Tag Archives: San Antonio wedding photographer

Photographing Wedding Details by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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Bride’s Gift by San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer Red Photo

Focusing on wedding details is an important component for any wedding photographer. Being a San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer I have the chance to photograph many weddings and engagement sessions in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas, TX.  I like to photograph in a documentary, photojournalistic style where there is very little posing.  I am also a fine art photographer, and have been for 16 years, I always incorporate my fine art aesthetic into my documentary style to create unique fine art documentary wedding photograph images.  My fine art style is mostly composed of the styles of Impressionism and Pictorialism.  These are both styles that were popular at the end of the 19th century and both have a very dreamy, nostalgic quality to them.  I am also interested in Romanticism and old photographs so many of my image incorporate blur and black and white toned images.

Many photographers who photograph weddings tend to really concentrate on the action images.  These are the typical images of the ceremony, the bride and the groom getting ready, and the reception.  But people should not forget about the details at a wedding.  The photographs of the details at a wedding have long been some of my most favorite images to take.  They really give me a chance to express my fine art aesthetic and to create unique images.

This collection of image is from several weddings.  I chose them because I like the simple compositions and the careful use of color and design.   These are often key features in my works.  I am very interested in the concept of Beauty and how it can be shown in shapes, designs, and forms.  Photographs of details always bring out my creativity and I like the challenge that they present.  These detail images can really add another dimension to a wedding album, so I always make sure to capture plenty of them.

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Bride’s Reflection by San Antonio Wedding Photographer Red Photo

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Wedding Shoes by Fine Art Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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Wedding Rings by San Antonio Wedding Photographer Red Photo

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Wedding Flowers by San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer Red Photo

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Wedding Cake by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

 

Gary Miller

San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

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Fine Art Photography Friday – Latch by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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Old Latch by Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio

Once again it is Fine Art Photography Friday.  But this is no ordinary Friday, it is Black Friday.  So while everyone is out scrambling around for the best bargains I have been hard at work searching through my files to fine a fine art photography to write about. November can be a busy time of the year for a wedding photographer.  Being a Fine Art Wedding Photographer based in San Antonio I can get pretty busy right before the holidays arrive.  I was photographing a wedding in Galveston, TX last weekend.  Every time that I am out photographing at a wedding people always ask my about my work and inadvertently the conversation comes around to someone asking my what is fine art wedding photography.  For me it the mixing of my documentary photography style with my fine art photography in a wedding setting.  I am happiest when I can photograph more in this style.

Today’s image is a good example of how simple a fine art photograph can be.  This is a detail photograph of a latch on an old box.  Just a regular photograph of this object would be interesting, but I wanted to add another dimension to it.  Part of my photography is that I am very interested in vintage things.  I like my images to have an aged, nostalgic look.  You can see that in the images from Paris, which you can see here, and those from my long term amusement park project, which you can see here. I just do not take an image with a fine art eye but I like to add fine art treatments to the images to complete them.  I think that this gives them more atmosphere and emotion.  I like my images to contain a narrative so that a viewer can read into them. I also like my photographs to have a great deal of texture to them.  Since photography is a visual medium I am always trying to add to the sensory experience of the viewer.  I want people to be able to feel the texture of an image and to connect with the story that they see in it.

Enjoy the shopping and the nostalgia until next week’s post.

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

 

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Fine Art Photography Friday – Street Cleaner by San Antonio Wedding Photographer Red Photo

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San Cristobal by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

Fine Art Photography Friday is here again and this week I have another fine art image from my series in Mexico.  As many of my readers know, I am a San Antonio based wedding photographer but I love both documentary photography and fine art photography.  Every chance that I get away from my wedding photography business I use to take either documentary photography or fine art photography images.  In fact, I combine both of these in my fine art documentary wedding photography images. That is one of the reasons why I decided to become a wedding photographer.

