Couples willing to be daring, a little unconventional and willing to march to the beat of their own drum is why I love photographing weddings. Julia & Raghu had their wedding at a private residence near South Mountain in Phoenix. They decided to get day before wedding portraits at Tempe Town Lake at dusk to showcase her large back tattoo which was going to be covered up for her wedding. Gosh I love Tempe Town Lake bridge at night! Hats off to her & Raghu’s matching cartoon Link tattoos as well. I love a nerdy couple who isn’t afraid to show it! They sprinkled little bits of themselves throughout the day while still keeping their day traditional. Julie had a plan though- when I arrived at the venue, she told me her plan of wanting to jump into the pool during the reception. “Well you picked the best and only photographer in Phoenix who can capture that- let me go bribe my mom to bring me my underwater gear to be in the water when you guys do that.” So, ladies and gentlemen, I stripped down to my swimsuit (that my lovely mom so graciously brought me along with my gear- thanks Mom!) and hopped in the water. Not only did Julie & Raghu get into the pool but a number of their wedding party did too. It was super challenging conditions- super dark and because of the last minute change of plans, I wasn’t able to charge my underwater flashes, so I relied on the light in the pool all while treading water and trying to get those shots. But the resulting photos are probably some of my favorite documentary photos of the year. The pool had a color changing LED light in it, so that made these photos super colorful and fun. Before they jumped into the pool, the wedding party & Julie planned a surprise Bollywood style dance for Raghu- I think he loved it. The girls rocked it! The some of the groomsmen were comedic relief.
The pool jump was also featured on one of my favorite documentary wedding blogs- Moment Junkie! http://www.momentjunkie.com/2017/10/pool-jump/
Now let’s talk about safety real quick. Yes, jumping into the pool with wedding clothes is potentially dangerous. Do so at your own risk! I was watching the whole time to make sure of everyone’s safety and we had about 20 people on the side of the pool watching and ready to grab anyone who was struggling. I’ve been a scuba diver since I was 12 and have taken a rescue diver course and a CPR class, so if anyone started to struggle I could have reached them in a second or two because of my close proximity to everyone. That said, it’s very important to only jump in if you are not intoxicated and make sure you have someone in the pool to assist any trouble that may pop up as well as have people on the sides ready to help. Even with some safety measures in place, it is potentially dangerous.