Southern Charm Wedding – Jeni & John’s Wedding – Hammond Event Center, Louisiana

***Jeni & John’s wedding at Mater Dolorosa and reception at the Hammond Event Center, Hammond, Louisiana, photographed by Jordan Bush Photography. Check out the complete set of wedding photographs here!***

I’m often asked how people find my work from afar. The world can be a pretty small place, and we’re all far more connected than we often realize, but ultimately it’s about about relationships. Relationships, connections, word of mouth referrals, are foundational to any business. My personal approach with any project centers heavily around story, so establishing a connection is even more significant. In regards to Jeni & John’s wedding in Hammond, Louisiana, my answer is far more personal.

Years ago when I was a trainer at Apple, I made a friend from Louisiana who later helped me photograph the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. It was through that connection that I met John, and when I lived in Baton Rouge, he became one of my closest friends on Earth. I would have been completely lost without him and he was always there through thick and thin. When I moved back to Pennsylvania, John was one of the people I wished I could bring with me, so instead I get to go back to visit! I hadn’t been to Louisiana in a couple of years and really missed John, so when he and Jeni got engaged, I knew I wanted to be at their wedding in any capacity they’d have me. They were kind enough to bestow the honor of photographing for them, and it was an especially big deal to me as I never had a chance to meet his Hammond friends and family before. In Seinfeld terms, worlds were about to collide. I wanted to capture the deepest, most real moments of interaction throughout Jeni & John’s wedding day, and that was my foremost goal. I would be lying if I said my eyes were dry during their first look, even recounting the day now, and it was a sincere privilege to be there with them

From a technical standpoint, photographing an event of this distance and scope were totally in my wheelhouse. I travel regularly to photograph, plus have covered weddings in New Orleans and Baton Rouge as both a resident of Louisiana and of Pennsylvania. Jeni & John’s wedding was logistically more involved as the reception hall at Hammond Event Center is quite accommodating for a guest list around 400 people. Photographing solo with 400 guests was a first but having more time to work with made it simpler. I could have flown but wanted to bring a full compliment of lighting gear for the reception so I turned it into a road trip through the south, camera always on hand. I should probably write a full series on that trip, it was quite an adventure with many photographs and great food stops to share.

Notable gear used for Jeni & John’s Wedding:

Nikon DSLRs: D4, D3 with D3s buffer, D7100
Nikon Lenses: 14-24 mm f/2.8, 24-70 mm f/2.8, 70-200 mm f/2.8 VRII, 35 mm f/1.4, 50 mm f/1.4, 85 mm f/1.4,
4 AlienBee 800 Monolights with 4 PocketWizard AC9 Adapters. Don’t forget the phone cords and 3.5 mm plugs to disable optical flash!
6 Manfrotto light stands, 12’ Air Cushioned (4 setup at reception with Alien Bees, 2 placed at church with Nikon flashes for family formals).
4 Impact 15 lb sandbags
2 Manfrotto 026 Swivel Umbrella Adapters (for stand flashes at church
2 Westcott Umbrellas, 43”
3 Nikon SB900 flashes with one Nikon SD-9 Battery Pack (for faster flash recycling during ceremony entrances)
6 PocketWizard Flex TT5 Transceivers, 2 configured for remote camera triggering
2 PocketWizard Mini TT1 Transmitters with 3 AC3 Zone Controllers (Wirelessly set flash output from camera, 1 spare  AC3 unit)
Manfrotto Tripod
Platypod Pro Max Camera Support with Manfrotto head (For a remote camera)

Congratulations Jeni & John, thank you for having me!

Jodi & Doug’s Wedding at Dreams Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Jodi & Doug’s Destination Wedding Photographs from the stunning Dreams Palm Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in the Caribbean!

It was just the two of them in an incredibly gorgeous location, and we had a lot of time, so my goal was to push myself and my equipment to the limits. We started with a three hour evening session a few days before using off camera lighting, using as many as three Nikon flashes at a time, controlling the flash power wirelessly using Pocket Wizard radio transceivers, and an array of colored gels to add flare to an already dynamic location. All of that set us up perfectly for their wedding day, which I started by photographing the sunrise… and then taking another two hour nap…

The light and weather for their ceremony ended up being fantastic. I set up a tripod at their ceremony hidden away and triggered again by Pocket Wizards. In non-nerd speak, that means whenever I take a photograph with my primary cameras, my third camera on the tripod photographed, too. That let me be in two places at once, like getting Doug’s reaction while following Jodi into the ceremony, and I moved the camera a few times throughout the ceremony to gain different perspectives. More great moments, peace of mind, what’s not to love? This is a technique from the photojournalism side of my work, and it’s fit perfectly into how I document weddings. It was a short ceremony but full of emotion, which lended itself even more to working with a remote camera.

Coming into the trip with Hurricane Matthew looming over us, I knew that night photography wouldn’t reflect the weather conditions if it were overcast, and I strongly wanted to make the resort feel totally their own. Even with guests abound and three other weddings taking place that day, it was about them, their journey, on this beautiful day in paradise. I’ve photographed Jodi & Doug a number of times over the years, including at engagement proposal at Longwood Gardens, but because of the trial run, they knew what to expect on their wedding day and we were able to photograph quickly with precision at a few locations. Off camera flash is a really technical and creative way of photographing, it usually takes a little more time than easy golden light but that makes it all the more special. Those trial photographs are attached at the end and are among my favorite formal photographs I have ever had the honor of making. Because of the time we had, and Jodi & Doug being super chill (how many brides will eat a hot dog during a break between photographs while still in a stunning dress?), the trust we’ve established over the years, I am extremely proud of these photographs, as well as who they’ve become.  Congratulations Jodi & Doug! Wishing you the best and a happy birthday today Jodi!