I have been so excited to write this blog post, because this, this right here is where my wedding photography all started. And when I say it all started here, it really did. The groom's sister was in a wedding later that year. I photographed that one. A bridesmaid in that wedding was in another wedding the next year. I photographed that one too. This year that same bridesmaid is getting married, and guess who's capturing the event? A little over two years ago, Lauren & Joe were my first bride and groom, and it all happened by chance.
My friend Felicia is a friend of Lauren's and also a bridesmaid in her wedding. Everything for the big day was pretty much planned: the food, the flowers, the venue, the reception, and yes, even the photographer. A few weeks before the wedding, Felicia texted me asking if I would be interested in doing a wedding. At the last minute, their wedding photographer told them she wouldn't do getting ready photos and would only stay for an hour at the reception, as well as some other very limiting factors. So far all my photography experience included was my best friend's maternity shoot and some Christmas themed baby photos for Felicia, both of which I did for free because I was just starting out. I told her, yea, I don't have any wedding photography experience, but I would do the photos, a wedding sounds like a fun thing to photograph!
And so the "research" started. I spent a lot of time of Pinterest. Pinning pose ideas and seeing how the pictures were done, in the end I think I only looked at two of the pins on the wedding day and that was only because it was something very specific the bride wanted. I worked for dirt cheap, but I didn't care. It was something new and exciting and extremely rewarding in the end.
Lauren and Joe had a pretty magical day. Lauren arrived in dazzling fashion as her all white horse drawn carriage pulled her around to the gazebo. To this day, the photo of Joe's face when he saw her coming is the best "here comes my bride" face I've captured. So much love. So much wonder. The day was perfect, lighting, weather, and all. This is wear I learned it all, and two years later looking back, the photos weren't half bad, haha! Obviously, now having learned more, there are some camera settings I would have done differently, but overall, I pulled off my first wedding pretty well. The bridal party was an absolute blast to spend the day with. It was all very comfortable, which definitely reflects in the photos. The more at ease the bridal party is with the photographer, the better the images.
There were two very rewarding parts of the Stepputat wedding. The first was capturing the very real joy, love, and fun of that day. The bride, groom, bridesmaids, and groomsmen were all just enjoying the day together. They were laughing, having fun, and goofing off. And I got to be included in all the fun! Lauren and Joe looked at each other with such love. This was the first day of the rest of their lives together, and they couldn't be more elated about it. The second most rewarding part was Lauren's reaction when she saw the finished photos. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. But as soon as she got them, she texted me filled with joy! She absolutely loved what I had done. And these are honestly the things I take from every wedding, the joy of the day and seeing the bride relive that day when she gets her photos.