2022 is quickly…so very quickly…coming to an end! You loyal blog readers know what that means! End of year blogs are here! Let’s do this because the behind the scenes blog for 2022 is coming at ya right now! It’s a long one so sit back and enjoy yourself and see some of what happened behind the scenes in order to capture all those Hannah Barlow Photography wedding moments in 2022! ENJOY!
I used to say “it’s no secret A LOT goes into a successful wedding day for a wedding photographer…” but the more and more I do this, the more I hear people saying “anyone can pick up a camera these days and take a pretty photo…look at my new iPhone”. While it’s true the new cell phones take pretty darn good photos, it’s not JUST about the photos on a wedding day. Wedding days are chaos backed with a lot of pressure to make it just perfect. You have to do a lot to get those photos to look a certain way and making sure the bride and her family and friends are less stressed is a HUGE part of it. A happy, less stressed bride is a happy, relaxed bride in photos! We spend so much of our time jumping in and helping because…guess what…this is a first wedding experience for many of our couples and their families BUT definitely NOT a first for us. We’ve got the experience and we’re happy to lend a hand! Getting that dress on and getting is buttoned correctly is always one of the most stressful moments for my brides because it really starts to hit them that “it’s real”…”it’s HERE!”. We always make sure we do our best to make those dresses look perfect!
That goes for the men too!
This year…Ashleigh taught us that not all eye hooks have two metal sides! Sometimes you really have to dig and look for color coordinating thread to get those babies hooked! Once we realized this, everyone jumped in at this wedding to hook those dresses we didn’t think could be hooked!
So then I went on this year to teach almost every group who had an “uh oh…they didn’t include the other side of the hook” moment that there IS, in fact, a teeny tiny little loop there you can use!
We a little bit about Windsor knots too! Or half Windsor…the details are still fuzzy!
It’s not just us who helps either. Shoutout to the amazing bridal party members who also jump in and give us a hand!
…the help doesn’t stop at the getting ready portion of the day for us either! Nope! When I see a bride in need of some shoe help, I’m your girl there too! Feet don’t bother me a bit…not even sweaty feet (which is what they ALWAYS say to me when I plop down there to take a shoe or sock off). I was a nurse, after all!
Speaking of shoes, if you ever wondered how we get those beautiful, shoe, detail photos, well…it’s not complicated at all! We sometimes just need someone to hold the dress up!
Veil photos, on the other hand, take a lot more effort! It always makes me giggle to see the behind the scenes of how we make those veil flying photos happen (which were a huge request this year too).
This set…by far…is my favorite! Lacey looks genuinely happy and ready to make this happen! She even made it look good! HA! I ended up photoshopping her out of that bottom one!
We go under the veils too and we ALL laugh about this one when it’s happening (which is also the cover photo)! Up close and personal here we come! It’s a good thing I’m pretty close with most of my couples…because we get CLOSE!
There are times I make veils fly for other people too! Aaron (of Off Center Production) and I have a pretty good system after all these years. His wife, Ashleigh, always jokes and says she lets me do it because he won’t yell at me if I do it wrong! HA! I HAVE done it wrong…wait for the outtakes next week!
When time is of the essence, we can get down and dirty to make those photos happen!
…and sometimes you literally have to get down and dirty to make a requested shot happen!
Justin (Geery Media) and I had JUST met when we plopped right down on the ground for this ever so flattering shot of me (thanks, Ash) but we did it and made the groom’s Avenger photo happen!
“You’re just going to have to trust me” became the BIG theme for this year! I’ve never ever taken a couple away from the wedding reception but I did for Simone and Michael to get them some sunset shots! That was one of their only requests and given their venue didn’t leave many options for sunset, we had to drive to a higher point!
In the end, I liked Ashleigh’s better and she didn’t even have to lay on the ground…whomp whomp BUT YAY for great photos!
The amazing thing about my assistants is that they trust me and I trust them and sometimes we have differing opinions. Kaylea and Adam’s wedding had orange tones…so I wanted to use this wall. Emily wanted to take it outside…so we did both!
You tell me which one you like better!
Dress shots were never my favorite when I first started this and I usually never took them outside but I’ve definitely come around in the past couple of years.
…and circling back to “you’re just going to have to trust me”…Becca and Michael trusted me to take ALL their wedding photos…right next to a road!
