smitty's wedding


focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/400
aperture: f/2.8
iso: 1250



HA! It was so funny when I first heard her say it. First of all, Laura is such a doll. Complete doll. Looks like one, talks like one, just what I would call a sweet, little doll. And I spent a good part of the day with just her. You see, this past weekend, I 2nd shot with Kym Skiles of F8 Studio. Laura and Jonathan are the bride and groom. Laura calls her man, "Smitty". His last name is Smith. I love it! (hence the title of this blog post) I giggled when I first heard it escape her lips, but now that I've heard it, it's so him!

F8 Studio are my photography Gods. I've been following their work since the beginning of my photography career in weddings, which for me began in late 90's. I worship the images that fall out of their cameras. I disect them to see just how they do it, where they were, and freak out that I can't even begin to "hit in their league". They make it seem so easy and simple and clean, which is what I love, yet, it's not easy! It's incredibly hard to get those moments like they do, so when the opportunity came up to 2nd shoot with them in San Antonio, I jumped, leaped, begged them to let me do it.

The BIG bonus is that I got Kym. She's a partner with Gary and Huy and she totally ROCKS! I'm a total hyper spaz at weddings, and Kym is an even cool calm, oozing with retro looks and style. Definitely my kind of girl. We had an amazing time shooting together and I was so bummed that we couldn't hang out longer, but hey, another day perhaps. Maybe July? Hmm....

Anyway, here are my favorites from San Antonio. You'll notice that underneath each image, I've included the data from each file. Many of you have emailed me and posted comments here, asking about lenses and exposure and just plain, how I do it. So there it is.

I hope you enjoy!


The location was AMAZING! It used to be an old convent that housed a girls school. They now teach art here and have had the chapel restored, but maintained it's initial charm. It is absolutely breathtaking!

lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 35.0mm
exposure time: 1/8000
aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 50
I should have changed my fstop to at least 4 or 5.6, but geez...I'd just left the hotel with the girls and forgot to change the settings on my camera.

I loved this shot of Laura's dad with some of her maids! Oh, gosh! As a Mom of daughter's I can spot a Daughter Dad anywhere, and he is definitely one who gave his heart away the 2nd these girls were born. Just a great face and a great spirit!


lens: 50, 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/100
aperture: f/1.2
ISO: 1600


It's amazing the amount of things it takes to create a bridesmaid. WOW!


lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/100
aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 1250




lens: 100, 2.8 macro
focal length: 100.0mm
exposure time: 1/80
aperture: f/2.8 (geez...talk about your "oofs"
ISO: 1250


Details are important, very important. And as much detail shots as I take at a wedding, I never feel like it is enough! Seriously, I don't. Even if it's 100's of details images, there's always one shot I missed or didn't take. Drives me insane when going back through the files. But I know the day goes by in an absolute blur for the bride, so the details she's worked on for months, I want to capture for her to remember.


lens: 50, 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/2000
aperture: f/1.8 (geez...talk about your "oofs"
ISO: 800


This is Laura, standing outside the bride's room, just at the beginning of her aisle. You can just see the wheels turning in her head as she's anticipating the "what's next" part of her life. I love the tension and the promise in this photo. It's a crying shame I didn't move my bag. Geez... You can see it just to the right of Laura on the ground. I'm blaming it on the muscians. They left a gear bag there, right?


lens: 50, 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/640
aperture: f/1.2
ISO: 1600


The dress, close up.


lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 27.0mm
exposure time: 1/200
aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 1600


I loved their vows. They didn't write them, but they constructed them let's say, from vows at a previous wedding they had witnessed. They are biblical in nature and word and commitment, yet simple in words and modern in feel. Well, except for the submission part. LOL This shot is of the girls helping Laura go over them.


lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/60
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600


Laura, all dressed up!


lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/60
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600



lens: 50, 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/500
aperature: f/1.2
iso: 1600


More details and yummy ones at that!


lens: 50, 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/400
aperature: f/1.2
iso: 1600



lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 33.0mm
exposure time: 1/200
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600


Beautiful Bride!


