Category Archives: Photo Journalistic Wedding Photography

bride and groom hug in the spring

Retreat 21 Spring Wedding

Today on the blog I am dreaming of warmer weather and so excited to share this incredibly gorgeous Retreat 21 Spring Wedding. Spring happens to be my all-time favorite season. It used to be fall, but as I get older, I have fallen deeply in love with the idea of the literal and metaphorical re-emergence of life. The air is muddy, all the little flower buds peek their heads out of the nutrient-rich earth, and life springs forth. It’s the promise of a full year of warm weather ahead. The birds are singing, and a new season of possibility offers itself in full colorful splendor. Quite literally, it was the perfect time for Kaitlin and Hayden to get married.

A spring color palate

The sage green dresses and details were the perfect compliment to this Spring wedding. The white dogwood trees were just starting to bud which only added to the visual splendor. A huge trend in 2023 was to use faux florals. Kaitlin chose a bouquet of Sola flowers or flowers made of wood. They are so delicate and intricate looking, but will also last forever!

A Retreat 21 Spring Wedding

On the property of Retreat 21, there is a grand old tree that is a show-stopping backdrop for any wedding. This is where Hayden and Kaitlin decided to share their vows in front of their friends, family, and all their loved ones. One of my favorite moments was right after their first kiss. Hayden pulled Kaitlin close, embraced her, and kissed her so sweetly on her forehead.

A unique party set in the woods

One of the best parts about having your wedding at Retreat 21 is the outdoor space for guests at the reception. There are open-air swings, a fire pit, and lawn games- all illuminated under a canopy of Edison bistro lights. It gives an intimate gathering place for people to reconnect under the canopy of the tall trees. This has quickly become one of my favorite places to photograph because it is just so beautiful at every turn. As the facility ages, the management keeps expanding the features of the grounds to make it more appealing. A special thank you to Hayden and Kaitlin for their trust in Jessica Miller Photography for their wedding day!

Get in touch!

If you are planning a Retreat 21 spring wedding in the Columbus, Ohio area, please get in touch! Fill out the contact form here and let’s talk!

Vendors

Venue: Retreat 21
Cake: Alice’s Piece of Cake
DJ: Vince Kendjorksy from Josh Staley Productions
Dress Shop: Dublin Bridal
Dress: Allure Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson and Keds
Bride’s Hair and Makeup: Hey Pretty Beauty
Groom’s Tux: Generation Tux

cream and sage wedding details Bride getting ready bride putting on shoes bride before wedding groom getting ready bride and groom first look bride and groom walking on their wedding day bride and groom embracing bride and groom hugging on their wedding day bride and groom amongst spring floweres Retreat 21 spring wedding bride and groom cuddle on couch wedding party walking down hill wedding party in front of waterfall bride and groom get married at retreat 21 bride and groom share a cocktail bride smiles through long veil retreat 21 reception bride and groom walk into reception bride and groom first dance retreat 21 at dusk evening wedding photography

bride and groom kissing in greenhouse

Oak Grove Wedding Photography

I have been waiting a minute to post about this incredible Oak Grove wedding photography, and today’s the day!

Miranda’s dress was a striking silhouette and featured a pointed lace train that gracefully flowed behind her when she walked. Her beautiful curls were pulled back into a low bun and fascinated with a crystal hair clip. A few curls framed her face to accent her incredible jawline. Kelvin looked like a million dollars in a blue suit that was accented with a soft pink tie.

The couple shared a “first touch” before the wedding where they held hands and said a prayer for the day and their marriage. It was an incredibly beautiful and quiet moment they were able to share with just eachother before they walked down the aisle to say “I do!”.

Gorgeous string music filled the greenhouse as guests took their seats. When Kelvin walked through the front doors, the whole crowd cheered for him. I have never seen a bigger smile on a groom walking down the aisle before. Pretty soon, Miranda turned the corner with her father and met Kelvin’s eyes waiting for her at the end of the greenhouse. Tears began to flow as he saw her approach.

