Upon meeting wedding and portrait photographer JD Swiger, I was struck by two things—his sincerity, and...okay, I admit it, the Starbucks bag dangling from his left hand. Hey, it was a hot July afternoon in downtown Manhattan and I was thirsty! Imagine my surprise, then, when he handed the bag over and said, "This is for you." (Thank you, JD, for that very thirst-quenching iced skim latte!)
It took less than a minute of perusing through his portfolio and website to know I wanted to feature one of his weddings here. The question was which one, since I liked all of the ones on his blog! Reading what he said about Matt and Melissa's wedding sealed the deal for me.
"Matt & Melissa, thank you for sharing your wedding day with me. To be honest I was celebrating two things on your wedding day—one was y'all's wedding, the other was the life of my grandpa. You see, it was on the morning of your wedding day that I found out that my grandpa had just passed away the night before. It was honestly a tough day for me but it was encouraging being around such a joyous occasion such as celebrating y'all's love for one another. So, if I seemed a little off during your wedding day, that's why. The good news is that my grandpa lived a long happy life and I was thankful to be able to celebrate with you guys, firstly y'all's love, secondly if only to myself, my grandfather's life. Thank you and love you guys, JD."
Swiger's coverage of this LaPorte, Texas, Baptist church wedding and accompanying backyard reception was anything but off, and I think JD's experience is a perfect of example of professionalism in the face of personal loss. I also love the country charm and quaintness of this wedding, which allowed all the wonderful details and emotions of the day to really shine through.
"One thing that I really liked about this wedding was how well it was done," Swiger explains. "Melissa and Matt spent a lot of time on the details and that was obvious. I also really liked that the reception was held in her parents' backyard—that gave the wedding a more familiar, backyard summer BBQ feel that made everyone comfortable. Most times, couples have these lavish, elegant receptions, but sometimes I feel that guests (or even the bride and groom) can't really relax in those environments. I knew the bride and groom were looking for a very artistic, laid-back approach to their wedding, so I wanted to capture photos that would do that justice."
Equipment Used: Two Canon 5D Mark IIIs, Sigma Art lens 35mm, 50mm, Canon 24mm, two ProFoto B1 Airs.