On Saturday, October 29th, Sandi and I had the privilege of photographing a breathtaking Kimmel Center wedding in Philly. Brandon Leichter and Mandy Glestein, two best friends, tied the knot with close friends and family in attendance. Sandi and I were there to capture every moment. This was a special one for us, and I’ll try to quickly explain why without getting too sappy. We have had wedding clients come from all over, such as The Knot, Google, social media, Fearless Photographers, wedding blogs, and word of mouth. Brandon and Mandy will tell you it was fate. Sandi and I would tell you the same.
To make a long story short, I met Brandon for the first time close to 4 years ago when I called Allen’s Camera, the camera shop his father owned. I wanted to try and buy the newly released Nikon D800, that was sold out everywhere else. I tried to pay for it over the phone using a credit card, and his father Allen wouldn’t let me. Since I had never bought anything from Allen’s before, he wasn’t comfortable doing the transaction that way. He gave me only one option, to drive an hour up to the store and buy it in person.
I was leaving for a Maine vacation the next day and wasn’t happy about it. But, I drove up anyways, bought the camera, and left angry. Never would I have thought, that the son of the owner who rang me up that day, would be standing in front of me on his wedding day waiting to see his beautiful bride for the first time.
Allen’s Camera is the closest camera shop, so even though I was a big baby and didn’t get my way the first time, I ended up making the drive up a couple more times that same year for other gear. I started to get to know Brandon and his father a little better with each trip up, and I quickly got over not getting my way the first time.
On April 30th, of 2015, Allen suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, obviously hitting the family hard. I had never spoken to Brandon about the passing of my mom just a few years earlier, but I felt the need to simply send him a Facebook message letting him know I was here for him if he ever needed someone to talk to. He never responded back, something I completely understood. I had done the same to many people during the first 6 months or so as I tried to get a grip on my new reality. The message didn’t go unnoticed, though. Brandon started following my work a little bit more, and watched as we built Twisted Oaks over the past year and a half. When he proposed to Mandy, he reached out to me, and to my surprise asked to talk about having Sandi and I shoot his wedding. This was a huge honor. Knowing that as a camera shop owner, Brandon had a pretty large pool of photographers to choose from. The two of them stopped over the house, we talked about their wedding plans, and the rest is history.
Brandon and Mandy’s wedding at the Kimmel Center in Philly yesterday was flawless, and we couldn’t have been more honored to be spending the day with the both of them. There was a perfect mixture of laughter and tears, along with some beautiful Fall weather that made for a perfect day. As Sandi and I got home late Saturday night, we sat down to unwind and popped in a USB drive that Brandon handed me when I walked into his hotel room earlier in the day. The USB drive had the digital video footage that he had transferred over from VHS for me just a few weeks earlier. On the drive… our wedding footage that neither of us had seen since the year we were married, 10 years ago.
On a day where I got to capture the wedding of a friend who’s father would be extremely proud of his son, I got to watch the video footage of me dancing with my mom at my own wedding. One of the proudest moments for my Mom. Earlier in the day, I had watched as Brandon wiped away tears thinking of his father, missing him and wishing he was there. It ended with wiping away my own tears, remembering my Mom at my own wedding. It was an extremely special day, and one that I won’t soon forget. Thank you again, Brandon and Mandy, it truly was an honor and we wish you both nothing but the best!
This wedding was shot on the new Canon 5D MarkIV’s and the Leica M240. If you haven’t already seen it, here is my First Impressions review that I wrote up a few weeks back. All my gear is purchased at Allens Camera 🙂
NOTE: To Uncle Afro Bob, it’s not a Gary Fong Dome, it’s a MagMod MagSphere.
A Kimmel Center Wedding