At one point in my life when I thought I was going to be a photographer, I had my sights set on wedding photography. Then I started going to school at OU and lost a lot of confidence when I realized how good some of my peers were. I felt like they were at a level already that I would never achieve and as I progressed through university, I decided that a four year degree would serve me better in another field. I never stopped loving photography and still took photos here and there for my blog and family and friends. I never truly pursued it, though, as a side hustle. Over the last six months to a year, I’ve started to feel the itch to get into it more. I did an engagement session with my sister-in-law and then photographed my one week old nephew (the best type of photo session). But it wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I really got an opportunity to shoot a wedding on my own. I had dabbled in second shooting for a 12-hour ceremony and to be honest, it left me pretty terrified of weddings. I have known Sarah and her family since I was three years old so I was very honored to be asked to photograph her backyard wedding.
The scary thing about weddings is the moments quickly come and go and if you miss them, you miss them. There are no do overs. I’m starting to become more confident with portraits and posing but this was a new challenge for me to photograph a live ceremony. I surprised myself by remaining relatively calm during the whole event. I had Chris as my second shooter and it gave me a lot of confidence knowing I had another person who knew what he was doing to help make sure we covered all of our angles. We formulated a plan ahead of time and that was key. It helped that we had an absolutely beautiful setting to work with and beautiful subjects. Chris really did get some great shots (like the one above and a few below). I am a firm believer that when it comes to weddings, it really does take two photographers to really capture all the moments, especially when it comes to the ceremony.
Sarah and Tyler did not cut corners. Having had the full wedding experience myself, I can say without a doubt that this wedding was perfect. There was absolutely nothing missing and throughout the evening, I couldn’t help but look around at all the beautiful details of this backyard wedding and think that this is how it should be. A beautiful place with your favorite people. At the end of the day, you are married and that is all that matters.
It was touching to see how involved Sarah’s family was in the execution of the evening and her little brother, Nathan, even married them. I can still remember when Nathan was a tiny baby and now he is so grown. Her brother Nick was the night’s DJ and while I was out getting a feel for the space and waiting for the ceremony to begin, Nick was in-and-out making sure things were set up how they should. It was really obvious how much Sarah’s family cared about them and their special day.
When it comes to wedding photos, I like to capture the candid and real moments. I think if a moment is too posed and overproduced, you lose the emotion and don’t truly capture the people as they really are. I love looking back at old photographs and I always prefer those that are real and maybe don’t capture someone’s best angle but you can truly get an idea of what they are feeling at the moment. One day, some of those people may not be with you anymore or won’t look the same but you will have these photographs to remember what it was like on one of the most important days of your life. Sarah was laid back and willing to try all my ideas, which allowed Chris and I to try a couple things and have fun.
Let’s talk about that dance floor. I was so impressed to learn that Tyler built it himself! It looked professional and definitely served its purpose when it came to the first dance. Though I would have loved to have taken some photos of the dance floor once the sun went down, the lights were beautiful even in the daylight. Sarah’s childhood home served as the perfect backdrop for her backyard wedding.
If you are at all curious what equipment I use to shoot with and how I process photos, I am planning on doing a post in the future giving all the details. Sign up for email updates or stay tuned for a post in the next month or so!