As I was gearing up to share my best moments captured in 2022, I was tempted to share the most eye-catching wide shots or prettiest bridal details. But honestly, getting married this year proved to me that some of the most valuable wedding photos to the couple are the ones that capture a moment, one they can link back to a forever memory and emotion. As I remember some of my own favorite photos that our wedding photographer captured for us in September, I was drawn back to photos in my 2022 portfolio that capture eruption of emotion. Those joyful wedding photos tell me so much about how a couple, or their loved ones, are feeling.
It’s a celebration expressed in the scrunching of our noses and wrinkling around our eyes. It’s sometimes tearful, sometimes wide-mouthed laughter. Sometimes it’s expressed by burying your face into someone’s neck or raising your arms like you’re on a rollercoaster. These emotions are what I call “spillover joy.” And I hope to capture it in every wedding that I photograph.
So here it is… my Best of 2022… the most joyful wedding photos I took, by just being in the right place, right time.
Ali and Anthony were two sweethearts. Both were pretty soft-spoken and laid back as bride and groom. Which meant they were uniformly smiling all day, just giddy to be around their loved ones and getting married. But in this moment, unprompted, Ali just leans in and you can barely see the cutest nose scrunch as she takes in the feeling that Anthony is now her husband!
When I’m posing bridesmaids, you know it’s coming… fake laugh for me! But I go one step further. “Who can give me their most awkward fake laugh? One, two, three… go!” And usually the personalities come spilling out. The “funny one” is usually the one to bust out a robotic he-he-he, which inevitably makes the rest burst out in huge, toothy grins and happy faces. When you’re among your closest friends, laughing is easy. Especially on your wedding day. Rylie and her best gal pals were absolutely hilarious together, and you could tell each one of them was just spilling over with love for their best friend and her new husband.
Some of the best moments are captured immediately after the couple says “I do” and recesses down the aisle into a back room. I’ve seen bursts of joy in laughter, shouting, toasting champagne and more. But at John and Theresa’s wedding, I think I captured the sweetest moment of all. John shed tears as their heads fell together in a sigh of “we did it!” It’s truly the craziest moment when you finally look at your SPOUSE and remember your theirs, forever. And they’re yours.
Madison was just cute as a button on her wedding day. As one of the most expressive brides I’ve worked with, I captured some really precious candid moments between her and her husband Will. From bursting into their reception already twirling around to strutting through their sparkler exit, these two were like popped champagne bottles of joy in every movement as they soaked in the love from their family and friends.
I’m featuring not one, not two, but FIVE 2022 couples for this one because it’s probably the most common point of the day that I can capture joyful wedding photos. And the reason is pretty easy to figure out. You’ve waited, planned, anticipated, and stressed over every painstaking detail of your wedding day. And now you’re finally… FINALLY… husband and wife! The music rolls and you shoot down the aisle with fists pumped in the air. But don’t forget also to stop in the middle of the aisle for one more kiss!
As much as I adore those sweet moments of serenity between a bride and groom (cue the example of when John embraced his brand new wife right after their first kiss), I also adore catching laughter. Whether it’s a funny reaction to seeing you in your dress the first time, or your groom whispering in your ear how awkward it is that everyone is staring at you… I truly believe laughing smiles are the truest form of who you are. It’s your most beautiful self, exploding for everyone to see and admire. And I hope there’s plenty of those moments on your wedding day so joyful wedding photos become a reality for you.
This phrase has been stuck in my head for months now. If you’re the type of person that believes in a word for the year, I think this may be mine for my business in 2023. Spillover Joy to me means joy that is so intense it can’t be contained. It spreads like wildfire. It lights everyone up in the room. And it expresses your true feelings.
For my 2023 brides and grooms, I wish you nothing but spillover joy for your wedding day. Thank you also to my 2022 couples, and especially all the wonderful photographers who hired me to second shoot these joyful wedding photos for their clients this year.
*The above photos are a mixture of shots I’ve taken, including second shooting work done for Marshall Arts Photography, Willow Britt Studios, Gracie Withers Photography, and Alexandra Kent Photography*
Did you love seeing snippets of my 2022 weddings? Check out their full blog posts here!
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