A Photographer’s Perspective: CallawayGable

September 9, 2009

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Today I’m thrilled to share the fabulousness that is Brian and Allie Callaway of CallawayGable Photography. I’ve worked with Brian and Allie at awesome weddings at incredible venues such as Vibiana and Marvimon and not only are they great photographers, they keep me laughing and entertained througout the entire day. I think Brian’s funny story is the best I’ve received so far. Enjoy!

Q. Who are you and what makes you fabulous?
A. My name is Brian Callaway and together with my wife Allison, we are CALLAWAYGABLE—a world class Los Angeles-based wedding photography team. Our ‘fabulousity’ comes from our unique intertwining of art, creativity and experience which ensures incomparable and everlasting imagery. How? We are the only team with high-fashion experience behind, and in front of the camera. As a former high-fashion model for over ten years, Allison capitalizes on that experience, patiently guiding the bride and groom to their best angles and moments. I am the eye. Together we focus on capturing the moment with a sense of anticipation, humor and sensitivity that is unparalleled in wedding photography. We have shot weddings in South America, Scotland, Mexico, Hawaii and beyond! Our work has appeared in Flaunt Magazine, LA Times, Southern California Bride, and in syndication through national newspapers and online media. You be the judge! Please visit our website and blog.
Q. What is it like working a wedding WITHOUT a wedding coordinator?
A. Have you ever ridden a bike without a seat? This is how a wedding seems when there is not a professional coordinator: it is frantic, exhausting and out of control. Although Allie and I are very accomplished at shooting weddings without a hired coordinator, it is less arduous for us when there is a professional. Specifically from my professional photographer’s point of view, a wedding coordinator is instrumental in ensuring a wide range and amount of excellent and stress-free photography. Why? They wrangle the family members (I have never seen this work well when a family member or friend is designated) and manage the wedding / photography schedule.
In this world, you get what you pay for. If you want a stress-free day in which you can fully invest and relish in the emotion and experience of the most important day of your life, without the worry that comes with mounting the biggest production of your life – hire an accomplished coordinator. It will be the best investment you ever made, except, of course, the photography investment.
Q. What makes a coordinator good?
A. A good coordinator is a super, god-like human being because she must be an excellent multitasker, planner and organizer, communicator and leader, all the while maintaining a cool head under fire.
A great coordinator, like Amber Gustafson, does this subtly and seemingly effortlessly with panache and grace. (editor’s note: I did not pay Brian to say this! Thanks, Brian!)
Q. Do you have any funny wedding stories?
A. This question had me stumped, and not for lack of funny stories. I have so many; it was difficult to decide—until a wedding at The Los Angeles Central Library last Saturday night.
Allie and I were in the bride’s room at The Biltmore, just beginning our evening. I was in a squat position, taking macro (extreme close-up) shots of the rings, when all of a sudden I heard a huge fabric rip. It got very breezy very fast in an area not normally exposed to the breeze. I slowly turned around, trying to stifle the oncoming dread, and what did I see? Fifteen or so women of all ages, staring at me, in various stages of horror and shock.
I had split my pants right down the middle.
It should be noted that I carry four backups of everything in case of a catastrophic emergency: cameras, lenses, flashes, memory cards, etc. I only brought one pair of trousers. Uh-oh.
We tried to tape it shut, that wouldn’t work. We tried safety pins – same result. Keep in mind that I was still shooting while Allie was working on my rear end. Finally the wedding coordinator came to the rescue with a sewing kit. As I photographed our bride’ portraits, Allie stitched those pants, Frankenstein-style. To her credit and chagrin, her impromptu repair held throughout the evening (thank goodness it was dark!)
When I look back on happy accidents like this, I am always reminded that they seem to always happen for a reason. Our bride had been very tense, obviously nervous as is usual with 99% of brides. The second my rear end went from private to public, the place erupted, instantly relaxing the entire room, and sending our bride into hysterics. Her nervousness and tension was not to be seen again for the rest of that fabulous evening.

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