These wedding photos are among my favorites of 2015, and I'll give a little explanation under each one.
Most of my top ten are not what you would expect a wedding photographer to pick. They aren't the gorgeous portraits of brides looking like Vogue models with dramatic lighting. Most of them don't showcase any kind of technical prowess. They aren't even photos that you would typically see in a "wedding blog" pinned on every bride's I Do board. These are photos of moments that moved me. Moments that made these weddings stand out in my mind and made me proud of myself as a photographer for capturing them. I experience moments like this in each wedding, and when I manage to capture them well, that is when I feel like I've done my job.
(Disclaimer, these are in no particular order)
Jessie & Jacob, The Crown Winery
The Crown's ceremony setup is a nightmare for me when shooting processionals. The aisle is about as long as a toothpick, and there is not much room for me at the front to shoot up the aisle. I shot most of this processional off to the side, but as Jessie and her dad got closer, I moved to the middle hoping to catch them straight on. I'm glad I followed this instinct because they stopped to pray before walking down the aisle. It was such a quiet, beautiful moment to witness.
That white blur in the foreground on the right is her mom's sleeve, so I had a super narrow space to get the shot, but I was happy with the timing of this one since the flower girl serves to frame Jessie and her dad off to the right.
Paige & Stephen, ECC and Providence House
I teared up during this interaction. They chose not to see each other before the ceremony, but they met up to just say hello (and "I love you" about 100 times) with a door separating them. These two are about as sappy and adorable as they come, and their happiness just oozed out of them all day. Nothing special about the composition of this shot, it's just a simple and moving moment.
Meghan & Adam, Christ Community and The Opera House
Ok I have three shots from this wedding. I was ON IT that day, plus they just had a really great wedding day with perfect lighting at The Opera House. I need to write an Ode to The Opera House because I love working there so much. Anyway, this is straightforward and exactly what it seems. Meghan's mother is getting her into her dress. Her bridesmaids were all watching, and they were chatting and joking around. I just look at Meghan's face in this, and it takes me right back to when I was getting ready for my wedding. That excitement, the slight nervousness. Her expression perfectly sums up that feeling for me.
Oh Adam. He had every person there sobbing like a child. His reaction to seeing his stunning bride walking down the aisle was so tender. I have a great shot of his initial reaction too, but I chose this one because I like that Meghan is also in the shot. The lighting is not ideal in this church, but here I feel the emotion outweighs that.
Also, I think it's pertinent to point out that they did a first look earlier in the day, and he still had this reaction. I don't pressure people either way, but don't let "I want my walk down the aisle to be special" be the only reason you don't do a first look.
I had to include a few dancing photos in the mix! This might be my Ode to The Opera House right here. This is with no external lighting, just a big, beautiful window! I love the happiness on their faces, and father/daughter dances are so much better when they're upbeat and fun.
Cari & Rob, Downtown Jackson
I have a lot of feelings about this wedding. I have known Cari for years since we were in school together, but I've only recently gotten to know her a little better. She is one of the most amazing people I've ever met, and shooting her wedding was a joy from beginning to end. There was so much love from all fronts, and despite the oppressive heat, it was a perfect day. Cari showed this kind of excitement pretty much all day, which made my job a lot of fun! I love that when she got everything on and was ready to head out the door, she just took a moment to freak out. This will forever be one of my favorites, and that might be a little bit because I love Cari so much, but it's also just a fun bridal moment.
This is also from Rob and Cari's wedding. Their reception was WILD, and possibly my favorite ever. I can't remember another time I've danced so much at a reception, but since many of the people there were also friends of mine, I just got right in there with them and danced. Hilary's face (in the blue dress) makes this shot for me.
Forest & Elizabeth, Fyrne Lake
I love a good photo bomb, but this one is my all-time favorite. I love when things like this happen in the middle of posed photos because they just make them infinitely more fun.
Kailey & Bowen, Brownsville First Baptist
It's common for brides to have a prayer with their bridesmaids before the wedding, but this one was especially sweet to me. The bride's mother and mother-in-law are both there, and everyone is very close and intimate. I generally will just take one or two photos during prayers so that I'm not disturbing anyone, and I happened to be ready right when Kailey raised the tissue to her eye. This was one of those moments that made me proud of myself as a photographer (I know that sounds conceited, but I'm not pretending to be modest here). Is this a perfect shot? No way. There's a steamer in the background, for goodness sakes. Do I still love it? Absolutely.
Lisa & Jay, Brownsville farm
Lisa's mother came to the wedding from a nursing facility, and Lisa told me prior to the wedding day that she wasn't sure how much she would be able to handle that day. I was mindful of her interactions and tried to get several special photos with her in them. I got some other shots from this incredible wedding that really stood out to me, but I love this one the most. Lisa wasn't sure how aware her mother was, but I imagine she was at least aware in this moment that her daughter was overflowing with joy.
I hope you all enjoyed seeing these photos and reading about why I love them! I approach each wedding looking for shots like this. I'm almost positive that all of these photos made it into these couple's albums. Of course there are portraits there too, but I know these moments mean a lot to the people who lived them, and I'm committed to preserving them.