An Inspired/ing Wedding

Johnny Martyr (with his camera) by Joey Pasco © 2014

I have been shooting weddings on film for over 4 years. I started shooting about 15 years ago and in that time frame, when we were attending Villa Julie College, just outside Baltimore, is when I met Joe and his lovely girlfriend (then girlfriend, now wife) Christina.

ChristinaJoe11.22.14_002 copy

In college, Joe and I were artistic one-uppers and copy-cats. One of us would say, do, or buy something and then the other would follow and add to it. Two cases in point where I copied Joe and then one-upped him, were in regards to weddings and rangefinders.

In 2001, Joe started working with a local wedding photography and video business called Bradley Images and got me a job there some time after.

I mainly just wanted a creative job at the time but had little interest in weddings. But over the years, shooting weddings opened me up to a world of extravagant parties, terrific free food, excited drunk people and a kind of hard fast creative work that has become a very familiar and enjoyable business. Photographing weddings became a way for me to indulge in and challenge my creative inclinations. I have Joe to thank for starting me off on this road.


In those early days of the 21st century, I primarily shot with Pentax K1000’s. I couldn’t afford to buy a new Voigtländer, much less a Leica rangefinder and the corresponding M lenses but I wanted to get into these brands the very moment that Joe let me handle the Voigtländer Bessa R2 that he’d bought new in 2002. By 2007, Joe was shooting all digital and I excitedly bought that Voigtländer from him. Thanks to working enough weddings and getting into a great TV career (which Joe also had a hand in), in 2010, I could finally afford to buy my first Leica, an M6 TTL.

I mention all this as important backstory to one of the most important weddings I’ve ever shot.

In November of 2014, Joe and Christina, themselves got married. To commemorate our history, my trusty old K1000 SE from college and much newer Leica M6 TTL accompanied me to the occasion. I used only these two bodies and two lenses. On the Pentax was the dream SMC 50mm 1.2 that I also could never have purchased in college and on the Leica was a Voigtländer 15mm Heliar that Stephanie Lee bought for me for Christmas in 2012.

Stephanie Lee, the girl who makes my photography possible! Pentax SMC 50mm 1.2|Ilford Delta 3200 |©2014

I chose these cameras for the reasons outlined above and these lenses to give Joe and Christina photos that have a little bit more of an edge than my other wedding photos where I don’t bring a super wide and never open up wider than 1.4. Because it was a different kit than I have grown accustomed to working with, I had some failed attempts but overall, I am extremely happy with the results and believe that they were too. Not only are the images aesthetically pleasing but there is a lot of meaning and significance in how they were made and came to be. Thank you Joe for always being such an inspiration to my creative processes!

Oh, and to boot, Joe and Christina’s wedding was coincidentally held at the Carradetti Glassblowing Studio in Baltimore, Maryland, the site of one of Steph’s and my first dates.





I hope you enjoyed my photos! Please check out Joe’s photography at

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2 thoughts on “An Inspired/ing Wedding

  1. Johnny,
    Touching, poetic, always creative remembrance and reflections! Love the grainy, soft yet vibrant images! What a wonderful artist you are!


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