This is a unique post to share for a few reasons. The first is because Kim and Mike participated in a Vietnamese tea ceremony as part of their wedding weekend festivities. The second because Kim and Mike were not technically my bride and groom. They came to me through a friend and photographer Lisa Fitts. The short version is that this couple had booked Lisa to shoot their wedding but since the tea ceremony was happening a day before the wedding, they would need that photographed as well. The problem was that Lisa wasn’t available the day before and so she referred them to me because I was also the second shooter for Lisa on the wedding day. Lisa figured it would be a good fit and I think she was right. As a second, I generally never know anything about a couple until I show up on the wedding day. This was a really fun way for me to meet Kim and Mike as well as get an insider’s feel into friends and family.
Funny enough this wasn’t my first tea ceremony to document this year. Every now and then I will shoot some video with my videographer friend Patrick of Carry On Studios and just about a month before this ceremony, I shot another one. It was a good learning experience for me and prepared me quite nicely for what can only be described as formal but casual.
I liked that Kim and Mike had rented a big house in La Jolla for their tea ceremony. It was nice to have lots of extra space to move around and shoot in and still be able to navigate respectfully between friends and family members in attendance. The light was awesome in the front entry way where the ceremony was held and made for some striking moments. But you be the judge and tell me what you think!