I shot this wedding two summers ago at Canaan Valley Ski Resort, here in WV. I was fairly really happy with the results. The clients loved them. I posted some, but didn’t do much else with them. The couple had found me through a Google ad I was running, and had traveled down to the ski resort for this cool wedding. I feel like it showcased everything great about our state. The landscape blew me away. Anyway, as I was saying, I finished the shots, shared them with the couple, but that was it. Only recently did I dig them back out and re-edit them in my more mature style, and they completely blew me away. Some simple re-editing opened up my mind to some shots that I was just regularly satisfied with before. I know we all “evolve” as photographers, and sometimes our styles change so drastically that we bury our old work for nobody to see (and feel sorry that our clients found us before we had gotten more “evolved”), but some editing really brought these to life. They’re among some of my favorites that I have ever done. Thanks to my friend Jeff Felton for being a second shooter. The two wider angle shots are his.
It was a Friday in November. Turns out to be the same day of the Paris attacks. I got a text that afternoon from Eric Clutter, the bass player from Karma to Burn, asking if I could meet up with the band, soon, to work on an album photo for an upcoming EP. I was pretty excited, as I had been really devoted fan for a long time. I had met Eric at 123 Pleasant a few years before he joined on bass. We talked about being photographers and whatnot. I sent him some photos of his band, Hovel, that I had taken when they were opening for K2B. Anyway, I was pretty excited. The record company was wanting to a nod to the very first EP from the nineties, back when the band was first signed to Roadrunner.
I met up with the guys on a side street in Morgantown in the early evening the next day. It was still warm, even that far into November. Will hopped out of vehicle with a six-pack of Miller High Life cans. He offered me one – I took it. Regardless of how the shoot went, I could at least say that I shared a six-pack with Will Mecum. We hammered out the shoot while we had the light, went inside, Evan made us all some authentic Italian-strength Cafe’ Bustelo, then jetted over to local joint Gene’s Beer Garden to grab a few more shots (Will’s suggestion) under the dingy bar lights. Will grabbed a beer, and Evan and Eric grabbed some hog dogs. The lighting was very direct and harsh. Rock ‘n roll! Those just ended up as outtakes. I used my camera, but Eric’s CF card. I took the shots, and he edited the ones they used. I wouldn’t normally be into that idea, but I know and trust his work, and I’m a massive fan of the band. I did my own edits on a few more of the photos. I included a few outtakes.
Our latest blog post features some live shots of one of my personal heroes, Mr. Dick Dale!
I may favor Jazzmasters, Jaguars, and even Mustangs over Stratocasters, but I worship at the throne of the Fender Reverb tank. I have seen Dick a few times over the years, but this was the coolest. His bass player kept messing with me, and bonking me on the head with the headstock of his bass.
This blog post goes out to one of my favorite weddings ever. Emma and Josh Dawson.
I have known I would be doing this wedding for about a year now. I was highly excited when Emma asked if I could, and I had tried to spend as much time preparing as possible. I have been trying to find the words to express the wedding, but I knew I couldn’t do it as much justice as Emma, herself. I asked her to write an introduction and a little about the wedding. Here is there love story in her words:
“Our names are Emma and Josh Dawson and our wedding day could not have been more perfect. I spent over a year collecting bottles and decoration items to save money for the big day. As a lifelong crafter I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like and how to save money in doing everything myself. Halfway through planning, I lost my job, meaning no more financial income on my part. Thankfully we had all the help in the world from our wonderful friends and family.
Josh and I met in the 3rd grade, but never really became close friends throughout our school lives. Our senior year we became mildly acquainted when we had a class together. After we graduated in 2003, I took a year off and then attended Fairmont State the next Fall of 2004. A friend of ours talked me into coming back into the school building one afternoon, instead of going home like I had planned. He said, ‘Josh Dawson hangs out with us and it’s always good for a laugh.’ So I went in with him completely uncaring about Josh and wanting nothing to do with him based on his reputation. When I walked in he called me sunshine and it was pretty much all over from there.
We dated off and on for a few years after that until it finally became serious around 2009. We enjoy traveling and going on adventures more than anything. We bonded initially over our mutual love for all things Halloween and enjoy dressing up and handing out candy each year. Our romantic movie is UP, as we also share a deep love for all things Disney. We have traveled to Disney World twice and last year in 2015 traveled to Disney Land, where Josh proposed to me on the Haunted Mansion ride. It was in December, so the ride was decked out in Nightmare Before Christmas theme, which is Josh’s all time favorite movie. Josh said it felt like the perfect place to ask since we both love Halloween and because of how much I also love Christmas, so it was my two perfect worlds together. He also said, ‘I am sick of checking my bag to make sure the ring is there so I need you to take it now.’ Mr. Romance.
We picked October 29, 2016 as our wedding day because it was my Grandma Betty’s birthday and I lost her when I was 8 years old and she had been my best friend. We also picked it as it was Halloween weekend and that made it the most perfect wedding day for us. Everything came together perfectly and we could not have asked for a better day. We want to thank everyone involved 1000 times forever. All of our family and friends for spending the money and the time to be there with us. ”