Justin + Kristen

“Sorry. I don’t do weddings” was my immediate response when I was asked to photograph Justin + Kristen’s wedding. Yet, there I found myself, on a cloudy November day, capturing the forever story of two truly unique individuals. It was a beautiful, intimate ceremony at Lions & Rabbits in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Obviously, I’m no veteran wedding photographer but I took the challenge and knew that I wanted to not only get the ‘traditional shots’ but document those small, in-between moments as well. The glances and touches that will emotionally bring them back to this day for years to come.

A fun art filled venue, a stunning wardrobe, their totally laid back personalities and a day that ended on a bus headed to a local bar was the perfect concoction for a first wedding gig for me. Oh, and of course there was their black lab, Eleanor, in the role of Puppy Matron of Honor.

The lighting conditions varied throughout the day, tight interior spaces and exterior cloud cover. I shot primarily with a 35mm and 50mm lens, both gave me the aperture I needed in some of the more challenging areas. In the final step of processing, I tried to stay away from the trite hipster filter effects and kept them true to the look and feel of the day. Of course, my love of black & white is always in need of restraint, but being in an art gallery truly made it impossible to not go overboard.

Damion Van Slyke