• Thanks for visiting us at GreatScott Images. We've been making photos and telling stories for old and new friends since 2005. As wedding and portrait photographers based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, we've been all over the state and beyond having a ball and capturing moments, smiles, events and memories.

    You'll find our style fun, candid, real and sometimes, maybe, even a little traditional. We recognize that years from now you won't care much about photographic filters and Photoshop effects, you'll want to remember the people you love and the moments you cherish just they way the were. Not like a photo printed in a magazine or in a catalog but like a memory written on your heart.

    THAT's what we do. Honest. Authentic. Photography.

Amanda & Cory Got Married: A Sneak Peek

I’d take this sort of bride, groom and wedding party every weekend if I could. Beautiful, stylish, fun and up for anything… That’s the recipe for making beautiful wedding images. I just had to stand back and take it all in (to my camera)!

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The Wedding Toast: One Photographer’s Guide

 

Another wedding season is about to get underway, and we’re thrilled. It’s our fifth year telling wedding stories (nearly 100) and each one is so different and so special that it just doesn’t get old. Well, SOME things get a little old: The Chicken Dance, The Cupid Shuffle and that one “bro” at every wedding who thinks he’ll somehow look cooler on the dance floor with a drink in his hand (hint: you’re not).

As you can imagine, over the years we’ve seen dozens and dozens of wedding toasts. Many have touched our hearts, some have made us cry and a small few have made us cringe. If you’re in a wedding party this season and dread the thought of making a toast, we think we may have a few ideas to put you at ease. We’ve put together some hints, tips and warnings that should get you on your way. Hope these help!

PREPARE: Sometime in the week or two before, take a lunch hour and make bullet points of the things you’d like to say. There’s no need to write them out in full if they’re written on your heart and in your memory. Once you have the bullets, re-write them in an appropriate order. Carry those notes with you the whole week and glance at them whenever you can. DON’T WAIT TO START THIS PROCESS ON THE WEDDING DAY. It’s an honor to be asked to stand beside the bride and groom for their wedding, don’t disrespect that honor by throwing something together in the moment. Stay classy.

PRACTICE: Get a kitchen timer, a mirror or an audience. Rehearse your speech in its entirety. It’s best if you can memorize a few key points and then freestyle the rest. Nothing says “Someone else wrote this or I googled it” like note cards. But if you absolutely HAVE to have notes, keep them small and look at them as little as possible. An authentic if flubbed-up toast from the heart plays so much more earnest than a perfectly read toast from a sheet of paper.

CONTENT: Every good story is made up of parts. In the case of a wedding toast there should be five clear points: 1. Background (establish your relationship and the honor you felt being asked to be there). 2. Anecdote (an amusing yet meaningful story – resist the temptation to focus on yourself, recount your “wild days” together, or work-in an inside joke). 3. Comic Relief (a gentle jab or two is okay, but keep in mind that this is a special day for them and embarrassment isn’t part of successful recipe. Also, you’re only half as funny as people say and an eighth as funny as you think you are – This isn’t open mic at the corner pub, keep it brief and kind). 4. Turning Point (speak to your observations of the bride or groom once they met and fell in love with their future spouse. Talk about how you knew one was the perfect fit for the other). 5. Conclusion: (with your glass raised, invite the audience to join you in toasting the happy couple, wish them all the best in a way that only YOU could know).

TIPS: Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips to make your toast memorable (for the right reasons)… 

