Laura and Matt’s yin and yang daytime nuptials

Being part of an extrovert/introvert pairing myself (Look at me, look at me! Guess which part I am!), I’m quick to recognize it in other couples. I love the yin/yang balance, and it has the potential to make for a really complete union that’s stronger than the sum of the parts, like peanut butter and jelly or gin and tonic. Laura and Matt are a great example of that, and I was honored to photograph their celebration.

Laura is one of those people whose smile and eyes are instantly disarming, and she wears her love, faith and hope for a better world on her sleeve (and walks the walk too!). Matt is a soft-spoken, seriously smart, left-brained engineer who builds things so secret that he could tell you, but you wouldn’t understand, and then, sadly, he’d have to kill you anyway. Together, they’re magnetic.

Laura loves photos so much that she hired two photographers, myself and the incredibly talented, hard-working Shelley Welander, of Oro Valley’s She.We studio, to cover their wedding of about 50 people. Matt’s crazy about Laura, but not so crazy about photos…no, not much at all. Matt to photographers: “Um, I think you’ve got it now, right? That’s probably enough shots there, don’t you think? That should pretty much do it now, huh?” Subtext:  he’d rather be doing just about anything else, and he’s only willing to put up with us because he loves Laura dearly.

Shelly and I both had the chance to do great engagement sessions with them, but we both thought we’d used up most of Matt’s patience for photos for at least a decade. We were wrong – thank you Matt for being a trooper!

Shelly and I hatched a plan earlier in the week over strong coffee – she covered the ladies getting ready (a forte of hers), and I went to catch Matt early in the morning, while he was still willing to put up with cameras. Kind of a photo ambush. We then joined forces at the Chapel of the Immaculate Heart, where, with our team members (my main man JP Connelly, and Shelly’s husband, videographer Cam Welander). We were a documentary team to be reckoned with.

We comprised about 7 percent of the people in attendance. That got us some gentle Irish-flavored ribbing from the priest (“Ah tink yeh need mahr fatagraphers”), but it was worth it. It’s a small space and it’s easier to create a kind of “zone coverage” than to run around and risk drawing attention away from the events at hand. We each took a corner, and rotated every fifteen minutes or so, like a very quiet volleyball team composed of ninjas.

Laura’s step-mom, Patricia Gordon of Lulu Pokinghorn worked a miracle with the decor in the humble chapel, and the light there is a gorgeous golden glow that radiates from the frosted windows. I’d come to their rehearsal and seen immediately the strong connection Laura has with the nuns. They love her and it shows, and they have a humorous streak that is infectious. Laura’s faith is a pillar of her life, and so I gladly focused part of our coverage on the beautiful Catholic rituals and icons.

From there Shelly and I took turns taking portraits – formals at the church, and a then again at Reflections at the Buttes. It’s so cool to work with another pro and see what they do differently. It was also interesting shooting during the middle of the day, though I’m partial to sunset. Noon in Tucson means you’re usually working around or against the light, rather than with it, but there’s a lighting solution for every situation! We made some wonderful photos and had an awesome omelet bar.

I particularly loved the Scrabble cake (nice work Village Bakehouse!)- my hands-down favorite of the year so far. With the smaller size of the event, I had the chance to do table shots, which are always loved by clients, but can be challenging to pull off at bigger weddings.

Laura and Matt left amid a shower of paper butterflies and wild cheering from loved ones.

It was weird being done before 2 p.m. rather than 2 a.m. I don’t think I would’ve known what to do with myself for the rest of the afternoon if it weren’t for an 8 a.m. Phoenix flight the next day for John and Elizabeth’s Puerto Rico wedding, and all the packing that goes along with a week of work and play in the tropics. Stay tuned for some sweet shots from that!




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