The image above is from my trip to Mexico where I spent time in the little town of San Cristobal de Las Casas and then spent a week living with a local family out in the jungles of Chiapas.  You can read more about this adventure in my post, “Fine Art Photography Friday – Mexico.”  I originally went to San Cristobal to take a documentary photography workshop with Craig “Cisco” Dietz.  Craig was a photographer and artist in Los Angeles who moved to San Cristobal about 20 years ago.  Craig runs a photography workshop called Aper Tours.  He is a great teacher and I highly recommend studying any type of photography with him.  His workshops at the time that I traveled to Mexico were small, with 3 people maximum.  The week that I was there I was the only one so I had a one-on-one experience and was able to stay with him and his wife in their house.  That week was more like hanging out with an old friend then a workshop.  Craig and I traveled around the countryside, we photographed some projects together, and then I was out on my own photographing most of the time.

I was shooting medium format black and white film using a pair of Mamiya 645 cameras.  There may seem like an odd choice for a documentary photographer, but they are pretty compact cameras and I wanted to have a larger negative to give me better quality prints.  I processed all of the black and white film while I was at Craig’s home/studio in his nice darkroom, and made some contact sheets and prints.  I liked going the nostalgic route of shooting film instead of digital.  It just seemed to fit the older lifestyle of the places that I was exploring.

For the image above I went out right around sunrise to roam the streets and to look for interesting subjects for images.  This is what is known as reportage style.  One of my favorite reportage photographers is Andre Kertesz.  You should definitely check out his work.  He has been a great influence on me and my photography.  As I was wandering the streets I noticed this beautiful old stucco wall.  The wall itself was interesting and I took several images of it, but I felt that the photographs were missing something.  That was a human element.  So following the lead of Henri Cartier-Bresson, I waited for something or someone interesting to come into my frame.  I just sat down on the curb across the street from the wall and waited.  After about 15 minutes I saw a man pushing a cleaning cart down the street who was heading into my frame.  I just waited until the precise moment and created the image above.  Patience will always pay off, so be patient.

 

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

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Fine Art Photography Friday – Paris Bench by San Antonio Wedding Photographer Red Photo

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Fine Art Photography by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

Once again Fine Art Photography Friday is upon us.  And this week it is Halloween.  I wish that I had a Halloween inspired fine art photograph to post but I do not have one.  Being a San Antonio wedding photographer using a Fine Art Documentary photography style, gives me an opportunity to utilize my love of fine art photography when I am working and photographing weddings, engagement portrait sessions, bridal portraits sessions, or any other type of photography.

Today’s image is another from my series of photographs from Paris.  This image was part of a series that I did when I was staying there for a month.  You can read more about my Paris trip and see more images in my posts, “Fine Art Photography Friday – Paris” and “Fine Art Photography Friday – Morocco.”  I wanted to create a fine art photography project based around Paris because I see it as the center of the Photography universe.  Many of the photographers who have inspired me over the years have lived and worked in Paris.  These include Sebastiao Salgado, an amazing documentary photographer, Andre Kertesz, a reportage photographer, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, a documentary fine art photographer.  If you are not familiar with the works of these great Photography Masters I highly recommend that you search for their images.  One of the components that I am drawn to in all of there work is the use of shape, design, and light.  I am very interested in Beauty as it is expressed through design, shape, and form, and these have long been major components of my work.   I have long been interested in storytelling through images so that is why many of my photography heroes are documentary-based photographers who infuse a fine art mentality into their work.

The image of the man on the bench was taken at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. One of the things that I like to do is to challenge myself by going to areas that have been photographed excessively and then finding some new way of seeing the environment.  I have consistently done this all over the world.  This image also shows how a camera can be used to distort reality and to further convey the artist’s feelings and ideas.  The image was taken using a Tilt-Shift lens (Canon 24mm f/3.5L TSE) to create the blurry effect and the small area of focus.  The vignetting, dark area around the outside, was done in the camera by modifying a lens filter.  I could have created this effect in post production but I wanted to mimic the look of a cheap toy camera, like the Diana or Holga.  Since I started in photography by learning with film I am more comfortable getting the final image in the camera and not doing a great deal of post production.  I like the idea that I have to commit to the look and feel of an image when I am capturing it.  So mentally I do not want to rely on fixing or changing an image in post production.  I think that post production should be used as a finishing tool, not to rescue a poor image.