Random spots are my favorite sports usually! We did champagne toasts at the corner of Oglebay’s lodge!
…and bride and groom moments at the corner of Diamond Lake Event Barn (which was my first time at this venue)!
Stephanie and Mason braved the VERY chilly 17 degree weather in March (you read that temperature correctly) and allowed us to take ALL their wedding photos on an asphalt golf path. BUT LOOK HOW PRETTY!
Mikala and Jordan also trusted me to take all their snowy wedding photos in the parking lot and this location was all Lacey’s idea! Man, looking back…that black, velvet tux may have been my favorite!
I mean…what a way to start the 2022 season, right?! I’m kind of sad I didn’t book any winter weddings this year (my kids play winter sports…it was intentional…but I’m going to miss them).
Then, later this year during MUCH warmer weather, Brad and Sydney tested me with the craziest timeline of the year and I took a shot at one of my craziest location choices ever (her parent’s front yard on that steep hill).
JT and Buddy (Penderville Wedding Films) always embrace my crazy! AND JUST LOOK at that finished result! We did all the mens’ photos in 11 minutes by this tree!
Allie’s wedding at Bramblewood Barn in McDonald, PA was the most windy of the year so we took her to the porch and tucked her in that little corner!
Then, I got crazy again and jumped up to get a full group shot the DJ arranged!
I can only imagine what my couples think when they see me setting this stuff up. But seriously, “you’re just going to have to trust me”!
…because I DO have a plan! This is the same location!
Sometimes detail shots are done in your traditional space. Sometimes it’s outside (like the ones you see above) AND sometimes you have to make do with what you have on a tight timeline and throw those babies on a grill!
Jenna and Jeremy’s details were some of my favorites and we took those in Oglebay’s hallway! I’m telling you..random locations are the best!
JT got in on it too while filming and I love love love that we all have become such close “coworkers” and friends that we just jump in and help one another!
DJ Keith Shreve even helped me bustle Maddie’s dress! He’s one of the sweetest DJs! It’s takes a wedding vendor village!
Many many MANY of my vendor friends got in for my test shots. But Buddy REALLY went for it!
Sometimes it wasn’t a test shot at all but a moment the couple wanted to get a photo WITH their vendors…on their own wedding day. No, I’m not over here getting all sappy! AHHHH!! Ok, I am! I can’t help it!
Hard work. It’s HARD work. I know you can’t believe it until you’ve experienced it but my whole body can hurt the day after a wedding. It’s 8-12 hours (sometimes more including driving) and rushing and lifting and carrying plus the mental brain power to make each wedding amazing!
It’s a lot of people and personalities too and it just depends on the wedding and moment who we decide will be the organizer of the large groups!
Hair is important…wind is a pain in the butt. Just saying!
…and sometimes we’re inside in a blank room and I have to go completely off script! It stresses me out sometimes but then my assistants swoop in with ideas. Emily had an idea…and she grabbed that chair right up and it ended up resulting in some of my favorite photos of the year!
We laughed a lot this year which was very much needed after the rough year we had last year and in 2020! Things finally started to feel normal and we were able to be close to people again!
We got to dance without masks on and really enjoy weddings and faces and being together again!
We laughed some more to ease those pre-wedding jitters!
…and we found some little ones who may just be photographers or videographers one day!
Some brides got to test their DJ skills!
I was reunited with brides I hadn’t seen in years who were more than willing to jump in and help!
…and we also celebrated those who weren’t able to be with us.
I would 100% call the 2022 wedding season and year a success in all the ways. I never ever forget what an opportunity it is to get to spend one of the most special days of someone’s life RIGHT along side them! I ran into so many past families, past couples, friends…you name it! AND I even got to take some photos with them! I chose these at random and it makes me smile!
Yep. That’s two mothers and fathers of the brides of mine (below)…but from different weddings! Yep! That’s a bride of mine and a groom of mine…but not married to one another but in the same wedding party AND YES…that’s THREE Hannah Barlow Photography couples who quite literally grabbed me up to get a photo! I can’t…I can’t with it all…I got so lucky with this career! Mic drop. THAT’S the last photo on this one!
Happy 2022, everyone!! Thanks for reading! Outtakes are coming at you next week!