This wedding was my first one of the year and a beautiful one at that. Semple Mansion didn't disappoint, as always. I owe a big thanks to these two and their kind families for giving me so much creative freedom and making me feel like a wedding guest!
Our studio may be small, but it is a power house! We have 4 brands under one roof including our Rivets and Roses wedding company. This studio is the glue to our team. It is where we hold meetings, deliver our work, and make shit happen!
For this month's blog topic we asked our team what their perspective is on cell phone use at weddings. Do the guests get a unique perspective other than what the hired photographer takes or is it a distraction?
I'm gonna go old school on this one and say I love it when couples request part of or most of their day be tech free. As much as I love contributing to the unique hashtags throughout the day, I love it more when I get to photograph couples and their friends and families fully engaged and present throughout the day. When multiple professional photographers and videographers are hired for a wedding so much will be photographed and recorded and the results are so much better when everyone's not staring at their phones or trying to be the pro themselves. All this being said, I am never threatened or insecure about people using phones and trying to capture how they see the day. I know their intent is to help document a beautiful day and it's a way for them to personalize the event. If there is a cool Instagram account or hashtag being used I will most definitely contribute!
Last season many couples I worked with chose to ask that guests put their cell phones away during the ceremony. I think during this part of the day, couples want the distraction that phones can create to be put on hold. Their requests seemed to work, and I don't believe their guests felt negatively about it at all. One way to embrace the benefits of social media is to offer a creative hashtag to your guests. It becomes a great way to organize your friends Instagram posts from the wedding event. I think of it as an alternative to the older idea of placing disposable cameras on the reception tables. I've seen couples advertise the hashtag in the invitation or with signage at the event itself.
I think social media can be such a fun way of sharing in the excitement of a wedding! I love the new wedding hashtag trend - it is always so fun to see what couples come up with for their hashtag and I think it's a great way for everyone to look back at a collection of personal photos from the couple's guests. Usually couples wait several weeks to receive their professional photos, so having those cell phone photos from their guests can be a great way to relive their day before receiving their professional photos.
With this in mind, I think it's important to draw a line with when guests are taking those photos. I know that it is so tempting for friends and family to want to get a photo on their own phone or camera during family photos or wedding party photos especially. Keep in mind that there is usually a schedule the couple and photographer are trying to follow, and stopping for guests to take cell phone pictures can eat up a lot of that time! I would encourage couples to communicate this with their family members before the wedding day. It makes photos go a lot quicker and smoother so everyone can get to the important part of the day - the ceremony and the party!
I generally enjoy social media at weddings. I love the idea of using hashtags to track all the photos and post that the guest are posting, this makes finding things easy after the big day! I also like posting images the day of using the couples hashtags. I think social media can provide wonderful guest vantage point of the day.
I am all for people using phones to capture their vantage point of moments with friends and family during the reception. However, the most respectful time to put your phone or camera away is during the ceremony. The couple has spent a lot of time and money into planning their wedding, and they want you to fully experience it without the distraction of taking photos. Leave the ceremony to the photographer, for the rest of the day selfie and hashtag it up respectfully!
Thank you Audrey and Jason for a lovely afternoon. Engagement sessions like this one are always a great chance to get to know a couple even more before the wedding day. I can't wait to take more photos of them this summer at Mill City!
Amelia and Tom are from Minnesota, met in Minnesota, and are getting married in Minnesota, but live in Connecticut where Amelia attends grad school at Yale. The two of them flew in for their engagement session which called for a full day of exploring Saint Paul and Minneapolis, so we did just that! We found the charm of Saint Paul at the Union Depot, and the James J. Hill Reference Library. Explored parts of the North Loop in Minneapolis after getting Pizza at Black Sheep in honor of Pi Day, and found outdoor locations along the way. The two of them were such troopers for being up for all of it! Excited for them to get Married this June at Summit Manor.
There is something special about the moments before the ceremony begins, and the father of the bride gives her away. We always try to stay back with the bride to capture those moments when they are saying meaningful words to each other as the wedding party paves the way for the bride.
