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Rod & Marian's wedding at the church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa, California

Church of the Incarnation Wedding

There are few things I cherish more then getting to create life event images for my family. Today I want to share this Church of the Incarnation wedding I captured for my uncle Rod and his lovely bride Marian.

Capturing images for family guarantees that I’ll be reflecting back on these images forever. It’s important to me that I not reflect back with embarrassment for not doing a better job. In an attempt to maximize my chance of looking back on these images favorably, I try to focus on creating images with timeless qualities. My theory is that if renaissance paintings have timeless qualities about them, this establishes a roadmap to create images that are both beautiful today and into the future.

By creating pictures with these timeless characteristics, my goal was to insulate the images from current trends that might date the images later. To achieve agelessness, it’s necessary to define the qualities of what makes a good portrait and execute on those beliefs. This structure helps keep me focused on my long term goal of creating images that are beautiful independent of current fashion.

Getting Ready Photos & Solo Portraits

As a portrait photographer, the getting ready and solo portraits are selfishly my favorite part of the wedding coverage. Most people don’t get professional portraits taken very often so weddings become an important moment to document couples individually. In my experience, weddings are generally one of the last times people think about getting professionally photographed. It’s because of this that I always try to get nice portraits of each person individually in addition photos of them getting ready.

Bride and Groom First Look

As if to stress the timelessness of this wedding, both Rod and Marian have a very traditional style about them. The suit and the dress they chose had a 50’s flair that tied in seamlessly with Rod’s 1948 Packard he meticulously restored himself.

The original plan was to drive the Packard to the church for their ceremony. Unfortunately however, the car was having an overheating issue so it couldn’t be driven to the church as originally planned. So instead we decided to do their first look in front of their house and try to make it look like they drove the car to the church with the photos. By choosing my angles and camera settings with care, I did my best to omit contemporary distractions and thus make it harder to tell when exactly the photos were taken.

Church of the Incarnation Wedding Ceremony

This church of the incarnation wedding was super small and consisted of only my uncle, his bride and their kids. To put this in perspective, if you include the reverend and myself, there was only nine of us in the whole church. I much prefer small intimate weddings like this over the more popular mega events that are very popular these days.

Formal Couples Portraits

I know my uncle well and was very aware he’d have a short shelf life for getting couples portraits taken after the ceremony. He genuinely surprised me though and put up with me long enough to grab some gorgeous couples portraits that I’m really proud of.  

For their couples portraits, I took some extra time to set up a 48″ gridded octobox to get some really beautiful, contained light on them. This light paired with the beautiful details of the church allowed me to get a series of images that I think define the essence of timeless portraits.

Rod & Marian's Wedding Reception

The following day Rod and Marian hosted a very small reception at their home with close friends and family. It’s always humbling for me to photograph my own family’s weddings. The experience always has a tendency to re-ground me in the importance of what I’m doing for clients who aren’t my family.

These candid wedding photos might feel like unimportant snap shots to those who don’t know these people, but often I find that these photos are among the most important of the day for the couple. To illustrate this point, shortly after these photos were taken, Marian’s father died. These are some of the last photos she has of him.

To end the album Rod and Marian requested a casual portrait at one of their favorite spots sipping on their favorite beverage. This was the first time I had heard the slogan “Champaign of beers” which quite literally had me doubled over in laughter. Marian, you are absolutely perfect for Rod and bring out a better side of him than I’ve seen in many years. I’m heartened that you’ve found each other. Welcome to the family and I wish both of you a lifetime of happiness together!

Jason Guy

I am a portrait photographer based out of Sonoma, California. I create portraits for people of all ages with the goal of making images that are timeless. Portraits you will look back on decades from now, and still love them just as much then as you do today. While flattering lighting and pose are important, capturing how others see you is what I ultimately strive for.

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