Engagement Photography in the Fall


Many of our Brides-to-Be ask about Engagement Photography when they make their initial inquiry about our services.  Of course Robert Charles Photography provides Engagement Photography with most of our Packages - and for good reason!


First, we see our Engagement Sessions as an opportunity to get to know our Couples.  Some are gregarious, extroverted, outgoing in nature; others more reserved.   When we spend 45 minutes to an hour with a couple, we have an opportunity to get to know them on a personal level and know what they will most appreciate when they receive their wedding images.


Also, we look forward to displaying their finished Wall Portrait of our couple on a 5' floor-standing easel at their reception for attendees to see them in a more casual setting.  Ranging from 11x14"  to  20x24" in size, these Wall Portraits become a touchstone in their lives, as they think back and reminisce about their lives together just prior to their Wedding Day.


Last weekend we photographed Theresa and Tony at one of the local parks, taking in all the Fall colors.  Here are just a few of their many images from for their Engagement Session:



       What could be more treasured than the genuine feelings shared together by a couple during their Engagement?


              Autumn in Michigan - spectacular!


        We're looking forward to their March 10th Wedding! 


 More of Rob's work can be found at http://www.robertcharlesphotography.com/   Click on Galleries 

Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing michigan engagement photography | michigan engagement photography | outdoor engagement photography | wedding photography lansing michigan

Professional Wedding Photography - there IS a difference!


A few years ago, a camera manufacturer ran a series of ads on TV featuring actor Ashton Kutcher roaming about during an outdoor wedding, taking snapshots of the various attendees.  Snap.  Snap.  Every picture beautifully lit.  Every picture an artistic wonder.  

Although it was obvious that Kutcher posseses only a minimum knowledge of Photography, the camera manufacturer led the viewer to believe that anyone could take incredible pictures if they just owned their brand of camera.



It's a fun idea to get sucked in to.  

Similar victims of this sort of marketing strategy may sound something like this: 

             "Buy these golf clubs.  Hit every shot like a Pro",       

                      or ...

            "Use these pots and pans and cook like Paula Dean!"


The problems?   You don't have a Pro's golf swing.   You really don't know how to cook all that well.


As much as I like Ashton Kutcher as an actor, he may be partially responsible for some of the many disappointments Brides have experienced by hiring an "enthusiast", rather than a skilled Professional. 


Professional Wedding Photography is very similar.  A camera is a tool.  It's only a tool.  Having the newest and best-est, most tech-iest camera only means ... someone has a nice tool in your hands with which to create.  


Similarly, when on location, I've found many homes with a beautiful piano in the living room.  When asked "Who plays?", I usually find a family member with a somewhat basic, rudimentary level of skills.   It's really nothing more than a pastime, and very, very few play well enough to offer their services professionally - on a wedding day.  For a once in a lifetime occasion.


You've planned your day to the last nuanced letter.  Now memorialize the moment with unmatched Wedding Photography from a trusted Professional.




       Catrice - on her Wedding Day                                                                           with her Jr. Bridesmaid




             At the Gazebo                           



                             Stunning ...



Professional Photography - the way you will remember Your Day.


To see our "Animated Images" of Catrice, click on this link:           http://video214.com/play/XyCjVHd81s3eDTJ7R1lZ1Q/s/dark

 For more information on Robert Charles Photography, just follow this link:    http://www.robertcharlesphotography.com/   Visit our Gallery Pages!


Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing michigan wedding photography | lansing michigan weddings | michigan wedding photographers | michigan weddings | outdoor wedding photography

Engagement Photography - in the Snow?


Spring is here, and with Spring comes ... Wedding Season! 

The end of April marks the official kick-off of the Wedding Season for Robert Charles Photography.  (You Southerners have to realize that the temps are still only in the mid-30's as I write!)  But what do you do when our featured couple has requested outdoor Engagement Photography and the ground is still ... white?

I suggested we make use of our city landmark - The State Capitol - and do something a little light-hearted.  Carolyn and Brent were quickly "on board", so we set a Saturday date (around noon), warmed the car up and headed downtown. 

