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Awkwardly In Love.

Meet Taylor + Brandon Dry

Taylor & Brandon celebrated their 1 year Wedding Anniversary just last week, so congratulations are in order! I was so excited when they contacted me to take their 1 year pictures, and they seem more in love every time I see them! I previously photographed Taylor's wedding, and her sister, Jordan's wedding, so at this point I fee like a full on family member! I explained to Taylor and Brandon that I am in the middle of rebranding myself this year, so they jumped at the idea of having their shoot at Table Rock State Park right outside of Greenville, SC. Taylor said they did a lot of hiking together near Clemson when they were in college and dating. This location worked out so perfectly for them and for me!

So...What's with that title?

Taylor and Brandon have this awesome love for one another, but as soon as the camera comes out, so does their super power-awkward. Now I have this SAME super power except that not only do I get awkward, but I make everyone around me awkward. I can definitely relate to this couple! Even Taylor's other sister, Kam, affectionately known as my fave, has made comments that I'm somehow able to capture them NOT looking awkward. I thought, you know...this might be blog worthy, because if you are a photographer that strives to capture real emotion, it can be difficult when dealing with "the awkward phenomenon." Even if you've shot the couple or person before, it can have nothing to do with making them feel comfortable. Most people, once at ease, photograph easily and well depending on your quality of light etc, but there are some of us out there who can't be in front of the camera to save our lives. We feel strange, the attention is on us, and all these questions run through our minds: what do I do with my hands, what are these looking like, why is the photographer staring so hard at me, what is even going on!

So, how do I make the awkward go away?

I don't really. That's who they are in front of the camera. They are a modest family, and their love is sacred, so public display can be difficult even if a camera isn't out. I pose with details to create a story, and then I make the couple laugh. Or in this case, I brought along a friend to hold my reflector that I knew would do an amazing job making them laugh! My best friend, Garrett, wasn't a pre-thought. (These things just organically happen in my life, but when he called me the night before it dawned on me that he would do an amazing job at this shoot!) So let me break it down for you.

1.) Pose your couple.

I generally pose people in ways that really feel awkward or are hard to do already, so if the couple didn't feel awkward to begin with they could end up feeling awkward during the posing process. But, Jen, it doesn't look like it would feel awkward! That's part of all the little micro-details. For instance if I have a groom that's substantially taller than the bride, I'll have him open his legs really wide with one foot forward and one foot back, hidden behind the dress. From the side it looks like a lunge. Guess what? To the groom it feels like a lunge, but can produce a much better picture that a whole foot of difference between their heads.

When you pose, you want to create an undeniable closeness, so all of the micro-details come into play. Where is the bride's hand placed exactly, what are her fingers saying, what is going to make his leg say "I love you." When you're dealing with posing the whole body, every aspect of the body needs to say 100%, "I love you."

2.) Make your couple laugh!

This can be difficult if you don't know them well, so you may have to try a few different tactics. An example of one thing I did during this shoot was get them all posed up, got behind the camera and ready, and then I said, "Brandon, in the sexiest voice you have, whisper to Taylor what you're going to cook her for dinner tonight." She automatically laughed, and then when he was whispering to her what he was going to cook, HE was smiling. A follow up to that once the giggles were gone was when Garrett chimed in, "I really want to know what he said!" That automatically got them both laughing again.

The key with this method is to BE READY. Make sure your settings are in place, the pose is done, and your composition is ready with your camera AT YOUR FACE! I have difficulty laughing too much WITH my couple, so it will throw things off, but this is one of the many reasons why I am so in love with my job!

3.) Give them something do to with a little guidance for candids.

Tell them to hold hands and walk, but explain HOW to walk. Explain exactly what you want out of them. Tell them where to touch a face, when to touch the face, when to stop and kiss. For some couples all of this comes naturally, but for some of us, me included, I just shy up in front of the camera and can't think.

Thanks for reading, everyone! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. If you are awkwardly in love yourself, give me a ring, and we will work together to achieve some fabulous photos! I am currently offering discounted rates for any mountain or waterfall weddings, bridals, or engagements!


Jennifer Brecheisen

Fine Art Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer locally serving Greenville, Asheville, Boone, Charlotte, Charleston, and Savannah.

Photographers Notes:

  • Most of these images were shot around f3.2 with a 50 and 85mm lens.

  • I used the "daylight" side of the Jerry Ghionis shoot-through reflector.

  • Mastin FujiFilm 400h presets were used in the final editing process.

Thank you Garrett Cooper for all of your charm and wit as well as holding the reflector! Thank you William Folsom for helping us to scout and find the perfect location!

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