Skipped town for this one and hopped a plane to Chicago to photograph a wedding at the Waldorf Astoria!! Got in a day early so as not to be rushed into things on the big day… and when you fly me out to shoot, thats exactly what I’m gonna do! Cam in hand nearly the whole time, I cant help it.. I feel naked without it. I got off the plane with my carry ons [gear and clothes] and hit the subway to the pre party / rehearsal with the crew.
Im gonna back track a second and mention that I’ve known Brandon and Stephanie for a few years now through my good friend and kick ass Palm Springs Wedding Photographer, Ryan. They are his family and were guests at his wedding. We partied there and I’ve been to Chicago in the past partied with these guys there. Always a good time and my best partying with Brandon story I have happened out here in Chicago when we all rolled out to a Harbor Booze Cruise one night. We got dressed up and were ready to get shitfaced in style. I think Brandon might have even been underage? either way he was tanked by about mid way through the cruise and was cut off from the bar on one side of the ship.. course he didnt listen and proceeded to just roll over to the other one, obviously. I guess thats when security stepped in and made it known to pretty much anyone serving on the boat that this dude wasnt allowed another drop. Brandon being the guy he is wasn’t having that. Now my memory is a bit hazy and this is probably one of those “you had to be there moments” but as I remember it playing out a small argument started between him, security and the bartender in which he confidently stated “oh dont worry, I’m still going to drink, nothing you can do about that” .. to which Johnny Law got tough telling him he’d best not try it… and so on … and thats when Brandon blurted out one of the funniest and truest of the cuff drunk rebuttals I’ve ever heard : ” WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?? KICK ME OFF THE BOAT?!?” I just about died laughing there on the spot, cause even security knew that this guy had a point… we were in the middle of the harbor and there really wasnt much they could do… we continued to buy booze and just feed it to him.. A cherished memory : )
Moving on! I rolled solo on this one as Ryan agreed to shoot the guys for the getting ready and offer me back up here and there as needed. This isn’t the first time he and I worked the tag team … our Los Angeles Natural History Museum wedding a little while back was good.. real good. So we teamed up again on this one. Ryan and I have known each other for 20 years or so and played in a band together and have a few side businesses as well, we make a pretty kick ass team. He got his feet wet with photography when Jess was pregnant for the first time… stepped in, held it down and had a damn good time. I think thats when with little convincing he realized that not only was rocking a wedding fun, but something he would be good at with a little practice. Flash forward years to now and he’s gotten good. REAL good. Art is art. Creatives are creatives and when you got it, you got it. Anyhow, not wanting the full responsibility of photographing family during their wedding this round he suggested to Brandon & Stephanie that I come along and take a bit more of a lead so he could enjoy the party like a guest should… I was all in and signed up for a damn good time.
With rehearsal completed and out of the way we hopped on a rented a trolley for the day of the rehearsal and packed it full of good friends, hit spot after spot with ease. We partied until early AM as expected and had a damn good time, a perfect and befitting setup for what was sure to be an epic day just a few hours away. A bunch of random drinking, laughing happy moments below [with a few artistic ones] enjoy!