Groom Gets Ready at La Venta Inn Wedding
Rob Greer Photography
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Groom Gets Ready at La Venta Inn Wedding

I particularly enjoy this photograph of a groom getting ready at the La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates because it's such a typical moment and yet it tells an important story on a wedding day. This bearded groom works at Guitar Center and and manages the department that sells some of the rarest guitars in the world. He's a terribly interesting guy with a great sense of humor and after having met him, I feel that this photograph captures some measure of who he is as a person. To me, reading what I just wrote, seems like a very artsy statement and I typically avoid those kinds of sweeping generalizations, but in this case, for whatever reason, I feel that it applies this photograph.

As an interesting aside for this wedding, I do have a fun story to share. Just moments after I captured this photograph, the bride's father arrived in this area of La Venta Inn. He looked incredibly familiar to me and I remarked that he looked quite a bit like Martin Sheen. He laughed briefly, and shrugged off the comment. Later, as I was in the parking lot of this wedding venue photographing the bridesmaids, guests began to arrive and I often had to step out of the way so that they would not run me over. In one of those instances, I happened to look into the car and who should I see but Martin Sheen. I naturally lost my mind just a little bit because Martin Sheen is one of my favorite actors. I'm a huge fan of all of his work from Apocalypse Now to the West Wing. The bride, whose last name was Estevez, never told me about her link to such an amazing celebrity. And thus it's no wonder, that the bride's father looked so much like Martin Sheen.

As a wedding photographer in Los Angeles, I'm often photographing events where celebrities are present. And to do my job correctly, I must ignore their celebrity and instead treat them just like any other guest. I'll be honest and mention that it was difficult at this event as I was not prepared to meet someone of Sheen's stature, but I know that I came through with flying colors.

I will mention that there is one other fun story from this event that you might find amusing. When I was beginning to photograph the family portraits, one of the groupings was extremely large and the area available for that portrait was relatively small. That sometimes happens at weddings that I photograph, and it's really no big deal as is just something that I have to overcome in order to create a great portrait. In this instance, after everyone in the bride's family and the groom's family had been called forward, I pause for just a second to consider how I would pose the group. In that single moment, Martin Sheen step forward and said, "Let's get the bridegroom seated." As a professional photographer, when someone I am photographing offers some kind of posing suggestion, I may briefly listen but then I will typically mention that I've got it and I will go about my job posing the group. However, when Martin Sheen stepped in, all I could think of was that the Ppresident of the United States (West Wing) was telling me how to pose a group of people and that there was no way that I could deny him. And so I posed the group his way and what do you know, it worked out perfectly great. La Venta Inn is located in Palos Verdes Estates, California. Phone: (310) 373-0123. Website:

Location: 796 Vía Del Monte, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274.

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