For this months topic we asked our team what inspires their work. We left it open for them to answer however they feel inspiration comes to them. As artists our work is constantly changing, and growing. For that reason we were interested in what inspires each member of our team since each of us have different perspectives from where our inspiration comes from.
There are so many artists that have inspired me over the course of my career. Early on, I was drawn to the street photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisinau. Their work captures fleeting moments. You can sense movement, energy, and romance in them. Though not obvious, there is also amazing composition and even behind-the-scenes art direction. I combine my interest in street photography with a love for stylized portraiture. Annie Leibowitz, Richard Avedon. So, when shooting I'm always striking a balance between capturing moments and making portraits. For wedding photography in particular though, I work so that my images feel unstructured, yet artful. I want to capture the narrative without any gimmicks. But, I also want to present a curated collection of imagery to my clients. My final product aims to have the most simple, gestural, and emotional images from the day of shooting.
On a wedding day, I am most inspired by the relationships - between the couple but also between them and their families and friends. There are so many private, beautiful moments that happen throughout the wedding day and it's pretty amazing that as a couple's photographer, I am invited to witness those moments. These moments that the couple share with the most important people in the world to them are what really makes each photo matter. These are the photos that get me the most excited on a wedding day and they are the reason I love what I do so much.
The moment I found the connection between the work that I had been creating to the work that I wanted to create was a huge inspiring moment for me. Being a wedding photographer has opened up my world to photograph just about anything. From details, to portraits, to food, and moments fleeting by that are captured has pushed me to be inspired by all the components that go into a wedding. Your attention isn't solely focused on the couple, it is also focused on those around them and everything they put into it. Since no wedding is the same, every wedding inspires my work for the next one.
What inspires me most is a combination of things. I love the sentimental details of a wedding, the little pieces that mean more to the couple than anyone else. I also love the candid laughing moments of the day. My main goal is to capture the joy had during a wedding.
Portrait and wedding photography is so much about other people. I have the privilege of documenting someone else's life, and this alone is very inspiring. When I photograph people I really connect with them. When they are in a great location with unique light, and the emotion of a wedding day, inspiration can really start to come to me. Inspiration comes to me especially as I keep working. It inspires me to also have peers by my side, and seeing friends and colleagues working their butts off to make great work motivates me to continue working. My photography seems to get better and grow as I continue to create.
That point in time when a couple is laughing together, or having an intimate moment can be the true highlight of any wedding day or engagement session. Most of the time the couple isn't aware of the camera, and our Rivets and Roses team has been able to capture some truly special moments between the couple.
When it comes to "what to wear" at a wedding these guests brought out their best. From the fanciest black tie weddings to the casual backyard. All weddings allow you to play it up as much as you want! It's a reason to pull out your favorite tie, purse, or that new item you've been dying to show off. We love when a guest stands out, and our Rivets and Roses team has caught some of those perfect looks.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE LOCATIONS FOR AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION?
We asked our team where their favorite engagement session locations are, and their process when they plan with their couples. This is what they said:
Downtown St. Paul is one of my favorite backdrops for engagement photos. The cobblestone streets, quaint storefronts, and historic buildings lend a timeless quality to the portraits. Landmark Center is a great option for cold or rainy days. You can easily get permission to wander the halls and staircases and the natural light coming in makes for good shots.
Finding what the couple enjoys doing together is a great starting point for most sessions. Whether they were engaged at Cafe Lurcat or love bicycling around Lake Harriet, those places or activities that are important in their lives lend a fuller meaning to the photos.
My other favorite spots are local parks when the trees are flowering in Spring, the client's home, and Lake Hiawatha at sunset.
My go to is the clients favorite spot in the city - some place with a lot of meaning to them.
+ Any body of water around sunset is sure to bring out the romance.
+ One of my favorite lakes is Cedar Lake.
+ Any Local State Parks ( William O'Brien & Interstate Parks) any places with great views!
+ Often times will go to the couples favorite restaurant where they share many personal memories together.
+ My favorite part of town for an engagement session is Lowertown in St. Paul.
My favorite go-to engagement session spots are always where the couple spends most of their time. They seem to be more at ease in a location they are familiar with. It keeps things casual, and takes off the pressure of being in front of the camera.
