2022 felt like it flew by and after going back through all the pictures it really did just fly on by. We technically traveled to every wedding and session (meaning we traveled far enough that we didn’t sleep back at home) except for a mini session and a wedding I helped another photographer with. It’s a process to move a business, especially when it was well established in NY for roughly 8 years. So I’m still working on moving CKP to Pennsylvania and just trying to meet whoever I can 🙂 But I’m also still booking mainly in New York & New Jersey, which I don’t mind since we can go back and see friends!
I thought it would be fun for this year’s photography behind the scenes to show me taking the pictures and compare it with the final picture I delivered. A lot of these photography behind scenes pictures were taken with my 14 Pro iPhone so it’s a great reference for how much of a difference the quality is and why it’s so important to hire a wedding photographer and not rely just on guests’ pictures.
Every wedding basically starts out the same way. I photograph the wedding details while the bride and bridesmaids finish getting ready.
I bring some items to style some of the details, mainly ribbon. But I love it when brides and grooms have a bunch details that I can use to make their pictures even more personal. I suggest my couples get extra flowers from the florist delivered in the morning so I can use the flowers to tie together the details with the rest of the wedding day details. I’ve recently started asking couples to mail me their invitation suite so I work on laying out the stationary before the wedding day. (It’s a big time saver for me.)
I really try to get to know my couples as much as possible. This wedding was my friend’s wedding so I went a little extra. But Ben and I painted yellow ducks as a groom and bride because the couple both own Jeeps. The groom “ducked” my friend’s Jeep on their first date.
The photography behind the scenes of photographing details is really just me laying on the ground. But it’s a great time to get started and get an idea of what the day will be like (the details say so much about a couple).
I always love for my couples’ to have nice hangers for when I photograph their wedding attire. If not, I always have a wood hanger on hand. The gold belt really pulled this wedding dress in perfectly.
This isn’t the behind the scenes that I normally show in my blog posts. Most bridal rooms are like this, busy with everyone getting ready.
The trick is to clean up one area that has a simple background so the getting ready pictures focus on the people in the picture.
This guy right here, he’s my secret to every wedding and session. He hauls all my stuff around (even though I try to pick up our bags and stuff before him), drives us everywhere, knows my preferences and will set up my lighting for me or clean a spot in the room for portraits. He is the ace of getting family portraits done as quickly as possible. I may put the timeline together, but he calls out the names in each grouping and makes sure the next group is “on deck” for their picture. He keeps me on time so I can keep my clients on time! And the kids love him, he can alway get them to look at the camera if he stands behind me.
Sometimes we rearrange stuff slightly to make sure flowers are centered for the ceremony or if anything else looks out of place. And yes, that’s Ben announcing family portraits, but also holding an umbrella over me because I needed to get further away from where everyone was standing under the overhang for family portraits.
I love a first look! I get so excited after I’ve been with the bride getting ready, to go see the groom and get him in place for their first look. I always want to say, “Just wait until you see her!”
Ben will pick up my spare camera for some of the smaller weddings or weddings we photograph for friends.
Ben, forever my light testing buddy.
When I say I will do just about anything for a picture, I mean it. I will go early to scout out areas for portraits, fix the hairs out of place, I’ll bobby pin in a veil, change your heels so you can walk on the beach, stand out in freezing weather all day, sew a button onto a suit jacket, etc. Name it and I’ve probably done it.
I secretly love to take bts of Ben because he is just so helpful to me and everyone else. He is caring and sweet and is just an extension of me in making the best wedding experience possible that I want for my couples.
The real sequence of events to make a big group picture happen.
If you have a veil, I will play with it, Ben will fly it in the air for pictures, I will go underneath it with you for pictures, and anything else I can think of for as many pictures as possible 🙂
Oh the “photographer walk,” this is why photographers all have neck and back pain. For some reason it normally happens the most when it’s the reception or any other time we use a flash.
Those boutonnieres on the groomsmen, folded pocket squares, and perfectly fluffed wedding dress train… we’re full service 😉
My 2nd photographers are the best. They are friends with a lot of experience and who I just enjoy being around. I pray there is never a time where I cannot make it to a wedding. But if it were to happen, I know I have the best 2nd photographers that could step into my shoes and take care of my couples as well as I could. I really feel honored to work with them.
This year I had two weddings that were friends getting married, which meant more friends attended the wedding! I loved having people I know be a part of the wedding day.
Whenever possible I go to a session or wedding early if I need to scout perfect spots and get a feel for which way the sun will be moving.
I’ve been photographing more and more lifestyle newborn sessions. Meaning they’re not super posed and the space is pretty neutral, but cleaned up like a nursery, bed, living room.
We even did one of my friend’s baby’s session all outside. That did require a little more planning and posing. But it was fun to try something different.
Creating a calming space for the newborn in the midst of big brothers wanting to watch and hang out with me.
For the 4th year in a row I did mini sessions in the fall. By now I have repeat families and I really love seeing them each year and how they’ve grown and gotten older. Plus I love getting a holiday cards in the mail and seeing which pictures were their favorites.
Updated headshots are always a great idea when the kids need to let go of some energy and run around during a mini session. 🙂
Finally what the real life of a photographer looks like: living out of your car, rewarding yourself with treats after weddings or sessions, and enjoying time with my hubby even if it means spending a lot of time traveling and serving others.
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