Standing in front of all of their loved ones, and flanked by 12 of their very best friends, Miranda and Kelvin took their marriage vows in a romantic and heartwarming ceremony. Some of my favorite photos of the day were taken immediately following their walk back down the aisle. They were freshly married, alone in their reception room, and had no idea they were being photographed. It was just them, in the moment, together.

As you can tell, Oak Grove at Jorgenson Farms is an incredible editorial and photographs like a dream. For that reason, it is one of my favorite Columbus, Ohio wedding venues. I think one of the most exciting aspects of this venue is the potential for incredible night photography. The starburst lighting fixtures and Edison bulbs make a showstopping backdrop for dreamy nighttime portraits.

A special thank you to Miranda and Kelvin for having me capture this showstopping day. It will forever be one of my absolute favorite weddings I’ve photographed.

VENDORS

Venue: Jorgenson Farms Oak Grove
Florist: Petals & Leaves
Cake: Capital City Cakes
DJ: Jomar with Josh Staley Productions
Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander
Bride’s Shoes: DB Studio
Groom’s Tux: Men’s Warehouse

bride getting ready on wedding day Oak Grove Wedding Photography

Backyard Columbus Ohio Wedding

This backyard Columbus Ohio wedding was quite simply, a dream. I was hired to photograph Nicholas and Joseph’s wedding because their larger blow-out celebration that was set to be in Chicago was sadly canceled because of COVID last year. When I arrived at their house, I walked into the backyard and was met with the most stunning table set up under hanging bistro lights. The landscaping was to die for. There were lots of little places to sit around the yard, a fire was going, and so. many. candles. You would have thought that the florals had been done by a professional florist, but Joseph actually did them himself!

When I arrived, Nick and Joe were getting ready inside and everyone was bustling about their home. A Cake for Leroy was putting the final touches on their cake in the kitchen. Their best friends were in and out the back door setting everything up. There was such fun energy in the air.

Right before guests arrived, Joe and Nick joined me for a few portraits around their yard. The table setup was so stunning I had to make it part of some shots. These two have such a deep bond with each other and I could really feel how important this day was for both of them. Happy tears streamed from both of them. Their love was palpable.

Joseph’s brother officiated the ceremony amongst an intimate group of friends and family. Their vows were some of the best I had ever heard. They described what it really felt like to meet the love of your life. The vows were also very poetic and sincere. The space these two created at that moment was electric, and one that I’ll never forget.

After the vows were exchanged and the rings were placed, it was time to party and celebrate! Cameron Mitchell provided the most beautiful appetizers and food for the event. Everyone gave Nick and Joe a champagne toast to their new marriage! As the sun tucked below the horizon, guests were seated and the happy couple danced in each other’s arms under the glow of the twinkling lights. Dinner continued into the dark of night and laughing faces were illuminated by the glow of candlelight. It was such a beautiful moment in time. I can’t thank Joseph and Nicholas enough for trusting me with capturing their vision.

Vendors

Catering: Cameron Mitchell Premier Events
Cake: A Cake for Leroy
Flowers: self
Rentals: Event Source
Tuxes and Shoes: Calvin Klein

Backyard Columbus Ohio Wedding

A Jessing Center Wedding

Jane and Chirs were married in early August last year at Saint Andrew Catholic Church and had their reception at the Jessing Center at the Josephinum. I had never met them before their wedding, but instantly, they felt like old friends. They both have a calming and genuine presence. We met up for their first look in a park down the block from the church. It was a sunny day and a slight breeze was in the air. Jane’s David’s Bridal dress was so beautiful and she paired it with a simple strand of pearls. The back of the dress was a masterpiece! Lace and button details created a heart shape. Chris was dressed in a grey 3-piece suit from the Men’s Warehouse. As we shot, they just talked, held each other, and giggled. They are truly so sweet together. We decided to do some more photos at St. Andrew’s and I’m so glad we did. The interiors of this church are magnificent. They are just perfect for an epic silhouette!

