In 2012, I was blessed with a wedding day team member when God gave me my life partner. Over the years, we have really honed our style and how we approach the wedding day. We absolutely love working together and feel like we are getting a date out when we leave the kids with a sitter and head to a wedding! We truly are so thankful to get to spend the day together serving our couples!
When we arrive at a wedding, our first job is to check out the venue if we have never been there before. We are looking for our locations for the First Look and Portraits, seeing how the Ceremony area is set up, and strategizing our day. We check-in with the Bride and gather up the details we need for Detail Shots. We then work together to quickly photograph all the gorgeous details and any getting ready shots of the Bridal party.
While I photograph the Bride getting ready, Mike is typically getting our gear set up for the Ceremony and then we head outside together to photograph the First Look, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and the full Bridal Party. It is so nice to have a second angle when shooting the First Look and Portraits…and that is why I am so thankful for my trusty second shooter.
Many times we are asked whether Mike shoots the Groomsmen while I handle the Bridesmaids, and the answer is no for multiple reasons.
- First, if the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen are not getting ready at the same location, it makes it very difficult for us to coordinate and drive 2 cars on a wedding day. This really makes the day less enjoyable for us and totally takes away our “date day” experience!
- Second, most Groomsmen do not need 30-minute details and getting ready time. They much prefer our approach where we stage a few shots and get an epic portrait or two and let them go!
- Finally, when the Groomsmen and Bridesmaids are all at the same venue and choosing not to do a First Look, we can’t all be outside at the same time anyway, so there is no point in splitting that responsibility.
Make sense? Good.
Once all the Bridal Party shots are done, we prepare to shoot the Ceremony location and get into position for guests to arrive and the Procession. I always take the position at the front of the aisle so that I capture each of the Bridesmaids and Bride as they walk in. While I am up-front, Mike is capturing what happens behind the scenes with everyone as they prepare to walk in. He has captured many sweet moments in this time.
Once the Bride walks in, he either heads to the balcony for shots of the wedding from above or works around the back of the church to capture the angles opposite of me.
We work in tandem throughout the ceremony to capture each angle and to document everything fully. As we prepare for the kiss, Mike and I both wait at the end of the aisle and with two different types of lenses, we are able to capture the same moments in totally different ways! When the Bride and Groom recess out of the church at the end of the ceremony I follow them to capture those “We are Married” first moments they share and Mike captures everyone as they come down the aisle.
At this point, Mike puts down his camera and takes the role of the caller as we begin Family Formals time. He gathers in the people for each shot and makes sure that I do not miss details as we quickly work through the list of Family Formals that we have been provided. We also work together to quickly complete the Bridal Party shots that may be left and then he leaves me with the Bride and Groom while he goes to prepare our equipment for the Reception.
**Note, if the Reception is at a different location, we often are unable to photograph the Reception area prior to guests arriving. This prevents us from really getting to document all the hard work and planning that went into the details at the Reception. The best way to deal with this is by using the Cocktail Hour as a time for guests to mingle and wait for the Bridal Party and keeping them away from the Reception area until we can get there to photograph it.**
Once we are ready for Introductions at the Reception, Mike will again pick up his camera and work alongside me as we capture all the angles of the Reception, from dancing to bouquet tossing. He is able to continue coverage while I go out with the Bride and Groom for Sunset pictures and nothing is missed.
At the end of the night, I am so thankful to have my friend beside me as he lovingly packs up all our gear and often takes it all to the car by himself while I give hugs and thank you’s to the Bride, Groom and their families.
Mike truly is the one who makes me shine on a wedding day. From the loading of the car to a heartfelt prayer over our day to making me drink water, and remember to potty (sorry, tmi!). I would not want to shoot a wedding without him by my side…