Where Golden Hour Just Won't Quit
I think I might end up best friends with Tiffany and Bob, the owners of Blue Heron Barn. They have the Kalamazoo venue with the BEST golden hour land layout - Ever. Everytime I work there I seem to find a new hidden spot to shoot from and it's always simply magical.
But before we go there, let me introduce you to Nikki and Nate, two kind and loving people who trusted me to capture their love for both their engagement session and their June wedding! The day was just a teensy bit drizzly, which doesn't stop me a bit. I was actually hoping it would last until nightfall (when I can make the raindrops look like a million stars in the sky). But instead, we only had a cloud covered ceremony and a slightly damp portrait session and it dried right up for the rest of the party. Here are bridal prep photos, ceremony, and some portraits below!
Home Grown Herbs as Centerpieces!
As always, the reception space was stunning, but for this event, Nikki's friends added the sweetest touch! Nikki and Nate are both nature lovers, and two of her friends have green thumbs! (One actually working at a greenhouse! Yay!) So their decor, centerpieces, and overall esthetic vibe were herbs that doubled as party favors! I am such a fan of this idea! Who wouldn't want fresh basil or thyme to remember such a fun day!?! The barbeque was served up by Galesburg Meat Company, and I highly recommend them for their consistency, price point, and overall professionalism, and the photo booth was the CUTEST little camper called The Shooting Comet Photo Booth (new to me, but I LOVED it!).
Father-daughter dance and tears of love and joy
I would say this is where the tears start, but I mean just for me. Nikki, her mom, and her best friends were sparkling with happy tears all day long. But I could not help joining them when the Father-Daughter dance started, and Dad... being shy, let both big brothers step in to share a memorable dance with their baby sis. It was a surprise to her, so she was completely overwhelmed, and since they have all looked after her with the same loving devotion, it was perfect. I melted.
Golden Hour to nightfall
After dinner but before sunset, the light comes pouring in, and Zac and I know it's our time to grab the bridal couple and head out for a peaceful moment to get all the romantic feels preserved for all time. The party will go on (because good friends are amazing!) and we had time to do not only the lovely 7:30 sun flares but the deeper-toned night look images too, taken here at twilight with Blue Heron's gorgeous string lights as inspiration. You can see here how during just this short, 5-minute stretch (the images with the string lights hanging from the tree), we can make it look like night or evening by dialing in our favorite camera settings. "Dark" photos were mine, done at f2.5, iso 160, and 1/160th shutter speed with a wireless flash fired from behind them on a 55mm lens. And the "Evening" photos were Zac's at f2.8, iso 3200, and 1/125th shutter speed - no flash, just ambient light on a 135mm lens. It's so fun to get two looks at once!