The entire bridal party met up outside for some more relaxed and fun photos before the ceremony started. Right after the ceremony, we took some photos with Mary, their adorable infant daughter. I just kept thinking about how sweet of an experience it must be to hold your own child on your wedding day. I wasn’t even postpartum, but it gave me all the feels from behind the camera.

From the church, we went over to the Jessing Center at the Josephinum. I had never had the privilege of shooting on their grounds before, but this place is just magical. The campus buildings made for a backdrop reminiscent of European cathedrals. Inside, the ballroom was large but it retained a feeling of intimacy. Bloomtastic florals that accented the room and an enchanting cake by Jennifer Hemphill were standout details. This group did not disappoint on the dancefloor and everything about the entire day was so authentic and joyous. Thank you so much, Jane and Chris. I hope you love these photos as much as I did taking them! XO Jess

kayla and greg sit on a stoop in downtown columbus

Columbus Athenaeum Wedding Photos

Let’s talk about this stunner wedding I did last year for Kayla and Greg. They had their first look under the gazeebo at Goodale Park in downtown Columbus, OH. It was a bright and sunny day complete with puffy white clouds that slowly floated across the sky. We ducked in and out of the most beautiful trees in the park. From there, we headed over to the Athenaeum downtown for some more portraits. The whole area over there looks like a movie set. And then we found ourselves inside the Athenaeum in one of Columbus’ most beautiful rooms to get married in, the Priory Room.

Sky-high vaulted ceilings lined with lights. Murals covering every inch. I have done a few weddings in the Priory, and every time it’s so warm and intimate. I just had to take their portrait in here this time. It was too pretty not to. And what a wow factor!

After their ceremony, the two went on to celebrate the night away laughing and dancing in the Oak Room. The Oak Room, as all photographers know, is arguably THE darkest and most challenging reception space to photograph in Columbus. A little off-camera lighting did the trick and the room filled with vibrant light each photo I took. Kayla and Greg didn’t leave each other’s side and when I left they were still dancing arm-in-arm.

I can’t thank these two enough for having me shoot their wedding. Their personalities are such a gift to be around, and their friends and family are the same way. I know it’s a little belated, but congratulations you two! XO Jess

kristen and david getting married at the darby house

Darby House Wedding Photos

Kristen and David were married on a perfect fall day at the Derby house last year. Everything was green and the sun was shining! Kristen looked flawless in her dress and I was so excited for David to see her at their first look out on the back patio. This was actually the first time I had ever shot at the Darby house, and I hope to add this venue to my frequently shot list because it is super stunning and the grounds provide a perfect romantic backdrop. What struck me about these two that I didn’t really realize beforehand was how goofy and funny they are! It is seriously fun to hang out around them. They don’t take themselves too seriously which brought a whole new element of authentic joy to the day. Some of the photos taken at their wedding were actually some of my favorites from 2018. Especially the one where David is clicking his heels together as they walk off into marital bliss.

Their ceremony took place as the sun was low and golden in the sky. Immediately following, guests were treated to a cocktail hour on the patio overlooking a beautiful waterway that runs behind the property. Bistro lights started to glow as evening set in, and everyone soon gathered in the reception hall. Speeches, toasts, cake and delicious food were shared with everyone. After which, the party really got started with a live band playing! Live bands can really turn the party up to the next level, and this was no exception. People packed the dance floor the entire night. By the time I left, Kristen and David were blissfully wrapped in each other’s arms. Congratulations to you two and I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you both!

happy couple getting married at the darby house

susan and michael in the gardens at Brookshire

Fall Wedding at Brookshire in Delaware, OH

I’m finally into my fall weddings! I am so excited to share Susan and Michael’s wedding today! This beautiful outdoor ceremony took place at Brookshire in the fall. The grounds at Brookshire did not disappoint! It was a fall extravaganza everywhere you looked.

