The behind the scenes post is usually a favorite every year! This is my sixth year to post these sneak peeks into what it’s really like to be a wedding photographer in Austin, Texas! It’s always fun to relive the year! Since most of these images are going to be less than glamorous and less than professional (some are just iPhone photos), here’s a picture of me at a styled shoot! The flowers were just too pretty to not use for some updated headshots.
I include an engagement session for all of my couples. It’s a great chance to get to know each other, teach my couples how to pose/interact with a camera, and find out what their best angles are. On Mariah and Ryan’s family farm, their fur babies wanted to know what we were up to, but didn’t really want to be in any pictures. Here, I’m thinking: “please don’t kick me.” However, they just wanted some scratches and treats.
I photographed a couple of rehearsal dinners this year. I used to say “why? people don’t like pictures of themselves eating…” Now, I’m all about photographing the rehearsal dinner. I get to hear funny stories about the couple that won’t be shared at the wedding and have one more opportunity to photograph the couple in their “dating” stage before they get married. Here, Dylan and I had just arrived in Cabo to photograph a wedding and were about to head to the rehearsal dinner as guests!
Wedding days for me start with bridal details. I’ll usually find a window to work in or head outside since natural light is the best. I usually borrow a bridesmaids dress to act as a backdrop for rings, shoes, the invitation, and other bridal details, so the color story is consistent throughout wedding albums.
I like photographing the wedding dress in natural light, too. You can’t beat natural light! So, I usually have my second shooter help me move the dress. He’s super tall and can usually reach somewhere high enough so that the dress doesn’t drag the ground.
My second shooter is also in charge of groom prep. I’m always with the bride during prep, so it’s nice to have another photographer documenting the groom prep.
After details have been photographed, it’s time to get the bride in her dress! Here, we’re trying to figure out Erin’s bustle.
Yes, I can button you into your dress if you need help.
I’ll also practice with you in the mirror to find your best angles in your dress.
Need help fluffing your train? I got ya, girl!
Your veil fell out, again? I’ll help you put it back into place.
Once the bride is dressed and ready to go, it’s time for the first look. I try my best to prep grooms on how to turn so we can capture his expression and the bride’s.
My face when I saw Erin walking up for her first look! Chadwick can’t peek yet since I’m not in place to capture the moment.
However, I’m usually carrying my bride’s dress and helping it fluff out, so it’s perfect when her groom turns around.
After the first look, there’s usually a point when the bride and groom will turn to me and ask: “Now what?” That’s the perfect time for romantic portraits! No one is getting time checks for dinner, no one is watching, and no one is trying to talk to you, so you can fully be in the moment with your soon to be spouse and just concentrate on smiling at each other and snuggling.
I cheat to get extra height any time I can at weddings.
I’m always fluffing that dress!
After the first look, we’ll bring out the bridal party, so your favorite people can go straight to cocktail hour after the ceremony.
I have no idea what’s happening here? I might be trying to convince Molly (the bride I’m talking to that you can’t see) to do the bunny hop? Who knows?!
I’m frequently asked if I include individual bridesmaids photos with the bride (and individual groomsmen with the groom). The answer is of course! It’s one of those photos that you don’t need to ask me to include because it’s a must-have for me.
After bridal party photos, the bride gets tucked away if she doesn’t want early guests to see her. It’s a great opportunity to re-touch make-up, if needed.
It’s also my only opportunity to photograph the reception space set up and ready as couples intend their guests to see it. That’s my secret to getting those detail shots: setting aside 30 minutes pre-ceremony to photograph the details inside the reception.
Carrying my flashes around for reception room shots.
I also try to get the ceremony arbor in that time.
I started to wear jumpsuits this year and this is why.
I always have two cameras on me during the ceremony. I’m a bit crazy about back-ups.
After the ceremony, the whole family should be present, so we move into family photos. Even though we’re carrying thousands of dollars in camera gear and lenses, someone always wants a quick snap on their smart phone and we’re happy to take those, too. The wedding is an experience from beginning to end and we’re there to serve our couples and their families in any way we can.
One of the main duties of my second photographer is to look for details that I may miss looking at the full picture, including a vest that needs to be tightened on the groom.
After family photos, I like to take some “just married” photos for my couples. The light just before sunset is the best light for portraits so I save this for romantic portrait time of the bride and groom.
Another job of my second shooter: taking care of my couples in the small ways. If they need water, go get it. If they want a shot of Fireball, find it. If they want to re-touch their lipstick, ask the maid of honor for the bride’s correct shade. Honestly, our job is so much more than taking pictures. It’s to make sure our clients are cared for and to make them feel like the most beautiful version of themselves.
The secret to the veil in the wind photos: a second shooter who can run fast.
After romantic portraits, it’s time to bustle the bride’s dress so she can dance the night away with loved ones.
Then, the reception gets started with the entrance of the new Mr. and Mrs. into their first dance. My second shooter had a great shot here, until I photo-bombed it. Don’t worry, I moved, so Mariah and Austin still have this beautiful image without me in it.
During the reception, I’m happy to take any extra family/friend group photos that you may want.
Then, you end your party with the exit and live happily ever after!
And I go home to edit all your wedding images! I may have some help with the editing part, but he’s a cute helper! And, this next year, I’m getting an extra helper in the office! Dylan won’t be second shooting with me as much as he has in past years moving forward, so he can take some more things off my plate on the business side.
THANK YOU to all my amazing couples who allow me to continue to do what I love year after year! It’s because of y’all that I adore my dream job and am actually able to make it my career! Each and every one of you are so very special to me and I’m grateful to have been able to serve y’all! Thank you for taking time out of y’all’s busy schedules to share some sweet words about y’all’s wedding photography experience. Y’all’s kind reviews have put Eureka Photography among the top 5% of wedding vendors in the country (WOWZA) and I’m happy to share that we’ve won “Best of Weddings” from The Knot for 2020! This is the 6th year in a row to win and I couldn’t be more grateful! I get to work with the best couples!
Cheers to making 2020 your best year and DECADE yet!
Love, Mylah Renae