Anytime we get the "green light" to do something different and "color outside the lines", we're usually pleasantly rewarded.  Here is the image they chose for display and our "Animated Images!*" from that Engagement session in March.



                                                                                                   Carolyn & Brent


 See more of Robert Charles Photography work at   http://www.robertcharlesphotography.com/

Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing engagement photography | lansing michigan wedding photographers | lansing michigan wedding photography | michgan wedding photography | wedding photography lansing michigan

Engagement Photography - Indoors!


Robert Charles Photography offers Engagement Photography in most of our Packages.  Frequently we'll find ourselves outside during the Spring through Fall seasons, creating images which will last a lifetime.  The resulting images are then enlarged and eventually displayed on a 5' floor-standing easel at the Reception.   But what do we do in February - with the temps registering a frigid 15 degrees outside?


We offer indoor, Location photography! 


Last week, when Jonathan and Catrice asked if we could provide them with images which they could use when contacting friends and relatives via email for their upcoming August wedding, I mentioned that we would be photographing a Winter Homecoming Banquet the following Saturday and we would be happy to photograph them as well.


Sadly, it seems that fewer and fewer photographers are able to provide much more than a "point and shoot" style of photography indoors today.  We are pleased to offer True Studio-Quality Photography on Location on your Wedding Day, available in most Packages for that extra Classic, Elegant look - or when the weather is not cooperating.


Here are a couple of their images. 






         How fun is this?


 Until next time!   


See more of Rob's work at  http://www.robertcharlesphotography.com/   Check out our Gallery Pages!         

Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | lansing engagement photography | michigan engagement photography | michigan wedding photographers | wedding photography lansing michigan

Wedding Reception Entertainment - Part 2


Over the past 25 years, I've photographed a wide range of Weddings - from lavish, upscale occasions to smaller, more intimate gatherings.  The one thing they all had in common was some form of entertainment at the Reception.  In our last RCP blog entry, we provided some guidelines for finding Live Entertainment; today we'll look at DJ's.  


I'm frequently asked for a referral to find a DJ for a Bride and Groom-to-be.  Here is what I tell them:

  • If at all possible, try to go see a prospective DJ in person!  Some DJ's are mild, laid-back individuals who are trained to do nothing more than feed an unending supply of CD's into a computer tray.  Others are capable of taking the reins and providing some much needed structure to a reception
  • Learn at least a minimum about what type of sound reinforcement equipment will be needed to adequately cover the size Reception Hall you will have.  Most DJ's carry a simple 3-way cabinet, elevated for sound dispersal.  This may be fine in a smaller, lodge-type setting, but a system with a seperate bass cabinet will provide a lot more "punch" in rooms designed to accommodate 200 or more people.
  • What type of Lighting equipment will he/she be bringing?  When the lights dim later in the evening, you may have hoped for more than 4 colored lights pointing listlessly at the dance floor all night
  • Does the DJ have a cordless mic for toasts?  If so, find out whether it has "true diversity" which guarantees a signal which will not "drop out" during a toast. 
  • If you plan to book a company which has multiple DJ's available on a given night, make sure you know who it is who will be providing music at your Reception.   It goes without saying that large, expensive DJ packages will receive the better equipped, more talented DJ's, while smaller occasions will get ... something less.  Again, make every effort to see a prospective DJ in person, and then book that person.

Finally, ask to see if the DJ will have a back-up amplifier - and in the case of a DJ using all computerized music - or a 2nd computer on hand.  You be the judge of how important it may be to have an "ace" up the sleeve should a piece of equipment fail at your Reception.

If you'd like a referral to find the best DJ for your Wedding Reception, give us a call!  We're here to help!  517-394-2192



                                                            Terry, from Zack's Tunes, with his state of the art  "Intelligent Light" system




Categorized In: grand rapids wedding photographers | michigan wedding photographers | wedding photographers lansing michigan | wedding reception photography | wedding reception tips and suggestions

Wedding Reception Entertainment - Part 1


Your Wedding Reception is the culmination of a day filled with emotion and festivity.  The Entertainment you choose is meant to enhance a day that will live on in your memories for years to come.  So you ask, "How do I choose the band or DJ which will leave my guests talking about 'the great time we had' for days and weeks to come?" 

