What should a perfect engagement session experience be like? Well if it includes a road trip to a beautiful spot in the woods, a meal and some great beers...then it can't be bad. It's hard to overstate how much fun I had with Jack and Lauren. So glad that I get to be a part of their wedding!
This is what we mean when we talk about looking for connection. These are the photos that make me tick. I had a couple minutes to chat with Jessika’s Dad just before the ceremony. The church was bustling, everyone rushing around doing last minute tasks and he was just gazing out the window watching guests arrive. My inner curiosity took over and I had to ask…what’s going through you mind right now? He asked if I had children. “Let me tell you. It goes by so fast. Better make sure you’re enjoyin’ it!”
Sage advice from a guys who’s been through parenthood, minutes before he walks his beautiful, well mannered, empathetic, successful daughter down the aisle. I hope some day I’ve got a couple of well mannered, empathetic, successful boys that are at the end of that aisle. Congrats Mr. Williams. You’ve arrived!
Disclaimer, if you hire me as your photographer, I may seek parenting advice from your parents. I hope thats ok.
Someday I'll share the whole story of Weston and Hannah’s wedding day. This was a wedding that embodied what we mean when we talk about #letrealhappen. I’ve always made it a habit to listen closely to the personal vows at each wedding, and theirs were some of the most realistic and humble messages to one another that I’ve ever heard. The kind that make you so utterly grateful to have love in your life. Everyone there swelled with pride to know these two and have some small bit of participation in the forming of their family.
While I’m sharing about things I love, you’ve got to check out The Wild Mother. This floral team puts together stunning pieces, but as I say so often, pretty is just the beginning. What makes them remarkable is their commitment to story and their understanding of the foundational truths behind a wedding day. They're a talented and heartfelt team to watch!
I heard an interview with Suroosh Alvi, co-creator of VICE recently. He was asked about how they approach creating authentic content. "We asked, how do you create REAL? The way to do that is to get as close to the source as possible." It's true in journalism and it's true in wedding photography. If we're not emotionally connected throughout the day, how do we expect to translate such an a profound day through photos. Sometimes that means hanging with bridesmaids as they laugh/cry/bustle right after an amazing ceremony. #stayclose #letrealhappen #momentsovermountains #bridesofok
I’ve been collecting images for a new portfolio in the hopes to show how different brides can be. Some are bridal portraits and some are passing moments from a wedding day. But they all show just a glimpse of each girl’s personality. Much like this photo of Rebecca. It really shows how graceful she was that day. Weddings are so personal now, in that a couple is able to shape the whole experience of their wedding day. I’m glad to be able to document so many different couples and different wedding days. It keeps me curious and always on the lookout for that subtle layer of personality and meaning just under the surface.
I'm working through this wedding and reflecting on all the stuff that goes through my mind as I’m shooting now as compared to 10 years ago…
10 years ago….
Whats my exposure?! Should I shoot this in AV mode? Which lens should I use now? Is my aperture right? Wait, did I format this card? How can I make them look happy?
Are they comfortable? What are they getting too hot? What will they take away from this? Are we taking too long? Is this a pose cliche? Will they show this to their kids…would I show this to my kids? What does this photo feel like? … Wait..what’s my exposure?!
I'm spending the day recuperate from an exhausting but wonderfully honest wedding day. Joseph and Amy were a joy to photograph. It can be a challenge for couples to be fully present for the entire wedding day. It's a full day, with a lot going on. Distractions and questions coming from every angle. People like Lindsay Gibson help a great deal with those things. It was clear to me that Amy wanted to soak in every minute of the day with all her loved ones. When I'm able to photograph that experience; that's when I feel most at home.
Maybe the better question is, why do you need a portrait of your best friends on your wedding day?
To remember how you felt! How great it was having them all in one place to celebrate. All the stories that got re-told. The shared history...and of course to remember how great you looked!
So what's the best way to remember that feeling? How about a photo of the feeling itself?
Let’s be honest. Most guys don’t just love the idea of shooting engagement photos; at least not the way a bride does. I don’t want to generalize, but as men it’s not necessarily our skill set to parade around and dial up affection on command. My shoots are always casual, and normally start and end with a pint. But even then, having portraits made is not something us guys find natural. It’s always great to see when guys are clearly doing something outside their comfort zone for the girl they love. It’s great practice for a long marriage! Atta boy Richard.
A photo should communicate a feeling. It should be more than just pretty. We ,all photographers, should be looking for connection, emotions and depth. When it comes to wedding photography it also requires a natural experience; a synchronicity with your subjects. That starts by understanding their values and genuinely helping them remember their experience. You have to care more about their memories that your portfolio.
Karly is a woman of few words. She could be described as reserved. Her quiet, sweet sensibility was a joy for me to document the subtle moments of her wedding day. Like this split second after her Mom helped her finish getting ready. To steal a phrase from my friend at Todd Scott I would rather do "photography at weddings" than #weddingphotography. Less about control and and directing and more about observing and reporting.