“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known and even that is an understatement.” // F. Scott Fitzgerald
Today is a little bittersweet. Because while I’m SO excited to share with you all my final category of my 2016 Favorite Photos blog series… the Wedding Couple category. Every wedding day is hectic. No amount of planning you do, timelines you make, or organization is going to change that. There are too many people, too many moving parts, and simply too much going on for a wedding day to be anything but hectic. This is why I am so insistent upon at least 30 minutes with my couples on the wedding day to get photos. Preferably I want 30 minutes of just myself and my second photographer with the couple but sometimes due to travel and location arrangements it ends up being an hour with my couple AND the wedding party. Which I will take over every family member you have looming over while we take photos. I’m also extremely persistent that my clients take at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony to sit down, unwind, have a drink, and just relax before walking down the aisle. Trust me, you will thank me later! (And so will your venue! They don’t want you running around taking photos and doing other things as guests walk in either!)
That being said, couples portraits are some of my favorites. I think I’ve said this about every category… these are my OTHER favorite! Haha! Either way, I do love couple’s portraits. I love that quiet time with them just documenting their love. I love having the time to get creative with them. I always want my clients to have fun but also let out their romantic side. Sometimes my couples are like, “We’re not romantic really!” But everyone is romantic, they just show it differently. I enjoy giving my couples prompts and actions that allow them to laugh, cry, smile, or hold each other in a way that is natural to them. Even if it doesn’t FEEL natural at the time. (Because sometimes it doesn’t.) Sometimes what feels weird conveys perfectly on camera. And that’s what I love. I love taking a moment where my clients are like, “Uhhh that felt odd…” and then showing them the photo and they’re like, “Oh but look how cute we are!” #Success!
So let’s get to it huh?! The final top 10 of all of the favorites categories! The cherry on top of the milkshake. My amazing couples and my 10 favorite photos of them from 2016. Enjoy!
While I always want at least 30 minutes with each of my couples during their wedding day sometimes that simply just does. not. happen. In the case of Brittany & Cody's wedding things ran extremely late during hair and makeup and we ended up with 15 minutes to photograph all of the wedding party as a whole, bridesmaids, and the bride and groom photos. Luckily, my girl Stephanie took care of the groomsmen photos earlier in the day making for one less thing I had to photograph. I knew one thing for sure I wanted to document Brittany's incredible cathedral veil and in that department I would say Mission Accomplished! See Brittany & Cody's full blog post here.
I always tell my clients that I never let a little bit of rain get me down on a wedding day. I come prepared with clear umbrellas just incase our Indiana weather decided to be uncooperative. Sarah & Steffan took everything that was thrown at them with such grace on their big day. Everything was all set for a beautiful outdoor ceremony only for the rain to start coming down just as the wedding party was starting to ascend down the aisle. But everyone just picked themselves up and the amazing staff at Mustard Seed Gardens took everything and set it for an indoor reception and 20 minutes later we were back up in running. But we didn't let that rain get us down for portraits either. These troopers toughed it out and we got some amazing photos, with the help of my trusty umbrella and their adorable smiles. See Sarah & Steffan's full blog post here.
Cara & Nick had a big fat Greek wedding and I was absolutely obsessed. I was in love with the stunning murals on the walls and ceiling of this church in Carmel. One of my favorite parts of this ceremony was all of the tradition and ritual involved in it. Specifically, the crowning of the bride and groom. I loved the crowns so much I made them put them back on after the ceremony for this photo. Pretty much obsessssssed. Any wedding with unique or personal touches or traditions is totally up my alley. One of my favorite things about my job is getting to see how so many different cultures and religions celebrate two people committing themselves to one another for life. It's pretty great. See Cara & Nick's full blog post here.
Gahhh. These two! This car! This photo!!! My lil photographer heart might explode! I'm pretty fond of vintage cars so when Jordan said he wanted to do the first look in his dad's garage full of vintage cars I was like... "Uhh yes?! Can we take pictures in the car?! Please!!??" And we could so I pretty much peed my pants a little, squealed, composed myself, and got this ridiculously awesome photo. I don't know where my obsession with vintage cars began but I am pretty much in love. So all you brides and grooms out there who are thinking about getting a vintage get away car just know, I would be extremely happy and also might pee my pants a bit. But I'll take some killer photos of it! See Miranda & Jordan's full blog post here.
