The Only Wedding I will ever Shoot

Way back in the beginning of this summer, my brother asked if my sister & I would photograph a friend’s wedding. 

At first, I was hesitant…I mean, I’m no wedding photographer.  I don’t have the right equipment.  I have just the standard Rebel with the cheapest Canon lens on the market.  I’ve never really even been to a wedding knowing how to operate my camera before…much less been responsible for capturing those shots that will be treasured for, well, like ever. 

But then I remembered, this is my brother.  My baby freakin’ brother.  The boy that could ask me for my left pinkie toe and I would whip out the bone saw.  I’d do anything for this kid.  (ok, ok…here’s a picture of the cutie…)


So anyhoo…he asked and we knew why…these folks didn’t have money for a real photographer.  Hence, they were callin’ in a favor from the best man’s sisters…and we, outta love for our baby bro, agreed. 

All that to say, this will be the only wedding I will ever shoot.  Dudes….wedding photography is hard.  HARD hard.  I know now why they charge an arm and a leg and a large portion of your liver to take photos of your big day.  Because dang!  Frankly I am surprised that I am still alive and not shriveled up in a corner somewhere shaking with postmortem stress seizures.   Yeah.  It was that bad.  I’m just glad I never have to do that again…willingly.  And Timmy…the next time you are the best man and ask a favor…just remember that you are trading your sister’s life for free photography.  Not that that will change anything…but just remember that sister of yours feeds your very cute helpless baby nephew with her very alive body, mmkay?

Now onto the wedding photos:  here is the bride.  Yes, she looks like Jessica Simpson.

photography tip: when possible, get those ‘moments’ (whether it be a mom fluffing her daughter’s veil or the first time you feed your baby solid food) near a LARGE natural light source….like an open door or window. 


And the groom.


photographers tip: have your subject face the light.  Note the difference on dad’s face vs. Groom’s face.  The dad’s face looks better lit and more flattering whereas the Groom’s face is partially shadowed. 

Ceremony pics:


And my favorite….post ceremony photos:


photographers tip: wanna take a photo with the foreground in focus and the background blurry?  Make your f-stop as LOW as possible then make your camera focus on your foreground image.  the closer you are to the foreground, the blurrier then background :)



And then of course, some reception photos:




Whew!  I’m glad that is over.  Although…I am really glad to add that swinging bride photo and the one where she is laying in his lap into my portfolio…I love them.  A lot.  Which one is your favorite?  Any wedding photogs out there that want to vouch for the hardness that is Wedding Photography?  Or perhaps you just wanna share in the chuckle over that melting Batman cake or the fact that she nailed him with the delicious red velvet? 

And next time Timmy asks me for a favor, I’m going to smile…and then save me the trouble and hand over my left pinkie toe.  Believe me…it’ll be a bargain.



  1. says

    1. You inspire me. I just bought your camera a few weeks ago and now I’m trying to be patient and wait until after x-mas before buying the 2 lenses you talk about.
    2. You don’t give yourself enough credit. These wedding pictures are beyond gorgeous.
    3. My favorite is the ceremony b/w shot you took where it looks like the camera is on the floor. I love it.

  2. says

    I wont even go into detail how I wish my wedding photos were half as good as those. Seriously. Not kidding… touchy subject! But… How much could I beg you to take photos next time your up north visiting family? You could easily do this professionally… and I would pay you!

  3. says

    I totally, totally, totally agree. I shot two weddings myself and them swore them off. After the 1st one I could barely walk the next day. Shooting a wedding is like a nervous breakdown and a workout all rapped up in a hectic little package. I enjoyed the experience, but swore it off for good. You did an amazing job. I’m like you though…I’m gonna stick to snapping pics of my baby. Can a baby go blind from to many flashes in his face? Hmmmmm….

  4. says

    These pics are better than my wedding photos and I PAID for mine! You are very talented and you could absolutely do this as a “side hustle”. My husband just bought me a Rebel T2i… for some reason I thought you had a Nikon. Didn’t I see a photo of you with a Nikon recently?

