Calee & John // St. Elmo Wedding Photographer

It continues to amaze me how quickly time flies by with being a wedding photographer. It literally seems like just a month ago I got a message from Calee saying she was engaged and wanted me to be their photographer. In a blink of an eye the wedding day is here. Just like the weddings before her and John’s wedding there was a small chance of rain leading up to the day itself. However the situation was a little different here. The decoration was being handled by her family the wedding AND reception was to take place at her family’s property. So they not only needed great weather the day of the wedding but they need great weather on the Thursday and Friday before the wedding. God is so great – I remember meeting with Calee and her mom a year ago and I asked if they had a backup plan for if it should rain and her mom replied that she was already praying up on it and she knew it would not rain. 🙂 We not only dodged any rain that was in the forecast but we had a beautiful day for an all outdoor wedding/reception. The temperature was perfect, there was a slight breeze, it was literally the perfect. day.

The temperature was not the only perfect thing about the day itself, the timeline we had for pictures was more than perfect! 🙂 After a first look where John and Calee had a private moment (of course with us photographing it) to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. This is such a special moment because you don’t have the crowd watching you, nerves aren’t that high, it’s just a relaxed intimate moment that just the two of them could share together. After this we set out for some fun pictures where we had well over 2 hours to shoot. This is where it was absolutely perfect. We had so much time that we actually finished with a lot of time left before the ceremony itself. So much time in fact that when we got back to the house after creatives, John, Calee and some of the wedding party were able to kick back and relax and even take a little nap. HAHA This was definitely a first for me – not to take a nap but that we had this much time. After the ceremony concluded, we jumped right into the reception since it was literally 20 feet away on the driveway. You’ll see in pictures this wasn’t a quickly thrown together reception, not only do her parents have a wonderful location to live as it is, but it made for an AMAZING reception location… I’m pretty sure they could rent out their property for future receptions. 🙂 This made it great to go from ceremony immediately into the reception, at least from a photography perspective.

Because it’s summer the sun is setting later, so this also became our first reception where we literally didn’t need a flash until the VERY end of our time there. During the formalities and some of the open dancing we were able to go without flash because the sun was providing enough light, and not only did it provide a good amount of light it providing amazing lighting to create some beautiful pictures. I was blown away with the look of John & Calee’s wedding and reception, it definitely showed what a little hard work could do and of course a lot of planning and stress. I think it definitely paid off and they will cherish all the work that went into it for many many years to come.

I’m sure many of you, if you have spent anytime at all on the internet, have seen the viral picture that was going around of a wedding party running from a tyrannosaurus rex? If not, just google it and you’ll find it. 🙂 Obviously as a photographer that is a part of many photographer groups I have seen this photo multiple times and also received it in texts, Facebook messages/posts, tags, etc. from friends and family. Calee sent me this in a text a week before her wedding and said it would be cool to do something like that. So I thought, why not? Many in the photography community are not a fan of this, because obviously its fake, its trendy, and when it’s not done right it obviously looks fake. If you know me at all, you know that I’m one of the few people that LOVE Michael Bay films. When reviews are bad on any of his movies I know I’ll love it because I love ridiculous explosions and use of flares, and I thought I should channel this kind of ridiculousness and incorporate it into Calee and John’s picture. I didn’t want to simply plug in a rex and that was it. It’s been done. And I know the idea of a rex in the picture has been done before, but I look at it like the Harlem Shake. To do a video, it’s not an original idea, but it’s still a lot of fun, plus this allowed me to text my photoshop skills like you wouldn’t believe! Behind the wedding party was a tree line AND a big warehouse. So I had my work cut out for me, because with how close they were to the tree line I could not simply plug in a rex and that was it, he had to be bursting from the building. But how do I take out half a building and knock down a bunch of trees and make it look somewhat real? Explosions, flames, flares, and textures. 🙂 You can barely see it but where all the flames are is a partly cloudy sky that descends just below the rex’s right arm. Like I said, this was a ton of fun to edit. I know it’s not uber professional and doesn’t at all go with the formality of a wedding, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break from that and keep it fun. 🙂

Congratulations John and Calee!!


Lastly, John and Calee also had BoothOUT at their reception, if you would like to check out more on that you can head to the gallery here: