I was honored to be asked to photograph my old friend Damon’s wedding in October of this year. I went to high school with his older brother Jason, and of course Damon was always around. High School was a long time ago, but Damon finally met the love of his life and asked her to marry him. On October 16, 2010, they became Mr. & Mrs.

If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably realized by now that I don’t normally shoot weddings—I seem to be averaging one a year right now, and they’ve always been for friends. I’ve never seen myself specifically as a “wedding photographer”, although I have some dear friends in the industry who are very, very good, and I hugely respect what they do. Anyone who thinks shooting weddings is easy has either never shot one, or didn’t take it seriously. The brand of the wedding photographer is a huge part of their success; look at names like Bob & Dawn Davis, Mike Colón, Catherine Hall. All hugely successful, immensely talented, and completely and totally devoted to the wedding industry. When people ask what type of photography I do, I typically respond with either “I specialize in not specializing”, or “What type do you need?”. I love what I do, and I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into a particular genre. To be honest, I could probably make a lot more money if I would just settle on something, focus on it, build a brand around it and shoot the sh*t out of it, but I’m happier this way. At least for now… who knows what the future will hold?

In the meantime, I’m thrilled to have opportunities to make photos for special people on their special day. I have loved every wedding I’ve shot, really enjoying the day and all the challenges that come with it. In fact each time I do one, I think “I aught to do more of these!”

This particular wedding was held outdoors in October, in southern California at Dana Point. Which shouldn’t be a problem in the sunny state of California, but as luck would have it, on this particular wedding day—it rained!

Did I mention it was an outdoor wedding?

Fortunately the rain didn’t last, but it certainly left the sky very grey. Which was a bit of a shame, as the wedding overlooked the marina, and would have made for stunning vista shots, with the ceremony perched in front of it all… but it was not meant to be. Of course photographically, the overcast made the sky one big soft box, with virtually no ugly chin or nose shadows to contend with! And of course with the muted grey sky, the colors that were present really did pop.

I always find an element of joy in the ability, as the photographer, to move around an environment at-will, which no other guest (or attendee of a rock concert, for example), would ever be able to do. I get to see the performance, as it were, from every angle possible, even if that means walking right up to the stars of the show and shooting the impossible view. Obviously tact and discretion is always in order, but I do love that these opportunities are there, however brief, and that it’s my job to get them from the best possible angle.

Ironically it was a Hawaiian/tropical-themed wedding, with the groom wearing flip-flips and a lei, the food being Hawaiian style, and the guests dressed casually.

The mud in the grass didn’t stop them from dancing, however. Honestly I think some of the girls really enjoyed and got into dancing even more than usual, loving the excuse to trash a perfectly good dress! Something tells me this wedding gown will never quite be the same again.

I hope you’ll join me in wishing Damon and Nicole the brightest of futures. If you’d like to see more photos, head on over to DamonAndNicole.com — nice touch, eh? I bought that URL for them, and pointed it to their wedding site. I’ll give them the domain after we’re all done with the photos; my wedding gift to them (shhh, don’t tell them… they don’t know that part yet!)