I will be posting more images from my Paris series in the future.

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

 

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Rebecca and Milton’s Engagement Photography Session

 

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Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

I had a great engagement photography session with Rebecca and Milton recently.  As a San Antonio wedding photographer I always encourage all of my clients to have either an engagement portrait session or bridal portrait session.  It is best when they have both.  Not only does this create some great images that are different than the regular fine art wedding photography images that I create, but I think that it is important to have these portrait sessions for a few reasons.  Many of the couples that I work with have never had professional photography before and they do not know what to do in front of the camera.  The portrait session gives them time to get used to being photographed.  It also gives me a chance to spend some time with the couple.  I especially like an engagement session because I get a chance to work with both the bride and groom and to see how they react to being photographed.  My style of very much documentary and I do not like to pose people.  I may start them out in a little bit of a pose, but then I tell them to relax into a more natural look.  I refer to this as posed, but unposed.  The natural look is what I am after.  I find that it also makes them feel and look more comfortable in their image.  Bridal portraits have to be a bit more posed because of the dress.  I always find these sessions to be more formal.  Most of them occur indoors but I have taken some beautiful bridal portraits outdoors.  You can see some great images from Rebecca’s bridal portrait session at Rice University here.  But I still encourage the bride to be a bit relaxed in her pose.

Rebecca and Milton chose Jesse Jones Park for their session because they wanted a wooded surrounding.  They also wanted to create some images on a small beach area in the park.  I had never been to that park before but luckily they were very familiar with it.  The park is fairly large and we walked a lot.  Usually I am the one leading people all over an area to find great locations and to produce a variety of images.  But this time they were the ones dragging me all over the park.  We must have walked for at least 3 miles and I was carrying all of this camera gear.  But the resulting images were worth it.  There was great variety to them from an open field to the trees and the beach.  They are a great couple.  We all had a wonderful time.  I am looking forward to photographing their wedding.

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Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographers, wedding photographer San Antonio, Austin wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio, Photojournalism wedding photographer San Antonio, Wedding Photography San Antonio

Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographer, wedding photographer San Antonio, San Antonio photojournalism wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio, Wedding Photography San Antonio

Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographers, wedding photographer San Antonio, Austin wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio, Photojournalism wedding photographer San Antonio, Wedding Photography San Antonio

Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographers, wedding photographer San Antonio, Austin wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio, Photojournalism wedding photographer San Antonio, Wedding Photography San Antonio

Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographer, wedding photographer San Antonio, San Antonio photojournalism wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio, Wedding Photography San Antonio

Engagement Photography Session by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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San Antonio Wedding Photographer Red Photo Engagement Session

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

 

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Fine Art Photography Friday – Church by San Antonio Wedding Photograph Red Photo

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Third Baptist Church, San Francisco by Fine Art Wedding Photographer Red Photo

This Friday, for Fine Art Photography Friday, it is time to go to church.  And not just any church, but the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco.  Now you may be wondering how a San Antonio wedding photographer ends up in a baptist church in San Francisco.  Good question.  You know if you have been reading my other blog posts that I like to travel a great deal and take documentary photographs.  Many of my documentary photography projects are long term and take me all over the world.  But for this image, in the Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, I was actually living in the city at the time.  I went to graduate school at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where I received my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Photography.  After I graduated I went on to teach at The Academy of Art for 2 1/2 years.  So I have many images from San Francisco.  It is a great city, one of the best cities in the world.  There is so much to see and do and so much to photograph.  I love all of the different cultures and flavors of the city.

