his photo taken as well, so like I said, to be fair, they are well-practiced, but it was really such a fun thing for me, to work with two people who were so comfortable in front of the camera, and willing and up for anything I threw at them. That doesn't happen super often, so when it does, I'm practically giddy. And, I think their photos really reflect that, especially the engagement shots (where they didn't have to worry about getting mussed), they were throwing their bodies all over the place.
So after that, I knew their wedding was going to be fun to shoot, it was at the lovely Hollins House, (both the ceremony and the reception were at Hollins House), and that is one of the best wedding locations in town (in my opinion),and of course, then I had Gina and Greg, both friendly, kind, super-photogenic, gorgeous, and fairly hammy (Gina's like me, loves having her photo taken), which makes it really fun for me. So all these great elements made for a great wedding day, and it really was, and I felt lucky enough to get to be the one to photograph it for posterity -- especially given that Greg and Gina have been photographed so much, it really meant a lot to me that they chose me, because obviously being photographed is part of their business. Another fun part for me, is that Gina and I really clicked. It was one of those times when I feel like, 'We'd totally be friends in 'real life''. We have a very similar sense of humor, and way of thinking, so not only did I get to shoot this super-awesomely fun and adorable couple, but I feel like I've made friends too. It's like the cherry on top of my wedding photography sundae.
The first shot totally cracks me up. Right before he was to go down the aisle, he looked over and saw that I was aiming my camera at him, and all of a sudden he starts pretending to completely chug his beer, (pretending he was super-nervous, and needed liquid courage, was my interpretation), and I literally had to clap my hand over my mouth to keep myself from cracking up,during a very quiet, 'everyone's walking down the aisle,' moment. Every time I look at that chugging photo, I laugh. In fact, I'm surprised that the shots came out in focus, as I was choking back laughter so hard when I took them.
So the day of the wedding, I arrived at Gina and Greg's house, and everybody was totally chill and calm, (which is SOMEwhat unusual), although Gina assured me on the inside she was flipping out a little bit, but everybody was hanging out, waiting to get their hair and makeup done, and being together. We were able to get some great getting ready shots, in particular, the ones of Gina getting her hair and makeup done. She is so beautiful, and the camera really does love her, that I (almost literally) couldn't stop taking photos, while she was getting her makeup on. She's got the most amazing features, and so I was right up in there, the whole time the makeup gal was doing her thing, and I love the shots we got, I just hope Gina wasn't bugged with me shooting and shooting while she was getting her makeup done, but she was a great sport, and didn't even care if I shot her totally makeup-less, and with her hair in curlers, and you've gotta respect that. Getting ready shots generally comprise some of my favorite time of the day, and this one didn't disappoint. From her makeup woman rolling up on a harley (how bad-ass is that??), to Gina being totally chill with me being right there, almost the whole time, to there being plenty of time for me to get lots of fun shots around the house, it was a great start to the day.
One of the many 'getting ready' shots we took. I love this one in particular because it's an 'action' shot, and I love the light coming in on Gina's face through the window, and I absolutely LOVE the expression on her face, and her lips!! She has the lips I long for. (If you're a friend of mine, you know I have
a bit ofa serious lip obsession. So I love this shot on multiple levels, and although I have a LOT of favorite getting ready shots, this is one of my VERY favorite.
Also, I have to note, the 'vibe' of the wedding was so cool and different. It was very 40's, with a splash of rockabilly, mixed in with elegance and a lot of fun. Gina's hair and makeup were so 40's glam, that she looked like a Hollywood starlet from the 40's-50's. In fact, the shot below I absolutely LOVE because it totally reminds me of the old 'Starlet' stills they'd have in magazines back in the day. Not just her hair and makeup, (which obviously, helps), but the angle o f the camera, and the 'look', it's pure Hollywood glam, and I LOVE it!
Hollywood starlet, circa 1945.
