A Southern Love Story Born in a Summer Shower – The Film Preview

We are quite excited to write about the recent creative/personal project we worked on alongside some of the best vendors and Savannah companies. We wanted to make a short wedding “movie” featuring some of our favorite places and people. The creative project was inspired by the movie, Singing in the Rain. Who doesn’t like Singing in the Rain? It just makes everyone happy.  It puts a smile on our face thinking of the actors dancing, singing, and entertaining. So, when the Morgan Gallo group took this idea to heart, they created the classy atmosphere at one of the most authentic historical venues in Savannah – The Harper Fowlkes House. Vicki Sepielli, Kiwi Fleur, provided sparkling floral decor reminiscent of the rain & sunny air. But, what about the rain? Well, we had to capture a separate scene in the rain with the classic automobile and all at the very versatile and private backdrop of the Mackey House. And what about the cinematography? Well, that could not be possible without collaboration with the talented Jabberpics and ImageryStorm fellows, whom we are honored to now call friends.

Although we cannot share the entire editorial  photographic coverage or the full feature film presentation yet- we would like to give you a taste of what this project was like – there is love, there is sunshine and the rain, a classic car, stunning wardrobes, a very special engagement ring shaped as a tear drop (custom designed by Levy Jewelers, donated for the use during the project by the paper stylist Emily McCarthy of Emma J Design), and… dancing. There are a couple of ballroom dance studios in Savannah, and talented dancers from each (actually owners and instructors) became our actors for the entire piece. If you are looking for your first dance training, Rachael Moore with Salon de Baile and Mack McKenzie with McKenzie’s Professional Ballroom are the professionals to contact!  For the entire list of credits, please scroll to the bottom of this article and remember all who were involved in the creation of this exciting project. Each one of them is a top resource for planning an unforgettable  wedding celebration in Savannah. Whether you need a place to park your celebration, a make-up or a hair artist, ballroom training for the first dance on your wedding day, stunningly arranged florals, a top designer wedding gown, a sweet and beautiful creation of dessert, a comfortable furniture backdrop for your reception, or a ring to actually propose to the love of your life, the listing of the vendors below will not leave you wanting in fulfillment of your dreams for your event.

What inspired us to produce this project? Besides the fact that we are in love with movies and are anxious to create our own storytelling projects with still and moving subjects in them,  our philosophy on working in any industry is that through collaboration of talented professionals, bigger and better things can happen. When you translate that into the wonderful world of weddings, this means that we have an opportunity to showcase Savannah as a highly unique, charming, authentic and sophisticated destination for spectacular celebrations. Savannah provides not only an authentic backdrop for such experiences through its historical relevance and raw natural beauty, but also offers an awesome sampling of services by a great number of talented professionals who are simply an embodiment of Savannah’s reputation for being a Hostess City. Although numerous weddings take place in this city every weekend, we want to raise the national and the international awareness to the fact that  exciting and unforgettable moments will be created for the couples especially here, because Savannah is filled with talent & professionals who truly are passionate about their craft and cherish the opportunities to create something original, exciting, and custom tailored. In other words, talent, innovation, art and professionalism can come together to provide a top-notch experience for the client searching for something distinctive, heartfelt, and real.

So, as you see, it is not Azelle Photography that presents you with this exciting undertaking. This project is brought to you by the  Southern hospitality, talent, and skillful professionalism,  of the entire team involved in creating something exciting and new as a way to show what can be achieved when such professionals work together for a common goal.

Stay tuned in to our blog for the upcoming full-length feature! Until then, here is a teaser of the film and photography from our project.

The Engagement Scene Credits:

Venue – The Mackey House

Wardrobe & Styling - Jenn Reagan Wilson - a special thanks for being with us all day long!

