So, I love weddings. I love weddings in St. Louis, I love weddings in St. Charles, I love weddings everywhere. Back in college, I used to be a wedding DJ. Most of the time, I am a wedding photographer and filmmaker. If you know me at all, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I’m actually a legally ordained minister as well! It all started when one of my very good friends asked me to be the officiant at their wedding. Of course, I had to bring my own special flair to it and when the bride asked me if I would “Whip my hair back and forth!” Well, let’s just say who am I to deny a bride on her wedding day. So, channeling the spirit of Willow smith, I let her rip!

Image courtesy of Two Become One Photography in Kansas City.

Image courtesy of Two Become One Photography in Kansas City.

 

All joking aside, whether I am DJin’g, photographing, filming, or officiating, I totally dig weddings and here’s why:

 

10. I love this couple’s outlook on life!

Priorities

9.  I love making dudes look awesome!

Awesome groomsmen

8. I love playing with the light!

You never know what you’ll get to play with each location.

Wedding Light

7. Ummm… I Love Shoes….?

This one is for my wife. She made me do it.

MJ

6. I love passion.

Sometimes when I peek around a corner, I see couples sneaking away for a kiss.

Sneak a kiss

5. I get to travel to really cool places!

And see really cool things!

Wedding in El Paso

4. I love the ceremony!

A declaration to the world is made in that moment. We are one. We are together. Bring it on world, together we will rock you.

Wedding Hooray!

3. I love to laugh!

So, we all know the cake cutting. However, I don’t think this groom knew that her finger wasn’t part of the wedding cake! Oops! Literally everyone in the entire wedding reception started to hardcore belly laugh.

Hus

2. I love to make cool stuff!

Nuff said here. I really, really like to make cool stuff.

Rafael & Julia - St. Louis

Rafael & Julia – St. Louis

1. I love my wife!

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Seeing these couples first starting out is invigorating. Let me ask the old married people reading this: Do you remember how you felt on your wedding day? Do you remember the hope, the anticipation, and the excitement of walking down that aisle? All the big plans, all the “We’re really doing it!” moments. I love it. I think it’s super important in today’s world that we remember those feelings, that we always come back to them, so that when life wants to punch us in the face, we remember that we are fighting FOR our significant other and not against them. How many little problems would just disappear if we truly got a hold of that concept? This is why I shoot weddings. To always remember that my wife and I are a team, we got married on purpose because we love each other deeply. In the words made famous by that little band called the Beatles, “All You Need Is Love.” If you haven’t heard it in awhile, you should. Just sayin’!

 

 

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Mrs. Wentzville beauty queen? I get to photograph a beauty queen? Really? Awesome.

I recently had the pleasure of photographing Melissa Harbaugh, Mrs. Wentzville and I have to say it was pretty cool. The goal with the photo shoot was to create all her Beauty Pageant materials and headshots. These materials are a big deal. It is the first impression the judges would have of her. No pressure right?  Also, we wanted to show the judges that Melissa was a nuanced, intelligent, hardworking individual and not just another pretty face in a dress and crown. Ultimately, we grabbed a ton of outfits and headed down to Main Street St. Charles to start creating awesomeness. I think the shoot went really, really well. Melissa is super easy to work with and her energy is infectious.

 

Check out below to see the 4 things I learned on this project!

 

 4. People are really intrigued when you are working with someone in a crown!

So, as we are taking this shot, this random guy comes out of the bar (which is just out of the right hand side of the frame) and starts hitting on Melissa! He was slightly drunk, but polite and cute in a funny way. He didn’t realize that this was MRS. Wentzville, not the possibly single MISS Wentzville. After we explained the difference and Melissa flashed the wedding ring, we were good to go. Can’t blame the guy for trying.

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3. Most beauty pageant contestants can probably kick my butt!

I have a lot of respect for Melissa. She’s a rockstar that takes her physical health very seriously while balancing work, life, kids, and a husband. Pretty awesome. That and I wouldn’t fight her, she’d probably win!

Mrs. Wentzville Working Out

2. You can always count on photoshoot bystanders  to help you be obnoxious!

We wanted to send in a natural smile for a headshot, something that just screamed how friendly and personable Melissa is. Well, if you have ever been in front of the camera, you know that giving a perfectly natural, awesome expression can be tough. So, I started to make random zoo noises to make her laugh. Hey, it works on kids and bridal parties right? Then all of a sudden, these random kids start making the same zoo noises. It took us a second to realize what was going on, but when we did, we both started belly laughing.

Mrs-Wentzville-6

1. It was amazing to hear how much impact Mrs. Wentzville has on young ladies.

I started to hear stories about the appearances Mrs. Wentzville gets to do. She told me a story about a little girl who thought she was a real princess and super excited to talk with her. Think about it. In the hands of the right individual, the ability to speak into a person’s life is amazing. Melissa uses this privilege to build people up, to be a role model to these little girls. She teaches them that life is more than just being a pretty face. As a father of a young 10 year old girl, I really appreciate it.

The big competition for Mrs. Missouri is in just a few days. Our hearts and prayers are with you Melissa! If you would like to support Melissa on her way to becoming Mrs. Missouri…

Click here to donate to her GoFundMe!

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Mrs-Wentzville-4

 

 

 

  • Dawn Terry - These pictures are great! Go get the crown, Melissa!ReplyCancel

Yo-1

For the full Gallery – Click here!

Most epic cake smash at any wedding I have ever photographed in my life. Seriously. I have documented more than my fair share of weddings throughout the years. Never have I seen a bride not able to see through the icing afterwards. Never have I seen a groom happier for having done this to his new bride. Never have I seen a bride retaliate with such fervor. It was life changing.

Venue: Herman Hill Weddings

DJ: Rock Star DJ’s

First, the staff at Herman Hill Weddings is amazing. Everything is in house, and everything is always perfect. They have a staff that cares. If I’m not mistaken, I think I may have seen them getting slightly choked up when John & Chelsea tied the knot. Very relaxing day.

Second, I love this couple. Good, down to earth, fun people. They were very interested in having a good time, and I love Chelsea’s signature move. Both hands up, ready to rock and rock they did! This was one of the most fun parties I’ve ever been to!

  • Martha Haynie - Hey Steve….do you have any shots of the Haynie/Smith families? I would love to have a copy of those…especially since that was a shot of all of my brothers…not together since my Dad died in ’98, and one of my Haynie in-laws (even with the ex in them……..I can always laugh at how old he looks! Thanks….Jon’s momReplyCancel

  • Martha Haynie - Oh and I definitely want a shot of the sunset photo of the two of them. What sizes and prices to you have for those?ReplyCancel

    • salejandro - We can definitely help you guys out! Sorry a bit late in responding to this! Were you able to find the full gallery on the website?ReplyCancel

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Wonderful people. Friends and members of the Element Church family! Believe it or not, this is only the second mixed couple I’ve shot. Being the brown dude of a caramel frappe relationship, I was very much looking forward to getting these two in front of my camera for their engagement session. After a bit of schedule hacking, we locked down a date to head down to Indian Camp Creek and rock out some photos. We were hoping to dodge the rain, so we picked a spot that we could run into a tree cover if we had to. Fortunately, we never got hit with more than a few drops.

Then we met Bender. A little dog that was running like crazy in the creek. This dog was awesome. Not only did he have the best name in the world, Futurama fans rejoice, but he was a complete psychopath! My favorite type of animal! Anyway, we had a good time, we made some good photos, and I am very much looking forward to the wedding in St. Charles!

 

 

 

Futurama Awesome Meme