Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Hey everyone. The Wedding photojournalist Association Contest Submissions deadline for the Winter Contest is Wednesday. I have about 12 entries this contest. (only my second WPJA Contest). The results of this contest largly determine state rankings (currently #2) and for the really great photogs, points toward photographer of the year (not a snowballs chance for me). The rules about the wpja are that each moment (with a few exeptions) must be candid and undirected by the photographer. As well as unmanupulated afterwards by photoshop (turning things black and white and contrast adjustments are ok). So the images that you are seeing are as they were real life moments. So I thought before the contest closed that i would put some of my favorite contest photos to date online to share to see what everyone thinks. questions comments and snide remarks are welcome as always. hope you like

Monday, January 22, 2007

Just call me the U.S. Postal Service

Whatever that Postal Service motto is about rain and sleet and ice and all nasty conditions that postal service people perform there dutys during, I think I am going to adopt it. It was just one of those nasty, cold, wet days Saturday. But despite the conditions i had a great time at Morgan and Shawns Wedding. It was a small on people but big on style Everyone there was what I would call "Good Folk" Nice and down to earth. Morgan especially was the kind of person I was proud to shoot a wedding for. Thanks alot for letting me be a part of everything. Some couples I put in the Client categorie, others like Morgan and Shawn to me belong more in the friend category. I am pretty lucky in the fact that that is happening to me more and more. Give me a call guys when you get back.

Morgan and the "Gals" started getting ready around 11:00 the hair and makeup lady was sweet enough to let them get ready at her place; a beautiful Condo just south of Branson, right on the lake. (my ol' hometown) Morgans Wedding Party was a hoot. The girls especially. I wasn't there 5 min before the girls had me talkin "all southern" I must have heard and said the word "Ya'll" a thousand times. The Condo was a beautiful rustic backdrop for the getting ready shots. The ice did pick up a bit and everybody (including Morgan) started to get a little nervous. Lynette, the coordinator kept everyone calm.(They must not have known my good luck when it comes to weather on wedding days.) Actually despite how much as i talked about it in the previous paragragh the nastiest parts held off until later in the evening. (Just in time for me to drive home though the worst of it 10mph the whole way). I ended up taking me about 1hr to drive what it normally takes me 15 min.

Lynette from Afflair, My new Wedding Coordinator Friend, (its a short list.lol) did a fabulous job on everything. It was the first time I had ever seen a Brown Orchid. The Reception was at Touch' (I could handle having every reception there) Everything happend when it was supposed to and it was all beautiful. 1st Class all the way! I would recomend her to any bride. Also the cake (one of Darlene's spectacular creations) was one of the most amazing cakes I have ever seen. Everyone just spent a good part of the night stareing at it.

Finally to round it all off the Mark Chapman Band played late into the evening. I had never heard them before. I was very inpressed. and despite the small crowd it was a high energy. After few drinks the Gals were up dancing with the band. When i left everyone was still having a great time. Thanks again to everyone who braved the element and attended. For those that didnt, you really missed out on a great time, a beautiful bride.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In a Land Far Far Away.

One of the most ironic parts of our trip. (ironic because we were 1000 mile away) we ran into a family that was actually from Joplin. As Luck would have it. our final day in Pittsburgh I saw a cute family walking down the street swinging there young boy by the hands. I had seen them in the sandwich shop on market square where we had eaten lunch. i got off a quick shot and then introduced my self. Come to find out the girl was from Joplin Missouri just right up the road from Springfield. They had the cutest kid. (I hope you guys like the picks. ) Look me up next time your in Joplin!

UPDATE: Sean and Joey ( the couple from the photos above tracked me down online and this is what they had to say:

"Jeremy -

Excellent. Thanks so much for stopping us. They are wonderful pictures.

We, of course, love them all. Your skill shines through on all of them, the swinging photo in particular.After reading your blog, we should have probably added that, not only is Joey's mother's side of the family from Joplin (aunts, uncles and cousins still live there) but Joey's folks still live in KC and she and I met at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She was an undergrad on track to go to veterinary school and working as a waitress at the Heidelberg restaurant, and I was finishing up my undergrad journalism degree and working as a cook there. We still make it back to Joplin and KC at least once a year. Joey was just there a week ago. Great to run into you. Hope you enjoyed Pittsburgh. It's my hometown and I am - like most natives, I think - endeared with its quirky qualities, like having sandwiches with french fries and cole slaw on them (hope you had one of those at Primanti's). We moved back here 1 1/2 years ago after 12 years in Chicago for those kind of intangibles, including having my mom (the free babysitter) just a 1/4 mile away. Thanks again and let me know what I can do about copies.