Make-up artist – Jules DeJesus, Dollface by Jules

Hair artist – Chellie, Rob’s on Drayton

The bride to be, Ballroom Dance Instructor – Rachael Moore, Salon de Baile Ballroom Dance Studio

The groom to be, Ballroom Dance Instructor – Mack McKenzie, McKenzie’s Professional Ballroom

Savannah Wedding Photographers – Azelle Photography

Savannah Wedding Cinematography -Jabberpics, ImageryStormAzelle  Photography

Rain - Jabberpics

Engagement Ring – custom designed by Levy Jewelers

Editor – Kevin Ray

Photo and video equipment rentals – Lensrentals.com, Meddin Studios

A special thanks to Mr. Roberson for the use of his lovely 1931 Ford Automobile

Music for this creative project was provided by Songfreedom.com

- Frank Sinatra “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

- Jason Mraz “I’m Yours”

The Ceremony Scene Credits

Venue – The Harper Fowlkes House

Event design – Morgan Gallo Events

Floral design – Kiwi Fleur

LianCarlo Couture Gown  - BleuBelle Bridal Salon

Hair decor - BleuBelle Bridal Salon

Men’s Wardrobe – J. Parker, Ltd

Rentals & lounge furniture  - Classic Party Rentals

Couture Paper Styling – Emma J Design

Jewelry – Happily Ever BorroWED

Wardrobe & Styling – Jenn Reagan Wilson - a special thanks for being with us all day long!

Hair artist – Chellie, Rob’s on Drayton

The bride, Ballroom Dance Instructor – Rachael Moore, Salon de Baile Ballroom Dance Studio

The groom, Ballroom Dance Instructor – Mack McKenzie, McKenzie’s Professional Ballroom

Savannah Wedding Photographers – Azelle Photography

Savannah Wedding Cinematography -Jabberpics, ImageryStorm, Azelle  Photography

Editor – Kevin Ray

Photo and video equipment rentals - Lensrentals.comMeddin Studios

Music for this creative project was provided by Songfreedom.com

- Frank Sinatra “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

- Jason Mraz “I’m Yours”

The Reception Scene Credits:

Venue – The Harper Fowlkes House

Event design – Morgan Gallo Events

Floral design – Kiwi Fleur

Wardrobe – Rent the Runway

Champagne -Lanson Champagne

Chandelier – Koyal Wholesale

Umbrellas – Bella Umbrella Boutique

Cocktails & cupcakes decor – Modern Lola, Dress My Cupcake

Linens – BBJ Linens

Dessert bar – Addy B’s Cakes

Rentals & lounge furniture – Classic Party Rentals

Lighting decor – JLK Events

Couture Paper Styling – Emma J Design

Jewelry – Jewels for HopeHappily Ever BorroWED

Wardrobe & Styling – Jenn Reagan Wilson - a special thanks for being with us all day long!

Make-up artist – Jules DeJesus, Dollface by Jules

Hair artist – Chellie, Rob’s on Drayton

The newlywed bride, Ballroom Dance Instructor – Rachael Moore, Salon de Baile Ballroom Dance Studio

The newlywed groom, Ballroom Dance Instructor – Mack McKenzie, McKenzie’s Professional Ballroom

Savannah Wedding Photographers – Azelle Photography

Savannah Wedding Cinematography -JabberpicsImageryStormAzelle  Photography

Editor – Kevin Ray

Photo and video equipment rentals - Lensrentals.comMeddin Studios

Music for this creative project was provided by Songfreedom.com

- Frank Sinatra “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

- Jason Mraz “I’m Yours”

Autumn in Georgia (North Georgia, that is)

As many of you know, Savannah and much of South Georgia is Autumn-Challenged.  That’s the politically correct way of saying – “We don’t see much foliage color change!”  But Veta and I were blessed this year to be invited by our wonderful family, the Buckhalters, to come and enjoy a weekend with them at their lovely cabin just outside of Mineral Bluff, GA.  We jumped at the chance, braving rush hour Atlanta traffic to get there.  But the hustle and bustle of Atlanta seemed light-years away once we got into the mountains.  We made it just in the heart of apple season – which was a treat for us both.  Enjoy these colors from our trip:

And below are the “accused” bad apples.  We’ve tilt-shifted them to protect their identity and save their respective families any undue embarrassment.

A Little Bit of Vapor to Soothe the Soul

“Life is like a good black and white photograph, there’s black, there’s white, and lots of shades in between.” -Karl Heiner

In the end, we hope not to be known as people photographers.  Merely to be known as photographers.  We hope you enjoy a sampling of our outing last weekend to the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia.  The leaves were indescribably beautiful and a post on that will follow.  But for starters, let us take you to a place of serenity.  A place  found along the foggy banks of the lovely Tocoa River on a chilly, autumn morning.  Can you hear the water flowing just behind the fog’s veil?

