Why would a black and white Colorado wedding photojournalist be covering a wedding at Great Oak Manor on Maryland’s Eastern Shore? I lived in Washington DC for 25 years and still go back to the area a few times a year for couples who find me through referrals. But in this case, a bit of history was involved. Not everyone feels comfortable hiring a photographer from half way across the country, but I think I understood why Michelle seemed confident about me. As she told me, she still likes looking at the pictures I made when I covered her first wedding.

I wholeheartedly believe in second chances, and if that seems more like a concept than something that strikes at your emotional core, wait. I’ve lived long enough to fervently believe in them as well, and sometimes their mere possibility is the only thing that keeps you going. We all need them eventually, so when you see things work out so well in the end for someone you really like, your happiness for them comes in waves. Nick radiates humility, warmth, and sensitivity. He is the real deal. When your best plans and aspirations are unraveling all around you, it’s hard not to see yourself in free fall. In the darkness, we never think we’ll land in a higher place. But it happens.

Boy runs through grass on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Michelle’s son Ian burns off some energy on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. As someone with an 8-year-old daughter, I can say this is highly recommended.

boy catches food in mouth, seen from above

Ian catches cheese balls thrown from second floor balcony. Are you sensing a pattern here?

Very young flower girl walks down the aisle at wedding

Not all flower girls toss petals in aisle. Some of them toss them on the ground on windy days before entering the ceremony.

High key image of bride and groom during wedding ceremony.

High key image of groom placing ring on bride's finger during ceremony by Colorado wedding photojournalist

black and white high key image of wedding vows by Denver wedding photographer

high key black and white image of wedding kiss

black and white image of bride and groom at end of wedding ceremony

bride and groom in private moment following wedding ceremony

Even if you have to duck into an alcove, find a moment for yourselves.

Friend adjusts train of bride's wedding dress during cocktail hour

wedding groom and friend having cocktails

bride and groom have a quiet moment amidst the crowd during cocktail hour

denver wedding photojournalist captures quiet moment between bride and groom during their cocktail hour

This was in a fairly crowded room, in the middle of cocktails. I’ve covered a lot of weddings, but I always have to be mindful of the fact that I don’t know in advance when or where the best pictures are going to be made. Unexpected moments aren’t on the schedule. I’ve had well-meaning DJs and videographers tell me “there’s nothing happening until 6:00.” There’s always something happening. When things are moving slowly, or seem static, it isn’t down time. It means you have to look harder.

Denver wedding photographer's image of couple entering reception.

Black and white high key image of first dance by Denver wedding photojournalist.

Bride's friend gives toast in black and white image by Colorado wedding photojournalist

Wedding couple hears toast from bride's sister.

Wedding couple kiss near Chesapeake Bay at Great Oak Manor in Chestertown, Maryland.

Candid image of wedding couple on the shore of Chesapeake Bay at Great Oak Manor in Chestertown, Maryland.

Black and white photo of wedding couple at Great Oak Manor on Maryland's Eastern Shore

While I’m now a black and white Colorado wedding photojournalist, I do miss the soft light from all the humidity on the East Coast. Not the humidity itself, just the soft light.

black and white image of boy wearing suit at wedding in early spring

What does a wedding photo look like? What constitutes a picture of the kids? Are there rules?

black and white image of boy in suit on lawn at dusk

black and white image of boy on couch with silhouette reflection of mother and child

I loved the reflection.

bride feeds groom cake with dramatic black and white lighting

wedding couple feeds cake to young boy

I really like it when kids from an earlier marriage are included in the ceremony and festivities. It’s important that they feel a part of things, rather than having something happening to them.

woman sticks her tongue out at child during a wedding reception

happy boy being held up during a wedding reception

Nick’s nephew was like the Energizer Bunny. Just everywhere.

Middle aged couple relaxing on couch during wedding reception.

Man and woman embrace in tender moment

There are stories and subplots everywhere during a wedding.

wedding guests on couch cheer for bride and groom

frustrated boy stands on couch at wedding

Guests dancing at reception by Denver wedding photojournalist

Sad boy in father's arms at wedding reception.

That point in the evening when you’re having a great time, but the Energizer Bunny’s batteries wear out.

Man and son at wedding, sharing identical expression.

wedding couple kiss on dance floor surrounded by guests at conclusion of reception

wedding couple kiss at end of evening with son entering frame by Colorado wedding photojournalist

bored boy sits on couch during wedding reception