I was really stoked during the ceremony, because the sky was overcast, and so despite not having anything above Greg and Gina (to filter light), and it being a very dappled-light spot normally, (because of all the trees overhead, with the light going through the trees), because it was overcast, I was able to get some great ceremony shots; without their faces being obscured in any way (which I was a bit nervous about, prior to getting there, because I've shot at Hollins House before). The ceremony was very sweet, with a few very funny moments. When it was Gina's turn to do her 'vows' she pulled out this massive scroll, and read from it, which cracked everybody up. That and the end were one of my favorite ceremony moments. Once they were 'pronounced' the expressions, and what they did, were so funny. Gina was (practically jumping up and down), waving her arms in the air, all excited, and Greg had this faux, "Oh Crap! What did I do?" look on his face, and the juxtaposition was so funny. (There are shots of that, after the jump, below, or just click on that link, where I was describing it, and it'll pop open.) And if you want to see an overview of the whole day,, you can click here to be taken to the slideshow, which gives a real feel for entire day, from getting ready, to the (almost) end.
I love these shots, especially the middle shot, of Greg looking up her dress, with a "huh?" look on his face was priceless. Another of the shtos where I was so glad they came out sharp, because I was laughing so hard. And I love Gina's reaction shots on either side.
The reception was also a great mix of sweetness, hilarity, tenderness and love, and goofiness. Greg and Gina's first dance was so sweet; the way he looked at her, (or at each other, really), was so gentle and full of love (I know, I'm starting to wobble over into sentimentality), but it really was. But then, at the end, he busts out this goofy look, and then dips her (without warning), and that was the end of their first dance. The whole day felt like that; you could see how much they loved one another, but they didn't take themselves too seriously, and I felt like at any moment they could (and did), do something picture-worthy (see the shot above, to illustrate). So they definitely kept me on my toes, the whole night. The reception was everything couples hope a reception will be; fun, beautiful, with tons of energy (the dance floor was on fire; completely packed, and they had a GREAT band), with a couple who seemed pretty googly over one another, and all their guests seemed so thrilled for them+. Perfect reception, no?
I love the way Gina's looking up at Greg in this toasting shot. It looks like she's thinking, "He's so dreamy!"
I'd say the only (very slight) bummer, (and I'm 99% sure Gina would agree with me, since we've talked about it), was that I wished we'dve had more time to do portraits of Gina and Greg. The schedule was pretty tight, which meant that we had limited time to do 'formals,' and I think my feeling a little bit bummed, was that here I have these amazingly photogenic people, all dolled up, and just screaming for me to shoot away, and due to time constraints, we weren't able to spend as much time in portraits. However, that being said, because they ARE so photogenic, and because they WERE doing funny, photo-worthy things at any moment, that despite not having as much time as I (or Gina) would have liked for formals, we got so many great 'in the moment' shots, that I feel like t hose made up for the lack of 'formal' shots. (Maybe I can talk them into a trash the dress -- how awesome would they be doing a trash the dress session?? I'm almost jumping up and down in my chair thinking about it!). AND, in addition to the great documentary shots, the formal shots we DID get, I really do love. In particular when Gina and I (and her sister, and Kimmy, my assistant), went into a side room at Hollins House that wasn't being used, and did some solo shots of Gina in there. I love a girl, who when asked, "How do you feel about laying down? It might wrinkle your dress a little..." and before I can get the sentence out, throws herself onto the window-seat, and starts posing. I loved ALL the shots we got in there. I don't have a favorite of that bunch, but I do extra-love any of the ones where the chandeliers are reflected in the windows behind Gina, I just love the pattern of them, and the colors/tones of those shots. Those shots I had to 'fix' quite a bit, to get me and all the other people in the room (people kept drifting in and out to watch), who were also reflecting along with the chandeliers, so those took some serious time, (while they hopefully don't reflect that [ba dum bum - thanks, I'll be here all night]), which I think is why they, in particular, hold a place close to my heart.
