Photography is something I never pushed Nathan into, and never wanted to. I had an idea in my head since I first started my business to become a husband/wife photography team, but I knew if it happened it would happen organically - and not because I even asked him to. Almost two years ago at my first destination wedding in Charlottesville (at the Trump Winery, no less!) Nathan came with me for a mini weekend getaway and after second shooting one of the most perfect weddings ever, he was hooked.
Now Nathan is my second shooter at nearly every single wedding I photograph. He has his own day job but chooses to selflessly sacrifice his time on the weekends to make my dream into a reality. Not only that, but he also took a new role in my business since last fall - reviewing blog posts, making business plans and decisions, and even all the shooting and editing for my (our!) SEO Video Training.
When we get to weddings we completely fall in the groove and I wanted to share what that looks like! Here's how the day goes with my wonderful husband as the second photographer... (Note: All pictures in this blog except those of Nathan are ones that HE took! Be impressed!)
This varies from one wedding to the other, but generally Nathan starts out with me. He helps arrange the details while I photograph them and he is a complete pro at holding and fluffing the wedding dress. Full disclosure: this is one of his least favorite parts only because he gets SO nervous holding the bride's wedding dress! He doesn't want anything to happen to it and is sweating bullets until we get it back safely - which he does every time without fail.
After he helps me out he usually slides over to shoot the guys getting ready. He now does this exclusively by himself! I will pop in, introduce him to the groom if they haven't yet met, and let him do his thing. The first time I did this we were both nervous, but he is great at getting the guys to be natural, relaxed, and look great at the same time.
Bridal Party Portraits
Again, this changes from one wedding to the next! Sometimes if we are running behind I will tell Nathan where to photograph the groomsmen and he will do this completely by himself. In all honesty I would rather do this for background consistency in their album, but I always have complete faith when I hand the task off to him. While I photograph the ladies he gets some great side angles and up-close shots of the bouquets especially. And with the whole group he is awesome at getting the 'in-between' moments while I pose and photograph everyone at once.
Bride and Groom Portraits
Nathan is a lifesaver with these. I do all the posing, placement, etc., but he steps to the side and gets really tight angles. While I remember the classic poses as well as directing the couple, he is focused on details - their hands holding together, the side of her face, the moments when I'm switching out lenses. This adds a HUGE amount of variety to the portraits I deliver.
My focus during the wedding ceremony are all the crucial shots - the bride and everyone who walks down the aisle, the straight-on first kiss, and documenting each moment. In the meantime, Nathan always photographs the groom's reaction to his wife as well as audience shots and some more interesting angles that aren't as 'traditional.'
This is one time when Nathan puts down his camera! We work off a list of all the necessary family portraits and he helps organize people, call out names, keep me on track timewise, and move things out of the way if necessary.
If you can't tell by now, my focus is on the must-have shots, from the reception details to tons of fun dancing shots. Nathan is more my assistant than anything else during the reception. I tell him where to set up lights and he does it, then I use him as a test subject for my lighting. He hands out gallery cards, befriends the vendors so we can have their information to send the final photos, and gets side angles and up-close shots of cake cutting, toasts, and first dances. Then he helps begin to back up files or other administrative tasks while I continue to photograph the dancing, and pops back into the reception for more pictures when that is done. Oftentimes he gets my plate of food for me, which I am so grateful for or else I probably wouldn't eat most of the time!
Back at Home
Though this isn't at the actual wedding, we each have roles when we get home. I immediately back up images and prep a sneak peek while he unloads the car, empties out batteries, and gets a snack and a Netflix show ready. When I'm done we chill out, calm down, and enjoy a few moments together before we fall into bed.
So there is our wedding division of labor! If I could break it down into simple terms I would say that I am the engine of the operation - I do the bulk of what's necessary to get down the road - and he is the oil, a completely necessary piece of the puzzle that makes sure everything is running smoothly. Overall, I'm SO grateful to have Nathan on my team at weddings and I'm so glad we can call ourselves a husband/wife photography team!