Saturday, June 7, 2014

It's All About Madi

Let's begin this entry by talking about Madi (formerly known as Madison Mueller.)  She is the eldest daughter of my neighbor friends, The Muellers. 

Offering Madi and her then fiancĂ©, Cody, a special portrait for their wedding day seemed like a great idea.  What a better gift than photography?  I offered Madi the opportunity to shoot her Bridal Portrait in a beach setting (her wedding was going to be a beach wedding) and, asked her if she would be willing to also be a "model" for me for the rest of the day. She agreed - so that set the plans in motion! We were going to have a formal "Bridal Portrait" session and a"Trash the Wedding Dress" shoot at the ocean, on the same day, and Madi would be the star for the day!

Very soon thereafter, I found a mint-condition, in-the-box, fairly modern-style, used wedding gown with a veil at a thrift store for a mere $40. It was perfect for what I wanted for the Trash shoot I was planning.

Everything fell into place quickly. And after weeks of anticipation, the weekend arrived!  We traveled to Pawley's Island, SC with 12 other photographers for a 'photo trip', and Madi and Cody arrived the next day from Wilmington, NC.

The location we chose for the Bridal Portraits was South Carolina's Huntington Beach State Park at Atalaya Castle. It seemed to be a popular bridal location as there were four other brides being photographed (who knew.) We were short on time, but Madi and Cody were very accommodating with requests. Click, click, click and away we went.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:

Everything went smoothly, and Madi's Dad even made a surprise appearance just as we headed off for the shoot. She really enjoyed having her Daddy there for the special occasion. As a photographer, I try not to get wrapped up in the emotional side of what I'm shooting, but thinking about how much the day meant to all of us, and that her dad drove 6 hours to be there and he caught us just as we were leaving for the shoot, and how glad Madi was to see him - well, it made me shed a tear or two.  I often wonder if the connection a photographer has to the subject matter being shot comes through in the final pictures.  It was such a blessed day all the way around. I felt really good about the shots captured on location and hope people can get a feel for the spirit shared through the images.
So, next up was getting Madi changed out of 'her' dress and into the thrift store dress for the "Trash the Dress" shots.  Having a bride in full wedding glamour, flowers, a beach setting, and a dozen photographers on hand doesn't happen every day!  Mother Nature also played well with us as we were entering the 'Golden Hour.'  This special natural lighting happens as the sun is descending towards the horizon. It normally begins about 2 hours prior to sunset - and were right on time with the shoot. It's a magical time to capture beautiful glows of pinks, yellows, etc. from the sunset.

Everything went according to plan! Here are some of my favorite shots from the "Trash the Dress" shoot (again, this was not Madi's actual wedding dress):

Keep in mind, it was April (still chilly), so we didn't put Madi into the ocean for a number of reasons (the water was freezing, and the tulle in the dress when saturated was too heavy for even the best swimmer) so we opted to stay on the safe side. I was so proud of Madi!  This was her first modeling gig, and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect arrangement.

250+  years of marital history in this picture
Incidentally, the Mueller family later asked me to photograph the wedding of Madi and Cody.  I was thrilled to be considered!  We all traveled to Topsail Island on the coast of North Carolina for a beach destination wedding. So much fun getting to know all the Mueller's, Heinton's, and Polera's! It still blows my mind to think about the lengthy marriage examples that Madi and Cody have to draw from within their family (with all four sets of grandparents and the two sets of parents) there are 250 years of marriage!  Isn't that awesome???
Destination wedding - Delivered!  Here are some of my favorite shots from Madi and Cody's Wedding:


 So, here we are at the end of this journey - which is the beginning of a new journey for Madi (and Cody.)  I wish these two special people a most joyful, lengthy union.  I'm thankful for having the opportunity to get to know them and their families, and to capture their spirit through photography.   I love these kids!

 All images in this post are copyright protected by Lisa Hale Photos. Visit Lisa Hale Photos for more information.