    • says

      Nope Keeley…I’ve always been a Canon girl…but I have heard great things about the Nikons. My girl Sherry from YHL has one and she loves it :)
      xo – kb

  5. Mckenzie says

    Oh my goodness these pictures are stunningly Beautiful!!!! I am getting married and have seen tons of portfolios with poses that I’m not in the least bit crazy about. But your pictures are ART girl I love love love the poses, I will definately be using them for inspiration (since hiring you as my photographer is out of the question):)You are very creative and I love your blog thanks for sharing so many good ideas.

  6. Jessica says

    Hi, Katie,

    I have been reading your blog for months now, but have never commented!

    I think you did a wonderful job with these wedding photos! I paid my professional photographer over $3K and my photos aren’t half as good as these are!

    And, you are very sweet to help your baby bro! I would do the exact same :)


  7. Jenni says

    Don’t sell yourself short–your photos are lovely! At least you know that if you ever have the sudden urge later on to do wedding photos, it’s old hat now.

    For some reason, my favorite is the black and white picture of the groom and groomsmen. I’m not sure why–perhaps it’s the pose, or the lighting, or the setting, or perhaps because you have captured everyone smiling, but they don’t look at all like fake smiles–they seem to be having a great time! Overall, well done, and thanks for sharing!!!

  8. Margaret says

    These are really beautiful! :) I had photographed a friend of a friend’s wedding and I agree it almost caused me to have a stroke. But I had a great time doing it and the couple was beyond happy with the pictures. On the other hand when I got married a few years ago I hired one of the top two photographers in my area and was thrilled. Week after week of looking at all the amazing pictures on the photographers blog I was getting more and more excited. However my pictures are not as great as I though they were going to be and actually don’t even like to look at them. I do not have any close up shots of me and my husband or even the classic “bride” shot of myself, none of our rings, none of the detail shots that I requested like our favors, table cards, etc. I was pretty shocked because to me those shots are the “standard”. So to anyone out there even if you think you have the dream team as your photographers make sure you speak up to what shots you want!

  9. Stefanie says

    Um…I think you should reconsider never doing wedding photography again!! These pictures are so beautiful. Do you want to reshoot my wedding day?

  10. Fernanda says

    OMG! You did and incredibly amazing job! These pictures are great! You should definitely go into the photography business! Amazing!

  11. Jenn says

    You did an amazing job. You gave this couple a gift they will never forget, which is wonderful for a couple who may not have had the gift otherwise. Way to be so giving, Katie!

  12. says


    Your first wedding is much better than mine! Of course, you have a much better understanding than I did back then.

    And yes, wedding photography is hella hard….you had decent light here, I’ve shot weddings in freaking pitch black light with some christmas lights strung haphazardly in the background.


    (posted this on your newer post, sorry!)

    p.s. instead of reading your blog I should be editing 3 weddings that I haven’t finished yet! ha. Procrastination, ftw. :)

  13. Holly says

    Katie… you did an awesome job on these pictures!!! I don’t totally understand the whole “i don’t wanna be responsible for taking wedding pic’s” stress, but my sis is a photgrapher and she REFUSES to shoot weddings! However, she has been talked in to doing a few (because the people were in the same situation as your clients, and one photographer cancelled on the bride at the last moment) and she said it is totally not worth the stress she goes through. She literally makes herself sick worrying about it beforehand!

  14. Ashley E says

    Hi Katie,

    I’m not normally a poster (as in one who posts, not the wall hanging), but…

    Last night, my husband and I were watching a BBC nature documentary called Life, which looks at a range of fascinating and beautiful animals. One of the birds they featured builds a large nest and decorates it lavishly with colorful things that it finds. It is actually pretty amazing. Here’s a picture I found online of one of the nests:

    Anyway, the name of the bird is the “Bower” bird, so I couldn’t help but think of you. And I thought it was very appropriate that the Bower bird happens to be an excellent decorator (for a bird.)