I couldn’t get enough of how Susan’s Wendy’s Bridal dress looked on the figure bust in the bridal suite. It was such a focal point and everyone that walked in the room immediately went and stared at it. I just loved photographing the intricate beading and details of its form.

We started the day with a first look on Brookshire’s side patio. The space was lined with illuminated bistro lights which created such a romantic backdrop for these two. From there we just walked the grounds, took pictures, and soaked up every moment before the day really got started. Large pumpkins, gourds, and wheat stalks lined their little garden area. The tree next to the garden had the most delicate berries growing on them, which went perfectly with Susan’s bouquet that also had berries. Speaking of her bouquet, it was quite literally the best smelling bouquet I’ve ever smelled. I asked the florist what was creating that intoxicating smell and he explained it was Freesia. Brides- USE FREESIA. You won’t regret it. It smells amazing.

For their ceremony, the aisle was lined with flowers in mason jars hanging from the chairs. The front arbor was decorated with sprays of maroon and white flowers. As Susan started to walk down the path towards Michael, the little ring bearer escaped and his father had to reel him in. I live for little impromptu memorable moments like that. After they said their “I do’s”, the evening was very relaxed and intimate. Thank you so much to Michael and Susan for letting me share in this incredible day. I’m so honored to share these today and hope you love them as much as I did taking them! XO Jess

Ten things you should know before you hire a wedding photographer

Congratulations on your engagement! Pop some champagne and celebrate! Now, guess what? It’s time to narrow down the hundreds of photographers that are in your local market.

I have talked to many a bride who have found the process of vendor selection to be somewhat daunting. Sifting through countless local photography sites and looking at so many pricing options that it’s all become mental mush.

After countless consultations, answering thousands of questions, and helping clients figure out what they’re looking for, below are my top ten things you should know before you hire a wedding photographer. This list is geared to help you narrow down between your top few “true” wedding photography professionals who make their living at photography. Questions like, “Do you bring backup gear” and “Do you have insurance” are assumed to have already been answered with a resounding “yes,” as questions like these are geared more for a wedding photography novice.

As an additional side note, a lot of the pricing references below are based on what I’ve observed in the Ohio wedding photography market. Because there is so much diversity in the industry, not everyone will fit into these categories and I encourage you to meet photographers and explore on your own, but use this as a general guide to help you get where you want to go.

1) Photo-Journalistic vs. Artistic vs. Traditional Shooting Styles

There is a spectrum for photographic shooting style that has photo-journalism on one end, traditional on the other, and in-between the two falls artistic. How do you know which shooting style is right for you and your wedding day? The answer is, which a lot of photographers won’t tell you, most weddings require a little bit of all three styles to create the perfect collection. It is how much of each style they utilize that will be what you’re ultimately deciding on.

Traditional

A lot of clients these days are drawn towards a more natural approach to their photos, which does not typically include grip-and-grin photography and robotic line-em-up poses. They are also not too terribly exciting or fun to go through for the photographer or the couple. There are some photographers who exclusively shoot in this style, but it’s an older style that seems to be fading by the wayside.

So why do any traditional posed photos? A lot of family members from older generations love these photos, and over the years I’ve started to understand why. Formal photos at the front of a church or outside are a great way to document what people looked like at the time of the wedding. As people grow older, and life changes with its ups and downs, those photos become more valuable. It is not always possible at larger weddings to do organically inspired photographs for everyone outside of the bridal party, so the traditional methods serve as a quick and accessible way of including family members and people of importance in the wedding day.

I’ve had many couples reach out to me after their wedding thanking me for their posed family photographs, as members of their family had since passed. It’s one of the beautiful things about photography. Not to sound cliche, but it really can preserve the memory of those important people in your life. Not every couple opts to have posed family photos, or any posed photos at all, but when they do, it’s important the photographer knows how to manage large groups of people quickly and efficiently.

