Michelle and Ben met in the Staples Center at a Los Angeles Kings game on March 18, 2004. But that’s not the beginning of their story together; Michelle and Ben had seen each other for many years. Michelle’s dad and Ben’s parents have been season ticket holders to Los Angeles Kings games–with seats right next to each other! And although their families had been neighbors for many years, Ben and Michelle had never spoken to each other. Anyway, in case you haven’t already guessed, Ben experienced success when he finally made his move. And the rest is history.
So how do I enter this story? Several years ago I was the wedding photographer for Julie and Jim at their wedding at the Santa Anita Racetrack. And as I photographed that wedding I met Michelle–who happened to be Jim’s daughter. So when it was time for Michelle to get married, she remembered my work; I suppose you can guess the rest of our story. During our initial wedding meeting, as we were discussing engagement session locations, Michelle and Ben mentioned that they’d like to have their engagement session done at a Kings game. Jim (Michelle’s father) mentioned that he’d contact his season ticket representative and see what he could make happen. I’ll be honest and admit that I wasn’t very confident in their ability to get the appropriate permissions. But Jim’s apparently a miracle worker and imagine my happy surprise when the Los Angeles Kings graciously allowed us access! Without further ado, here’s Michelle and Ben’s Staples Center photo story …
I arrived early to take a few exterior photos of the Staples Center. I was on site for no more than
three minutes before security arrived and asked for my press pass. I’m glad I permission to be there!
A detail from Wayne Gretzky’s statue in front of the Staples Center.
Yippee! We’re here!
Michelle and Ben own dozens of different jerseys. They started their session with the newest variant, logo on front, blank on back.
As we walked back to the VIP entrance, Ben asked to change into one of his oldest jerseys — one featuring his last name.
The Los Angeles Kings! Enough said?
Michelle’s dad always sat between Ben and Michelle. One day, Ben took matters into his own hands
and plopped down on the stairs next to Michelle’s seat, bypassing her dad.
Michelle and Ben got to go onto center ice before the game. Unfortunately, no
matter how much we begged, the folks in charge wouldn’t remove the carpet.
Using mad Photoshop skills, I tried my hand at carpet removal.
I was on my belly when I took this photo. It was chilly! Brrrrrrrrrr!
I found some sweet backgrounds in the basement of the Staples Center!
They’re in the King’s penalty box!
(and that’s where Ben will be for the rest of his life)
The Staples Center is so huge that even blimps look tiny!
Michelle and Ben loved their escalator photos. Up, down, up down.
Wetzel’s Pretzels – a game day tradition.
Jim (Michelle’s dad) was the designated Sherpa. He was carrying extra jerseys
and one of my extra cameras. He did better work than many of my assistants!
This popcorn will be a favor at Michelle and Ben’s wedding!
As we were walking through a hallway of the Staples Center, Michelle and Ben grabbed a photo with Luc Robitaille. For those
of you who aren’t hockey fans, Robitaille is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and is best known as the highest-scoring left
winger in NHL history. It also bears mentioning that Michelle wears his name on the back of her favorite jersey! This moment
was the high point of their day! I’m just glad that I was there to capture it for them!
Go! Go! Go!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Booo! Bad Call!
Up close and personal! And that’s all due to Jeff (from the Kings organization). Security was
really tight and without his help, none of this would have been possible. Thanks Jeff!
Throw me something mister!
Julie, Jim, Michelle, and Ben (and the rest of the Staples Center) celebrating the Kings’ game tying goal!
Bailey – The Kings’ Mascot
Tie Score Means Overtime!
Michelle and her dad are featured on the Jumbotron!
When sudden death overtime doesn’t result in a goal, it’s time for a shootout!
Kings Win! Game Over!