(Note from Chugach Peaks: This was a wedding we helped organize at the last minute, it involved flying out to the Knik Glacier in a bush plane with the Bride and Groom and 3 friends.)
I owe a lot to Photo Joe and Pilot Joe for making this all possible. A lot of couples dream about a picture-perfect wedding, against a romantic backdrop, in an exciting and private location. Unfortunately, few couples actually experience that on their wedding day. Most weddings quickly evolve into a day for everyone else, not the bride and groom. This is not what CJ and I wanted to happen — this was an extremely special event for both of us, and we wanted it to be FOR us. And that it was.
We actually got to live the movie-perfect wedding experience. It began with Pilot Joe taking Chris and I (the guys) to the remote location along with the photographer. It was a 45 minute flight that we’ll never forget. Pilot Joe’s skill at flying was impressive — he knocked the socks off Chris (who just so happens to fly a jet, so if Pilot Joe impressed my pilot friend you know it had to be a killer flight). The flight alone was worth the price of the event — I know people who get a lot less for a lot more $$ with some of the “flight-seeing” companies. Pilot Joe loves what he does, and it shows. He goes above and beyond and we’ll never forget it.
Once we landed at the riverbed of the Knik Glacier River Pilot Joe took off for the 45 minute flight back to go pick up the girls. Photo Joe, Chris and I set up some chairs, enjoyed the beauty of the location, took some photos, shared some memories, and simply enjoyed the moment.
“Here comes the bride” doesn’t come close to describing the entrance Pilot Joe gave to my beautiful bride. As they came up the Knik valley they flew in for a low buzz-over us guys and the proceeded to continue a little ways over the Knik Glacier… giving CJ a perfect view of the glory of her wedding location and beyond.
They landed and Pilot Joe again went above and beyond the call of duty… he actually carried some of the girls up the rocky climb to the final wedding location.
The ceremony was nothing less than perfect, beautiful, and utterly romantic. People dream of getting married in such a perfect location… we got to live that dream.
After the ceremony Joe Pilot took the girls and Chris back to Anchorage on the ride of their lives. Again, my pilot friend was blown away!!
While Pilot Joe was out CJ and I spent time with Photo Joe, taking a great number of photos. Photo Joe was at no loss for creative locations, shots, angles, and suggestions. He hauled a nice amount of gear around all over the place, which is more than I’ve seen any other wedding photographer do… especially in that terrain.
Photo Joe was not only professional, but he was nice to deal with, friendly, and had a great deal of suggestions for us. You really only need to look at the final photos to realize just how remarkable his talents are. As beautiful, amazing, and memorable as our wedding day was it would have been lessened over the years had it not been for Photo Joe. HIs images will become our treasures for the rest of our lives. A lot of people end up having large weddings, and due to the costs associated with keeping everyone else happy at the wedding the couple sometimes cuts corners on things such as the photographer. This is the WORST thing that you could ever do. Your photos will be with you for a lifetime… the chicken-chow-mien in the reception buffet line will only last a few hours. You tell me which one is more important.
I’ve shot a lot of weddings myself (video) and the one thing I try to stress to every couple is to never bicker about the cost of a good photographer. That $300 difference between one photographer or the other could be the difference between an amazing professional and someone who just got a new camera set and thinks they’re a photographer. Do NOT skimp on this element.
I have to give most of the credit for this event to Photo Joe. If I hadn’t found him this day never would have happened as wonderfully as it did. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer — one who took the time to make suggestions and coordinate options that most other photographers wouldn’t spend their time doing.
I hope to have many more trips to Anchorage in the future… possibly to celebrate anniversaries in the future. And on those trips we’ll always have Photo Joe update our albums with a current photo shoot and we’ll fly with Pilot Joe to take in the beauty of our secluded wedding location.
My suggestion: LIVE your dream… you have one shot at it, so make it count! –
David & CJ Good, Houston Texas