One week ago, we did something we’d never done before: Amy was a bridesmaid in our best friend’s wedding AND we photographed it. Just the two of us. And as if you don’t think we’re crazy enough already, we spent the entire week leading up to the wedding as youth counselors at our church’s summer camp, doing all the campy things you do at camp: eating in the mess hall, climbing the rock wall, and wearing our team’s colored bandanas on our heads — which made us feel like we were on Legends of the Hidden Temple all week. (Extra cool points if you ever spent part of your childhood wishing you were on team “Blue Barracudas.”) Why did bandanas go out of style anyways? We need to bring. them. back. So, anyway, while we were jumping and chanting and climbing, it never left the back of our minds that we’d soon be on our way to a wedding weekend that was completely uncharted territory for us. We’d packed high heels and ties right next to our bandanas and bug spray. We had to completely prep for both adventures, so naturally, we brought every piece of camera equipment we owned right into our cabins. The kids didn’t know it, but if they’d looked under the bunk beds, they would’ve found a few very expensive bags full of very expensive things!
On Friday afternoon, we drove two hours through some of Arizona’s national forests from camp to the rehearsal dinner in the breathtaking red rocks of Sedona. The best part about that? Hot showers and robes. Because when you’ve been at camp all week and smell like a combination of sunscreen and chicken nuggets, nothing feels — or smells — better in the whole wide world. That night, after eating our body weight in guacamole and sopapillas, we put our phones away, circled up some patio furniture with our friends, pretended that each miniature chocolate we ate was our first, and talked (and laughed) the night away under the twinkling stars like we hadn’t in a long time. It felt good for the soul.
The next morning, it was show time and game time at the same time. Luckily, our room, the bridal suite, the first look location, and the ceremony site were all within 50 yards of each other, so we didn’t have to travel very far. We decided it’d be easiest to shoot the details before Amy got her bridesmaid dress on, so we took Jenny’s wedding dress outside to hang and photograph on the white gazebo near some weeping willows. What you do see (on the right) is part of Amy’s last name: Fino. Her maiden name is long and hard to pronounce, but Jen always took the first four letters and called her “Fino” for short. When we got married, she announced that she would be willing to combine Fino and Demos into Femos. What you don’t see (on the left) is Jordan’s hand stabilizing the dress from the gusts of wind that wanted to turn her dress into a lacy kite!
Here’s Amy with all the bridesmaids! Jen had custom tanks made for all the girls!
Amy finished shooting almost all the details before it was time to do her hair, makeup, and change into her dress. We don’t have a photo of it, but she actually walked back and forth between the bathroom (where she was doing her hair and makeup) and the well-lit window where we had the details, to grab even more shots of them before it was time for Jen to put on her dress.
It was a little hectic trying to do both jobs at the same time, especially since she did her own hair and makeup, too! Amy grabbed this detail shot of her bridesmaid necklace that was a gift to all the girls from Jen, just before she helped the beautiful bride into her dress.
Jordan wanted to make sure Amy had a chance to actually feel like a bridesmaid, so he captured all the getting ready moments so Amy could really feel present.
Having Jordan there meant Amy could soak up the moment and just be what Jen wanted her to be most: a friend.
Once Jen had on her dress, it was time for the first look and bride and groom portraits.
The bride and her
bridesmaid photographer crazy friend who volunteered to do it all!
The black camera strap is a nice compliment to the slate blue bridesmaid dress, don’t ya think?
Jordan took over for bridal party and family portraits.
But not before Amy changed her shoes! Photographer flats out, high heels in! If you can look beyond this extremely unflattering shot of Amy, you’ll notice her high heels waiting right next to Jen’s dress. We just had to share this capture because this one shot really sums up the entire day.
The whole crew!
Jordan shot the ceremony alone and found himself running from one wing to the other so he didn’t miss a shot! We forget how spoiled we are to have two shooters all the time!
He might’ve paid a little extra special attention to his favorite bridesmaid…
The best part about having a photographer in a bridal party? She walked SLOWLY during the recessional and trained Jen’s little brother to do the same! Even in the strong winds, they walked like pros. Well played, you two, well played…
We had time for a few more portraits after the ceremony, so Amy kicked off those heels again and rocked it barefoot in the grass!
It was really important to Jen that we spent most of the reception enjoying ourselves, so after opening dances and toasts, we packed everything up, backed everything up (in two places ;), took our gear to the hotel room, and danced the night away like it was our senior prom all over again. We don’t get too many chances to be guests at weddings anymore, so we spent the rest of the evening getting lost in moments we’re used to capturing for others, and we were reminded of just how blessed we are to have a dancing partner for all of life’s songs.
This is one of the only photos of us together from the entire day. In the rush of things, we forgot to take more, but we’re so glad we asked a friend to grab this one for us before we cleaned up the gear for the night. It doesn’t matter how many photos we take together. We can never get enough. Because, even after almost 10 years together and 5 married, we want to look back when we’re old and gray and remember every moment and every adventure. Together.