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  • Writer's pictureBethany Mitchell

I do

Yes! I do take wedding pictures. I got started in 2001 as a favor. My friends Renee and Travis had an intimate, non-traditional affair in her grandparent's living room. Included were the family, his best friend and me. I showed up early and documented the happy couple getting ready at her house: the bride slipping into her strapless gown and the groom still sporting jeans and his Tool t-shirt.

We walked down the street to Gram's and they took their emotional vows followed by wedding pictures on the lawn. Renee had a beautiful bouquet that in my memory was appropriate to the fall season. I snapped away. And that was it!

The pictures from Renee and Travis' special day remain some of my favorites. Maybe it is sentimental. She is and always shall be "my bosom friend" (You "Anne of Green Gables fans will get the reference!) Also, their wedding gave me my start.

I didn't realize it at the time because it wasn't my plan. But I was a wedding photographer! I enjoy meeting with a new couple, hearing their love story and capturing precious moments that they will treasure forever. I shot a few more of my friends' big days and the next thing I knew I was in business. I probably averaged one a month in my heyday. I came up with a name and had business cards made. I was just Fotografía back then but that wasn't practical because it simply means photography. Try Googling that to find me!

Weddings are high pressure. We've all heard horror stories about "Bridezilla" but that has never been my experience. People are nervous, excited, happy. They ask me questions like I am the expert. Very common is on which lapel does the groom's boutonniere go? The left is the correct answer because that is where the buttonhole is on men's clothing. But the real answer is pick a side, be confident and go with it because it isn't really important. What matters is this detail which was stressing someone out has now been solved and they never think about it again.

I have learned so much over the years. How does one take a good picture of twenty people? For large groups of families or bridal parties, I have a trick that has served me well. I ask people to close their eyes. I count to three, they open and I hit the shutter button. People smile and laugh, make jokes and the odds are better that everyone's eyes are open for the picture!

What do you like to see in wedding pictures? Detail shots? Moments?

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