Artistic

Artistic photography is mostly about composition and fulfilling the photographer’s creative vision. Some photographers are more pose-oriented in this approach, while others are more prompt-oriented. This style allows the photographer to construct the shots and couple in a way that makes them look their absolute best while retaining artistic and creative ingenuity. These are the photos you will most likely hang on your wall or put in your wedding album, so a little framework is given to the process to ensure a stunning outcome. A lot of photographers call themselves photojournalists or documentary photographers but are actually mainly shooting under this artistic style.

 Photo-Journalistic

There is a true art to being able to tell a visual story and not interject yourself as a photographer into that moment. Photo-journalistic photos are pure and true-to-life. They are taken from an observer’s prospective. A quiet, artistic fly on the wall. You will never hear a photo-journalist say “look at me and smile!” These photographers have an impeccable sense of timing and innate ability for anticipating the opportune time to take a photo. Getting ready photos, ceremony photos, reception photos, and most importantly some of the portraits all require a photographer who has mastered this art.

 2) Editing Style

The wedding vendor selection process has changed a lot since our parent’s generation, and in my opinion for the better. Couples are treating their wedding as a creative extension of who they are, which always makes for a memorable and genuine celebration. It’s only natural that the wedding photographer matches the style of the couple in the way they photograph an event. “But what if I don’t know what my style is,” you might ask.

You don’t need to know your style as much as you need to know what you like, and in that, you will find your style. Do you love beautiful vibrant, colorful images? Are you in love with a soft faded vintage look? Are you drawn to contrasty, black and white photos? It’s important to take timelessness in consideration. Style and preference usually change over the course of our lives. To your best estimation, do you think you will still like that photographic style 30 years from now?

storyboard062

Also, editing style is a great way to see a photographer’s experience right off the bat. If every photo in their portfolio is edited in a different style, the photographer you are looking at has probably not landed on their brand style yet. Always look for consistency. Consistency in editing style is a great signifier for professionalism and experience.

3) Raw files

storyboard0652

If you don’t know what a RAW file is, good. If you do know what they are and you are wanting them as part of your wedding collection, you are most likely looking to hire a novice. A true professional will not even consider giving their raw files out, with some commercial exceptions. This is because editing style is very much a part of the brand of the photographer you are hiring.

As a client, even if you purchase the digital collection of images as .jpgs, editing these images to change them could very well be a breech of contract. If you are not going to allow the photographer to execute what they do best, then why spend the money to hire them? With that said, some photographers have a price for everything, so with them, if you want to buy the RAW files, expect to pony up some major Benjamins.

4) Budget & What to Expect at Different Price Ranges

It would be downright un-American NOT to try and find the best deal for your hard-earned money. Keep in mind, photography may be the only thing you walk away from the wedding with that’s tangible. If you’re willing to drop 5k on a dinner that people will finish in 15 minutes, wouldn’t it make sense that you would spend the same if not more on a product that will last a lifetime? Ideally money should be just one part of your defining criteria and artistry, experience, personality and professionalism can help round out that decision. It is completely understood, however, that not everyone has the luxury of even having a wedding. Whether you elope in a courtroom, have a quaint, 20-person backyard wedding, or a huge, 200-300 person wedding, at the end of the day it’s about your story and your love. But know, on average, you get what you pay for.

$0-$800

This is the price range for those photographers who are students, new to the industry and are looking to start their portfolio, and hobbyists who enjoy photography in their spare time but wouldn’t consider themselves professionals. It is entirely possible that in this price range, the photographer hasn’t shot any weddings yet.

Generally speaking, they are still exploring their craft, so they will edit the photos in an array of different styles and will typically give you all of the digital images. Very infrequently will this price range offer you any sort of finished products, like books.

