My Take on an Old DVD Cover

I used to create custom DVD covers for all of my wedding clients. This gave me the chance to take the work I was doing and push it closer to the art of filmmaking.

Recently I designed one for Ellen and Brendon’s wedding.  They got married on a snowy day in December (DC’s biggest snowfall in years! …until Snowmageddon in February, that is).  Unlike any other DVD cover I had done thus far, they specifically requested that the design resemble the cover of Field of Dreams.  Before I saw it, I thought, “This will be a piece of cake.  The hardest part of a design is figuring out how to arrange everything, and in this case I’m just mimicking another layout…”  Then I Googled “Field of Dreams dvd cover” and became less than excited.

Field Of Dreams | DVD Covers

For starters, it’s one of the tackiest movie designs I’ve seen in a while.  To complicate things there are three variations of it.  Basically, I had to take the essence of this and force it into my style.  To make things even more difficult, I failed to do my research beforehand so I had no pictures of either the bride or groom posing like Kevin Costner here.

In the end, the three variations actually helped.  Finding the consistencies between them allowed me to boil the design down to the most basic elements: person in the middle, text overhead, big circle, and implied triangle.  Here’s what I came up with. What’s the verdict? Does it look Field of Dreams-ish?  (Note, back cover was an open design.)

Ellen & Brendon (front cover Ellen & Brendon (back cover)

P.S. I’d be happy to talk in detail about the ins and outs of making a DVD cover. Pipe up in the comments if you want to see more detailed posts like that ’round here.

I’m Going to Egypt!

One week from today I will be on my way to Egypt to shoot my first international wedding! Suffice to say, I’m stoked!

Back in June I shot some engagement photos for a couple friends, and then in November I had the privilege of going to their wedding in Seattle. During the reception a girl came up and asked me if I was the one who took their engagement photos. We chatted for a bit and then she said, “Well, my fiance and I are getting married in Egypt…”

As it turns out they had already hired a photographer for their wedding, but they liked my style enough to ask me to photograph the four days of events leading up to the wedding as well. Basically I’m an embedded photographer hanging out with a group of people doing a bunch of awesome things. We’re gonna go horseback riding at the Pyramids and do a Nile River cruise among other things.

*Seriously.  Pinch me!!

The bride-to-be is so easygoing but very organized and detailed.  More than once she said to me, “It’s important to me that you have fun and enjoy yourself –don’t feel like you have to work the whole time,” and I’m left thinking, “So wait a minute, everything is already planned out; all I have to do is show up, take lots of photos, and have fun? …. Bring it on!”

I feel so honored and grateful to be a part of this trip!  It always means a lot to me when people trust me to photograph their wedding.  It means a heck of a lot when they are willing to fly me halfway around the world to do it!

P.S.  I have never used the bathroom in an airplane.  This trip just might upset my record…

I’m Dreaming of a White Wedding

  Photo by Stephen Elliot

This Saturday the D.C. area was hit with one of the biggest snow storms of the decade. Rather than playing in the snow or staying in to enjoy some movies, I was out shooting a wedding.

The bride and groom had such great attitudes about it all, and I was shocked at how many people trudged through the snow to get there. I was particularly delighted to find that the bride really wanted to snap a few photos in the snow. Definitely a fun addition to my portfolio!

You can find a few photos on facebook now, and the rest will be posted here some time after January 1st. Merry Christmas everybody!

P.S. Joe Portnoy helped me cover the ceremony. He’s one talented kid! Check out his work at