Why I love being an Oklahoma wedding photographer
Every time I get behind the lens, I want to pinch myself. How is it that I get to do incredible work with incredible people in an incredible place? I’m not from Oklahoma originally (I’m a Kansas girl!), but I went to school here, fell in love here, put down roots, and just had a baby here (literally, this just happened a couple weeks ago). It feels like home.
There’s a reason why shooting Oklahoma weddings is so special. It’s this place. Right here. It’s unique and contradictory and wild and beautiful.
Here are three reasons why I love being an Oklahoma wedding photographer, although, I could go on and on.
Reason #1: The Sunsets
As Okies know, we have some of the best sunsets in the nation! Year round, as long as we have clear skies, Oklahoma sunsets always bring a hint of drama (the only kind of drama you want at a wedding) and the most beautiful lighting.
My favorite time of day to shoot is what photographers call “golden hour” which is that 1-1.5 hour block before the sunset and a little bit after. It’s when the warm light fills the atmosphere, filters through the tree leaves and reflects off the tall grass in a way that is just magical! It makes my subjects skin, hair, clothes, smiles that much more colorful and gives everything an added ‘pop!’
I always try to schedule my portrait sessions/engagement sessions during golden hour and if the wedding day timeline allows it, bride and groom portraits during this time as well. Even if it’s to sneak away from the reception for 5 minutes while the sun is setting to give my brides & grooms a few photos during that magical time of day.
You may think that shooting during golden hour is easy because the light is so soft and beautiful to work with. While the golden hour is there to be harnessed, light is powerful and it really does take a skilled photographer to optimize that light and make sure you glow.
The sunsets are amazing, but they are also fleeting. In this case time is of the essence and I’ve learned not to overthink and to ensure that no matter how beautiful the sunset, the subject of the photo is the focus.
Reason # 2: The Setting
Oklahoma is a place of contradictions.. There are literally wide open spaces. But there are also swanky urban lofts and metallic downtown skylines. There are rustic barns that would make Joanna Gaines herself swoon. My point is, Oklahoma has all of the things. It keeps my job interesting because my work takes me to different venues all the time. I’ve learned there is a wedding venue for every bride and each venue creates the perfect, unique backdrop for the whole event.
Here are a few venues that I’ve loved, that represent the great range of settings that are available in our state.
For a full list, stay tuned for my blog on a few of my favorite Oklahoma wedding venues
Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Gaylord Pickens Museum / Oklahoma Hall of Fame (a.k.a. the Mid-Continent Life Insurance building)
Midtown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Reason #3: Those Oklahoma brides
Y’all. Oklahoma brides are the prettiest. Like total knockouts, every time. But that’s not what sticks with me when I thumb through my portfolio. They are kind and joyful and graceful and creative. You can see it in their eyes. You can see it in the way they interact with friends and family on the most stressful day of their lives. I can see it in the way they treat me as a guest at their weddings.
It’s not uncommon that I end up staying in touch with brides, which is the greatest testament to the openheartedness of the couples I work with. There’s something in the water here, or maybe it’s just the mid-western hospitality. Either way, I like it, and I’m staying put.