Sydney + Ryan | Styled
A couple of months ago, I had this crazy idea of putting together a shoot where I could focus solely on photographing a bride and groom together. I'm finding that a lot of times with weddings, if the timeline is a little tight or if things get stressful, the time allotted for photos of just the bride and groom shrinks significantly. Making it a priority in your wedding timeline to spend time with just the two of you (and the photographer, ha) is so important!!
I have never put together a styled shoot before and the whole process was a huge learning experience for me. With all the craziness of planning and coordinating the event, I walked away learning two huge lessons: (1) Be grateful and (2) be true to yourself.
I will be eternally grateful to each and every person who contributed to making this shoot possible. From hair and makeup, to the stunning florals, to our gracious hosts, to my down-for-anything models and friends, to the ladies in my mom friends group who agreed to pray for decent weather...none of this would have happened had they not been willing to support this little dream of mine. It was an incredible humbling and awe-inspiring feeling to realize just how many friends and strangers were willing to support this. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Also, I've listed the gracious vendors below so please make sure to take a look and leave them some love.
Second lesson of the day was to be true to you. When dreaming up the looks for the shoot, I had in my head these epic shots a la some of my favorite photographers. As the day wore on and as I started shooting these two amazing couples, though, I finally had a lightbulb moment when it came to my photography style. My photography reflects my personality. I like to get up close and personal, probably a little closer than you would have expected. My photos aren't flashy or perfectly procured, because life isn't that way. I like to see the emotion in your eyes, to capture those little moments when you think no one is paying attention. I want to hear all about your life story, and then some, and then find a way to capture that in an image that you can hold onto forever. As much as I love and admire incredible shots, my version of an 'epic' shot is one that makes you go "Wow, she did it. She captured the essence of us and who we are."
Realizing all of this was liberating and a little scary at the same time. It means I am finally coming to terms with the fact that my style isn't for everyone, and that is completely okay. Photography is an art, and art speaks to us in different ways. I want to work for people whose hearts sing when they see these images. Photography is my passion, my second-chance at a career that I love. It is quite literally my own heart's song, in image form.
Whew, I'm getting long winded. :) Time to transition to the PHOTOS from this shoot, because I am so excited to share them with you!! I invited two couples to take part in this little shoot and am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend time with them! Both are engaged in real life, which made this day so much fun. Each couple is so special and unique, I'm breaking up the shoot blog post into two parts. First up: Sydney and Ryan.
Sydney and I went to high school together ten (gulp) years ago, and just recently reconnected over Facebook. While we never hung out much in high school, we were on the same planning committee for homecoming and prom. I'm so thankful that she was willing to play dress up with me for a bit because it was awesome to learn more about who she is as a person. She has a heart of gold and is super funny and easy going. Honestly, one of my favorite parts of the day was watching Ryan and Sydney interact with each other. You can tell that they both enjoy the other's company so much. I'm so excited for them to take the next step in their life's journey together next May.
Here are some favorites from my time with Sydney and Ryan:
Many thanks to Michelle from Sorrida Salon for helping with Sydney's hair and make-up!
The amazing florals were designed and created by Katie DeLorme.
Finally, a huge, huge thank you to Jim and Monica Battles for opening up their home to us for the evening and allowing me to traipse around their backyard! It was so much fun, and knowing you two were involved in this project made it so special for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!