#HeyFrancis | Just a week ago today, I had the pleasure of visiting Napa Valley, CA for the first time and capturing this beautiful engagement session with my good friend Ashir and his fiancé Emily. I was so surprised to see the remarkable change in colors reminding me of my childhood home of Indianapolis, IN. So grateful being a part of their journey and super excited to be photographing their wedding in August 2019 in Sacramento, CA. Thanks for following the journey and hope you enjoy this gallery!
#HeyFrancis | Welcome to the after party! Following the traditional Thai wedding ceremonies, you could sense that the younger crowd was ready to get litty 🔥! In a flash, the band started playing 🎺 , and the clean-up crew came in and transformed the space from an elegant wedding display to a poppin’ nightclub!
To get the party started off right, Melisa (the bride) got everyone together for yet another celebration - it was Ice’s birthday 🎂 weekend too! After singing Happy Birthday 🎊 and following a few hugs and laughs, the room began to fill with bubbles and lights - it was party time!
Coming into my first Thai 🙏 Wedding, I had no idea what to expect. And near the end of the traditional ceremonies, you could feel that everyone was a bit exhausted - but as soon as DJ Ice 🎧 got on the 1’s and 2’s that all changed. With the help of a large and chilled box of Jello Shot syringes, a seemingly endless supply of Johnny Walker Black 🥃 , and mini buffet of drinking food, the rust was shaken and the party was in full swing! Being new to the crowd, I was very grateful and excited many friends at the event brought me into fun - thanks for showing a brother love! 💛
Wanted to give a big shoutout to the two (2) event photographers 📸 as well for letting me step in capture a couple shots of my own. After shooting a few, I happily put the camera down and picked some drinks up ☝️ lol. All in all, it was an amazing time that I won’t soon forget :)
Last, but not least, I’d truly like to thank my good friend Ice ❄️ again for all the love. Crazy how meeting in an airport and then linking up to take some photos on a rooftop in Bangkok could lead to such a fun and memorable experience. From spending time getting to know her and her family, I’m very thankful to say that I now have a very special family in Thailand 🇹🇭.
And with that (that being about ten (10) personal shots and countless drinks in between), the night was over. Congratulations 🙌 very much again to Bride and Groom for allowing me the honor of being in attendance. A few more bits of fun took place after this last picture was taken, but we’ll keep those in our memory banks for later - or well, what we actually remember hehe 😏. Until next time, thank for all the love!
#HeyFrancis | Imagine being invited to a wedding 👰🏻 of a good friend that you just met (yes, I said a “good” friend, that I just met - I’ll explain later lol), with the only expectations to hang out, vibe out 🤙, and maybe shoot a few photos. Then, next thing you know it, you arrive at an absolute fairytale 😯 wedding - what would you do? Speaking for myself, I did what any other professional photographer would do: grabbed my gear, checked my exposure, and started shooting 😉📸
First things first, I must thank my “good friend” Ice for inviting me all the way to Bangkok to celebrate her 28th birthday, and for inviting me to the wedding. We met at the Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), last month and clicked right away.
Coming into this union/wedding as an impromptu, tertiary photographer, I really learned a lot - these hired creatives were super talented and professional! Much love and respect to their craft as I got to witness what it was like having a full production team at work on such a high profile wedding. Also, very thankful that they let me step in and shoot 🙏. There has been time when I’ve whipped my camera out at a wedding and the photographers got really upset and asked me to put my gear away - but as an artist, it’s all love and respect to the lead photographer.
From the lighting, to the floral arrangements, entertainment (they had a mini-orchestra who killed it!), and especially the food, you got the feel that the night would be special - and that it was. Big shoutout to La Da Wan “The Wedding Planners” for showing me how it’s truly done!
Have you ever been to a larger-than-life wedding? Would you like to have one like that or more of a simple, intimate wedding? Leave your feedback in the comments below because I’m still on the fence hehe. Hope you enjoy these few snaps before and during the ceremony, and a few more snaps from the after-party 😆 coming soon!
#HeyFrancis | Just what the doctor ordered - a little something sweet to start off the week right. Today, I linked up with the talented Miss @cataltomonte (baking 👩🏽🍳 extraordinaire) for a freestyle #foodstyling session featuring her first-time Banana 🍌 muffin recipe. But if you're looking to cut back on the sweetness, you can always ixnay 🙅🏽♂️ the coconut cream caramel drizzle - but who would want to do that, right?
Learned and had a lot of fun working with new lighting setups and direction when it came to food. We played around with some backlit setups but ended up opting for a more traditional setup with one (1) key light set at 45 degrees from the muffins. Adding a 32"x32" inch softbox in front of that light, we were able to create some really soft shadows and add the glistening catchlight in the drizzle. Here's what we used:
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II
Flash: Yongnuo 600EX-RT II
Tripod: Amazon Basics 52" Carbon Fiber Tripod
Softbox: Neweer 32"x32" Speedlite Softbox
Shutter Speed: 1/8 second
Food photography can be super easy and lot of fun - especially when you get to eat the food after you photograph it. Now it's your turn! Have any tips on your personal experience with shooting Food photography? Please share your feedback in the comments below and let's continue the conversation. | #lehgiddit
- Mike Francis
#HeyFrancis | Reps, reps, reps! Immediately following a long day of shooting Mauneal & Zhenli's first (Indian) wedding (here's a link 👉 http://bit.ly/2dzck4V), it was time to begin working on the second. We learned so much as a team from the first day and were super excited to make some key adjustments headed into the second day of shooting. Growth is such a beautiful thing, and even more special when you can reflect and apply new knowledge right away; we were ready!