  • Keep it tight: A television commercial is 30 seconds long; at that length your words won’t seem heartfelt. Two or three minutes is a good length but only the most confident public speakers should go longer than three or four minutes. If you’re old, old friends or family, the temptation will be to retell all your favorite stories. Save that for the rehearsal dinner or gift opening. As soon as you start a second or third story with, “I remember the time…” you’ll loose the audience and the couple will start feeling the pressure of time.
  • Keep it sober: In some circumstances, a little “liquid courage” just before the toast might be okay. Key word: a little. Full-on intoxication is a horrible idea and can never end well. Making a drunk toast reflects poorly on you and, more importantly, on the couple. Do the stand-up thing and refrain from excessive drinking until after your bridal party obligations have all been met. If you can tell you’ve had too much to drink prior to the toast, defer to the next wedding party member. If you’re a groomsman and someone else toasting who is clearly too inebriated, recruit some help and find a way to help them close gracefully, take the mic and finish the toast.
  • Keep it positive: Don’t dwell on past difficulties or how there will be challenges ahead for any marriage. This is no place for tough love and will cast a pall over the moment.
  • Bring tissue if you’re prone to get emotional. It’s okay (and often charming) to shed a few tears. It’s weird if you have snot running down your face.
  • Don’t ever, ever start with “I don’t actually know the bride (or groom) very well, but…” If that’s true, find some time to spend with that person in the days before the wedding. A half hour walk around the block can be a wonderful first step in getting to know them and also give you an anecdote to use.
  • Include both the bride and the groom in your toast. Keeping it two-sided helps everyone in the audience feel connected and tuned-in.
  • Traditionally, the best man is expected to coordinate the toasts. More commonly, he gives the first toast, followed by the fathers, the groom, the bride, maid or matron of honor, the mothers and then family and friends if they’d like.
The toast is the perfect time to honor the bride and groom, highlight the magic of the event and keep the whole evening classy. Embrace your part, take it (mostly) seriously and you’ll come across as the gracious, charming and awesome wedding party member.

(We got a little help with these ideas from Real Simple magazine, Toastmasters and the interwebs) 

 

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Kim & Tommy Got Engaged: A Sneak Peek

Sometimes you go out on a shoot and the planets align. Great sky, good light, fun people, happy cows. This was one of those shoots. Tommy and Kim are SO cute together and so obviously in love that the photos were so super-easy to make. Not that saccharine-y kind of in love, but the true, genuine kind. If I could pinch the cheek of their relationship I TOTALLY would… LOVE these two!!

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Honest, Authentic Senior Portraits

 

Class of 2014 Senior Packages:

In-n-Out Package – $150
One-half hour, one location, two wardrobe changes. Online proofing, yearbook photo, 56 wallets of one pose. 

 Just Right Package – $225
One hour, two locations (w/i 10 miles), three wardrobe changes. Online proofing, yearbook photo, six web-resolution images for Facebook, 2 x 56 wallets of two poses, 8×10 portrait. 

 Kitchen Sink Package – $325
Up to two hours, up to three locations (w/i 10 miles), up to four wardrobe changes. Online proofing, yearbook photo, 3 x 56 wallets of three poses, 2 x 8×10 portraits, disc of all finished images with print rights.

a la carte items available –  just ask

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Joe & Maggie Got Married: A Sneak Peek

What happens when you take a girl from the western Minneapolis suburbs and a boy from Northeast Wisconsin? Why, there’s a wedding ceremony in Minnesota and a wedding reception in Wisconsin! Joe and Maggie were a picture-perfect bride and groom – It was certainly one of those weddings where it seemed like the pictures made themselves. If you’d like to see ALL the sneak-peek pics, just click here!

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Baby Charlie

I had the chance to tell the wedding story of Mark and Angela Becker a couple of years ago. They were a DREAM couple! Imagine how thrilled I was to get the call that they wanted me to do Baby Charlie’s first portraits!! I fell in love with Charlie’s face the minute I laid eyes on him. Consequently the photos were SUPER easy to make. If you’d like to see ALL the images from the shoot, just click here.

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Sarah & Steve Got Married: A Sneak Peek

SO excited about our first wedding of 2013. Sarah and Steve were SUPER awesome to work with – Sarah, in fact, started the day by telling me that she was willing and ready for whatever we had in store for pictures (favorite words for a wedding photographer to hear). The church, St. Willibrord in Green Bay, was a treat to shoot in. The wedding party was 85 kinds of fun (except for during the 12 outside portraits in single digit temperatures). And, as always, Thornberry Creek threw an amazing wedding reception. What a GREAT day!

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