Saturday, November 22, 2014

Joe & Golpar

An unlikely meeting.......

I get a call out of the blue from a Facebook friend I have never met who proceeds to tell me that she's always admired my work and the different cultures I photograph. Ok, and that she has a friend who's getting married in Chicago who is Persian and that she recommended to the bride that we visit about me photographing her wedding.

So now I have a phone number and it's time to make that awkward phone call because I'm not even sure what just happened.  Well I call Golpar, the bride, she doesn't really know me but tells me a bit about her wedding and says that she and her fiancĂ©e will look at my website and get back with me.

Being 100% honest here, I was thrilled about the possibility of shooting a Iranian/Filipino wedding but I'm thinking, I either won't hear back or this one will be a "no".  To my surprise, after a couple days, I receive a phone call from Golpar and she was thrilled.  She even went on to say how much she loved my work and that she couldn't get her husband off my website.  Very cool stuff here.  So off went the contract.......

Fast forward to wedding day and I'll be honest, I cried like a baby during the reception but I had to maintain some type of composure because I was still working and needed to capture all the emotions of the day.  The love between these two, their families and guests was of a type that I have NEVER experienced before.  We laughed, we cried, we remembered and we repeated it all throughout the ceremony.

In my professional career, I have absolutely loved all the couples I've photographed and some I'm still in contact with over social media, etc.  This couple and their wedding day will go down as one of my "all-time" favorites and I will never be the same.  It was awesome re-experiencing their day as I put this show together for them.

Cheers Joe & Golpar.......


Friday, November 21, 2014

I Photographer.......

I Photographer…….

We move so very fast from shoot to shoot, assignment to assignment and wedding to wedding.  We take well over 2,000 pictures during a given wedding and process over 1,000.  We enjoy, become part of the day and even an honorary member of the family at times.  We toast the bride and groom, hug Momma and exchange a firm handshake with Dad.  When the cake’s all gone, DJs playing his/her last few requests, we interrupt the bride/groom for a final, joyous and sweaty hug goodbye.  It’s all happens in a flash then we remember we’ve been at it since early that morning.  

We met the bride as she awoke to begin pampering for her special day.  Later that morning we were with the guys, had some laughs and maybe even a cold one to get us through the day.  We captured the ceremony, gathered family together for the formal pictures and then took the wedding party to another location for more amazing pictures.  Happy, rowdy, hilarious, buzzed, drunk and ready to get the party started right…….  We get offered more drinks, get comments like we don’t know how you do it.  Aren’t you tired man and you still are only half done…….

In the moments throughout the day, we “chimp” at pictures on the screen as ask…. 1) How was my exposure and am I locked in now.  2) This would be a great picture as long as he/she doesn’t see me take this…. 3) If he would only get the heck out of my shot…… 4) I have my distance down now but I have the wrong lens on my camera.  5) How many more shots can I get on this memory card…. 6) How are my batteries holding out and do I need to change them before the ceremony. 7) How’s my ambient light and am is my background too dark….. 8) Am I blowing out my highlights on her skin and wedding dress and if I did, can I make that picture a black and white 9) Does she realize how beautiful she looks….. 10) I see the love between these two and maybe there is hope for the rest of us. 11) Wonder where they are going on their honeymoon…. 12) Ok, I need to remember Mom and Dad aren’t together so no pics of the two of them…. 13) Will this be the last picture of Grandma or Grandpa as they are getting up there in age…. 14) What a beautiful family; I see that this couple will have tons of support during their marriage…. 15) Man I know that robe the minister has on has got to be hot……. 16) Am I taking enough pictures…. 17) Dam, that’s my song and how do these moves go again; new cupid, slide, wobble baby wobble…….  18)…….
We’re back home now….. Our feet hurt, back aching and stiff, equipment is twice as heavy now and we debate and consider whether we should bring it in or wait till the morning.  We have cards and cards of images to sort through and wonder why we took so many.  We pray that each image makes it from memory card to computer without incident.  We breathe a sigh of relief when they do and then without haste we make backup copies before bed.  Now it’s 2:00am and we can barely keep our eyes open as the last image transfers to the backup drive.  We close our eyes and attempt to sleep as we think about the drunk guy in the wedding party who tried to kiss us.  Right then and there we go through a mental inventory to make sure we didn’t forget any equipment.  We question whether we actually saw each of the 3,000 pictures we took upload to the computer and we’re up again now scanning to ensure we got them all.  
Now to the bathroom where we peel off the clothes we’ve had on for the last 18 hours.  The warm shower is welcomed more that life will ever know.  We reflect the imagery from the reception dance floor which makes for a nice chuckle; SMH.  Nobody will even know or understand our pain and discomfort but dam it was fun…….  How bad our feet hurt and don’t forget the sore back.  We don’t even recognize our own smell at this point but thank God for this thing called soap and a shower. So why do we do it all?  It’s not because of the money because if it were, we would all charge for pain and suffering….  

