Happy Monday, everyone!
I'm just SO excited for this blog! Even more excited than the behind the scenes one but that's because anyone who has worked with me, whether it be an assistant, second shooter, vendor, or client, knows I like to try and have fun!! My personality can be "too much" at times (YES...I am VERY aware) but I always try and have "professional fun" anyway....and we all tend to laugh....A LOT! One of my favorite things to do is show my friends, family, viewers, and followers how much of a blast we really do have at weddings and what it takes to make all those beautiful images come to life! So, this is a little more fun than the behind the scenes blog (which you can see here if you missed it) because I'm throwing the good, the great, the bad, the funny, and the ugly at ya today!
So, sit back and relax! It's going to be another LONG one but so worth it!!
Lets check out the not so posed, not so planned, and otherwise comical or awkward moments that were captured this year!
Remember Megan and Tripper's wedding? You can look back at their chilly, winter wedding here. It kicked off my year as my first wedding and in January! As a result, it was a bit chilly and mucky! Tripper had to carry Megan not over the threshold....but over the golf course at Brooke Hills Park to get to the spot I chose for some of their formal photos! Carrie White was my second shooter that day and she captured some of these photos! HA! I can't stop laughing looking at them! You never would have known we were all freezing to death looking at their faces!
It was soooooooooo windy! There was no faking that dress flowing and that veil flying....Tripper's tux wanted to get in on the "flowy" pictures too apparently! These two were also swaping spit at their formal photo session...and not on purpose! A little bit went flying during this round of photos! HA! I do believe we can caption this one on the right as "Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!" Megan didn't even move away from him either! If that isn't love...well, I don't know what is!
I had a really odd gap in weddings this year! I went from my first one in January to this beautiful, sunny one at the end of May! These were taken at Nicole and Jim's Youngstown, Ohio wedding (see it here). Kari was still relatively new to photography as this point (it was her first wedding with me actually) so I posed....quite a few times....for her to set exposure before the bride and groom came out for their bubble send off! HA!
...and then she posed for me at my third wedding! These were taken at the BEAUTIFUL Irons Mill Farmstead in New Wilmington, PA (Erinn and Andrew's wedding is here). We were running behind so I was trying to save time and set exposure (and memorize it) prior to brining the bride into the photos! It was a beautiful day....really beautiful for a wedding! I think the dress hanger and garment bag are a nice touch to this "test shot" on the right! Get it, Kari! HA!
Seriously, it WAS a beautiful day but it had also rained a lot the week before. As a result, the grass was mucky....and wet. I had originally thought I'd take formal pictures in this field until I realized it was REALLY soggy. Well, the guys were troopers and they stood and let me photograph them anyway. Remember Baker? He's a tall dude and his shirt kept coming untucked if he bent over. So, I offered to clean his shoes for him once we were done since they were wet because of me anyway! We had a good laugh! He posed for the shot, of course!
Erin and Dennis' wedding was pretty flawless!! If you haven't seen it, you need to see it here! This was really the only "outtake" I could find!! Sorry about the guy on the end....HA! He got covered right up for this "party shot"! HA! We did a "take two"...no worries!
Now, lets see some reception outtakes, shall we?! I always promise the guests I won't post their outtakes and/or unflattering photos...but that doesn't mean I can't post some totally unflattering photos of us, right?!
I can't believe I am even posting this one but I couldn't stop laughing!! This dress was thrown away as soon as I got home, I promise you!! It kept sticking to my shorts (which you can see below) and riding up. I don't know what's worse...the clothes, the pose, my facial expression.......Bahahahahahaha! HEY! We were like 10 hours in to this day (including travel)...it's a LONG day! There were no guests present at this point...just Kari and I! THANK GOODNESS! No one saw this hot mess in person...except Kari...who was not so kind and captured this moment!
If you've ever been a guest and wondered why the photogs go out and do this...it's to set lighting and exposure and make sure everything gets set correctly before any "can't miss" moments happen!! We were a little slap happy at this point and decided to bust a move before the guests arrived! Lighting test, please!
I knew the moment I stepped in front of Kari I was probably going to be in this shot...I figured I might as well try and make it look good! Fail!
Kassie...check out Kyle behind Kari! HA! I was testing my exposure on Kari...Kyle helped out too!
...we'll just leave this one right here and title it "Hangry!". How dare they make me stand and wait by the food! I remember this momently clearly. Kari took it and could NOT stop laughing. Like...laughing really hysterically! We were waiting for the couple to be announced and she was playing around...my goodness. I have told many people...don't have "resting %&$@# like me"...well, here you have it, people! I was NOT kidding!
These two (from Steady Creek Cinema) were a dream to work with!! We stayed out of each other's way...got the job done well AND had fun while doing it all! I hope to see them again!
If you haven't experienced a wedding with Kyle Mac and his wife...you're missing out! It's a rocking party and you know what I always say...never trust a DJ who doesn't dance! Kyle gets out there to get the guests going and then tries not to get run over on his way back!