“Ethereal” is a word that comes to mind

Over the past several weeks (months really), Veta and I have spent much time discussing what our photographic style is.  Some photographers have the fortune of being able to describe their style in a few words or sentences.  We cannot.  However we do have a goal that we continually proceed toward.  We desire nothing more than to portray truth through our photography.

This simple concept, however, is not so easy to achieve as it is to write.  In fact, it is impossible to convey complete truths in simple instants of time.  The best we can do is to capture simple instants of truth.  Acknowledging this, one question that Veta and I ask before we shoot is “How can we best capture the truth in this particular moment?”.  There are many facets of this question’s answer, but we’ll focus on only one in this post.

Though camera bodies have become quite complex throughout the years, they are still simple in premise.  The camera body is merely a light proof box which permits entry of light for a limited period of time.  Just long enough for creatively correct exposure, in fact.  But before entry, that light must be prepared and molded for the respective photograph.  The lens on our camera is the most important photographic tool that we use to interpret what our heart sees.  It’s quite possible to mount a standard zoom lens on a body, prepared to capture everything adequately.  The photograph will be sharp, filled with contrast, and pleasantly composed.  While a good zoom is often our weapon of choice and necessity, it is not the proper tool many times.  When we have time and are not operating in documentary mode, we always prefer a prime lens.  Here’s an interesting article on prime lenses.

Our most recent purchase is also our new favorite.  It’s Nikon’s 45mm PC-E f/2.8.  This lens is rather unorthodox for modern portraiture.  So often modern portraiture is fast, immediate, as well as precise.  The autofocus systems of modern cameras are faster than any speedy camera operator could ever hope to be.  But this Nikon 45 is not an autofocus lens.  It’s completely manual.  Therefore, it’s slow to focus as it depends on us.  It also has tilt and shift features that I won’t even begin to explain.  Rather I’ll refer you to this article on tilt-shift lenses.  But I will tell you that in addition to the focus ring, this lens contains three other adjustment capabilities.  The lens can rotate about the camera body, can shift (translate) in one direction or another depending on its orientation, and can tilt.  The photographs below are some of our first with our new lens.  It’s become quite obvious that this lens will give us the ability to capture truths that only our mind could contain before.  So allow us to close this post in the only way we know how:

This portrait below is not meant to contain real depth.  It is one of my favorites though, because it portrays my lovely wife Veta in a flattering light.  The tilt function of the lens allowed for Veta to be our single subject of focus within this forest of planted pines.  The sun and some Lightroom dodging did the rest.

The photograph below is Veta’s work and like her spirit, is quite ethereal.

The photograph below is mine.  It was taken somewhere on a two lane road in central Georgia.  The planted pines’ undergrowth had recently been burned, allowing for a beautiful layer of new ferns at ground level.

The shift function of the camera permits distortion free capture of tall trees or buildings.  We like to think of our work as partly architectural in nature and this lens will only enhance that aspect.

The lens is also designated as a “macro” lens.  Veta took this photograph for one simple illustration.  She notes that, when examined properly, even this simple road-side “weed” is so magnificently formed.  Veta’s observation rings in my memory and reminds me that we are all God’s children and no matter how common we are, we are all masterfully formed.

Here is Veta’s perspective once again of an oat field just off of the highway.

Below is a wider angle of the same field to give another perspective.  The photograph below also illustrates that our new lens is quite capable of taking “standard” photographs as well.

The photograph below was taken at one of our favorite stop-overs between Southwest Georgia and home.  This empty store is quite the photographer’s treasure, as it actively transforms from a once modern and functional state to a more natural one.

The photographs below are two compositions from Veta’s mind.  She remembered this broken window and the rusty items inside from an earlier trip.  She equates her composition to a broken heart with all of the useless, rusty contents still inside.

Are Ugly Days Good Beach Days Too?

Yes!  But what is an “ugly” day?  In my opinion, ugly days are those that are cold, wet, cloudy, and generally good for lying in the bed for extended periods of time.  Yesterday fit that bill with the only exception being the temperature.  It was relatively mild outside after all.

But Veta and I were heading to a pre-planned beach trip regardless.  With one stop by our local Wal-Mart for some rubber boots, we were on our way.

We’re so glad that we went now.  In addition to iPhone “Skyping” with our family in South Georgia, we captured some unique beach photographs.  Some of these are definitely going to find a spot in our home.  But prior to print, we hope that you enjoy these gems.