Because, because, because……. It’s because it’s a sort of calling that speaks to us.  Speaks to our very soul that comes alive not when we're retouching pictures or even burning the disk.  It’s when we detach ourselves from the work and become an admirer of our own ministry.  This can happen in an instant, sometimes weeks, months and even years later.  That’s when the calling and our ministry are validated.  When we amaze ourselves and are in awe of what we captured.  When we experience that day, that oh so special day sometimes for the first time and the tears start to flow.  We believe again in love aside from our own experience and what the world says……. Hope, our hope is restored and our very soul is at peace…….
And all the wedding photographers said….. Amen and Amen again…….

David N. Beasley Jr. Photography

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Erica & Chris Lockett - Kickapoo Creek Winery

I had so much fun photographing this couples wedding in Kickapoo Creek Winery.  The weather was perfect, everyone looked amazing and the setting was incredible.  I love the colors and the style this couple chose for their wedding which added nicely to this perfect day.

I met this couple at a wedding reception the year prior.  I was going around to each table at the reception taking pictures of the couples and families.   What I didn't know at the time was that picture I took was their first professional picture and when they saw the image, they decided that I would be their photographer for their special day.

One year later on late summer day, these two were married on a beautiful winery back in the cut of Central Illinois.  Cheers to Erica & Christopher Lockett.......


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bonnie & Delvar - Montego Bay Jamaica

Coming back to Jamaica to shoot this young couples wedding was pretty special as Jamaica was the site of the very first wedding of my professional career.   First time I had two cameras strapped around my neck and nervous as heck to say the least.  Well this time I was much more at ease but still on my game as there are no do-overs with a wedding and definitely not a destination wedding.

Weather was awesome, resort was "off the chain", food was amazing and the love between Bonnie & Delvar overshadowed it all.  Here's to finding your soulmate in life, soul and spirit......

Ya Mon!

Deileta & Tanatsa

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of shooting Deileta and Tanatsa's wedding in Chicago.  It was my very first wedding of the year and what a way to start off the wedding season.

Love, Spirit, Soul, Family and great friends.......


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Something Beautiful is Coming.......

Last week I had the opportunity to me a young couple (Brittany & CJ) and do my second pregnancy shoot.  I was a little apprehensive having not met prior the couple prior, not having the opportunity for a phone conversation, or even doing a lot of these types of shoot.  However, when shooting such a fun and beautiful couple who's energy is so amazing it made my job very easy and we had some laughs in the process; especially when the Godmother showed up and started playing momma and trying to direct traffic.

Baby is due in July and I will be there for the upcoming baby shower later this month.  Hint, hint, can you guess the sex of the baby???????


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Da Bean & Da Broad

Last time I did some great landscape shooting in Chicago I was with my best friend Willis Lonzer and we shot some very cool bridges in the City.  Well I wasn't as diligent then as I am now and I lost most of the shots from that shoot but you can see two of them in the "Travel" section of my website under Chicago.  This time I decided to learn from that experience, title the folder where the shots are located MUCH better than before and backup my shots.

My girlfriend and I were up before the "crack-of-dawn" and were headed to "Da Bean" to get some unabstructed shots before things got busy.  She was a real trooper and convinced me to take the bus versus the 2.5 mile walk in the morning.  Glad she did because the lighting was perfect by the time I got setup and any later would have made for some harsh lighting on "Da Bean"......  

On our way back, we needed to stop by Walgreen's to hydrate and that's when we ran into "Da Broad".  I didn't want to just take the standard shot with Marilyn looking right back at me so I made my way around this beautiful blonde "Da Broad" and I set my camera to give off a star pattern on the building and framed the shot so I looked as though "Da Broad" was looking up to "Da Stars".  I call this shot "The Starts are OUT!!!!!!!".......  See if you can pick up on where I'm going with this.

More blogging ahead as I get back in the "groove" again. Been a long time since I've had a steady presence out here.  Thanks for those encouraging me (Leann and Crystal) to get back out here again.  Everything in its season and thank God mine has arrived again.......


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Black is Beautiful, Black is Power

About 6 months ago I embarked on a project entitled "Black is Beautiful/Black is Power".  This project is part of my "Same Sun" series that focuses on people from different races, geographies and experiences and the aspects of life that bring us together once we effectively move beyond what we "perceive" based on outward appearences.

I am still in the early stages of the project but excited about where it will lead and the conversations that will ensue.  For now, here's a beautiful black and white photo from the project.......

Black is Beautiful!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's All In The Details.......

When I'm really in my zone with my camera, I just love shooting details.  They are easy to miss sometimes because of the "job at hand", trying to capture "the big picture" and make everyone happy but sometimes we as photographers need to capture a little something for ourselves in the process.

I took this shot last year during a shoot just because I loved the way the bangles matched the Saree and how the white background just sort of made them glow and come alive.  Most people will blow right past a shot like this but when I see this I see "Art" and I'm ok with this "Art" being just for me.  It might make it onto my studio wall so I don't forget the importance/significant of shooting details or another side of beauty that we often don't associate with beauty.......

Here's to the details.......


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Half Saree #3

Last week I had the opportunity to shoot a "Half Saree" event for an Indian family.  This was the third event of this type that I've done and I've had the opportunity to see a couple of the young ladies grow up which is really awesome!!!!!!!  It is very special to see all of the families come together to bless and support the family and the joy exhibited throughout the event.

I hope to do many more of these here in the local community and abroad and to watch these young ladies grow into women.