You would think we were tired from the busy night of shooting, yet the excitement for the day had us up early and ready to rock and roll. The morning started off with a smooth ride out to Anaheim where we were to meet up with the Bride and Groom. Sarah (@sarahjackson_mua) was already at work in applying her first round of make-up as Miguel and I made our way upstairs. One by one, the ladies entered and departed from the make-up chair ready for the day. Shortly thereafter, it was time to head out the venue.
Following a brief Limo ride, we all arrived at the La Venta Inn in beautiful Palos Verdes, CA. And when I say beautiful, I mean, "B-E-A-UTIFUL!" I would like to thank Charla (the Office Manager at La Venta Inn) for all her help throughout the day. She was an ABSOLUTE pleasure to work with!
The limo unloaded person by person as the Bride and Groom made their way to their respective quarters not to see each other until their first-looks. The Bride and Bridesmaids headed off to a quaint little cottage that sat atop the hill with an extraordinary view of the Pacific Ocean (my favorite 😁 place to shoot). After taking some snaps 📷 utilizing the soft and natural light peeking in from the windows, it was time to capture the fellas. (By the way, peep the Bride's Dress and Shoes 😍 below)
As I walked over to the Men's cottage, I had a "Wait, hold that thought" moment as I halted at a stunning location for the rings to be shot. Standing before me was a wooden barrier that had light spilling on it through the leaves of the lush tree above. It was as if Mother Nature had set up a spotlight on this barrier just for me. Thanks Mother Nature 🙌 . After making a few in-camera adjustments, here's 👇 what I got.
At that moment, I then realized how much fun I was truly having. Chris was now working with the ladies, Ryan was off getting all of his DJ stuff knocked out (#GoDJ), Miguel was climbing in and around bushes to get all of the video pick-ups he was looking for, and Sarah was standing by ready and willing to help out if needed. Having such a great team working together made it easy for me to focus on what I needed to do as a photographer, and I'm so thankful for the team's professionalism and hustle; we were putting in work! Right after, I made my way down a set of stairs a met the fellas in their cottage. It was ducked off and shaded on the other side of the grounds setting up a few images that were more on the "cool 😎" (temperature) side. That was a photographers joke if you didn't get it 😉 .
Next thing you know it, it was already time for first-looks. Luckily Mauneal couldn't see very well without his glasses on as Zhenli made her way from the cottage (right past him lol) and over to the stunning white-stoned terrace that faced the ocean. Following a few pictures, the Bride and Groom parted ways again as the ceremony was about to begin.
One-by-one each couple from the Wedding Party made their way down the elegantly set aisle. A rush of emotion started filling the air as they knew the Bride was finally on her way. The music started playing and then came the tears (I even teared up a little bit 😪). Step-by-step, Zhenli's Father guided her daughter down the aisle. With a nod of the head and with an exchange of smiles, Zhenli's Father handed His Daughter over to Mauneal for the first time; the ceremony went silent. At that moment I thought, "It's so crazy to experience all of this through a camera lens." What a pleasure and honor it was being in a position to capture it all!
After an exchange of vows, a few laughs, and smiles between one another, the Marriage Officiant proudly presented, for the first time 💍, MR. and MRS. SHAH! 👫 With a roar of applause and cheers from everyone in attendance 🎉🎉🎉, Mauneal and Zhenli made their way back up the aisle and pulled everyone in together for group picture.
Following the ceremony, we had the chance to take the Wedding Party away from the crowd for a few moments to capture some stunning shots using the light from a gorgeous setting sun. I'm serious, you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful sunset. As we wrapped up on some shots, we could already tell the party was getting started ("as you hear the sound of popping bottles 🍷 and music 🎤 from the infamous DJ Bootr0n in the distance").
The time was finally here, it was "Reception Time"! The Wedding Party danced 💃🏻 their way into the room with a storming roar of applause and cheers as everyone awaited the arrival of the newly wedded couple. With microphone in hand, DJ Bootr0n introduced the newlyweds and even more cheers rang out; what a time to be alive! Following the Best Man and Maid Of Honor speeches, some tasty 😋 dinner, and cake 🎂 cutting, Mauneal and Zhenli took the floor and danced together for the first time.
It was such an honor given the opportunity to witness the union of this amazing couple 👦🏽👰🏻 ! I've always been my own worst critic, yet this experience really opened my eyes 👀 to how hard I've worked throughout the years to finally get to this point. My team and I had just finished capturing our second wedding in two days at one of the most fascinating wedding venues we had ever been to. Dreams come true, but they take time. All I can say is that if you set out clear goals and work towards them each and every day (even justtt a little bit 👌), you'll see them come alive right before your eyes. Congratulations 🙏 again to the happy couple, and thank YOU, the reader, so much for being a part of and following the journey.
Check out Miguel's video below 👇 for a full-video recap of the accounts of the day! Also, check out his blog here which highlights the events of both days. I'd love to hear from you! Please leave your COMMENTS and FEEDBACK in the section below! Be on the lookout for the next BLOG highlighting my 3rd wedding in 4 days (whoa!) coming soon! -MF
Video By: MigZilla