Candace and Michael (take 2)

Candace and Michael were gracious enough to allow me a second opportunity to take engagement photographs for them, the last time that we got together we were all very hot and very rushed for time. We had a lot of fun running around the countryside near Reedley, Dinuba and Kingsburg.

Please Click Here to view photographs taken of Michael and Candace.






First Meeting

The groom not seeing the bride was a tradition that comes from times that are long passed, no longer are the parents of the bride and groom responsible for arranging marriages for their children. It is no longer necessary, or a fact of distance, that the bride and groom be kept separate before their wedding.Though people think that the groom seeing the bride could be bad luck, it was once considered a method of protecting the marriage. Often, long before today’s ‚Äö”Post Modern Era‚Äö” he bride wouldn’t see her husband before her wedding day due to the fact that the marriage was arranged, so as to be mutually beneficial to the parents of the bride and groom. The groom wasn’t allowed to see his bride for fear that he may not to marry her and there by shame the parents.

Today, the tradition lives on as a superstition in hopes if the bride and groom don’t see each other on their wedding day they will have a long lasting marriage. Marriage is built on trust, relationship, and communion with God not traditions of luck bringing accomplished on the wedding day.

It is for the reason of a very intimate time of prayer and personal conversation that I have started to recommend that the bride and groom see each other before their wedding.

Often the bride and groom don’t receive any time for themselves on their wedding day, it is even more rare that the groom receives the opportunity to look at his wife, or wife to be, and just take in the day, the moments, and the memories. There is a rush of emotion that comes with a groom seeing his bride and a bride seeing her groom on a wedding day that can’t quite be explained, perhaps it is the promise and fulfillment of what they have felt in their hearts for so long.

A marriage is first something that starts at the heart, on a wedding day it is best that the bride and groom be given the opportunity to recognize that connection and support each other.

I have included photographs taken the Goyer Wedding where the Bride and Groom decided that they wanted to see each other before their wedding, pray with each other and spend some private time with each other.

Candace Wiest Engagement Photographs

Congratulations Candice and Michael on your recent engagement, you both seem very happy together and very much in love. It was a joy to meet you, converse with you and have the opportunity to take your engagement photographs.
You are both very wise to seek the council of other married couples. Continue to seek out good Godly advice from other married couples concerning their struggles and ways they have made time and space for each other through marriage. Through the advice of others and a continued dialogue with each other I know that you can save lots of heartache for each other.
I hope that as we pursue additional engagement photographs that it won’t be quite so hot and that we will have prolonged sun for natural lighting.
I look forward to photographing your wedding on Jan. 16th 2010

Prints can be seen/purchased through my print service at:



Taylor Wedding

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Justin Taylor

Wedding and Reception held at: Neighborhood Church, Visalia, Ca

Photographs taken at: Blane and Plaza Parks

Additional Samples can be found at:

Additional Images taken by:
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Do you live in the Visalia area? Would you like for kjfphoto to photograph your wedding? click here to get pricing.


What would you write?


There could be so many ways to make an entry in a wedding guest book that could be somewhat funny, however I am never brave enough to follow through. My main thought leaves me wondering what other sort of things people have written before me, this possibility often tempts me to look at previous entries. Many times a guest book is nothing more than a bunch of names scribbled on a very nice sheet of paper, that the bride and groom can look through after the wedding and attempt to remember the people that were in attendance at their wedding. Sometimes though newlyweds or newlyweds to be ask that everyone say something from their heart in order that they might avoid the yearbook signing default, “Have a gr8 summer”.
Attending weddings as a guest I often find myself writing or scribbling a little poem onto a napkin that, reflecting the weight of the day or how I believe the bride or groom are feeling. This then is taken and written or folded into their guest book so that they have something more than a name to fill a line in their guest book and another face that the bride or groom may not remember.
Here the Father of the Bride left a rather large message from the heart to his daughter and new son-in-law. Though I never took the time to read it I am sure that his entry is something that is cherished as much as the rest of the memories from their wedding day. Some of the best memories from a wedding are the ones that you would think would simply go unnoticed.