As a Wedding Photographer, wedding receptions provide me with the opportunity to sample a large number of Bands and DJ's from the area.  Some, it is obvious, are polished and have honed their craft to provide the finest in musical entertainment.  Others seem to be navigating in uncharted waters, apparently capable of doing little more than feeding an unending supply of CD's into awaiting computer drives and otherwise providing little in the way of real entertainment.

First, decide if you'd like to have a live Band, or recorded music.  Live bands come in all varieties and ranges across the musical spectrum.  Some are highly professional in presentation and conduct; others see a wedding reception as a way to "make a couple of bucks" on their way to becoming "stars".  Below is a quick list of considerations, if you are thinking of booking a band for your reception.  Look for a band that:

  1. Has Longevity.     Many bands come and go, with few lasting for more than a year.  Find a Band which has been around for a while - perhaps 3 or 4 years - which shows a strong sense of stability
  2. Specialize in Weddings.  A recent wedding this past summer featured a "Thrash" Band.  Although entertaining in a concert setting, it was just painful to watch the "Father-Daughter Dance".
  3. Is Professional.  How will they dress?  Will one of the band members act as Master of Cerimony and give announcements and help give assistance in coordinating the events of the reception?
  4. Has some business sense.  Do they use contracts, spelling out important considerations including:
  • Start time
  • Ending time
  • Length of breaks
  • Number of breaks
  • Music provided during breaks
  • Lighting equipment that will be provided
  • Sound equipment which will be used
  • Wireless/additional mics provided for use during toasts
  • Learning of requested songs
  • Providing food for band members
  • Deposits required
  • Full payment to be paid at what time 

In the mid-Michigan area, we highly recommend - without reservation - the "Life Support" band.  With over 100 years of professional experience, Life Support provides a slick, highly professional, seemless presentation which will leave your guests reminiscing about your wedding reception for weeks to come.  For more information, just click on this link  http://www.lifesupportband.com/home.html    Talented Keyboardist Ricky Nalett is also available to provide dinner music


As a general rule, bands tend to be a bit more expensive, but the feel of live entertainment by a select group of accomplished musicians may be the capstone of a perfect day!



                                  Guitar Player and Singer from the "Grupo Aldaco" band


Remember your Wedding Day with exquisite photography from Robert Charles Photography!

see more of our photography at  www.robertcharlesphotography.com


Categorized In: bands lansing michigan | grupo aldaco lansing michigan | live bands lansing michigan | michigan wedding photographer | wedding photography lansing michigan

Wedding Photography - "All Photojournalism - Nothing Posed!"


Some time ago, a Bride met me at the Studio door and - before entering - emphatically quiried, "You do Photojournalism, right?  Because I don't want anything posed!"

I assured her that, having photographed weddings for other studios where "PJ" was their exclusive style, I would be more than happy to "collect" images for her throughout her wedding day, if that was what she really wanted. 

Relieved, she entered the RCP Studio - whereupon she saw a gorgeous portrait of "Kasey" statuesquely featured in front of a huge bank of stained glass windows.  "Oooooh, that's beautiful!", she exclaimed.

Hmmmm.  Should I tell her that Kasey didn't just "happen by" those windows and that the image she so liked was more than just happenstance, or say nothing?  I gently told her that the large print in front of her was the result of the Bride working together with me to create something fantastic which otherwise wouldn't have been created had she only wanted "collected" images - instead of "created" images as well. 


Just a few weeks ago, RCP had the oppotunity to photograph Erin & Zach's wedding.  We worked together to create some beautiful images which we both loved.  Why not take the time to create beautiful, mind-blowing images which you'll treasure for a lifetime?  Here are a few of Erin & Zach's images:



         Erin outside ...                                                       in the church


                       and in a close-up



          Zach in the aisle                                                    Fun post-Ceremony pictures!



Erin & Zach with our "Painter's Touch* " FX


For more thoughts on "Photographer-Assisted Photography", just click on the link below



Until next time!






Categorized In: lansing michigan wedding photographer | lansing michigan wedding photography | michigan wedding photography | outdoor wedding photography | wedding photography lansing michigan