Natural smiles and reactions are pretty much my major goal in photographing couples. I want to document you the way you are. So when I took this photo of Heather & Obi I originally had them just standing straight up, looking down, foreheads touching. Then I told Obi to push Heather backwards with his forehead. The end result was Heather laughing like this. In my opinion, that's what makes this photo perfect. Plus I love the dark background behind them. See Heather & Obi's full blog post here.
For those of you who follow my work this photo should be of no surprise. Last year my most popular and favorite wedding photo was one of my clients with a killer smoke bomb behind them. When it came time to talk photography for Kelsey & Drew's wedding one of the things they said was that they loved that smoke bomb, but they wanted something a little different. I told them we could totally do something and then I thought of confetti canons. Or in this case, confetti wands. I loved the look of the colorful confetti falling all around them some in and some out of focus. Totally makes this shot a winner in my book! Plus, how freaking stunning is Kelsey's dress?! Obsessed! See Kelsey & Drew's full blog post here.
Sparklers and sparkler exits are something I have worked on FOR YEARS to get right when it comes to photography. They're beautiful, fun, and exciting but they can be a challenge to document. With the dark backgrounds and the orange light of the sparklers they can be a photographer's nightmare if you don't know what you're doing. I was so excited to finally nail a sparkler exit to my standards AND I got to take them aside and get this killer shot afterwards. Backlighting really makes the smoke from the sparklers show up! I still can't believe that Kaitlin was willing to hold them considering she was kind of scared of the fire aspect. Such a trooper. I really have the best clients ever! See Kaitlin & Nick's full blog post here.
This year was a year full of me finally getting stuff EXACTLY right with lighting and just nailing shots I had sort of squeaked by with before. Union Station has been one of my foes for several years now. This year marks the fourth time I've photographed in the Historic Union Station in Indianapolis and while it's stunning with the huge stained glass windows it's not photographically as bright in there as it might seem. You'd think that with two giant windows it'd be super bright in there and to the naked eye it is. But not to a camera. In this specific spot the light is really good RIGHT NEXT to the window but it falls off extremely quickly. I have tried for two years prior to light this shot in a way that the couple are well lit, the window isn't completely blown out, and the ISO isn't turned up to eleventy billion. Is this photo perfect? Probably not. But I will say, I made that window my bitch this year and I got this killer shot of Jane & Sean in front of it. So TAKE THAT big ass Union Station stained glass window. You're no match for me anymore! See Jane & Sean's full blog post here.
Honestly, I love nothing more about this shot than how sweet this duo looks together. There's just something about this photo that gets me every time I look at it. I'm obsessed with her dress and the flowers and I love the gold door from the Indiana War Memorial monument but other than that I didn't do anything crazy special here. Except almost die trying to take this photo on the stairs. Otherwise this is a beautiful photo, of a beautiful couple, that for some reason, I can't take my eyes off of!
So this photo is one that I took early on this year and I just can't stop loving it. The golden hour lighting is beautiful but honestly, it's scenery in this shot that gets me every time. I love that they're standing in a field of blue bonnets in Texas. Their wedding was scheduled right in the middle of blue bonnets season so we got some great shots with the blue bonnets all around. Not to mention this couple is hands down one of the coolest, most down to Earth couples I've ever worked with I would work with them 50x over again if I could. Their wedding was fun, relaxed, and beautiful. Did I mention it was in Texas?! Heck yes. This photo totally captures my love for sunset light and a gorgeous happy couple on their wedding day! See Andrea & Andy's full blog post here.
That's it! That's all for the 2016 Favorites blog posts! For those of you who have stuck around for the whole series, I applaud you for sticking it out. For those of you just joining us... ya kinda missed the whole thing! But if you want to see the other posts definitely check out my favorite wedding portraits, moments, details, engagements, and second photographer photos from 2016. There's some pretty great ones in there. So cheers to a new year, cheers, to new clients, cheers to new photos. I can't wait to see what craziness 2017 has in store for me. So buckle up, cause it's going to be a fun ride and I hope to take everyone along with me!