This was my first wedding I ever shot in Port Washington, Wisconsin and I can take away so many great moments from this day and the excellent time I was able to spend with the couple: Adrian and Jesse.
This was such a sweet small-town wedding, which like so many weddings I shoot really exhibited that beautiful Wisconsin living.
The thing I can take away from this wedding was how I really used this day as a launching-off point of so much of my wedding portrait styles that I used for the rest of the season.
But, I’ll get to that later.
The first thing I remember about this wedding was that I beat everyone to the church!
That had never happened before, and for one moment I was actually worried that I had the wrong church. I was scheduled to arrive only an hour before the ceremony and I had arrived 15 minutes before that time in order to set up.
However, very soon the bride and groom arrived separately and I began to taking photos in much relief.
Since both the bride and groom were getting ready at the church, I was able to jump back and forth between the two and all the groomsmen and bridesmaids.
Here I began to use my new portrait strategy.
When I first started shooting weddings, I basically researched many, many different portrait poses and ideas and would bring them all to the wedding.
Many of them involved making a shot perfect and then either moving to a slightly new location or bringing more groomsmen, bridesmaids in the photo or basically changing the scene.
After awhile, I realized this was just plain exhausting and ineffective and I wasn’t bringing back as many photos in the final product as I’d want.
When thinking about it, I realized the problem was doing a new set up for each shot. I really needed to set up the couple or wedding party and be able to change the poses slightly and get a bunch of different shots without having to move them to a new location and start over again.
By this wedding, I was pretty comfortable with my knowledge base of poses so that’s what I really focused on.
I took a photo with Jesse where his hands were grabbing his coat and then took a photo with his head looking away and to the right and then I took a photo with his hands in his pockets and you get the idea.
This worked amazing after the ceremony when we headed to downtown Port Washington to take portraits of the Adrian and Jesse and the whole wedding party.
Adrian and Jesse’s wedding party was absolutely huge! There were eight adults on each side, plus a junior bridesmaid, a junior bride and a junior groomsmen and a junior groom!
I went pretty conservative with my expectations of taking portraits of the wedding party. I knew it was going to take a lot of time to get everyone lined up and doing exactly what they needed. So, I literally went in hoping for two different setups plus the formal portrait setup and that’s what I got.
After the wedding party, I just took a few photos of Adrian and Jesse and for this I went for some real up closeups. This worked perfectly and quickly to have Adrian stand in front of Jesse and then behind him, head on his chest, arounds around his shoulders and so on and so forth.
These are some of my favorite shots of the whole day.
Of course, the scene helped a lot too. We were all standing on some of the large rocks that hold a bank together and we were looking out over Lake Michigan. It was such a great spot. Being efficient with my time was even more crucial because to ask the ladies to step around the rocks in the small sandals was difficult for them.
After the portraits downtown, everyone headed to 5 Pillars Supper Club in Random Lake, Wisconsin.
One of the things I offered especially for Adrian and Jesse’s wedding was that I photographed their Grand March during the reception. They really wanted this, because every couple did a special dance when they entered the dining hall 🙂
I’ve begun to notice that many receptions take on a personality of their own, that are completely different and unique to each wedding. This, of course, is dictated by the guests and what they enjoy, what their personalities are and whether they’re dancers or not.
This reception was one of my favorites to photograph, so many people talking and laughing and then so many people dancing, a real casual fun style of dancing, that personally, I have imitated once in awhile whenever I’ve gone out dancing HA.
I really have to mention the DJ of the wedding, who I considered the best DJ I’ve ever worked alongside.
Most of the time, after the first dance and then the father-daughter dance and then the mother-son dance, there can be a lull as people find their motivation to fill out the dance floor.
But, this DJ was so smooth. I can’t remember exactly what he did, but wow he got the dance floor filled in a hurry. I was impressed and then even told him so. Their name was That DJ Entertainment. If you have an event coming up, please use them!
I was really happy with all the dancing pictures I got that night. There were some beautiful pictures of Adrian and Jesse going through the first dance and then also just having fun dancing with their parents or other people that were important in their lives.
I really appreciated both of them and wish them all the best as they begin their new lives together!