Jane and Zac's wedding reception was a BLAST (click here to see their whole wedding)! I'd like to title this next photo "Where's Hannah?!" (like "Where's Waldo")... Oops! All Kari was trying to do was catch a speacial moment and here I am inadvertently ruining it....luckily, we did get a photo without me in it! YAY!
..and sometimes, when you see a group of people trying to take a selfie, you have to jump in and assist! It cracks me up when this happens because if there is enough alcohol flowing...I always get a "lesson" on how to take a photo with a phone! Bahahaha! I got this, people! I promise!
I'm telling ya...this happens at all the weddings! We don't mind at all!
Selfie Station! If you're not having fun at your job, you're doing something wrong!
Get down, Jenna!
I never took dance classes...I actually can't dance AT ALL, but I faked it really well in this photo!! Ironically, I wasn't "dancing"...I was posing with my pretend (and invisible) husband to see if we liked this shot. My good photo friend, Kat, drove up (or is it..over? down?...not sure) to shoot Hayley and Todd's wedding with me in Annapolis, Maryland. We ended up moving those black benches too! I begged the valet parking attendants to let me move them...they were kind enough to allow it temporarily! If you want see to see the full wedding blog click here.
"You know what...I'm getting in the bushes," Kat said! AND she did...and we liked it....and her photos were better than mine! I also owe her a dress! HA! I'm so mad at myself for not getting a photo of Kat in the bushes but my brain was just freaking out over the limited opportunities we had for photos at this place! AHHHHH! Talk about stressed out!
"Ok. We've hit the point of awkward"....that's Hayley's response post first look! Gotta love her! I always tell my couples who choose to do a first look that I will let them be and do their thing. They'll know when to let ME know they're done and want to move on...or I'll tell them "it will get awkward, I promise.. and you'll know it's time to move on"....they knew! HA!
Hayley and Kari are both good friends of mine...so maybe that's why I think these outtakes are so funny. I probably should have had the "pretend I'm not a close friend" talk with them first. Here Kari and David were SUPPOSED to be having an intimate moment during their first look but instead decided to include me in it. Kari got makeup on her dress earlier in the day. I attempted to get it off. I clearly failed miserably because David's first reaction was "Ooo man. You got makeup on your dress" to which Kari turned around to tell me about it! ....and the intimate moment is effectively ruined. Bahahaha!
OooO the WIND in Annapolis! JEESH! We could NOT win this day!! Look at Hayley's face! HA! Then, Todd got a phone call from his groomsmen. They were hungry. He bought them lunch..."Just put it on room 425!" he said. In the bottom photo, you can see me literally wringing my hands...I wanted to grab that phone right out of his hand and say "Come on! No one's got time for this!"....but I held back and it was HARD! HA! Kat and I ended up eating their left overs though...for real! I guess it all worked out!
...because every newbie second shooter needs to experience the "test dance shots". At all my weddings, we do lighting tests so we don't miss any important moments when the couples are announced! Why do my arms looks so long in the bottom photos?!
I have no idea what is happening here BUT I'm pretty sure this is going to be a MEME!
I tell almost ALL my couples how much my hubby hates photos. It's true. This was a rare occasion and he was at the wedding too! Kat caught hte photo on the left...he let it happen becuase it wasn't me. Look what happens when I'm the one trying to get a nice photo of the two of us! Jeesh!
I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but one of my very favorite parts of a wedding is right when the reception is about to start!! We test all our lighting and then all the stress of the day is over and we turn the schedule responsibilities over to the DJ! I just LOVE that moment when they start playing the music to announce the bridal party....check out the bottom photo! HA! I was SO excited at Emily and Aaron's wedding (click here)! I get excited just thinking about it!
I briefly mentioned it above but I once read a funny wedding planning article that said "don't trust a DJ who doesn't dance". Well, I think that goes for photographer's too!! I traditionally can't stay still and HAVE to bust a move at the edge of the dance floor!! Guests frequently try and drag us out onto the dance floor too! This groomsman and I couldn't resist getting in on the action!
It has been brought to my attention last week after posting the behind the scenes blog that Jenna looks like a turtle here. She totally does now that I take a good look at it! HA! This was at Haley and Andrew's Steubenville, Ohio wedding. Click here to see it!
This is what happens when your friends just can't take you seriously! HA! The sun was real spotty on this sunny day (you can see it on the ground behind them). We were waiting for the clouds to cover again so we could continue taking photos and this happened...seriously, Kari and David...grow up! Bahahahaha! You can see their vintage Robin Hill Pittsburgh wedding here.
That limb was REALLY bothering me in photos. That sucker was really tough too!
Kari's attention to detail and ability to organize a large group of people is amazing! There was a lot of pressure this day when I didn't have her...so she stepped back to take her job back for a second!
When we were shooting formal photos earlier in the day at Amanda and Tom's wedding (here), I forgot the all important, "Don't actually yank on the veil advice"! HA! My bad! I do appreciate all the help though...for real!
