Nikki and Paco | — Vesta Irene —

Nikki and Paco


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We did Nikki and Paco’s engagement shoot by the Truckee River in Downtown Reno four months before her wedding day. She was pretty gosh darned excited, because she’d just found out she was pregnant. She was a little worried too, because she wondered how she’d look in her wedding dress.

“Beautiful” and “stunning” are a couple words which come to mind, but I believe “Radiant” is the word I would use if I were only allowed one.


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There is nothing like a sincere smile to brighten up a photograph. Take four and you get photos which can’t miss, especially when the bride to be is fairly glowing.


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And four months later, on her wedding day, Nikki’s smile was still glowing, her eyes too, so radiant, you were afraid you might get burned if you looked too long.


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Nikki got ready at her house and Vesta took those pictures as I drove with the videographer’s assistant to one of their friends to take some photos of Paco and his groomsmen.


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They were just about ready to go, when we got there, but at least I got a shot of Paco getting his tie on. They were a handsome group and Paco was one awful happy man.

From shooting the photos of Paco and his groomsmen, the video guy and I drove to “the church on the hill,” hoping to get there before the limo, bringing the bride and her bridesmaids and Vesta too.


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That’s usually the way we work before a wedding, I shoot the groom and Vesta does the bride. We’ve found over the years that the bride is almost always more comfortable with a female photographer as she’s getting into her wedding dress and frankly, I’m more comfortable hanging out with the groom, so it works out pretty well the way we do it.


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Here are Lexie and Yisel looking beautiful as can be on Nikki's wedding day.


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Of course, Paco had to hustle right into the church when we got there, because he wasn’t going to see the bride till she came down the aisle. And me, I didn’t have very long to wait till the limo arrived. In about an hour or so Nikki and Francisco were going to be man and wife and Vesta and I were going to get to photograph their union. We are so lucky.


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Vesta rode in the lime with Nikki and her bridesmaids to the chuch and as planned she took photos along the way. But she wasn't the only one. iPhones can take pictures too.


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Nikki and Paco got married in a beautiful church on a hill in Sparks, Nevada. In fact, the Holy Cross Catholic Community Church, calls itself, “the church on a hill.” Their ceremony was at noon and the light streaming through the windows made for beautiful photos.

In all actually, it was a wedding photographers dream wedding. A beautiful couple. A stunning church. Gorgeous light. A packed house. And love in the air.

Catholic weddings are simply wonderful as far as we’re concerned, because they come with a mass. There is no such thing as a three minute Catholic wedding. We’ve photographed those and try getting several good shots of the happy couple in less that five minutes. It’s very hard to do.


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A Catholic wedding, on the other hand, takes about an hour and we can take our time setting up our shots and still deliver a whole heck of a lot of photos of the ceremony to our bride.


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But when I got to the church, just before the bride, I found out that Father Jose had to go to India, because his mother was ill, so Father George had come out of retirement to fill in till Father Jose got back.

And when he got a look at my camera bag, he figured out straightaway that I was not a guest come to help celebrate Nikki and Paco’s wedding day. He knew exactly who I was and what I was about.

“If you’re the photographer,” he smiled at me, “I only have two simple rules.”

“And they are?”

“Don’t get behind me and whatever else you do, don’t get up on the alter, that’s my space.”

“Got it,” I said. “I won’t do it.” I was fibbing and I could sense my mother rolling over in her grave, because not telling the exact truth to a priest was something which would have been right up toward the top of her “don’t ever do that list.”


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I knew right off the bat if I got up on the alter, he’d stop the wedding and toss me out of the the church. I really wanted to tell him that we’d just photographed a wedding in a Presbyterian church and the pastor not only let me up on the alter, but he also moved aside when I wanted to take photos of the gorgeous bride and her handsome groom. That’s the truth, Pastor Mark actually got out of my way. But I sensed that was maybe something Father George didn’t want to hear. 

But that silly don’t get behind him rule, that was a rule made to be broken and I was going to break it, because if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to get the shots I wanted and the shots I knew Nikki wanted. And in the end, even though I have a lot of respect for priests, I work for the bride.


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However, I didn’t relish the thought of making him too mad at me, but as I said, I wanted good pictures and Nikki and Paco were paying me, not him. So after the ceremony started, I went behind him a lot. And every now and then, he glanced my way, letting me know I was in his zone of discomfort. But other than a stern look every now and then, he, didn’t do anything else.

And because he was going to be saying a mass along with the wedding, I knew he’d be moving around quite a bit and I’d get ample opportunity to get the shots I wanted. And when he went among the congregation to give communion, something I knew he was going to have to do, I stepped right into his spot and took several shots of Nikki and Paco, then I stepped away and he never knew.


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Of course, my mother in Heaven, she knows, but what the heck, so I fibbed a bit to a priest. He turned out in the end to a really good guy, so he’d forgive me, I know he would. And Mom, she’d forgive me too, because she’s my mother and that’s what mom’s do.


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Vesta Irene Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529