$800-$1,500

In this price range, you will find photographers who have done more than one wedding and who are more familiar with their camera. A more substantial portfolio is being established here, so their style is a bit more defined. However, you will typically find a lot of different editing styles in the same portfolio.

Sometimes an inexpensive printed option is offered. Flash photography, which is important for the reception part of the event, might be lacking for this price range and below.

$1,500-$2,500

This is a starting price range for a lot of mid-level professional photographers. In this price range, you might only receive a certain amount of event coverage and nothing else, or a lesser-expensive book option might be included as well. Depending on who it is, a digital collection of images is also a possibility, but typically speaking, is included with higher price ranges.

$2,500-$6,500

I would say most active, experienced and dedicated wedding photography professionals fall within this budget range. A solid portfolio has already been established. This is the range where you will observe true creativity from the photographers, as their knowledge and experience allows them to try new things and take advantage of any lighting situation.

Typically photographers in this price range are well versed in shooting in dark churches, lighting dark rooms for receptions, and lighting during sunset. These photographers have shot years worth of weddings and can pretty much walk into any situation and know what to do. They have a solid gear kit complete with top-of-the-line lenses, camera bodies, and lighting. They value on-going education and continually stay up-to-date with the industry.

$6,500+

Higher-end wedding coverage and products start in this price range and can go as high as $50,000+. Yes you read that correctly. And yes, there are some photographers that are completely worth every penny of that. Contact me if you’re interested and I can send you some links that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Photographers in this price range tend to win local and national photography awards and have been published online and in local and national print magazines. They are recognized not only for their skill, but more importantly, for their artistry. It is not uncommon that these photographers travel nationally and internationally.

5) Digital Images and The Book

There are a lot of different view points on releasing digital images as part of a package. Some photographers simply don’t do it. Some include them in their packages and some charge extra for them. Having the files and a print release are great. You can easily share them with family and friends, print your own photos and make your own products.

Before you decide the digital files are the ONLY thing you want with your package, however, think about this fact: technology is fleeting. Mac is currently making computers without DVD drives. That custom disk that you wanted so badly with your wedding package will be obsolete in less than 10 years. So what about a USB drive? Same thing- it will also be obsolete some day. Think of it like having all of your wedding images stored on a VHS tape. Yikes! Everything is moving towards cloud-based storage. It’s safe, reliable, and easily accessible. And yet, I’m sure someday that too will become, *sigh,* obsolete.

storyboard067

So what if I told you there was a way to preserve your wedding photographs for the rest of your life without having to worry about technology, upgrading systems or information storage. This method has been around for awhile, with the oldest one in existence reaching an estimated 2,673 years old. It’s called a Book.

In a world that is so digitally-based, the book offers a tactile experience that will be rare and precious for future generations. I’m not talking about the book that your parents had either, where the photos are all tilting in their sleeved pages.

It’s an extremely exciting time for wedding photographers and their clients because the options are endless when it comes to creative album design. The companies that make these one-of-a-kind, 100% custom, hard-bound heirlooms have really mastered their craft. Working with a photographer that not only is a great photographer but also has great taste when it comes to album design will really ensure you receive a product that you’ll want to have for the rest of your life.

 6) See a full wedding album- both digital and print versions

Photographers now double as designers, arranging photos into book layouts and spreads. The DVD, USB or digital download will never tell your story in a comprehensive way like the book will. Having a photographer who is also successful as a book designer is extremely important. A photographer could have the most beautiful images and be completely horrible at telling the printed story, or vice-versa.

You want to look for someone who can take beautiful photos and then translate them into beautiful books and products, even if you have no intention of purchasing any products. There should be a level of sophistication and thought behind the finished pieces. Seeing these is a great marker for taste and overall style. Keep in mind the notion of timelessness here as well. Will the album design still look beautiful and timeless in 30 years, or will the way the photographer arranged the photos look dated?

