ANATOMY OF A WEDDING STORY
Choosing the right wedding photography studio is a HUGE decision. Other than your beautiful union, your photographs are the only thing that remain once the wedding is over. They need to be exceptional and they need to tell the WHOLE story. I thought it might be helpful to show how KPO Photo tells wedding stories, step by step. Below is the example of the wedding of Jenn Baucom to Brandon Ayscue.
Before the wedding I had photographed Jenn and Brandon’s engagement story as well as her bridal portrait. So by the time we got around to discussing her wedding photography planning form two weeks before the wedding, we were very familiar with each other. Jenn told me that this level of familiarity made her feel really confident that Sarah and I would capture exactly the kind of photos they wanted. We typically arrive at the ceremony location two hours prior to the wedding. I stick with the women and Sarah stays with the men so we can get full coverage.
We shoot well over a thousand images at each wedding, which our clients will get to see just three weeks after. They are a mix of moments, portraits and details. In this case, I knew that Jenn grew up in this church so it is an important player in the wedding.
As I said before, I concentrate on the bride while my second shooter sticks with the men. We are also paying attention to guests arriving, the details of the wedding and pre-wedding jitters and preparations. In this case, Brandon arrived dressed and was ready to take his photos right away. I think rambling through the UNC campus was a good distraction from his nerves!
A must have photo- this is the first day they will start wearing these rings. Here is hoping that they are worn for many, many decades.
Many people ask me if we photograph in color or black and white. All of our images are capture in color in a RAW format. This means that they are huge uncompressed images that will yield incredibly sharp prints later. Switching to black and white happens in post production and can always be undone. But I think this one just had to be in greyscale.
At this point we have been photographing for an hour or so. Everyone is dressed, the men’s portraits have been taken and Jenn’s mother is bringing her veil so we can take the women’s portraits before any guests arrive. We are VERY careful to not let the bride and groom see each other prior to the wedding if that is their wish. Here is an EXAMPLE of a wedding in which they wanted to see each other and get ALL the posed portraits out of the way prior to the wedding.
It is now just 15 minutes before the wedding and all portraits have been taken and guest are being seated. Jenn’s dad wants to practice lifting her veil. So sweet!
And the big moment has arrived! My second shooter is up in the balcony with a long lens and I am down below. Every church has their own wedding photography rules. We are very careful to respect those rules while still making sure that you all get incredible shots of your ceremony.
I love the look on Jenn’s face!
While I stay in the sanctuary to get the wedding party recessing, Sarah sticks with the couple. I love this series. They are oblivious that they are being photographed. I love that she captured this for them.
It is so much fun to do documentary photography because people really tune us out and let us get great moments like this. Brandon is hugging his dad.
The scene on Franklin Street that day. I always think it will be so interesting for them to look back at this when they have been married 20 years. The street, the cars, the way people are dressed will seem so different!
As soon as the sanctuary is cleared we are ready for the formal portraits. We have a rule that we don’t want them to last any longer than 30 minutes. We find that people look frustrated if they take longer than that and we also want people to be able to join in the cocktail hour, should they so choose.
We typically do the family groups first, then the wedding party and finally the couple.
The couple is finally alone! We end up taking about 10 to 15 minutes to make sure that we have a really incredible image of them alone. This is the image that is most often enlarged and displayed in the home.
In this case we took some photos at the church and then a few once we arrived at their reception. Once at the reception we are busy capturing what it felt like to be at the party by getting the details. Once the party gets rolling it will be all about the incredible moments.
What a beautiful room! This reception was at The Carolina Club in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
While folks are eating we take discreet photos as no one likes to be photographed when they are eating! But there are always great images to be found.
The toasts are always a great chance for capturing moments. We, of course, get photos of the person doing the toast and the couple reacting, but I like to keep an eye on the family as well.
The first dance is always a big moment. Jenn and Brandon were quite the dancers. They included dips, swings and even a lift! Nice going!
Jenn and her father obviously enjoy each other’s company very much! Great dancers.
Brandon and his mom also are obviously very close. You could tell this was not the first time they had sung and danced to this Josh Grobin song together.
The dances were followed by more toasts. Jenn’s sister did a great toast in which the couple were asked to stand back to back with one of each of their shoes in their hand. She asked a series of questions about the couple to see how well they knew each other. A match made in heaven!
The toasts have been given and the lights are tuned down so that people can let loose and dance! Brandon and his brother had a lot of fun.
Dancing and more dancing.
The cake is always a big hit with the guests. Everyone piles around with their cameras. I don’t direct anything, I just let the couple do their thing.
At the end of 8 hours of coverage the above image is perfect to end the story. After the wedding we sort through the 1000+ images, editing, color-correcting and placing them into categories. The very best of the best are compiled into their WEDDING STORY, accompanied by their favorite songs. We also put a much larger selection in their wedding gallery so friends and family can see them all and order prints, should they so choose. You can view their wedding story below.
Here is what Jenn had to say about her wedding story:
Thank you sooooo much! This is absolutely amazing and all the photos in the gallery are gorgeous. Brandon and I are overwhelmed at how many amazing moments you caught. We are so thankful that you were our photographer- these photos are exactly the type that we wanted and they are even better than we imagined they would be. THANK YOU!!
All of the photos in the story are perfect and it tells the story of our wedding day wonderfully. Thank you again soooo much for all of your work on this and for getting it to us so quickly. I can’t wait for all of our friends and family to see it. I know they will love it as much as we do!