Behind the Scenes of 2017

Behind-the-Scenes-Wedding-Photography-Stephanie-Beach-PhotographySo I’ve never done a behind the scenes (BTS) post before, and that is mostly because I really don’t like most photos of myself while I am shooting. I tend not to think about anything other than the image to be honest and that makes for some very, very unflattering images.

But working with Dave as my second shooter at pretty much every wedding we were a part of this year means we have a large number of images of each other. Whether it be because we just ended up in the other’s photo, or because we were intentionally taking photos of the other while they worked, there were enough of them that I felt I would share a few of them here with you.

So this year, I decided to fight my instincts to hide behind my lens and share some of the rather decent and/or funny shots Dave and I captured of each other during our 2017 wedding season. So here’s what you can expect in these photos:

  • very unflattering angles;
  • weird facial expressions;
  • squinty eyes;
  • really bad posture (including, but not limited to, hunched shoulders);
  • shots of the back of my head (and my teeny, tiny pony tail);
  • Pep talks;
  • Dress fluffing; and
  • of course, Dave the light testing subject.

Enjoy!!

So I have decided to show these in order of appearance on a wedding day, which of course means we start with prep. Now since Dave and I are separated during this part of the day, there aren’t actually that many BTS images, but I did stumble across a couple as apparently one of our groom’s moms grabbed Dave’s camera while he was helping the guys with their suits – so thanks very much for that!!

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And of course, once we are back around each other as the first look and/or ceremony draws near, Dave often whips out the lint roller to make sure our guys are looking super spiffy.

This is also the time where I tend to give our bride a quick little pep talk before the first look. Letting her know one last time how we are going to shoot it for them, and getting them even more excited than they already are to see their groom for the first time! And of course making sure their dress is looking wonderful and helping them walk around safely if their ladies can’t join them.

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I learned in going through our first look photos that I tend to be far better at getting out of Dave’s angles than he is of getting out of mine, but that’s okay as he always stands in a spot where I can crop him out easily enough. Side note: how cute are our couples as they see each other for the first time on their wedding day?!

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It’s ceremony time – which means it’s Dave the light testing subject time!! Now, if you have met Dave, you know he is kind of a goofball, so him being my subject for testing light often means he carries his camera like a bouquet is just otherwise silly. He is also very helpful in untying pretty ribbons used to keep guests off of the aisle – super talented, right?!

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And apparently Dave uses me as his light subject too, although I am less cooperative about the whole thing and often just use the time to play with my camera instead of actively posing, etc.

And although there isn’t a ton of time for BTS during the actual ceremony, we do have some just because we tend to get in each other shots every once in a while.

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Like in the above image when Dave is clearly trying to do something but I am set on getting a certain shot and walk right in his way.

But more often than not, we normally use our little hand signals from across the ceremony and one of us hides away to get a grand shot of the whole scene from one end of the aisle or the other.

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The above photo is one of my favourite ceremony photos from this year, and I am so glad I actually managed to figure out what Dave was doing with our wide angle lens while he was taking the shot and grab a BTS of it all.

And another great shot for future couple’s reference is the below set. It is oh so important to have vendors who can cooperate together when they need the same thing from the moment. Matt & Kat are not only absolutely marvelous videographers, but they are also a dream to work with and left us room to move around their tripod and Dave was extra careful to stay out of their shot when he needed to be in the aisle.

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Family photos is another time of the day where we don’t tend to take a lot of BTS photos. Mostly because this part of the day involves a lot of cat herding and Dave is often pre-occupied with getting the next group of family members for me while I arrange everyone. But for this one, Dave was actually up on our ladder since the first few groups were so large, so he grabbed this shot of what I believe is me going over the list with the father of the bride to make sure everyone was there.

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Oh, can I just say that this was quite possible one of my favourite wedding party photo outings ever! Not only did we get to drive golf carts around the Rideau View Golf club, but the lovely ladies there brought along an absolutely delicious spread of food and drinks for everyone (and lots of water too, which we definitely enjoyed)!!