An online viewing gallery is not a story, nor is a stack of digital images a tangible keepsake:

Well thought out page layouts visually re-create the story of the day in an elegant way and are compiled into a book that will last a lifetime:

 7) Second Shooter

Any seasoned photographer can creatively shoot a wedding on their own. There are certain instances, however, when you will want a second shooter. If the couple is getting ready in different locations and you want both locations photographed, you will need a second shooter for that segment of the day. For any church who places restrictions on where the photographer can go during the ceremony, you will want a second shooter. Some strict churches will not even let a photographer move from one spot the entire ceremony.

For this reason, a second shooter is needed to provide another view point for that portion of the day. From this photographer’s perspective, the more points of view, the better. I love having a second shooter work with me. It allows me to divide and conquer. This person can step in and act as a lighting assistant when needed, and various other roles that can help execute a creative shot. If you can afford it, adding a second shooter is great for rounding out your entire collection. Just make sure the person who will be second shooting is also a professional photographer, as this will get you the most from your investment.

storyboard079

8) The Engagement Shoot

There seems to be a shift lately where clients are now embracing the idea of an engagement shoot. A few years ago it was seen as an “add-on” or an “extra.” Some people still may not see the point in having one, so this one’s for you. Talking specifically to newly engaged couples, have you ever had photos taken with your partner? I don’t mean selfies at the bar. I mean true images that show the two of you together, interacting, and representing your unique relationship in an artistic way? My guess is that your answer is “no.”

The engagement shoot photos show a couple in a more down-to-earth way. It’s a way of capturing what you look like every day, as opposed to the wedding day when you’ll most likely be in formal attire. It also gives the couple a chance to have their photos taken so they can get used to how it feels to be in front of the camera.

This session helps both parties feel more relaxed and will give you a good feel for the style in which the shoot is conducted. Some people find out that they like to be put in poses, and that makes them feel more secure. Other people discover that they like a more natural, prompted approach. At the end of it all, it’s also fun to utilize the photos in creative ways, including having them as part of the wedding reception decor.

 9) First Look

There are two very different ways to see your fiance for the first time on your wedding day. You can go the traditional route, where you walk down the aisle and see them for the first time standing on the other end. The other way is called the “first look.” This is generally a private space for just the two of you to be together. Both have their benefits and whichever way you choose is up to you. Sometimes photographers try to push for one or the other based on wedding day schedules. Keep in mind this is your wedding day, so never feel pressured to take an approach you don’t want to take.

For the traditional route, your fiance and guests see you for the first time as you walk down the aisle. It’s very romantic and guests of course love seeing the live reactions of the couple as they see each other for the first time that day. Bridal party photos and the couple’s portraits would then take place after the ceremony. Depending on how much time there is between the ceremony and the reception will depend on how much time you have for photos. The more time you allow for your photos, the more robust of a collection you will walk away with.

The first look is done before the ceremony. It is a nice private place where just the couple can see each other, be together, and talk with each other. They are free to hug, embrace, kiss, and talk, where none of those things would typically happen if they were to see each other for the first time during the ceremony. Bridal portraits would then take place after the first look freeing up the couple for their cocktail hour.

10) Reception Photos

If I were to critique a photographer’s portfolio based on technical skill, I would go straight to their portfolio’s reception photos. These are an Achilles heel part of the wedding for some photographers. The reception tends to be very difficult to photograph, as most are held at night in dark rooms. Getting lighting to look balanced and dynamic is a skill and an art form in itself. On-camera lighting can flatten a subject and can sometimes dull down the entire frame.

To compensate, changing the photos to black and white helps add contrast. The only problem with this is that you don’t want to be delivered an entire reception collection of only black and white photos. Off-camera lighting allows for the light to “wrap” the subjects, making them appear more three-dimensional. The photographer also doesn’t have to change the photo to black and white for it to appear striking. When choosing a photographer, ask to see color reception photos. It will easily help some photographers stand out among the rest.

gay couple doing hora

What Should You do Now

If you are in the market for a wedding photographer in the Columbus, Ohio or surrounding area, then I encourage you to give me a call, or fill out the form here. We can meet, discuss the plans for your wedding day, and get to know each other over some coffee or tea.