Sean "

It was great to meet you as well. And Pimanti's was awesome. Next time I am in town I will buy you a "Pitts-burger"

Monday, January 8, 2007

My first wedding of 2007 was in Pennsylvania this year for a great guy and and old friend of mine Seth Brooker. Bud as we called him was a College roommate of mine the last year or so. The Wedding was in a town a few miles outside outside of Pittsburgh. Because it was such a long trip we decided to turn it into family vacation. It was our sons first really long car ride and decided to leave about a week early and make a few pit stops along the way to see some family. The first half of the trip we made with my mother-in-law and Big Smile Staff Photographer Tina Hamilton (you will be hearing a lot more about her later ) After meeting with a few great brides-to-be in St. Louis and another in Chicago we arrived in New Castle PA. (Officially the most confusing town in the world). Driving in New castle is like driving through a black hole. I got lost for more than an hour almost a handful of times. If you decide to drive through New castle you can start and one end of the town driving in a straight line and drive out of town and then drive back into another town called New Castle that is the same town only that you would swear is a different town entirely. Driving in New Castle is almost as confusing as my previous sentence. But along the way we saw some great sights and got some great vacation and wedding shots.

The first is Tina on the phone with Lindsey's Grandparents outside a loves somewhere in Illinois. Here is Liam with Great Grandpa Don in his Favorite chair. Lindsey's Grandparents got to see him roll across the room for a toy for the first time.

Now for those of you that have been Big Smile Photo fans since the beginning you remember my first logo. It had Big Smile in Big Goofy Letters and the dot on the "i" was a big yellow smiley face. It was officially the most obnoxious logo ever. The point being that I was a poor photographer trying to do what ever i could to get people to remember my logo (and thus me). I even used to have window lettering that covered the entire back window of my car. Genious marketing or dumb luck asside. It worked. Back then I never could have imagined being where I am now. All thanks , in part, to that silly logo. Unfortunately i am now stuck trying to be a serious photographer with a studio name like Big Smile. After a while people started getting the idea that i liked big yellow smiley faces. I started receiving an inordinate amount of smiley face stuff. Everything from candy and suckers to lunch boxes and dinner wear. Smiley face stuff is now become the bain of my existence. I am actualy not a fan of Smiley Faces. I tell you this knowing full well you will send my smiley face stuff just to annoy me. That brings me to the point of this tangent. So I am driving through Illinois and what do i spy but one small towns tribute to the big yellow smile.

After being on the road for hours, my bladder about to explode from a 44ounce Super Gulp from the QT and the giant yellow face decides to torment me in my darkest hour. and yet despite its mocking black eyes , its wicked smile, and the pain from my overfull bladder, I smile. For without your bright yellow boldness and unrefined charm i would not be who i am today. Thank you , you big stupid yellow face.

Well that's part one of the trip. i will finish the final chapter when i get home. who knows what could happen.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

First Celebrity Wedding A Success

What did you do for new years? Well i spent the night hobnobbing with celebrities, millionaires and professional athletes as I shot my first celebrity wedding. Survivor castaway Heidi Strobel was the beautiful bride. Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels was the groom. Other reality star celebs like Ethan winner of Survivor Africa and Runner Up Jenna were there as well. It was a little surreal hanging out with people that I had seen on T.V . Everyone was great and it was a lot of fun. So I figured what a better way to wrap up an awesome 2006 and a great way to start my brand new blog than with awesome photos of my New Years Wedding. The wedding took place at Elphindale Mansion in Springfield with a reception at Highlandville Country Club. Heidi herself put in the Lions share of the work planning decorations and coordinating the wedding herself. the Colors were shades of purple and silver. Flowers were done by Jill at Artistry in Bloom (she does great work if you couldn't tell by the photos). Her Cake was by Cameo cakes.

I met Heidi and Cole over the phone when she called me after looking me up online. after a few phone calls i discovered that Cole was a Professional Pitcher for the Phillies. It wasn't until after the engagement photos in St. Louis that i found out who Heidi was. Which was quite surprising because by wife is a Survivor Finatic!

The Great thing about this wedding was the people Heidi and Cole Both are that they two of the nicest people you will ever meet. and Heidi's creativity in designing and coordinating the wedding was superb. A live band and the best peice of steak I have ever had in my life, rounded out the evening. it was a great wedding with a great group of people and definatly a night to remember.

Brand New Year

New Years Resolution. Start a blog and update it at least twice a week. this counts as one.