I knew it would be epic. I met with Drew, Danni, and Drew’s parents. The groom Drew, was my kind of guy. He was a programmer who had graduated from UT Austin with an IT degree. They both loved Star Wars. Drew told me that two of his buddies were going to be wearing Storm Trooper armor. There would be light sabers, and there would be Yoda. “I’m your Huckleberry” I said. You have picked the right photographer for this wedding.
When they mentioned that the venue would be Castle Avalon, I experienced a mild case of Tachycardia (Google it). Castle Avalon has long been one of my favorite venues. I’ve shot there three times, and I know the venue well. It’s a real European Castle… Let me repeat that…. it’s a real castle. In the middle of the South Texas Hill Country, you can get married in Camelot. With Star Wars Storm Troopers if you wish. It’s a very visually interesting place. The grounds has huge Oak trees, immaculately manicured hedges, stone walls, and a staircase that you might see in the movie Titanic. It has a ballroom with a shiny floor, hand painted ceiling, and crystal glass that turns normal sunset light into a photographer’s dream.
I had recently done a composite photo involving my son where I made it look like he was flying over the city holding on to a drone. I was going to try and find a drone to photograph in studio, and then composite it into the picture. One of my former client/brides, Kristyn Schones mentioned that her husband Cody has one of the really fancy drones. I’d seen some wedding photography in the past where they utilized a drone, and I was thinking about my upcoming Star Wars wedding and asked Cody if he’d be interested in a drone project. He agreed. He would fly the drone over the castle as the ceremony begins, and swoop down on the ceremony. We finally decided that “swooping down” on the ceremony might not be the best idea, so we made the plan to dramatically circle the castle.
The thing about epic Star Wars weddings, is that there is usually a lot of things going on, and I didn’t want to miss anything. I asked the talented Shelly Beck to help me as a second shooter. A lot of photographers use a person who is just starting out as a Second Shooter. Shelly is far from that. She has her own wedding photography business, and her talent far exceeds mine. We’ve shot together in the past, and our creative minds work well together. She agreed. All the ingredients were there for an epic wedding.
The only ingredient that wasn’t perfect was the weather. It wasn’t going to rain, but the forecast called for HOT and Humid. I was told that the weather guys were predicting a heat index of 105 degrees at 6:00 PM when the ceremony was scheduled to start. We had to plan our time outside very efficiently. People tend to drop like flies when you keep them in heat like that for very long. That means that the photographer better keep the picture taking for group photos moving along quickly.
THE RESULT: EPIC STAR WARS WEDDING
You tell me. Everything worked. The drone worked. No equipment failures, no drama, no one passed out from the heat, no one got drunk, no one was arrested, none of the nightmares I’ve had over the years came true. Even my new speedlights with new wireless triggers worked perfectly.