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Wedding Photography – Leslie and Jim at La Pizzaria in Canton, Ohio

Early in November I had the opportunity to photograph a wedding for an absolutely wonderful couple; Jim & Leslie. We met Leslie through a previous job, The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, where she works in the fundraising department. When we first met to discuss if we would be a good fit for her wedding, (We met in mid summer, several months before her wedding date), she expressed how important it was that the wedding photos shouldn’t staged – she wanted a very sweet, intimate, editorial look to her photos — it just so happens that shooting in an editorial fashion is one of my favorite styles for weddings

When someone says, “Editorial”, it can mean several different things. For the most part, editorial means any photo that happens naturally in the moment without the photographer staging or intervening in the photo in anyway. When I am shooting a wedding I’d suspect that nearly 95% of  of my photos are shot in an editorial manner. The last 5% are things like formals where the photographer needs to work hand in hand with the bridal party and family in order to get all of the expected photos.

Before any wedding it’s not uncommon for the bride and groom to prepare in different areas or even completely different venues. For Jim and Leslie’s wedding this meant I would be at 3 different places throughout the day. It started in the early afternoon with the groom and the groomsmen getting ready at the Hilton. The day was overcast, and the room was lit naturally with a large window on one side of the room. The room itself was painted a soft beige on every wall, including the ceiling. These types of situations are always tricky when trying to find your white balance. The best bet would be to set your camera to tungsten – this will help immensely since the colors of the walls will even influence the color of your flash into a warm tone.

The second location I visited was where the bride and her bride’s maids were getting ready, The Bertram Inn at Glenmoor estates in Canton. This location is gorgeous. The Inn itself has a wonderful style to it, a very late 1800’s industrial-age-elegance. The room the bride was preparing herself in was a large suite, soft blue-ish green walls, a large white ceiling and several windows letting copious amounts of natural light in. This was the perfect room for pre-wedding/getting ready photos.

For the formals, my first choice was to use the attached Chapel, and while we were promised by the staff that it would be available to us for photos, we were disappointed to find out that it had been filled with empty tables and broken glass – and since it’s not kosher to have your bride walking through broken chandelier bulbs, I had to move quick and find a second location for formal photos. Luckily the front of the Inn turned out to be a perfect replacement location. We got lucky and the sun started to peek out of the clouds in the distance, which added warmth, and there was still enough cloud cover that the light remained even over the subjects. In total this provided beautiful, natural light conditions.

Once formals were done, we headed to the wedding venue; La Pizzaria, a beautiful, upscale eatery here in Canton. While the outside of the venue is fairly nondescript the inside, however, is a beautiful, open space with wooden walls and a concave ceiling, painted and lit to look like a spring sky. Wooden walls usually mean you’re in for a lighting nightmare. Trying to bounce light off of shiny, dark materials can prove near impossible. However,  I knew I could use a tall light stand and hoist one of my studio strobes into the channeled ceiling and still get good light coverage where I needed it without having to worry too much about color balance issues.

The wedding itself was an exquisite affair with both the wedding party and guests filling the room with excitement and smiles. It’s always fun for me when I get to live and document a day in the life of wonderful people and this wedding was just such an experience – something I’ll cherish and remember forever.

Benjamin Lehman is a Commercial Wedding, Portrait and Advertising Photographer in the Canton and Northeast Ohio region.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement 2014 Photographer

I was tickled when the Hall of Fame asked me back this year to cover the events of their 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement. Enshrinement week covers a lot of activities and from start-to-finish, but the total event last nearly a month. It starts with several smaller festivals in the Canton, Ohio area – fairs, hot air balloon lifts, food-festivals and fireworks all happen throughout the month. The last week covers the events directly related to the Enshrinements. Those events are dinners, activities for families and visors to the HoF, ceremonies, and the Hall of Fame game that kicks off the year’s preseason. My task was to cover the events that happened inside of the Hall of Fame and the VIP parties. It’s a wonderful job with thousands of opportunities for photographs; portraits of football stars, photos people having fun, and landscapes of beautiful events.

Below are a handful of photos taken from this year’s event.

Benjamin Lehman is a Commercial Event, Portrait, Wedding, and Advertising photographer in the Northeast Ohio Area.

Wedding Photography – Jesse & Chris at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Massillon, Ohio

I had the great pleasure and honor to be the wedding photographer for Jesse & Chris. The ceremony was at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Massillon, Ohio.

The wedding was exceptionally fun for me because it presented me with a few creative challenges — which, by the way, is something I truly love. Unique obstacles are a great way to improve creativity in a new situation, and the lessons you learn under these circumstances can be taken with you into the next photography project and put to great use.

For this wedding, it was a very compressed time-frame. The Bride & Groom would be showing up only an hour before the ceremony. The real catch, however, was that there was a service being held in the church that was scheduled to last 15 minutes into that hour. That would give me 45 minutes to set up lights, photograph preparation, candid and detail shots; all of which no wedding should be without. I realized the day before that this was more a test of my own personal speed and aptitude rather than a test of my ability to come overly prepared. I loaded all of our gear into the car as usual and readied myself to move like the wind once the parishioners had filed out of the church and that’s exactly what I did when I arrived on the spot. Read on about my adventures below the video.

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Brookside Farms Wedding – Louisville Ohio

IMG_4191Brookside Farms – The perfect place for wedding, engagement and bridal photographs.

With it’s rolling hill sides, old fence backdrops, and historic Barn, Brookside Farms is an amazing place for a wedding. Set on 120 acres of lush pastures, Brookside Farms provides no-ends of possibilities for a modern wedding with an old-world touch.

Separate houses are provided for both brides and grooms, (the farm house for the Bride and the “The Lodge” for the groom),  to allow them to get ready for their big day. And when I say houses, I mean it. These aren’t simple rooms with just enough space for the wedding party to get dressed; these are fully fledged homes with areas to meet and mingle, full sized bed rooms for the bride and her party to prepare. These homes are perfect for pre-ceremony photos – capturing those small, intimate, moments where everything comes together.

The ceremony itself can be held in any number of areas on this sprawling farm. Both the fields and the historic barn are two great locations for a wedding filled with ambiance. Trees and wooden fences dot the landscape, giving any outdoor wedding a picturesque backdrop. The barn, a 6,000 square foot historic structure, is perfect for both wedding ceremonies and receptions. It has extra rooms for catering use as well as completely modern restrooms – no guest has to worry about using an outhouse!

IMG_1759-EditThe farm house, as mentioned above, is a beautiful location for wedding photos and can also serve as housing for out-of-town guests. It’s an 1870’s brick house that has been completely restored with 3 bedrooms, two full baths, an functioning kitchen, a sitting room, sun room, and living & dining rooms. It’s a gorgeous place to take pictures of the bride and her party when she puts on her wedding dress. There’s even wireless internet for those people who want to keep their social media friends who couldn’t attend in the loop.

It’s important to mention that there are a lot of people involved with any ceremony. Wedding florists, wedding planners, wedding caterers and of course wedding photographers; Brookside Farms is set up perfectly to handle all of these flawlessly with a dedicated staff ready to help in any way needed.

When I was there last, taking photos for a couple who later became good friends, I found the Brookside Farms to be filled with charm and convenience. The perfect confluence of beauty and practicality. There was no where on the property to take a bad photo – the farm did most of the work for me. And when the evening finally came, and the sun began to set behind the hills the photos just kept getting better and better. Brookside Farms isn’t just limited to wedding day photography either. Engagement photos and Bridal Portraits can be taken there as well.

Benjamin Lehman is a Commercial Wedding Photographer from Canton, Ohio.