Ever hear a photographer mention a "color cast"? WELL, THIS is a color cast! The doors to this church (for Chelsea and Kevan's wedding) were bright red and it was super sunny outside. That door (which I opened to attempt to allow light into the dark stairwell) became one giant reflector and about blinded Kari! Red doors, green grass...it all stinks for a photographer and we spend a lot of time editing those "casts" out...this photo was not salvagable, however! HA!
...so, we moved on in search of a better spot! We did end up finding a great one and it wasn't any of these! HA! Check out the behind the scenes blog to see what we chose or just look below for an even better outtake!
I was so afraid Kevan would accidentally see Chelsea through the crack in the door so Amanda was kind enough to manhandle him into the spot! It was hysterical and I wanted to hug her for it! HA! She even made sure to touch him up!
I can't remember exactly what was happening here. I think Kari told me to go stand so she could test exposure and then I said "Ok. Gotta go!"...and off I ran...literally! HA!
Many photographers HATE colored reception lights! I personally LOVE them but it took me a long time to learn how to properly expose and use flash to not just blow the colored lights off my subject BUT keep the lights on the wall. Ironically, it took Kari NO TIME at all to learn this skill! I figure...the couples pay a lot of money for those pretty lights, I want them to remember and see them in their photos, right?! As a result, Kari and I look LOTS of test shots at this wedding to make sure we were hitting the mark! You can see Jay there on the right from Jay Morris Video Productions! He has put up with our shenangians at a few weddings now!
We needed something to prop the bouquet at Laura and Bryan's wedding (click here). The no smoking sign did the trick!
We were running WAY ahead of schedule at their wedding too so we were playing around with our camera settings. I thought the window ones were random but neat even though it was a totall accident taking them! I was literally clicking in the air to hear how loud my shutter was going to be at this wedding but got these as a result!
There was a lot of discussion over which doors the couple would use to be announced. In the meantime, we took some test shots. Some I was ready for....some I was NOT!
Kari's stance has declined too (you probably remember me talking about this in the behind the scenes blog). It's on my "improve" list for next year! HA! I'm not sure why we're standing so wonky these days! We're both doing it!
Miss Carla made friends with Kari, of course! Kari has three dogs of her own and Carla was sure to let her know she knew it too!
Kari and I accidentally took unflattering photos of each other with our arms in the air! It's fun though because you can see both angles!
If you're at a wedding and people are making a tunnel at the end of the conga line...you know you're at a wedding with DJ Jonathan Mihelis! Yup! I know the deal by now...so I often help organize it! Lisa and Kevan are intently listening to my instructions as you can see!
Kassandra and Derek's wedding was my most recent wedding (blog coming soon) and it was COLD...Check out Kari and Jay (he's in the background). We ALL bundled up for this one!
...and Derek was loving EVERY second of picture time! Bahahahahahaha!
Their wedding made me laugh all day long (and scream...literally...I had no voice left after wrangling their 34 person bridal party!)! I LITERALLY had to ask this groomsman to get dressed! And his friends were kind enough to help...because again, it was 30ish degrees out! Come on, guys! HA!
Don't mind the "half edits" of these photos! I promise the finished results are properly exposed and edited but I couldn't NOT show you all of these so I threw them together quickly for sake of this blog! I mean, when your bride is stunning and dressed in a princess ballgown AND still wants to get up on top of a round hay bail...the moments must be documented!
...and getting down was an even bigger quest! LOL!
...and last but not least, a photo of me with Jane and Zac (a former Hannah Barlow Photography couple). I can't believe it is happening already! I'm running into my old (well, not old...but "past") couples at weddings and I HAVE to get a picture with them! This is an "outtake" simply because Zac does not love getting his picture taken. Prior to this photo, Jane told me that Zac was grumbling not so nice things during their engagement session! HA! We all had a great laugh! Nonetheless, he has always been kind, courteous and a total gentleman to me and I'm forever grateful for that! I also have to laugh because I'm SURE he was thinking.. "I seriously can not get rid of this girl and her camera"! HA!
Well, that's it, folks! I hope you chuckled over some of these photos! I know I sure did while taking them...posing for them...editing them...and posting them!
Again, I worked with some AMAZING vendors this year and it is impossible to name them all. It's also impossible to get photos of them all when we're so busy during these sometimes chaotic days! Nonetheless, the vendors and people that did make it into a photo and therefore into this blog deserve recognition so please use the links below to learn more about them!
Carrie White (Wedding Photog/Second Shooter/Assistant) - Carrie Leigh Photography
Kari DeShong (Friend/Bride/Assistant/Second Shooter Extraordinaire)
Steady Creek Cinema (Videographers)
Kyle Mac (DJ/Decorator/Photo Booth) - Smash Weddings
Jenna Brisson (Friend/Wedding Photog/Second Shooter) Jenna Brisson Photography
Kathryn Bonorchis (Friend/Photog/Attorney/Second Shooter)
Christie Montgomery (Friend/Photog/Second Shooter)
Jonathan Mihelis (DJ/Uplighting/More!) - Finest Events
Jay Morris (Videographer) - Jay Morris Video Productions