While I was in graduate school, one of my friends, Lee, belonged to this church.  I told her how I was very interested in photographing all things related to religion and how people weave religion into their life.  I was drawn to a pastiest church because of the music and the intensity of the services.  I was also drawn to the fact that the women in the congregation wear there great hats on Sundays.  It was an amazing experience to be in such an old and respected church to to see all of the wonderful people of the congregation joined in prayer and song.  I just so happened to be there on the day that Jess Jackson was visiting as part of his Rainbow Push Coalition.  This was an extra added bonus because my friend Lee did not tell me that Rev. Jackson was going to be there.  So I also had the opportunity to meet and to photograph him.

The image of the church members represents a very pure form of documentary photography.  The image is so yellow because the sun light was streaming through the old stained glass windows.  At first I was not happy with the oddly colored light, but then I realized that it really gave the image that fine art touch the I like to mix into my documentary work.  This is part of my fine art documentary photography look and what I apply for my weddings.  I have talked about being a fine art wedding photographer in previous posts.  You can read more about this here.

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

 

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Photojournalism Wedding Photography by Red Photo

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San Antonio Wedding Photographer Red Photo

Many people ask me about photojournalism wedding photography and how it is different from regular wedding photography.  Being a San Antonio wedding photographer, and working in a photojournalistic style, I am often a good person to explain this current wedding photography style to people.  Photojournalism is a style of photography that focuses on recording events as they happen in a very hands off manner.  A true photojournalist abides by a code of ethics that encourages them to produce real images of real situations without interference.  Photographers like to think of this as a hands-off approach.  You are not supposed to move people around, or pose them, or set up the image.  You can use artificial lighting, like a camera flash unit, but this is usually employed very minimally and only when it is absolutely necessary.

A good contrast to this would be traditional wedding photography which was more posed.  This occurred because back in the film days a photographer could not take the risk of taking so many uncontrolled images.  Clients demanded, and still do, images of guests, posed formal images, staged event images, and then a mixing in of the truly candid, hand-off, event images.  I have a few theories why this more documentary and editorial magazine style has become popular.  Digital technology has made it easier for people to enter the field of photography and the internet and other mass media are showing many commercial and magazine/editorial style photographs.  Another big reason why the photojournalism style has invaded the wedding world is because photojournalists have invaded the wedding world.  Digital technology has caused many newspapers and media organizations to stop producing print versions and go to online.  There have been many photojournalists who have been laid off over the past 10 years as the internet and digital technology has grown.  You can read one story here.  Many of them found photography work in the wedding field.

About 10 years ago the style of wedding photography began to change into a less staged one and into a more photojournalistic, or documentary style.  There are a few photographers out there that are using a 100% documentary photography style, but this is very difficult to pull off at a wedding, because clients still want some posed images, especially the formal portraits of the bridal party and family.  There are even photojournalism wedding photography organizations like the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA.)  They have very strict rules for the members and they have to be primarily photographing in a photojournalistic style.

I describe my wedding photography style as fine art documentary wedding photography.  Like most current wedding photographers there is a large amount of documentary, hands-off type of photographing that I perform at a wedding.  I have long loved documentary photography so this is a natural fit for me.  I then mix in some loosely posed formal images and maybe some portraits of the bride and groom if they request that.  Even when I am posing people I am very loose about it because I really want a natural look to my images.  I may tell some people to stand somewhere and to face a certain direction, but then I wait for them to relax into their most natural poses.  For me this has been the most effective way to photograph a wedding.

I have been a fine art photographer for about 15 years now and my work has appeared in over 100 group and individual shows all over the world.  I love fine art photography and I love documentary photography so that is why I combined the two in my unique fine art documentary wedding photography style.  You can see examples of my wedding photographs here and my portrait photographs here.  You can even see some of my fine art photographs here.

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

 

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Fine Art Photography Friday – Mexico by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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Chiapas, Mexico by San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer Red Photo

It is Friday again and that mean Fine Art Photography Friday, another chance to show off some of my photographs besides my wedding photography images.  For those of your who do not know me I am a San Antonio wedding photographer who specializes in fine art wedding photography, bridal portraits, and engagement portrait sessions. When I am not busy photographing weddings, which is not often, I like to pursue my other passion which is fine art photography.  I have been a fine art photographer for over 15 years and I have had my work in over 100 group and individual shows.  So I decided that every Friday I would post one of my art images and tell you about it.  You can see some of my other fine art images on Marrakech,Morocco, the Iowa State Fair, Mississippi, China, a Rodeo in California, Paris Disneyland, and the Sahara Desert.

