Three months ago, I sat in a ballroom with about a thousand other people and typed these words on twitter.
And it was true. In that moment, I was pretty much smitten.
Sure I have long admired Jose’s incredible work. I think he creates a standard of beauty, grace and quiet simplicity in his images that challenges me on a daily basis to be better. To work harder.
But that wasn’t it. The crush-inducing part, that is. At least not by itself. Because it was so much more. It was the humble, unassuming way he took the stage. It was the emotion written all over his face whenever he talked about his clients and what drives him in photography. It was the honesty and sincerity and good old fashioned vulnerability that permeated every word he uttered. And, I’m not going to lie, it was the fact that he moved the cake. I mean at the time, sure I gasped out loud just like every one else in that room. But let’s be honest, if anyone was going to get away with moving the cake on a wedding day, it would be Jose. You just can’t help but fall in love with the guy.
And so I confessed as much to all of twitterdom, surrounded by a sea of about a thousand people. All probably feeling the exact same thing.
Now the timeline gets a little fuzzy here, so stay with me. I honestly can’t remember if I had pre-ordered his new book before seeing him in Vegas or after. All I know is that one day the prettiest package I’ve ever seen arrived holding one of the prettiest books I’ve ever seen. So pretty in fact, that I set it on my desk for decoration, and that’s exactly where it stayed for the next few weeks. In the mean time, we hopped flights and shot weddings and lived life in fast forward traveling all over the place. But in the back of my mind I knew… I needed to make this book a priority.
So when we got back home from Seattle, I finally got the chance to sit down and start going through it. And in short let me just say, I was absolutely. blown. away. I can’t believe how much this book covers, and how thoroughly and thoughtfully it does so. Honestly, it could (and should) be an entire photography course in and of itself. No part of the day is left untouched. No aspect of creating art out of everyday life is ignored. Jose & co-writer Jeff Kent, deftly navigate color and composition, lighting and exposure in a way that is at the same time both incredibly accessible for a brand new photographer, but also challenges even the most established shooter to think differently. To be better. The book is full of Jose’s incredible work, which is believe me an eye candy fest in and of itself. But just as importantly you feel as if you’re actually sitting down having a conversation with Jose himself. As he makes lightbulb after lightbulb go off in your head. And you start to see light differently. And feel emotion differently. And look for things that you’ve always taken for granted before.
I’m still making my way through the book, savoring every sentence. And once I finish, I imagine it will be one that I come back to time and time again. But, I get questions all the time from photographers asking me if there is one go-to resource I can recommend for someone thinking about getting into wedding photography. This is it. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Order it. You will not regret it.
And you may just find yourself with a new crush along the way.
Jose, I believe that there are seekers of light and love sent into this world to remind the rest of us of the beauty in the ordinary. And that’s the kind of person that you are. This world is a better place with you in it.
So, when I wrote to Jose to tell him I was going to be doing a post about the book, true to form he wrote back right away with the nicest email and then incredibly generously agreed to give away one signed copy of the book to one lucky commenter! (I know right!!) So leave us a comment in the box below, and that will get you entered. We’ll be announcing the winner Thursday morning!