Formal Shoes Left Behind…

An exercise in organization and attention to detail brides (and grooms) will considered down to the last detail, including what people would eat and for some even what allergies their guests may have to the food that was going to be served. When everything is said and done there will be photographs of everything from the bride shedding a tear for the joy that she feels for her wedding day to the newly weds first kiss as husband and wife. Memories left from a joyous celebration marking the day of the wedding will be long remembered by all in attendance, fading with time to only the best of memories.
A wedding is often the culmination of months if not years of planning on at least the brides part. Finding the right people and vendors to supply services and support on the couples wedding day. When everything is decided everyone will have the right coordinating colors, boutonnieres or bouquets and the perfect wedding gown will have been found. There will of course be things that don’t work out exactly as planned, but few will ever know.
The only thing that isn’t long considered is the comfort of the shoes that will be worn on the wedding day. The groom will often wear rented tux shoes that weren’t meant to be worn for much longer than the ceremony itself and the bride will wear heals that were never worn before. When the ceremony is over her formal dress shoes are often shed for much more comfortible shoes or even no shoes at all, this affords comfort while dancing and conversing with her guests and new family. Though flipflops are often the shoe of choice for receptions I have seen: Converse, Airwalk, and many other Shoes in all shapes and sizes. It is on rare occasion that I see the bride and grooms feet stay formal through their entire wedding day. Often in the rush of leaving the brides formal shoes are left behind for the mother of the bride to collect with the many other treasures for safe keeping until the bride and groom return from their honeymoon.
Sample photograph taken from Jones Wedding (Tulare, Ca)
Though great attention is paid to the details, weddings are more about the celebration of love and the closest friends and family coming together to offer their love and support to the newly weds. It is only the closest of friends that will love and support them through the hard times, and rejoice with them in times of great joy. My hope and prayer having only known the bride and groom for a short time is that their marriage is built firmly on a foundation of Christ, trust, and love for each other.


Watching her eyes

There is something unique about the way that the bride and groom look at things and interact on their wedding day, and a special sparkle that exists that is hard to correctly capture. I have seen it in the brides eye’s many times. Often people fail to miss it or miss comment on what it is that they are seeing that is so beautiful, often commenting on the brides dress.
On their wedding day brides and grooms are in process of changing, their outlook on life and the way they have previously lived is undergoing a radical change. No longer will it be just themselves with the roommates that they have surrounded themselves with, it will be themselves and their wife from this day forward. Throughout their wedding day the bride and groom express themselves in many different ways, many becoming emotional to the events.
It is those very special moments that I long to capture for future enjoyment of the bride and groom so that they can look back and see what they looked like and connect it to the emotion that they were experiencing. It is always my hope that they can trust me and relax in front of the camera lens and pretend that I am not there. Below are photographs taken from a couple different weddings that can clearly illustrate being there at the right moments.
sample taken from Argulles Wedding May 27, 2006

sample taken from Javier Wedding August 27, 2006

sample taken from Tyson wedding July 31, 2006 (by far my most used photograph)

These brides and groom photographs are examples of cases in which they trusted me, their wedding photographer, implicitly. To achieve the amount of trust that yields quality photographs it is important that we both spend sufficient time getting to know each other. It is for that reason that I offer free engagement sessions; Visalia and the surrounding area offers many different backdrops for engagement photographs. Being comfortable with each other truly helps achieve results that can be treasured for a lifetime to come.


Garter Toss


Sample Photograph taken from the Gow Wedding. This was a military wedding held in Visalia California.

I think that it is time that we start reviewing some of the traditions that are kept on wedding days, after review of all the traditions that people participate in on their wedding days I have come to find that weddings are tradition filled, even some of the small things that you wouldn’t think about have their basis in long standing wedding traditions.

Though it may be thought that tossing the garter is something new to the wedding tradition folklore it actually has is basis In the 14th century. It was customary in the 14th century for the bride to toss her garter to the men, but sometimes the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to take the garter off her ahead of time. (Eventually the groom got into the act and saved his bride from the unruly mob‚Äö?Ѭ?we hope). All the same, it got to less trouble for her to toss her bridal bouquet instead.

Do you live in the Visalia area? Would you like for kjfphoto to photograph your wedding? click here to get pricing.

A Brides guide to better wedding photography


I’m sure you already know that choosing the right wedding photographer is more important than choosing the right groom. (Just kidding). Getting the right photographer is important, but there are lots of things that YOU can do to ensure that your wedding photos are as good as they can be.