The image above is from a documentary project that I did in Chiapas, Mexico.  I had gone down to San Cristoboal De Las Casas to take a documentary photography workshop with Craig “Cisco” Dietz at Aper Tours.  We had a great week together.  Prior to the one-on-one workshop I contacted him to find out if he could arrange a live-in documentary photography opportunity for me with a family who lived a very simple lifestyle.  That is how I ended up staying with the family in the picture above at their house in the middle of the Chiapas jungle.  Although it is challenging to find, I really like to stay with my subjects and create an extended documentary.  There is a special bond that you develop with your subjects when you can actually live with them.

They had no electricity or running water.  The image above shows the mother of the family making fresh tortillas on the lid of a 55 gallon drum over an open fire that she built on the kitchen floor.  While I was there she made tortillas, fresh, three times a day for meals.  They were great, but after about 3 days I was really getting tired of those tortillas.  During my week and a half stay with th family I documented their beautiful lifestyle.  They showed me how they sheared their sheep by hand, then dyed and spun the wool into threads.  These threads were then used by the women on hand looms to create distinctive skirts.  Each sect in the area has a particular pattern for their skirts.  Some are plain and others are very fancy.  Their weaving skills are amazing.  The entire experience was amazing for me.  I even had the opportunity to go into a Temazcal, an authentic sweat lodge

The image about is titled “Xun’s Family.”  It has won more awards than any other image of mine.  I recently won “Best of Show” in the “Freedom of Art” exhibition at the High Wire Arts Gallery in San Antonio, TX.  I was a bit surprised because it was an open art exhibition.  This is where all types of art are displayed.  Usually, photography does not win over more traditional media like painting and drawing.  Maybe the fact that the piece is a silver gelatin print made in an old school chemical darkroom had something to do with it.

Enjoy the image because another Fine Art Photography Friday is just a week away.  I am off to photograph a wedding in Houston tomorrow and a portrait session on Sunday.
 
Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography San Antonio
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

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Bridal Bouquet Photographs by San Antonio Wedding Photographer Red Photo

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Bridal Bouquet by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

Being a San Antonio wedding photographer I have the honor to photograph many weddings, bridal portraits, and engagement portrait sessions.  One of the key photographs for any wedding or bridal portrait is the bridal bouquet.  Brides take much time, effort, and energy in picking out the perfect bouquet that will complement their wedding.  Colors and flower types are key but they can also depend on the time of the year and the availability of those particular flowers.

The history of the bridal bouquet is an interesting one.  Brides have been carrying a bouquet since ancient times, but it did not start out as flowers.  Many time brides and grooms carried aromatic herbs, spices, or garlic to help to ward off evil spirits.  As far back as ancient Greece and Rome the brides would wear a garland that was meant to symbolize new life, hope, and fertility for the couple.  At this time the garlands were not yet made of flowers but instead they were comprised of herbs and spices or local vegetation.  The stronger the smell the better it was believed that the garland would ward off of evil spirits.  As is true with many other wedding traditions, the modern tradition of having flowers at a wedding and carrying a flower bouquet came from Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert on February 10, 1840.  The bouquet of flowers was carried by the bride and this bouquet included edible flowers like marigolds and dill weed which was eaten by the bride, the groom, and the wedding attendees during the reception.  The consuming of dill was thought to increase sexual desire.  I could see why you would want the bride and groom to consume this but I am not sure that I would want the wedding guests consuming this too.

It was also during Victorian times that flowers took on meanings and were seen as secret messages between lovers.  This is know as florigraphy, or the language of flowers.  At the time many beautiful flowers were given underserved meanings.  Today, brides choose their flowers based more on color and a fondness for the look and smell of the flowers, rather than their assigned meanings.

