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Back in Black

Lisa and I went down to Hyperion Espresso in Fredericksburg, Virginia last night to meet up with Geoff, my friend and second shooter. BeingĀ a perpetual gear fanatic like me, Geoff was eager to see my brand new Shootsac. I’ve only shot one wedding with it so far, but I am already in love. It gives me quick, easy access to all my important tools, it’s rather fashionable…..and most importantly, black! Ask any wedding photographer what they wear to weddings, and they will undoubtedly tell you “black on black” or some variation thereof. Why black you ask? Because we blend in, with the surroundings, with the wait staff, with the shadows! It’s especially handy when you have two photographers working…because really, you don’t want any pictures of Geoff or me popping up in your wedding album, trust me!

I had a wonderful July, and I am looking forward to all the things I have coming up in August and September. During August I will get to shoot at a gorgeous lodge inĀ Michigan, document a Russian buy-out ceremony in Vienna, and party into the wee hours of the morning at a field party in Louisa, VA. I’ve got tons of engagement sessions lined up in-between, so look for regular blog posts in August. But wait…no one has booked you for August 16th, you say? That’s right, if someone doesn’t book me on August 16th, I might actually get a mini-vacation…and that’s not good for anybody’s health. So if you know someone in need of a last minute photographer, point them my way! As a last minute booking, I’m offering a 15% discount on any package for August 16th only. Act now before it’s gone (or before I’m forced to sit on my couch and watch “Platinum Weddings” all day long).

Robin and Adrian

After traveling up and down the East Coast during July, I wrapped up the month at home in Fredericksburg, VA. Robin and Adrian were married at TJ’s Celebrations, which, I must admit, impressed me quite a bit. If you’ve ever driven up Route 1 out of Fredericksburg, you’ve no doubt seen TJ’s. It has a modest facade, but as soon as you set foot inside it is quite evident that the people running the show at Tj’s really take pride in their events. And that makes me happy.

Earlier today, I was asked what made being a photographer “worth it.” After some careful thought I realized that while I may not be saving the world, I am contributing to something that really means a lot to people…and that gives me purpose, which I think is important to have in a career. When I capture an image like the one above I know that ten years from now Robin and Adrian won’t remember that the DJ was an hour late, or the cake guy showed up just before the ceremony, they will remember that nothing mattered on their wedding day except their love for each other. They will remember that all their friends and family were there to share in their joy and be witness to the beginning of the rest of their lives. And in some odd way that gives me hope for myself, and for the rest of the world. And so in the end, it is the renewal of faith that makes being a photographer worth it to me, and it is my sincere hope that my work reflects that belief.

Two Years!

Aaron Spicer Photography

On this day, two years ago, Lisa and I got married in Clifton, VA. Our wedding was beautiful, fun, and really reflected who we are as people. When I think back to our wedding day, I have no regrets, and truly remember it as one of the best days of my life. The ceremony was conducted by one of Lisa’s long time friends, Gerry Larkin, who is a Buddhist monk. Whenever people hear that, they immediately assume that we are buddhists. We are not. Though the ceremony was officiated by Gerry, there was also a poetry reading by my sister, and a passage from the Bible, read by my grandfather who is an Episcopalian minister. Our faith lies somewhere in the middle of all three of those (and yes, we consider poetry a faith–both being creative writing teachers at local high schools). I can’t believe that it has only been two years!

This may not be about my wedding photography, per se, but I wanted to take a moment to thank the real brains behind this operation, my wife, for being so understanding and supportive of my photography. It is not easy being married to a wedding photographer. We tend to be workaholics…. we are booked just about every Saturday, and spend all of Sunday recovering. We take our cameras….everywhere. We drag our spouses unwillingly into camera and electronics stores. We edit photos into the wee hours of the morning, and all too often, we expect our spouses to just “understand.”

Not only does Lisa understand my obsession, she supports it(proof postive, she just bought me a shootsac!). She is the brains and the backbone behind my web presence, my marketing, and my organization. She tells me when I have misspelled my own name, and she tells me when my blog posts sound like someone I’m not. I can’t thank her enough for all the time and effort she has put into helping me create my website and structure my business. To put it simply, I couldn’t have done it without her.


Confessions of a Flasher

Aaron Spicer Photography

I love flash photography. I think it’s super creative and gives a lot of shots an extra bit of pop. That being said, the above was taken with no flash whatsoever! I know! What was I thinking?

Ok, so here’s the deal. My Monday wedding informs me, as I’m setting up for the day, that one of their guests has a severe case of epilepsy and as such, I won’t be able to use my flash for the entire wedding. Cue two minutes of panic…..now. These are the things you tell your photographer before the day of. Okay, so really, it’s not a big deal. A lot of photographers never use a flash. Still, I watched with trepidation as we got closer and closer to sunset. But to my surprise…I had a lot of fun. The fundamentals of photography are the same with or without flash, and for once, i got to strip down to just be me and my camera. I simply love the above shot, and will be the first to admit that a flash would have ruined the entire thing. Sometimes all you need is a little push to get you going in the right direction…never mind the mild cardiac arrest.


Trash The Dress (Not Trashed!)

Aaron Spicer Photography

This afternoon I got to do a Trash the Dress session with my wife! It may be almost exactly two years after our wedding, but we got around to it! One of the things that we really wanted to go out and do is show people that Trash the Dress doesn’t necessarily mean that your dress will be in tatters at the end of the shoot. We are both very happy to report that the dress is doing well, and resting exactly where it did before the shoot. In fact, this will probably give us a good reason to go get it professionally cleaned and sealed for posterity. I think one of the things that turns people off from Trash the Dress sessions is the fact that the Wedding Photography world has been flooded with images of brides on fire, rolling around in mud or submerged in water. Though TTD is super trendy right now, I feel like it’s safe to say that most brides are not comfortable spray painting the gown that they wore for the most important day of their life. My wife and I are somewhere in between the two, so we decided to see what we could do within reason. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about truly trashing your dress for you if you want me to, but today was not going to be the day that Lisa and I trashed hers.

So, really. What’s the appeal of TTD, you ask? What you will find with a TTD session is that you are much more comfortable in your surroundings. You aren’t thinking about every little detail of the wedding day…and you aren’t trying to keep your gown pristine for that all important moment when the groom sees you for the first time. What you get, then, is a lot of unique bridal portraits that feature you looking way more relaxed than you ever would on your wedding day. I capture a lot of emotion on wedding days…joy, exuberance, relief…but believe me, relaxation is not one of them.

If you’ve got a wedding coming up with me, I highly recommend a TTD session after the wedding. We had a ton of fun!

Aaron Spicer Photography

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