Ohio Wedding Photographers- Mason Wedding

I have been waiting on pins and needles to blog this Spring wedding. I can’t even say enough awesome things about these two!! But first a little flashback….

I fist met Soosan in graduate school in Chicago where we both attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Art and Technology program. We had a really cool class and all got along great. Soosan easily became one of my best friends from the school. We had so many awesome nights out. We went our separate ways after we graduated, but thanks to social media, always kept in touch. When she contacted me about her wedding I was of course honored, but oh so excited to see her again! It felt like no time had ever passed.

Soosan is so naturally beautiful that she would take your breath away just by being in the same room with her. On her wedding day, however, I walked into the room and immediately had tears in my eyes. There is nothing better than seeing such incredible souls find their match. Beauty just radiated from her- inside and out. Not to mention who she was marrying, Chris, who was one of the most genuine and gracious people I’ve ever met.

In Mason, Ohio, there’s a beautiful event center called the Manor House. This is where both the Persian ceremony and reception took place. In the Persian tradition, a Sofreh sits in the center of the ceremony. This means “wedding spread” and consists of herbs, pastries, bread, fruits, coins, symbols of fertility including decorated eggs, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts, a mirror and two candelabras (symbols of light and fire), honey, a sacred text, and other symbolic decorations. The result is nothing short of spectacular to look at. The Sofreh was also one of Soosan’s favorite parts of the wedding traditions as well. As an illustrator, she designed their invitations and the entire cover was a Sofreh spread.

A shawl is held over the bride and groom during the ceremony. Two cones of sugar are rubbed together above their heads to “shower them in sweetness.” The sugar is caught by the shawl.

After the ceremony, a huge celebration took place with amazing dancing and great music. It was a day that I will remember forever and I feel so blessed to have shared this day with such a beloved friend and her husband. XO Jess

storyboardcomp028

Katie & Mike- Columbus OH Wedding Photographers

This is it! This is the last wedding I have to blog from last year- I’m officially caught up on weddings:) Except last weekend, that is, I shot a new one. I was so excited to shoot this November wedding not only because these two are my friends, but the fact they are awesome doesn’t hurt any either. I walked into their house as they were getting ready in the morning. And there was Mike! They are both so relaxed and laid back that they threw tradition to the wind and saw each other on the morning of their wedding day.

Katie is a teacher and is extremely creative in general. The unique touches she put on her wedding were not only beautiful, but refreshing as well. She bought, cared and nurtured a heard (what’s a group of these called?) of air plants weeks leading up to the big day. Each of the bridesmaids carried one as their bouquet. Kattie carried an air plant as well, but hers was decorated with sprigs of fragrant lavender for an added pop of color.

Since it was fall in Columbus, the leaves were just alive with color. Purple, as you know, is my favorite color. But against yellow and red leaves, purple is such a vibrant and vivid color. We stopped at Whetstone park for their group shots, then traveled downtown to the Renaissance Hotel. The wedding took place at the Columbus Athenaeum in my all-time favorite room there, the Priory. The reception was held in the Large Theater, which provided an elegant and dramatic setting for the party. Katie and Mike had a full ensemble big band. A few times during the party, Katie’s dad, who’s also an accomplished trombone player, joined the band. From Polka to R&B, this crowd knew how to get down…including Katie’s amazing grandmother who quite possibly could have out-danced them all!

I hope you enjoy these photos! I have to thank all my 2013 couples again. It was such an amazing year. Here I am starting wedding season 2014 and I can’t wait!! It’s been an honor having you all in my life and I could never thank you all enough, but I will try:) All my love, Jess

storyboardcomp026