This is just one of the many fascinating wedding traditions.  I am really interested in these rituals and their origins, so look for future posts on that subject.  You can read about other wedding traditions in my post “Wedding Ceremony Photography” and “Wedding Cake Photography.”

 

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Bridal Bouquet by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographer, wedding photographer San Antonio, San Antonio photojournalism wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio

Bridal Bouquet by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographers, wedding photographer San Antonio, Austin wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio, Photojournalism wedding photographer San Antonio

Bridal Bouquet by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

San Antonio wedding photographers, wedding photographer San Antonio, Austin wedding photographer, Texas wedding photography, Fine Art Wedding Photographer San Antonio, Photojournalism wedding photographer San Antonio

Bridal Bouquet by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

 

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Austin Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

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5 Tips for Hiring a Wedding Caterer from San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

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Wedding food by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

As a San Antonio wedding photographer I interact with many other types of wedding vendors.  Along the way I have seen how a wedding is a group effort and like any team it is important to have the right individuals on that team.  Many people think that wedding photographers are isolated from the rest of the wedding, but I make every effort to constantly meet other wedding vendors and to learn more and more about the wedding process.  Today I offer you my 5 tips for hiring a wedding caterer.

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Wedding food by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

1.  Get recommendations and referrals

Like anything else in life you should ask other people who have had experience with caterers for recommendations.  If you have recently been to a wedding and you like the food and the service find out who catered the event.  Remember that caterers also provide service at other events, like office parties and organizational events.  If you enjoyed the food and the service at an event, find out who provided the catering.  Once you have some referrals or recommendations you should make sure to check them out.  Don’t just go on someone else’s word.  Your friend may have just been to a wedding and loved the food but that does not mean that you should  just blindly take their advice.  Check it out for yourself.

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Wedding food by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

2.  Use a wedding planner

In a recent post I talk about the importance of hiring a wedding planner.  You can read that post here.  One of the things that I pointed out is that a wedding planner has connections and experience. With some information on your likes and budget they can help to steer you to a good caterer.  They have worked with many wedding vendors and you should rely on their experience and knowledge.  Many planners have a preferred vendors list that has all types of wedding vendors on it.

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Wedding food by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

3.  Check with your venue

Just like the wedding planners your venue will have a preferred vendors list of the people who they have successfully worked with in the past.  This list should be short.  I am always a bit put off by long lists as it seems like anyone can get on it.  Short lists mean that those vendors have to maintain very high standards.  When venues are looking to put people on their approved vendor list they are very careful that these vendors match the price point and service level of their typical customers.  As a San Antonio wedding photographer I have to work very hard to put myself on the preferred vendor lists of the best wedding venues, but it is worth it in the end.

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Wedding food by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

4.  Taste the food

This might seem obvious but you need to taste all of the food from a caterer before making any decisions.  I know couples who thought that they wanted a certain type of food but discovered that they liked another type of food better.  One couple wanted a beef dish, because they thought that it would be more elegant, but preferred the taste of the chicken dish.  Another  couple I know went all vegetarian at their wedding because they liked the vegetarian foods better.  Do not assume anything, taste everything.

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Wedding food by San Antonio Wedding Photographers Red Photo

5.  Use a professional certified caterer

I highly recommend that you use only professional, certified caterers.  They should belong to a national organization like NACE (National Association for Catering and Events) or ISES (International Special Events Society).  I am a member of both to help foster the wedding team mentality.  After you have some recommendations you can go to these organizational websites to see if your perspective caterer is listed as a member.  You could also start with these organizations and then go through the rest of the process.

Taking a multi-pronged approach to hiring your wedding caterer is what is going to get you the best results.  It may be a little bit of work but in the end  you will have a great wedding reception and your hard work will pay off.

I will be providing 5 more tips in a future post so watch for it.

Gary Miller
San Antonio Wedding Photographer
Austin Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Fine Art Wedding Photographer
Austin Fine Art Wedding Photographer
San Antonio Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
Austin Photojournalism Wedding Photographer
www.redphotophotography.com

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