The year of 2016 was my first full calendar year as a full-time wedding photographer, and when I stop to look back on this past year, my heart is filled with an overwhelming amount of gratitude! I was lucky enough to be the wedding photographer for 19 amazing couples in 2016, and I can't express how blessed I feel to work with such funny, laid-back, and just all-around awesome people!
When I graduated from college in 2012, I worked for two years in a job that just wasn't right for me. I would sit in a window-less office and dream about creative ideas, traveling, and pursuing my passion of photography. After those two years, I was burnt out and feeling creatively-crushed when God stepped in with better plans for me. I never imagined that I would be running my own photography business but, then again, when has God not had better plans in store for me than I had for myself? This job has challenged me, redefined my purpose, forced me to confront fear, and strengthened me in ways I never expected. Yet, even more importantly, this job has brought me some incredible new friendships, life experiences, and has opened my eyes to possibilities I never imagined before!
I am so very thankful to each and every person who has trusted me this year to preserve their most cherished memories and who have welcomed myself and Scott in as honorary family members! So without further ado, here is my Behind the Scenes look at 2016! This post has quickly become one of my favorites of the year because it gives you a backstage pass to my life on the wedding day. And I'm a sucker for Blooper Reels! These photos show what it really looks like from the other side of the lens, you know, the photos behind the photos. Gathering up these images is such a fun way to look back on the last year, and to remind myself how incredibly thankful I am for this job.
This post is dedicated to all of my wedding couples who put up with all our silliness, who trust me when I suggest an unconventional idea, and who, at the end of the day, still love us even when we don't look nearly as glamorous as they do!
Let's start with my personal favorites; the crazy test shots.
I fondly refer to this as Scott's pirate face! He claims that in some of these shots he's squinting from the sun . . . I'll let you be the judge of which is which!
I don't have much room to talk, though, when it comes to making faces.
I think I'm channeling my inner Robert De Niro from Taxi Driver in this shot, "Are you talkin' to me?"
. . . And I'm not even sure what's happening here.
We do, on occasion, catch each other from a good angle!
We even bring out our inner super model when testing light.
Left: "Don't trip, don't trip, do not trip."
Right: "Oh hey there! I see you with the camera!"
When it comes to directing bridal parties, Scott's straight line instruction never fails to make an appearance.
When I'm not helping gather up people, that is.
Or Scott giving etiquette lessons on wearing sunglasses.
Or he has to re-iterate the finer points of standing in a straight line vs. a horseshoe formation.
During the ceremony, I try to remain as invisible as possible so as not to distract from the marriage vows. This usually results in some pretty awkward positions on my part in order to make myself as small as humanly possible.
One of my hacks for this is to simply blend in with the crowd of guests. (Do you see me?)
Not to mention just crouching down into a ball.
Bonus points if you can find me here! (It's like Where's Waldo for wedding photographers!)
Scott Ross: He's never met a wedding dress that he couldn't fluff to perfection!
After helping one of our brides, Melissa, with her dress, I think Scott was trying to play hide and seek! (I love that my brides have the best sense of humor!)
I sincerely appreciate all of Scott's help throughout the wedding day, and his giving heart is his most attractive side. Ha!
His veil game is also very strong.
But I taught him everything he knows.
Our skills even rub off on the groom sometimes!
When it comes to fashion choices, I have a few solid dresses in my closet for weddings that are formal and still comfortable enough for me to move around in. It's funny to look back and see how many times I wore the same dress!
Speaking of fashion, let's talk about how Scott always finds a way to help out the groom and groomsmen during morning prep.
Not to mention, he's one cute pack mule.
He is also a stickler for keeping us on schedule - which, because of his preparation, usually results in us being ahead of schedule!
Although, despite our best time management skills, sometimes I let out my inner "hangry" on Scott . . .
I also have a very strange habit of standing with one of my legs twisted in a way that looks really uncomfortable, but I have no idea I'm doing it at the time!
When it comes to photographing all the bridal details in the morning, Scott knows how to hang a dress, collect items from the bride, and help me carry the details like a boss.
And when I have a creative idea, Scott willingly stands in as my guinea pig before I place the bride and groom in the shot. (Although, I personally think these are pretty epic shots of him!)
Which brings us to a segment I like to call, "Caption this!"
"Do I want to use my 70 - 200 mm lens or the 85mm. . . Hmm. . ."
"This cake looks suspiciously delicious."
"Is this my best Capt. Jack Sparrow impersonation or am I casting a spell on you?!"
"Stop! In the name of love!"
"You ladies come here often?"
"I think I just heard someone call my name, but I can't be sure so I'll give it a minute before I react."
"We wants it, we needs it. Most have the Precious. They stole it from us!"
"I WANT YOU for the U.S. Army."
"Really? Another test shot?"
While we may look slightly ridiculous, I do it all for my clients, who both Scott and I adore with all our hearts.
Because they are the ones who trust me completely even when I see something that they don't see
And they are the ones with the best sense of humor! Who else would put up with our crazy shenanigans?
The ones who give high fives, hugs, and glow sticks freely
Even after a long day of slowly melting in the hot and humid summer air
We go above and beyond, in times when a veil is being temperamental or when we're gathering family members for family portraits.
We are ready to take on any challenge . . . even if it's sitting at the children's table at dinner!
The long days and sore bodies, the lost voices, and the ridiculous hours? It's all worth it because nothing beats this feeling!
I am so very blessed to do what I love. 2016 was an amazing year and we can't help but be excited for all our new adventures in 2017!
Bring it on 2017!
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