1.Pre-Wedding Photo shoot.
Having a pre-wedding photo shoot can improve your wedding pictures more than anything else you might do. Think about it, your photographer is VERY comfortable on his end of the camera. The time you spend with your photographer in front of the camera will help you become more comfortable being the subject. Try to get to know your photographer. Have fun. Be crazy. Let’s face it; those “magazine bride photos” that you have been looking at do not happen all by themselves. They are well planned, rehearsed, and the photo that you finally see in the magazine was probably picked from hundreds of photos. The more time you spend with your photographer, the more likely it is that he will capture that one special moment that only happens once.

2.The Pose.
“Chin up, a little to the left, shoulders back, stand on one foot, hold your breath…hang on…don’t move. ” Any photographer worth his salt should be able to pose you in an elegant and attractive position. Do you know the reason for all these the contortions? By lifting your chin you banish the double chin. Holding your elbows away from your body reduces the apparent width of your torso and accentuates the bosom. Shifting your weight to your rear foot cocks your hips into a position that gives you a sexy curviness. There are many other little tricks your photographer may teach you. Just listen and he will not lead you astray.

3.Hair and Makeup.
Your wedding day is not the right time to experiment with makeup and hairstyles. Be sure to plan a separate day to have a hair and makeup “dress rehearsal”. If you plan to wear a headpiece, use this time to make sure that it will fit with your hairstyle. If you plan it right, your photographer may be available to take some formals on this day too.

Give you photographer the tools he needs to be creative. When ordering flowers for the wedding, be sure to order an extra single rose, boutonniere, ribbon or other inexpensive items that the photographer can use in your photos. Don’t forget to have a copy of your wedding invitation that he can incorporate into the detail shots of your big day. Photos of wedding rings with flowers, invitation, maybe even your shoes and garter can really add to your album.

5. The Bouquet.
How should you hold a bouquet? In a single word.. DOWN!! Never hide your thousand dollar dress with a hundred dollar bouquet. If you’re a five foot bride, do not order a 3 foot cascading bouquet. It’s going to be a long day. By the end of the day, you will be wishing that your bouquet was smaller, lighter, more durable, and maybe even artificial. And if it’s too big you may even injure your guests during the bouquet toss.

6. Backgrounds and angles.
Remember, your wedding day is all about you. Many times complicated backgrounds in your photos distract the viewer’s attention away from the bride and will take away from your photographs. Keep backgrounds as simple as possible. Interesting angles are what keeps the images of a professional photographer from looking like the images of “Uncle Joe”. Everyone knows what a wedding looks like from 5 feet 6. You may see your photographer lying on the ground or climbing trees. Don’t laugh at him. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.

When choosing your venue and time of day, keep lighting in mind. If your wedding is outdoors, the best light happens 1-2 hours before sunset. If your wedding is indoors, try to avoid buildings with high dark ceilings and few windows. Since natural light will look much better in your photos, try to plan your wedding when the room will be the brightest. By the way, photographers hate fluorescent lights. They make you look green.

8.Single Use Cameras
Lots of people use them and they seldom work. You may get a few good photos here and there but don’t expect too much. You’ll probably get a whole camera full of photos of Cousin Skip’s girlfriend that you hardly know. Your three year old niece will probably take a lot of pictures of people’s belly buttons. And if anyone gets tipsy at the reception you may get a lot of photos of the ground, shoes, or eyeballs (from holding the camera backwards). Your photography is best left to professionals. Well that’s it for “The Brides Guide to Better Wedding Photos”. Congratulations on your big day. Now let’s make those memories last! Mark Parker is a Birmingham Alabama Wedding Photographer. His work can be seen at .

Love Tulare

There are often things that enspire great appreciation or wonderful memories and it was during the Bride and Groom only portion of a late April weddings in Tulare California that I was asked to photograph my first water tower for inclusion in the photographs from the wedding. Here you can see the water tower in Tulare, California, which has a very cute “We’ve Got It” painted on the outside.. I thought that it was only fitting that the bride and groom use their hands to make a heart showing this saying through the middle. Below is the the result after a couple of tries.

Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Brett Jones for your patience during the setup of this photograph.



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