Best Wedding Photo Moments of 2017 / by Jessica Lawson

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With over 100,000 photos taken this last year between 15 weddings, 14 engagements, 14 mini sessions, 3 proposals, and tons of portraits/miles in between. In January, I got to experience Yosemite in the snow with friends then a couple weeks later go to Honduras for photo/video work with one of my favorite humans and LINC ministries. The spring/summer wedding season was crazy and somehow Cameron and I managed to fit in our own wedding and moved out to Arizona. 

There have been some crazy amazing moments, some times where we have wept with couples, other times where we are just dumbfounded that we got to share such intimate times with new and old friends. 

So with a humble heart I present some of our favorite photos divided up into SEVEN different categories. 

 

 

Bridal Portraits

Starting off these are kind of the most obvious of the categories. The Bride and Groom photos can be considered the most important photos of the day to capture. In some cases we had more time than planned. In other cases, we were twenty minutes past sunset praying for a Hail Mary. Regardless, these photos represented the couples way more than the photographer, which is a HUGE goal I aim for me and my second shooters to hit when we're documenting these big moments. So please enjoy.

 
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We had already lost the light. We got to our spot almost a hour later than we planned to be. But thanks to low apertures and high ISOs there was light to be found. I was praying like crazy for a hail Mary from the Lord. Lol. And in the middle of one of the last poses for Tori and Connor's bridal portraits some off-roaders surprised them by driving by. With their headlights and the stirred up some dust it was truly stunning. 

 
 

Favorite Parent Moments

I love to encourage people to really be present during the whole wedding day, especially parents. It's so easy to be burdened by doing this or doing that, instead of soaking in what is really happening here: the ceremony of leaving and cleaving. That kind of makes these photos even sweeter. You can see that these parental folks truly valued being there in the moment with their babies. Thank you for letting me document these! 

 
 

First Look Moments 

Every first look moment is so uniquely special. It's one of those times where nothing else matters from all the hoopla that wedding planning can be. It's when the toughest of guys softens when he sees his bride. It's when the stress of a bride melts away when she sees her love. There's wonderment, awe, and pure joy, whether seen exuberantly through our extrovert friends, or softly through our introverted grooms. Please enjoy these raw moments of these incredible people.

 
Through green foliage and tree branches, Jacob caught a glimpse of his bride. This is his raw first look completely stunned by his beautiful soulmate walking towards him. Our friend Tim Kothlow captured spot on. 

Through green foliage and tree branches, Jacob caught a glimpse of his bride. This is his raw first look completely stunned by his beautiful soulmate walking towards him. Our friend Tim Kothlow captured spot on. 

 
 

Kids at Weddings

Okay but kiddos at weddings have become my new favorite thing to capture. There is so much structure and planning that goes into a wedding day and the children come in and basically, "I don't care!" And that's an amazing juxtaposition to capture.  So please enjoy these funny and sweet moments from some outstanding younger persons.

 
This sweetie flower girl was literally chewing on her dress while the bride and groom were chewing on some communion bread during the ceremony. Shoutout to the Maids of Honor trying to wrangle the two flower girls with the most personality I've ever seen.

This sweetie flower girl was literally chewing on her dress while the bride and groom were chewing on some communion bread during the ceremony. Shoutout to the Maids of Honor trying to wrangle the two flower girls with the most personality I've ever seen.

 
 

Bridal Party

Every bridal party has been a true delight to work with. Truly. They bring so much life, fun, and personality into the structured portraits of the day. However, some of these selects just were truly remarkable. From the commitment to a pose, to the cutest of sincerity, to almost dropping the groom, you'll see a glimpse at the stupendous support systems our couples have had this year. 

 
 

Some Pretty Details

In my photojournalism classes we called detail shots, "people without people" shots. And that is something I've tried avidly to incorporate into all the weddings I shoot. I love how much you can share about the colors, location, values, and aaesthetics of the day without any facial expressions. It's a fun challenge and these are some of my faves.

 
 

Finally, the all time favorite moments....

There are many times throughout the wedding day where the photographer will step in and tweak some hair, tell someone to turn their head a bit, etc. It's what we need to do. However, there are these magical moments where we have very little to zero interference with what is unfolding before us. These are my favorites from the year. The times where I got to document instead of direct and just let your personalities, your emotions, your moments shine. Because they are your moments. 

 
 

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you!

To all my couples, their families, their support systems, their priests, etc. I feel so priveledged to document your big moments and have our photos in your homes and hearts for the rest of your days. That's pretty neat. 

To those who made it this far, thank you for celebrating with us and these great people. As a parting gift, here are a few favorites of engagement/proposal shots from 2017. 

Thank you to Cameron, Jared, Tim, and Harrison for second shooting these days. 
Literally, you guys were the wind beneath my wings. 
You know.

AND PRAISE JESUS CHRIST THE SWEET FRIEND OF US ALL.
Thank you for leading me to this crazy freelance life.