So you have seen lots of pretty, well lit wedding photographs from an array of photographers. The wedding industry, along with its respective media outlets place a high value on pretty things, style, color, florals, dresses and all the other amazing things that make a wedding beautiful. I too love the blend of personal style that builds a couple’s event into something uniquely theirs. Something most blogs don’t share much is the after-hours images that showcase energy, drinks, fun, dancing, and dimly lit corners with chic happenings. The reception from a photography standpoint is so fun – I love when the climactic moment of the ceremony has passed, and the couple is in an emotional freefall of joy, success, love, triumph and next level energy. Once the wine has breathed, and the band has opened up guest typically let down and can be heard belly laughing, while the 30 somethings own the dance floor. The candles create a beautiful waxy mess while the aroma of lit hand-rolled cigars makes its way across the bar. Chic handbags are scattered among tables, and intimate conversations between long-distance friends are had over candlelit cocktails. This is the party – and I love it.
This scene is called the wedding reception – I call it after hours, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. I was enjoying a robust blend of music at that time, the music my parents loved and the music I loved. I grew up listening to Ray Charles, Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, along with my mashup of grunge heroes like the Todies, Nirvana, and Soundgarden alongside hip-hop icons. These musical eras inform my inspiration when capturing a party. I love images from the jazz era and vegas parties with Dean Martin and company.
Along with the MTV era of music videos – I blend the love of music, party, and elegance into my couples wedding reception to create work that resembles the pages of Gatsby and the sound of disco. It’s a wonder why more photographers don’t share this work in their portfolios. I limit my reception reveals because I view the party to be a private, exclusive time for the guest to be vulnerable and indulge. There are many amazing times within a wedding day, but the reception is one I love.