Wedding: Missy and John at the Clarendon Ballroom

I can’t really overstate how much it meant to me to be able to document Missy and John’s wedding. It goes without saying that I love weddings. No one can see me bounding around a reception after a 16-hour day without knowing that. And it’s incredible to even attend the wedding of a friend you’ve shared so much with. Here were two of my closest college friends who, after so much searching, finally found each other (they didn’t even start dating until years after college).

Really, all you need to know is that that guest who cries at the wedding? That was me. Thank you, autofocus.

Now, there’s a lot of debate about shooting a friend’s wedding. Photography is a bit different than singing a song at the wedding (it was a stellar rendition of “the Origin of Love,” that did me in) — you are working non-stop every moment you’re on duty. But I know exactly what my friends want, and if I don’t do my best to give it to them, my recommendations would be … interesting for the budget. (“Hey! How do you feel like flying in a few people from across North America, and someone from Australia? Hello? Still there?”) So I work something out like this: I will shoot the heck out of the start of the day, portraits, and the ceremony … and as the night goes on and it’s time to dance, watch out. Remember that I pulled a hamstring this winter not out on a field somewhere, but doing a jumping high kick and landing in a split. Yes, it’s on.

John and I met on the first day of school, freshman year. He walked into my room and insulted my musical taste. Obviously, we became fast friends. For that, he was punished by having to room with a 19-year-old me sophomore year, and my endearing habits like getting chinese food on his B-52’s CD and letting my snooze alarm ring as much as 37 times in one day. But perhaps he will forgive me a bit, given that I also dragged him kicking and screaming onto the newspaper staff, where he would first meet Missy.

Missy is a force of journalistic nature. It’s kind of scary how fast she can knock out pieces — and this comes from someone who wrote his 75-page college thesis in a day and a half. I can’t even count how many different old and new media publications she writes for, so let’s just say all of them. She has seen me through so many ups and downs (we used to call it the Brenizer roller coaster), and I used to hang out with her so much after I had graduated, when I was living five hours away, that some of our mutual friends thought I was still in school.

The wedding was fantastic, and so very them, from excellent food and dancing at the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington, VA, to countless quirky moments. Trust me, I don’t ask most brides to let me stick their ring inside a chicken nugget, nor the opportunity to shoot wedding shoes with The Cheat from Strong Bad web animations.

So here’s a taste of my crazy, wonderful friends:

Two Ring Studios - Awesome work as usual. That close-up of her face is intense… killer lighting.

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Erin Lassahn - What a fun wedding, and who knew at the Clarenden Ballroom! I live so close! Love the dip shot – a perfect angle!

Steve Koo - Love the silhouette shot in the hallway. Great work as always, Ryan!

brooke trexler - I love the portrait shot through her veil – these are all beautiful!

George L. Koroneos - Great low-light shots. Love the strobist look and feel. Awesome photos.

Dennis Pike - I love that since cameras now have stupid high ISO capabilities, it allows you to get more creative with what you use as your light source. You definitely utilize those capabilities to the fullest potential. Such as using a ceiling light to give a strong back light. And mixing tungsten and daylight color temperatures for some amazing colors. Top notch.

Chris Honour - Love that shot of her getting ready through the door way. Seems like I am really there…

Great shots as always, Ryan.

Chris Honour

Eliza Claire - I love your write-up of this wedding, the story is as good as the photos (which are beautiful, of course). Your love of Missy and John really come through in both your words and images. Great job!

Craig L - Damn, another good set. Like the lighting

Though is that dust all over the 8th row big shot of the group?

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Two Ring Studios - That close-up of her is intense. Awesome lighting and that veil is sweet!

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Christine - I have to agree with Eliza – I love your wedding write-ups just as much as the photographs themselves. Gorgeous doesn’t even suffice. Great work as always.

So, did you do the splits again at the end of the night?

Alexander Gardner - Oh Ryan. There’s a lot of love shining in those shots and it’s not just between the bride & groom. :)

Alicia Kennison - Looks like such a fun wedding. It’s great when you have friends that you WANT to shoot and you can get in there and have lots of fun with them at the same time. Nice stuff Ryan. :)

Chris Lin - You’re one of a kind, man. Chicken nugget for the win.

Love the “How do you feel like flying in a few people from across North America, and someone from Australia?” :-)

Albert Palmer - Wow, Ryan – those are some awesomely fun photographs. Nice work as always. You wouldn’t expect to see the groom crawling through grass but it works somehow!

Ryan Brenizer - Thanks, everyone!

Timothy Kaldas - Ryan, I love the hallway shot and the shot of the bride in her veil. I can see how much your loving the high ISO capabilities of your D3s.

bien.argonza - I love the way you shoot, you also consider the guest. :) Amazing as always! Keep it up, man.