Morning gang! I wanted to tell you about an awesome experience I had last weekend, assisting the great Johanna Dye on a wedding shoot. Johanna is an amazing photographer based out of Fayetteville NC, but she shoots ALL OVER the Carolina’s. Before I dive into more about her and the wedding, let me set the scene for how this day even came about, and my hunger for weddings. From day one of picking up a camera, I’ve always wanted to shoot weddings. Shooting families, babies, and commercial work is great, but theres something so special about getting to document and tell the story of someones most special day. Capturing detailed shots of both the bride and groom getting ready, their rings, the 1st looks, the ceremony, the first dance, all of it, taken in beautiful pictures to tell the ultimate story of love for a couple, is what attracts me most to weddings. But you can’t just begin shooting weddings. I’ve learned its best to assist and 2nd shoot as many as you can before your brave it alone. I also learned you should ask to do so for a photographer you admire that takes great work, and not just any person doing them. Which is why I reached out to Johanna. She takes stunning images. I was nervous at first to ask her, but she was so cool and open for it. We facetime’d and talked about the upcoming shoot, and photography in general. Found out she is originally from Germany, which gave us something else in common, as I grew up there on a military airbase and have a big love for that country. Johanna already had a 2nd shooter for the day, so I assisted her on this one which was best for me, so I could sit back and learn. That being said, Johanna was awesome enough to have me bring my gear and told me I could shoot away when I got chances to. So thats the “stage setting” to this post, lets dive in!
The wedding was in Concord, NC, at the Cabarrus Country Club. Everything was set up beautifully. The folks working at the country club did an amazing job making the place look amazingly fit for a wedding. The table tops were wonderfully set, the food was awesome, and the guests really enjoyed the bar. The wedding ceremony itself took place on the front lawn, while the 1st looks were shot on the side of the country club in the shade. All in all I loved the location and would recommend this place to any brides I come across looking for their wedding destination.
As soon as we arrived it was straight to business. There was no wedding planner, which meant Johanna inherited that role. She had a tough schedule and she stuck to it. Detailed shots were first up on the list. Shots of the rings, the dress, and invitations were taken first. Then came the shots of the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready. While she was knocking that out, her 2nd shooter was handling the detailed shots for the groom. I took the opportunity during this time to get some candid shots of the groom rehearsing his vows, and some pictures of the groomsman relaxing their nerves. 🙂
Once the detailed images were taken and the ladies were dressed, it was time for first look shots. The beautiful bride got to do the first look with her dad inside of the country club. There were tears…..lots of them! Due to the nature of where that shot was taken, I avoided getting my camera out, so I didn’t get in the way of Johanna’s shots. The first look with the groom was taken outside on the side of the clubhouse. Johanna found a nice shaded spot to take these. They turned out great. Both her and the second shooter were positioned strategically to get all angles of this special moment. I was able to rattle off a few candid shots as well. Right up above this shaded area, the rest of the guests got to watch and hang out. In setting up all of the shots for this wedding, I watched as Johanna walked all around the grounds, finding the best light and shade for each shot. This is something I definitely will take with me going forward for any weddings I shoot. It’s so critical to scout the best spaces for light at your weddings.
After the first looks, it was ceremony time. Before I went out to the front lawn, I managed to get a few candid shots of the groom and the groomsmen preparing their suits and taking a peak in the mirror one last time before they made “the walk.” The ceremony was so beautiful. Everyone was smiling and crying. There was music, flowers everywhere, and a fresh breeze on a sunny day. It couldn’t have been set up better. After the ceremony, Johanna took family portraits, and then took the pictures of the bride and groom. She found another cool location that was in the shade but had some nice sun Leakes creeping in. Both her and the 2nd shooter had a lot of fun with the couple, playing with poses and laughing, and they got some amazing shots. After those pictures were done, we wen’t inside to eat, dance, and listen to some amazing heart tugging speeches. This was my first wedding expereince as a photographer and I’m very grateful that Johanna allowed me to tag along and learn. Ever since that day, I have been itching to get back to another wedding. So excited for what lies before me in the future with wedding photography. If you or someone you know is getting married, check out Johanna’s website and see how awesome her work is, I highly recommend her! Below are a few more candid images I took on the day, hope you enjoy!