Wedding Portraits

Best Wedding Images of 2016 | Virginia Wedding Photographer

Happy New Year

I have officially finished my 2016 wedding season and it was such an amazing year, full of even more amazing couples. I've spent the past few days going through every single wedding photo I took this year and pulling out my favorites. It was time consuming but I love reflecting on and revisiting all the beautiful weddings and engagements from the year. During this reflection I not only found a few new favorite images, but I learned so much about myself and my work. As a photographer I am always growing and changing. I find new passions and learn new techniques. It's fun to look back at my work to see how it has evolved. I fall in love with new ideas and new types of images as I get to work with a wide variety of couples and weddings. So this blog post is filled with beautiful images and inspiration, but it's also a personal and professional journey of my year.

My Style and Passion

As a wedding photographer I tell the whole story of a wedding day, from getting ready, to all the small details, the ceremony, group portraits, and the reception, these are standard wedding images. However, I have always added a little more to this story by watching every moment of the day. I want to show the smaller more personal moments that occur and help tell the story of the wedding. It's not just about a pretty ring shot, it's about the groom twirling his ring as he gets used to wearing it that first hour after the ceremony. I love a pretty dress shot, but my favorite dress images are the mother of the bride spending 20 minutes buttoning it up and enjoying every second. In fact most brides don't see the look on their mother's face while she's doing this until she goes through the wedding gallery. The bride twirling her hair, the flower girl dancing in the corner, the father of the bride giving the groom "that look". What the guys and girls really do during their getting ready time, again these won't be seen until the gallery reveal. I enjoy watching these special moments unfold and making sure I capture them all.

The type of photography I just described, and my general style, is referred to as photo journalistic or documentary wedding photography. I love this type of photography and the stories the images tells. The unique way of showing details that will be remembered forever. I also incorporate this in my engagement sessions too. Watching the couple interact and letting them be themselves without too much posing helps me capture the real relationship between them. It's important to me that during and engagement session and the wedding day that couple has fun, feels relaxed, and don't notice I'm even there half the time.

In reviewing my favorite images there is something else I learned about my passion for wedding photography. I love fine art portraits!! I love taking a portrait of the bride as soon as she's dressed. She's nervous, excited, emotional, happy, and so much more. I want to take a portrait that not only shows how beautiful she looks, but how she feels at the very moment. I really am taking a picture of her on the inside and out. Fine art portraiture is a creative art. It's a very thoughtful and specific process of taking a portrait. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed this art until reviewing my favorite images. I love finding a few minutes for the bride alone, the groom alone, and the couple together for some beautiful portraiture. I want these portraits to take your breath away every time you see them, to make you tear up, to make you feel like it's your wedding day all over again.

           Click on the image to view the Best Wedding Images of 2016 gallery                                                       suggested viewing on a computer :)                                          

Amanda & Matt Kyle House Wedding | Roanoake Wedding Photographer

Amanda and Matt were married in Fincastle, VA at The Kyle House, a very unique venue that I was very excited to see!! Amanda chose The Kyle house for it's quiet, rustic, and romantic environment. The barn at The Kyle House glows with warm light and rustic wood. The gardens are filled with lush greens, flowers, a pond, and strung lights throughout. Amanda had told me that the venue is even better at night and she was right! As the sun set the gardens began to glow even more.

Amanda chose pink and peach as her wedding colors. She was raised in southern Georgia, so peaches were always special to her and she knew she wanted to have peach roses and flowers. These soft colors fit in perfectly at the venue and in the gardens. Amanda also chose to arrive and exitthe ceremony in horse and carriage. The guests took carriage rides after the ceremony while we took family portraits.

The reception area of The Kyle House has exposed brick and beautiful chandeliers and plenty of room for dancing. The charm of the old house with it's arched doorways and etched fireplaces was so intimate. The old charm of downtown Fincastle was a gorgeous setting for a wedding.

Venue: The Kyle House Fincastle, VA

Day of Coordinator: Charlene Smith

Florist: Charlene Smith

Rings: Zales & Finks Diamonds

Dress: Davids Bridal

Bridesmaids: Davids Bridal

Suits/Tux: Mens Warehouse

Horses & Carriage: Lexington Carriage Co

Cake: Mary Micek

Catering: Jim Schaal (Kyle House)



Favorite Wedding Photos: The Portraits | Staunton Wedding Photographer

My favorite wedding photos series part 2 is all about the portraits. Portraits consist or bridal, groom, and couple portraits as well as the bridal parties. If your wedding day schedule is tight and there isn't a lot of time for portraits, or there are a wide variety of portraits you would like to have, you may want to consider scheduling bridal portraits before your wedding day. I suggest that brides think of any general poses they would like to capture and discuss this in your pre wedding meeting. However, I do not recommend making or printing a long list of "Pinterest" poses for the day. Doing this can take a lot of time and also ruin a lot of natural moments that occur during the portraits. If you find something on Pinterest that you would really love to re create we can discuss this ahead of time and definitely work it into the portraits.

Couple portraits are such a fun part of your wedding day. Portraits can be done before and/or after the wedding ceremony. This will depend or rather or not you chose to do a "first look" check out a separate blog post about considering a first look! I suggest finding a quiet place without any guests, family members, or bridal party to take the couple portraits. This is a great time for the bride and groom to have a quiet moment "alone" (with your photographer) as well as capturing some memorable images.  I prefer all portraits to be less staged and more natural. Allowing the bride and groom to just be together and talk is a great way to capture true emotion and those real moments from the day. Of course your photographer will guide you when the time is right to look at the camera or to do some poses as well.

The bridal party and family portraits can be a time of creativity and fun. This is also a great time to have a wedding coordinator or designated family member to help organize groups and make sure everyone is around for their group. If the photographer or bridal party member is spending time finding or waiting on missing guests then opportunities for more photos as well as time is lost.

So my advice for portraits is to plan ahead and work closely with your photographer to schedule them appropriately. It's also very helpful to have a wedding coordinator or other helper.