Oh boy let me tell you how I met Traci. Three words Mango-Kale-Smoothie.
Yup, I got to know this super cute and bubbly person over time after I would stop off at the local Smoothie King on the days I dragged myself to the Gym. Despite my I am dying attitude and usually not being able to walk after a spin class, she always greeted me with a huge smile and it didnt take long for me to spy a sparkling engagement ring on her finger which lead to several weeks later sitting across from her and her equally adorable fianc discussing the plans for wedding day photography. In a nutshell they owned me from day one.
We started planning their fall wedding in February. With 8 months ahead of us I soon learned my bride and groom to be were probably the most laid back easy going clients I would ever have. They are young and in love and seem to adore what they bring out in each other.
Their nuptials were held in a super cool venue in downtown Belmont, NC called10 Catawba.As with any new venue, I paid a visit to scoop it out a few days before hand to get a feel for the lighting and layout. This place was so unique in the sense it has an old fashion Mill vibe, an outstanding bar area and gorgeous side lawn that the couple had planned on using for their ceremony and cocktail area. With the weather forecast calling for temps in the mid 70s and partly sunny skies I felt pretty confident that we were going to have great weather for their special day.
Enter the wedding day! I woke up to a slightly darkened room and figured it was just morning over cast. It wasnt. Not only did a surprise cold front come through, it decided to stay ALL day and bring with it a steady rain that no one saw coming. For extra fun, while driving to the venue GPS re-routed me because there was a multi car pileup on the main highway that once I finally arrived I learned was also holding up the DJ and wedding guests. I always try to arrive well ahead of schedule and on this day I arrivedon time but not as early as I was hoping. However in this business you learn to go with the flow and change directions pretty quick so I started shooting right away to get as many pre-ceremony and detail shots as possible before it was time for them to walk down the aisle. I was so impressed with my ultra-laid back bride that despite it pouring on her wedding day she was in great spirits and was just happy to be marrying the love of her life!!
All weddings have challenges that help you learn and grow as a photographer and this one certainly brought a lot of moments for me where I was forced to think outside the box and get creative with lighting choices, posing, assessing background layouts and so on At this time I have to give a shout out to my second shooter Jen, who was shooting with me her very first wedding. I was so grateful she was there because it allowed me to bounce ideas off of her, get her thoughts and advice on this and that. As a talented photographer in her own right, I also knew she was going to get some great shots of her own to share with the bride and groom. In a nutshell I was so glad she was with me on that day and I cant recommend enough having a second shooter for the larger weddings. Everyone needs a Jen! You just cant have my Jen. 🙂
From here on out I will let the photos tell the rest of the story. We did(for like 5 minutes) have a break in the rain where I was able to get them outside and do a few shots on the side lawn where they had originally planned to get married. The rest of the evening was filled with lots of laughing and dancing and a great start to happily ever after. Enjoy Traci and Wills rainy yet beautiful day of bliss.
Second Shooter – Jennifer Patulski