There are weddings you’ve shot, and there are weddings you’ve freakin’ shot. This one is the latter and for all the right reasons.
I was asked to second shoot with Jamie Howell for this wedding, and both he and I got some fantastic images, though I’m very jealous of his (more on that later). When I was told the wedding would be at Ventanas, I nearly had a small heart attack. The venue is very well known and, with the right weather, is one of the most gorgeous places to have an Atlanta wedding. It’s set up on a rooftop with a helicopter pad with a view that sees all of Centennial Olympic Park, Downtown Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, CNN center; even all the way to Kennesaw Mountain and Stone Mountain. Needless to say, it’s wonderful.
My job was to take pictures of the guys getting ready and then help with the rest of the day as usual. The whole group was a hoot to work with and we all had our share of laughs. One of my favorite exchanges may have been when I was first introduced to the boys. A groomsmen approached me and said, loud enough for the rest of the group to hear, “I only take nude pictures for a fee,” to which I responded, “Yeah, me too.” That immediately broke the ice and put me on good terms with the guys. Following that, the groom, Ryan, walked down the stairs with patches on his neck. Smart-guy cut himself several times while shaving and everyone promptly gave him a hard time for it, while insisting on embarrassing photos. I was happy to oblige!
The rest of the day went along with quirky moments just like that and turned into one of my favorite wedding experiences to have been a part of. Katherine, the bride, was a little OCD and so concerned about doing everything right that Jamie and I had to turn up the joke-cracking to help her relax. Relaxed subjects translate into better photos, and once Katherine was a notch less “Mrs. Perfectionist,” the portrait shots started becoming magical.
It was threatening to rain all afternoon, and we even had to deal with some sprinkles for the bride and bridesmaid’s portraits, but it started clearing up during the groomsmen images. Once the weather settled, Jamie and I knew that the sunset shots were going to be gorgeous. Unfortunately, it allowed the wedding ceremony to be an absolute scorcher temperature wise, but we got some wonderful images anyways. I was incredibly shocked when Jamie told me to handle the “safe” shots of the ceremony while he photographed the artistic ones. Typically with a primary and second shooter, the primary gets the “must have” images and the second does the artsy extra stuff. It was a nice pat on the back, especially when he told me later that I nailed my shots. *insert happy dance*
When it came to the bride and groom portraits at sunset, I think we were all on cloud 9. I had the unfortunate duty of holding either the bride’s veil or holding Jamie’s softbox, but I could tell by the gorgeous sunlight, and the event planner freaking out every time she saw the back of Jamie’s camera, that the images were amazing. When Jamie finally showed me, I looked him dead in the eye and said, “I kind of hate you right now. These are outstanding.”
The rest of the night chugged along with fantastic speeches, wonderful food, and rambunctious dancing at the reception. We were even on time or early for nearly all the scheduled items. That never happens at a wedding! It was a miracle and everyone LOVED it. We had such a great time at this wedding. Everyone was super appreciative as we packed up our gear, throwing compliments left and right - without ever really seeing the images. That’s what great wedding photography is: making the day a wonderful experience and then delivering fantastic images. I’m so thankful I was a part of this wedding! Big thanks to Jamie for inviting me to work with him. I can’t wait for the next one!