lens: 50, 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/1250
aperature: f/1.2
iso: 125



lens: 50 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/2500
aperature: f/1.2
iso: 125



lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 30.0mm
exposure time: 1/60
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 800




lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/50
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 800


Smitty and his guys. He's 2nd from the left.


lens: 85, 1.8
focal length: 85.0mm
exposure time: 1/250
aperature: f/1.8
iso: 800




lens: 50, 1.2
focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/400
aperature: f/1.2
iso: 250


lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/100
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 100


Okay, definitely take note here. This is the way you decorate a chapel. I mean, I've been in some churches where you can't even tell it's a church anymore, due to all the material and flowers and crap that people rent and HIDE the church with. Not that some churches don't need to be hidden, but if you are getting married in a place that is old world and just classic beautiful, let the church stand alone and simply "adorn it". There's a fine line there, I think in some cases. But Laura and her Mom did an amazing job of just adorning this church. The candles against the hard wood looked amazing!

lens: 16-35, 2.8
focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/15
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 800


Laura's Grandfather. Love this shot!


focal length: 24.0mm
exposure time: 1/50
aperature: f/1.4
iso: 800


YUM! The doors to the bridal room were just itching to get in a shot and right before the ceremony, I was standing right outside and Laura just took one small step under that lamp. BAM! That was all I needed!


focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/15
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600



focal length: 24.0mm
exposure time: 1/125
aperature: f/1.4
iso: 800




Okay, I go back and forth on this one. Yes...a total mistake. My flash didn't fire, but hey, I kind of like the sweeping mood to this one. You can definitely tell it's a bride. This will be my "ala Beckstead" shot of the day. LOL


focal length: 24.0mm
exposure time: 1/20
aperature: f/1.4
iso: 640



focal length: 71.0mm
exposure time: 1/40
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1250




focal length: 24.0mm
exposure time: 1/200
aperature: f/1.4
iso: 1250



focal length: 150.0mm
exposure time: 1/100
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1250



focal length: 24.0mm
exposure time: 1/50
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1250


Time for some way cool portraits! I love this part of my day!


focal length: 24.0mm
exposure time: 1/1600
aperature: f/1.4
iso: 1600

I was way under on this shot, but love the way it turned out. I was actually holding a light stand and helping Kym and really shoulding have fired this off without being able to read the LCD or at least the in camera meter, but I fired it off from my belly because I was so excited about this shot! Total American Gothic to me. Just needed a shovel or a pitch fork. LOL

We had to take some outside to really get a feel for just how OLD World this place really is, but we were losing light fast. We just braced ourselves with tight arms, and held our breaths and fired off a succession of 3 in a row. If you do that, it seems that one, usualy the middle frame, will be sharp. I love this!


focal length: 24.0mm
exposure time: 1/30
aperature: f/1.4
iso: 1600


Not that it needed it at all, but I just love the Boutwell Action applied to this one. So cool!


focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/25
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600



focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/15
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600


Yikes! That's a slow shutter! But it works! The harder you try for something, the more you learn and figure it out. Just look at this one! LOVE IT! Total yummy light coming from the street lamp across the street. I love that you can see the twilight of dusk setting and it could be a couple from 100 years ago! Total YUM!


focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/15
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600



Another one showing off the great gate surrounding this joint. See the street lamp I spoke about in the previous shot! LOVE IT!



focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/15
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600



Again, I fired off 3 in a row and the middle was the keeper. Keep at it! Push it! You have the shot in your head, you know the light is there, keep working it to get what you want and love!

As we were taking photographs, the guests were having cocktails down by the river. The inside where they were just married, is transformed into an amazing dining Hall! LOVE it!


focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/25
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 1600




focal length: 50.0mm
exposure time: 1/30
aperature: f/1.2
iso: 1600


I didn't take very many reception photos. I was Kym's "light girl". She has an amazing style for flash photography that just so ROCKS. I'm dying to try it at my next wedding. If you are there, watch out! I hope I don't knock you in the head! Yipes!



focal length: 16.0mm
exposure time: 1/13
aperature: f/2.8
iso: 800