Where do I even start?! 2018 was one for the books for sure!
Motherhood, Fiance, Business owner, and Wedding Photographer are just a few of the important roles I had during 2018. I loved every minute of every day watching our sweet little girl, learn, grow, laugh, love, and experience so many wonderful new things! Richie and I both worked hard all year, to make our businesses into the successful ones we have always imagined they would be. It has been a trying, yet rewarding road to grow a business alongside the man I love as he grows his as well. (Shoutout – if anyone needs concrete work give me a shout and I will get you hooked up with Astlin Concrete Contractors). Of course the highlight of 2018 with the man of my dreams, was being able to say YES to him when he asked to marry me. It’s my turn to be a bride, eeeek!!!
VMP had the busiest year to date, and boy was it so amazing. Building a business from the ground up is not easy, and choosing to keep Addie home with me everyday has provided me many more challenges. Let’s be real, how much work would you get done everyday if you had your toddler with you at the office?! But having a job that I love every second of that also allows me to share time with Addie all day everyday is so priceless. I am lucky to do what I love and for it to be providing me the ability to take care of my family. Special thanks to all of my amazing couples, families, and seniors, as well as my own family and friends for being so supportive, and just plain awesome! I can’t believe how much VMP has grown this year, but I couldn’t be happier!!!
Behind The Scenes
Weddings are love filled days for sure, but the amount of work that happens behind the scenes to make a day run so smoothly would surprise you. A wedding is a well oiled machine with several vendors all working in an orderly manner to create a perfect day to reflect the Bride and Groom as individuals and as a whole. This year, I tried my best to keep ahold of photos I took while testing light, passing time, working with other vendors, and those that my second photographers captured of me. Looking back through all of these this week has brought on some emotion as I truly loved everything about all of my 2018 couples and what their days held for them. I loved being able to go back and remember all of these in between moments. Here they are for you to enjoy as well!
Cheers to an amazing 2018!
Heather – The Intern
I brought on an intern in 2018, you will see her featured in this blog a good bit. As an intern, you have many duties. Heather not only did social media work for me in her downtime, be she also accompanied me at weddings and engagement sessions. She carried camera bags, fluffed dresses, held bouquets, organized family photos, held glasses and purses during said family photos, and acted as my model for light tests. It was so helpful having an extra set of hands this season!!
Sarah grabbed a couple fun prism photos of Heather during reception set up of Kristen & Albert’s wedding. (below)
Heather stood in for Steve (the groom) in the photo bottom left as Lindsay anxiously awaited the first touch moment with her soon-to-be husband.
Heather also had to be the wind beneath the veil in a few veil toss shots this year. (below)
And sometimes we ended up with some epic night portraits during light tests!!
Sarah – BFF & Wedding Photographer
Next up is my awesome bestie, Sarah! I am so lucky to have her as a best friend and to share this passion with her. Sarah and I often work for each other on weekends we aren’t already booked for ourselves. I think Sarah and I are a wedding dream team, I love working with her as my second photographer and working for her as well. It makes weddings even better than they already are when you get to work them with your bestie! Sarah and I often use each other to test light as well as capture candid moments working with clients, or enjoying a wild reception when mandatory by the couple.
Sometimes we humor the offer of a dance.
I work with some pretty awesome vendors every weekend. The wedding industry is a blast and is filled with so many talented, funny, and genuine people! I didn’t do the best job in 2018 of capturing vendor photos, but I do have a few from when I worked with Clay Estes of Clay Estes Productions and his second shooter, Matt. Clay and I are from the same hometown and went to the same VOTEC school to study similar things. It is awesome to work alongside a hometown friend. If you have yet to see Clay’s work, you can check it out here. Fun Fact, I booked Clay to film my wedding in June!
Another awesome, fellow vendor is Andrew of Andrew Jay films! I had the pleasure of working with him twice this year and we worked so seamlessly together. Andrew is super talented, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet! I hope to work with him again in 2019!! (below)
Melissa is an amazing event coordinator at Morningside Inn and Valley Springs Golf Venue. Melissa and I went to high school together, but didn’t know each other well. I got the chance to know her better when I brought her on as an assistant for one of my 2018 weddings. Let me just tell you, she rocked it! It was so awesome to have someone from the industry assisting me, she was always a few steps ahead of the game and helped myself and the couple enjoy what was a rainy and cold wedding day. I hope in 2019 I can find a few dates where Melissa isn’t booked to have her assist me again because she made my job a breeeeze!! Again, my assistants usually get stuck holding items during photos, you will see how she was juggling a veil and beer below while also helping to keep the little kids under control. (below)
This year I had a proposal in DC that was booked at the last minute. Due to work schedules, it had to be scheduled just as the sun was setting and lack of natural light became a fear. I needed to bring someone with me to help watch equipment during the proposal, and carry equipment through the street of DC for some fun night portraits. Thankfully, Natalie eagerly offered and just so happened to live in DC as well. Having a local to navigate the area made for a smooth and fun session. Minutes before the big question was popped, I set my lighting with a few candids of her. I promise she was enjoying the session more than she appears here and even offered to help with DC sessions in the future! (below)
The Valerie behind VMP
Last but not least, a little look at how I work behind the scenes. I am thankful for my second shooters who all collectively captured these photos of me during my client’s wedding days. I wear many hats on a wedding day: Photographer (of course), friend, touch-up hair styler, light test model, cake cutting teacher (I teach just about every couple how to do this. Don’t worry, no one thinks about HOW to cut a multi layer cake until they are about to cut it), train and dress fluffer, hair tie nazi (if you have ever been in a bridal party I photographed you know I am a stickler about these), bug photographer, dance partner, and so much more.
Organizing bridal parties is always a blast. It is so much fun to embrace all of thee personalities within each wedding party.
Cutting the cake is the last thing on your mind when you are planning your wedding. But don’t worry, I will make sure you know what you’re doing when the time comes.
Another fun prism shot from sarah as I fluffed Kristen’s gorgeous train.
I embrace nature’s good luck charms, and occasionally document a wedding crashing pest.
Fluffing gorgeous trains are always fun for me. Watching each intricate piece of lace fall beautifully to the ground as a bride is relaxing and taking in her wedding day.
For some reason, guests always want to A.) Take a photo with me, or B.) Use my camera to take a photo. I usually humor these requests for fun.
Nothing I love more than to see a full dance floor during the reception!!
And there you have it folks, there is a little behind the scenes of VMP 2018!