PHEW! If you've stuck with me this long, thanks. There was just a lot to talk about, and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything! So to sum up: Greg and Gina: awesome, Wedding Day: awesome, Photos: awesome (if I do say so myself). ;) As I said above, there are more after the jump, just click on, "Continue reading..." OR (or in addition), go check out the slideshow of the entire day, which is (again, in my opinion) totally worth clicking the link to go see. And finally, I have to say thanks again, to Greg and Gina, who were SO wonderful to work with, so down with anything I threw at them, and so fun to be with. I'm so glad they asked me to be their photographer (especially since I know they have uber talented friends who are photographers), because it really was such a blast for me -- the engagement shoot as well as the wedding day. I hope that this won't be the last I see of them, as I'd love to have the chance to shoot them again.
And finally, not to get all fan-girl on them (this is slightly embarrassing, but very true, and I want to be honest), I know I'm a dork, but I do love Smashmouth, and their earlier albums in particular were like the soundtrack of college for me, so it was a thrill to get to meet Greg, and then the double-bonus of what great people they both turned out to be (in fact, I didn't know Greg was who he was until our first meeting was almost over, which is probably good, because if I'd known ahead of time, I might have freaked out and been slightly weird (like I"m being now - fan-girly!), but since it didn't come up 'til I casually asked what they did for a living. This was after Gina and I had been chatting about not-wedding-things for about an hour AFTER the real wedding meeting was over, and you could see Greg starting to look slightly ready to go, so I thought, "we should include Greg, too, I wonder what he does for a living, I'll ask him..." near the end of our first photography interview/meeting (before they'd chosen their photographer, and were still interviewing people). So all that to say, I got to meet Greg as Greg, and not as "Greg Camp, of Smashmouth, Greg," (which I know, I'm getting a little lame here, but tell me you wouldn't flip a little, meeting someone who you're a fan of. Right? Right. So, sorry Greg, I'm sure he gets this kind of thing a lot, and this is (I HOPE(!)) the first peep of my fan-girly-ness, but there you have it. =) I know once Gina reads this she'll probably laugh, (hard), but it's true. However, I really wanted to shoot their wedding, when I didn't have a clue who either of them were, so then when I found out, I was like, Whoa! AWESOME!!" (on the inside). And on the outside, I just smiled and said, "Oh my gosh, I love your music, and so do my girls, I can't wait to tell them, they'll freak out!" (You know, Shrek being Sofia's FAVORITE movies and all their songs get played a lot in our house), but really, it was me who was, "Oh my GOSH, I LOVE Smashmouth!!!" on the inside. But as I said, I got to know them first as 'Greg and Gina, who's wedding sounds super-cool, and I want to shoot it.' =)
Wow, that was a long paragraph, but I wanted to address it, because it's sort of weird (and disingenuous) for me to just say, "Greg's in Smashmouth!" and then move on like it's not a big deal to me, because it was a big deal (when I first found out) but at the same time, I never wanted for them to feel awkward, having me be all, '...oh my gosh, we always used to dance to your music at our parties, at Santa Clara, and we saw you in concert, and then this one time, and then.......' and so on and so forth. But ultimately, at the end of the day, I was really stoked, because not only do Gina and Greg really know how to throw a party, but that I got to know them both, (Gina in particular - she's a typer and talker like me (must be an Italian thing, apparently you get hairiness, and talkativeness, among other things...), and I feel like I made new friends (which, total side note, but that's one of my favorite things about my job, that I become friends with a lot of my couples!),, and any of the "Whoa! Smashmouth!" residue went out the window after we started shooting their engagement session and I got to see them together, as just another couple (who admittedly are both gorgeous, and take great pictures!). =) So, sorry for that long soliloquy, but I've got to be honest, and any of my friends know it would be weird, and super not-me, for me to just gloss over the fact that Greg's in Smashmouth, but I didn't want it to be all about that, either, because when it comes down to it, they're just another one of my newlywed couples that I feel privileged to have been chosen to shoot one of the most important days in their life (which is another of my favorite things about my job, that I get to be there at other peoples life 'peak' moments, and record it. How awesome is that?). So thanks, Gina and Greg, it really was a delight to get to know you AND to get to shoot your wedding...and Gina, if you ever want to do a trash the dress -- you know who to call. =)
To see a bunch more of my faves, continue after the jump, or go check out the slideshow (link above!)...