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Gotta love wedding party photos! Everyone is so pumped and at the same time just wanting to get to the drinks … I mean, reception. Most of our BTS shots from here are like the one above where one of us bumps into the corner of the others shot. But I do enjoy the below from Mary + Adam’s day where everyone is just chilling while I fluff a dress.

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This is also the part of the day where the most shenanigans take place. Like when Keith decided to help me get Rebecca and her girls genuinely laughing by getting real close – good times!

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And then as we head into the bride + groom portraits, I learned that I pretty much ignore Dave where ever he is as there are almost no photos of him doing his thing at this time of the day from the past year. And yet there are many photos of the back of my head as I pose our couples and chat to them between shots.

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Also, a lot of images of my camera bag – I love that thing so much I got Dave the exact same one earlier this year!

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I’m not entirely sure what I was telling Mary + Adam in the above shot, but isn’t this light killer!!

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A little stroll (where we did take photos, while they were walking, don’t worry), and then just me trying to walk around and not step on Nathalie’s wedding dress (pro tip: make sure you don’t step on wedding dresses).

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And in that off chance where you can’t get your groom to stop being super serious in his photo, there is always room for your bride to be extra handy and run back and forth behind Dave to get him smiling – thanks Nathalie!!

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I particularly like it when Dave grabs a shot of me and I can then match it up with the image I took then (or one of the images I took around that time). Like Sabrina + Jeff’s wonderful library portraits above.

Or Alyssa + David’s downtown portraits complete with me using my left hand to not only focus and zoom, but also hold Alyssa’s veil – I’m just that talented (and modest too!).

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And because I just couldn’t resist sharing just how gorgeous Alyssa looked, here is the shot I grabbed at that moment – stunning, right?!

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Being gorgeous and posing so marvelously all day can be tiring so, by the end of all the photos (particularly on a hot summer day) , sometimes you just need to sit and chill for a minute. So while I grabbed some bridal portraits of Krysten, Dave took Jon over to a bench and got him some water.

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When I ask our couples to kiss for a photo, I typically say something like “okay, awesome – now give me a kiss guys“. And every so often the couple turns to me and does something like this. So thanks Steve for being hilariously literal – Courteney and I both enjoyed the moment so much!

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When sunset pops out we grab our couple again for some super quick shots during that magical, golden light. In the case of Shannon + Kevin, some more dress fluffing was required between their perfect spinning sessions (seriously, if there was an Olympic medal for wedding day spinning, these two would take the gold for sure!). And we caught Kat doing her thing again too!!

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It is also during this time of the day (or during night shots, which we also love), that Dave finds himself holding our light saber (also known as an Ice Light) as he quickly jumps in and out of the shot. In the case of Karine + Doug‘s day, he also had to dodge literal fire in the process – so thank you so much for that, Sweety. 🙂

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I am just getting into Insta-Stories and wasn’t very consistent with them at all this past year, but on occasion I did remember them and grabbed my phone to highlight the various vendors and parts of the wedding day.

And then there is Dave capturing wedding details from an alternate angle, just doing his thing. 🙂

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Light testing subject Dave round 2 as we get ready for Ellen + Graham‘s grand entrance into their reception. Thanks again for the entertaining, overacting Dave 🙂

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Now, being the second shooter, Dave does tend to try out some funny angles, etc. which means he often ends up looking like the above image at random times during the day. The guests tend to find it rather entertaining, or so I overhear. And just in case you wanted to see what the shots from Jenn + Bergil’s first dance captured from that peculiar angle looked like, here you go.

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And yes, this BTS shot of me grabbing a first dance image of Krystal + Luke with all of their lovely family + friends watching, was also taken while Dave was lying on the ground.

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And to wrap up our BTS post for 2017, a few shots of our improved Photo Booth. We have had this as an add-on for our couples for a few years now, but this past year we decided to completely revamp it and Dave spent quite a while building the housing for it all by hand. Mixed with the social media kiosk, it has been a huge hit at all of the weddings it was at this past year, and we are excited to have it running again next year with even more upgrades!

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So yeah, that’s what things look like from behind the lens (at least one of them) during this absolutely fantastic wedding season. My apologies for the long post, and as a reward for making it all the way to the end, I leave the photo of a baby horse and its Momma at sunset. Because that’s just awesome!

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