    Thanks for your inspiring blog,

    • says

      You know what Ashley?….We were watching that EARTH series that was on tv a while back…and we saw that bird too! I died laughing thinking about how the male bower bird decorates his nest and then the girl picks the best one for a mate…that is not too far off from what happened with Jeremy & Me :)
      xo – kb

  15. says

    a) lovely.

    b) i’m kind of in the same boat. i do it for fun, i do it for the blog, i do it to allow my creativeness-stuck-in-corporate-america (which i still love though) to come out… but people have started asking me to do shoots for them. so far i’ve done one toddler shoot, one maternity, one family, and one newborn shoot… and my oh my they are all difficult… and they aren’t even weddings! to kudos to you.

    c) until i read “ange’s” comment i too couldn’t believe no one asked about inniesocute tim! what a handsome guy! send the man The Girl’s way!

    d) really good job, even though it will be your last :)

  16. Andrea says

    Wow, Katie, you did a fantastic job! I would pay for those photos. :) Hope you decide to continue to hone that talent because those are awesome for a first (if only) foray into wedding photography (this is coming from someone who has made a part-time job of blog-stalking wedding photographers)!! I’d bet the bride & groom are elated with the finished product :)

  17. Lori in OR says

    Now, I know you won’t shoot WEDDINGS, but I’ve been married almost 20 years, so we are good there. However… I really need some family photos for the Christmas cards, and I am SURE you have always wanted to visit lovely Portland, right? C’mon… I think I can swing the plane tickets… (let’s check Expedia… ATL to PDX…)

    *sigh* This dream is gonna die hard…

    As far as these photos go, I think they are exquisite. My personal “ooh!” gut reactions were for the one with her mom, the first one of the groom (you caught such a natural look), the flower girls hugging, the bride swinging, and the one with focus on the bride in the foreground. And, honestly, the barn. I’m all about the scenery.

  18. says

    Oooooh!! My favourite is definitely the one where they’re dancing with the ligh across the base of the image.

    I love it so much it’s going into my ‘when I get married I want photos like this to be taken’ indpiration folder.

    Thank you! Gorgeous work!!!

  19. gurdygurds says

    Did you use an external flash at all?? The onboard camera flash?? I was doing a search about shooting a wedding with nothing but a 50mm and I find this post, your photos are awesome and they give me some hope. A friend asked me to shoot their wedding and my gear is about as extensive as what you have. THanks for the inspiration.

    • says

      ABSOLUTELY NO FLASH :) It’ll blow out your subject…especially if you use the flash built into your camera without bouncing it or diffusing it. Natural light is always the best!
      xo – kb

  20. says

    OMG! Trying to catch up on all my fav blogs since having my new baby girl Oct. 29th. If I had only seen the photos and not read your post, and someone asked professional or not, I would have said professional. Why on earth would you not do it again!!! I mean… I totally get it is soo stressful and be that it was your first time I totally get it. BUT GIRL, you have a talent. They turned out stunning. Matter of fact, I paid thousands for our pics and when I have time to pull up some I will email you back and share how much they look alike. I mean in the Chapel Hill/Raleigh NC area people pay tons for this photographer. I just want to tell you that you definelty should continue on with doing photography, I am sure you hear that all the time!! P.S. My mom keeps telling me to read your letter you wrote to yourself about being mom.. I keep trying to get to it to read it. 7 week old keeps you super busy!

  21. Angela says

    Omg Katie! These are what I wish our wedding photographer had done! Instead, I got stuck with pics that don’t look any more creative than what our guests shot and I’m still fighting with the unprofessional prick over the album almost two years later. I don’t sound bitter, do I? ;)

    Seriously, really nice work!

  22. Flutemom says

    Wow, your photography is beautiful! I’d put you in the top percentage of good wedding photographers because you so beautifully captured the emotion of the moments and the personality of the couple. No cookie cutter pictures or check sheet shooting schedule shooting schedule here. I booked the best photographer in my city, and we even changed our wedding date to get him, but he didn’t cue in to as many wonderful candid type moments or photos as you have! Congratulations.

  23. says

    I just came across your blog and am so glad I did! I just got talked into my first wedding photo gig. I have always said I would NEVER shoot a wedding. Since the bride and groom have a very little budget and it was either me taking the pics or someone with a point and shoot I knew I had to do it. You have given me some great ideas for poses. So glad I found you! :)

  24. Melissa Kaczmarek says

    Hi katie,
    I realize I am a bit late here, but I just came across this post. I am just starting out in photgraphy, and like you didn’t have many lenses or equipment. Do you have a list of equipment you used here at this wedding. The photos are beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration,


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