John & Carrie: June 19, 2010.

John and Carrie were married at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst, MA in front of family and friends. Guests joined the couple at a reception at the Red Barn on the Hampshire College campus.

Outdoor weddings always have their own challenges, but for John and Carrie the weather was beautiful and the golfers kept their distance during the ceremony so no errant balls disrupted the poignant event. Right after the ceremony however the wind knocked over a few of the planters, showing the the couple not only had impeccable taste but impeccable timing.

From a photography standpoint the great outdoors can be a mixed blessing. On beautiful, sunny days the light can create deep contrasts between highlights and shadows. Here a touch of fill flash, a pinch of Photoshop and a helping of black and white photography can really help out.

After the ceremony and a set of formals with the family (there was no wedding party), we raced up the hill to get some photos against the scenic backdrop. My assistant - Sara Day - and I followed behind the bride and groom in a golf cart. It was my first time driving one and I think Sara's knuckles may still be white.

John and Carrie had some fun ideas of their own for teh shoot, it's always great when the couple collaborates to make some great images. I find that it helps get them relaxed and having fun, and that's the real secret of wedding photography.

This was Cherry Hill's first wedding, but thanks to teh hard work of teh staff and the courtesy of teh golfers you never would have guessed it. I'm sure they'll have many more to come since Amherst is such a beautiful town. And speaking of firsts, this was also my first time working with my second shooter Sara Day, who did a fantastic job getting those extra angles and being an extra set of eyes during the wedding and reception.

The evening ended with the reception at the Red Barn, which is a fantastic space with a  fantastic staff. The DJ brought most everyone out onto the dance floor (but there are always those holdouts) and the wedding cupcakes slowly vanished as the evening went on. John and Carrie were such a great couple and it was such a wonderful wedding, I wish them the best of luck on their journey together.