When choosing other locations I love to bring the couple out for a drink. Perhaps their favorite restaurant or cafe. It's a great start to warm up, and then explore areas around that location for unique backdrops such as alley ways or hidden gems around the city.
I enjoy shooting outdoors with natural backdrops, nothing beats being outdoors with the couple!
A few of my favorite outdoor locations are:
+ Cedar lake
+ French park (Plymouth)
+ Loring park
+ Elm Creek Park reserve(Maple Grove)
Minnesota has so much to offer when it comes to photo shoot spots! There are so many gorgeous places to photograph in the twin cities alone, but my favorite spot to shoot is always somewhere that has some sort of significance to the couple I am working with. This is sometimes their home, the place they first met, their favorite coffee shop or restaurant, etc. Going somewhere that the couple is somewhat familiar with puts them at ease which makes for the best photos. Plus, it is a huge part of their story which is so fun to incorporate into engagement photos!
I like thinking about how to make these sessions as genuine to each couple as possible. Most of the time, couples are really nervous at first, so it's great to start in familiar places for them rather than taking them to some spot I love, unless I know it fits them and its going to help in getting genuine photos.
Here's what I suggest to my couples unless they have a specific location in mind:
+ Family cabin on a lake
+ Couples condo/home
+ Immediate neighborhood
+ Cozy cafe's and coffee shops nearby
Every year we see new trends hit the wedding industry, and we wanted to know what trends have stayed and what is new. This is what we found!
Sparkles! Sparkles! Sparkles!
Sparkles seem to make their way into any wedding day, and we are seeing sparkles incorporated into weddings more than ever. From the invitations to the details on a dress, and the decorations at the reception. Sparkles are taking over and we are loving it!
As mismatched wedding attire has been a trend in the past year we are going to see more couples pick up on this in 2016. It is such a fun way to incorporate your wedding parties true colors as they pick out something they feel comfortable in as well.
Creative Food and Drinks
Couples are sharing their personality through food and drinks just like we want them to! It's not only a conversation starter, but it's also a fun way to treat your guests to having something they won't get anywhere else. Pro tip has it that pre made drinks are easy on the budget as well!
Weddings wouldn't be the same without floral. What is in season has been getting attention more than ever. What is fresh picked to what is local couples are appreciating what is available to them at the time and season of their wedding. Flowers have been a major tradition in weddings, and as new traditions rise this is one we absolutely love!
Through the Lens
The moment guests arrive they are pulling out their phones and begin hash tagging away as they post to Facebook and Instagram. The hashtag trend is still on the rise as social media becomes a huge part of any wedding day with the couples personalized hashtag. Polaroids and film captured moments are a huge hit right now as guests are loving the immediate gratification of a photo.
Set the Mood
Lighting is the last thing any couple thinks about when they are planning a wedding, but lighting is important to the environment you have chosen. Chandeliers are setting an elegant mood while Edison light bulbs are setting a casual mood. Depending on your location these 2016 lighting trends are sure to set the mood for your guests.
We won't be seeing the barn weddings leave the industry anytime soon. Couples are still enjoying it just as much as the first one they laid eyes on which is why they are making it the theme for their wedding day. It's perfect for those on a budget who don't need a huge event space, and to instead rent a barn and throw a casual wedding. It's great for the outdoors type and to seclude yourself from the city with your guests.
In the land of 10,000 lakes we find water all around us, and we are happy to embrace the great lakes of Minnesota as the perfect backdrop. Dive into these engagement sessions by our Rivets and Roses team!
Getting ready for your big day?! Our Rivets and Roses team has you covered for all those special moments that happen before you walk down the aisle. These are a few of our favorite getting ready moments by our Rivets and Roses team!
You just can't go wrong with a downtown St. Paul engagement session. It is rife with charm. On a warm winter day, these two met up with me at the always amazing Meritage. We had a drink and then bummed around Rice Park before exploring the grand staircases at The Landmark Center. I'm looking forward to their wedding, coming around the bend this Spring!
Madelyne and Zack are a ball of energy together. They are such a joy to be around, and their love radiates around them. So happy to call these two friends, and am beyond thrilled for their wedding in October!