Danielle and Bryan

To this date, this wedding remains one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever been to and really made me fall in love with wedding photography.

Danielle and Bryan found me as a photographer in Milwaukee, but were from Troy and were getting married in Beloit with the reception at Janesville.

I’m┬árelatively new to Milwaukee and of course Wisconsin. I moved here in July 2013 and had only lived out west. I grew up in Montana and most recently lived in Nevada where I worked there as a journalist for two years.

So, with that being said, I had never before been to Janesville or Beloit. This wedding is a flashback to 2014. I had just never before posted a blog on this wedding. As is hopefully seen now, I’m trying to do a much better job posting my work on the website and bloggedy blogging more and more.

Not only was this wedding beautiful, but it also was very familiar and had a homey feeling for me. The actual service took place at Luther Valley Lutheran Church and when I arrived at the church, I saw it as a beautiful church building in the heart of the country. There wasn’t another building or home in sight from the church, truly out in the country.

With this still being in my rookie season of wedding shoots, I really nailed down a schedule and system to this wedding that I’ve used for many weddings since.

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I arrived an hour before the ceremony and took some portraits of both the bride and the groom separately. I also took a few portraits of the bride with the bridesmaids and the groom with the groomsmen.

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I was very happy with a couple portraits I took of Danielle, using a window to shoot off easy reflected light and illuminate a side of her face for a classic portrait look.

I also very much enjoyed shooting the portraits inside the church building, which as most photographers (amateur or professional) know is not at all the case most of the time.

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The thing that helped the most was the light. Sunshine was flowing in the windows and I barely had to push my camera at all to take pictures. Also, there was plenty of space inside the foyer and I had great access to both sides of the groom and the bride and got a wide variety of pictures.

Now, the actual and truly amazing part of this day was the reception, which took place at Camp Rotamer in Janesville.

This place was incredible!

The camp was by a lake, which had a dock leading out into the water. It had a hall for food, cabins for people to sleep the night and Danielle and Bryan had set up an outdoor tent to fill all their reception guests, a dance floor and a stage for a band.

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After the food and speeches, the wedding party and guests were able to dance the night away with a live band out in the warm summer night. I was able to set up lights around the dance floor and get some great action shots either completely at night using the ambient light from a string of lights or even the fading sunset.

Halfway through the reception, Danielle, Bryan and I were also able to sneak away and take some great portraits out on the walking deck.

The view and backdrop was just stunning!

I remember the exact colors for that set of portraits. As the day grew darker, a dark crimson red dock stood out from deep blue of the lake and then when I used the angle right, I was able to frame Danielle and Bryan with the treeline that surrounded the lake.

In one set of pictures, I even asked them to dance a little bit on the edge of the dock and took video and a picture, which I still use as the background picture for my wedding price list. You know it’s a great picture, when you immediately want to show it to any new potential wedding clients!

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My other favorite part of the night was seeing all of the wedding party dance to classic polka music, which has to be a staple in any good-ole fashioned Wisconsin wedding! During the dancing I even had the chance to talk to Bryan’s grandmother who is wheel-chair bound now, but told me all about the past when she would cut the rug with the best of them.

That stands as one of my favorite wedding conversations of all time. All in all, a great night.

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