Each year, with a new slate of brides, comes an array of photographers to capture their special wedding day. We are always tickled pink when these photos are shared with us to view, to use, and to share on social media. During the year, we share some of these photos on our Facebook and Instagram. At the end of the wedding season, we happily gaze through these photos and enjoy walking down memory lane from all of our special wedding from the previous year. Then we painstakingly comb through all of these photos again and again to select our favorites. We tout this list of “24” photos as “Magazine Worthy Photos” because there is something extra special about these; unique enough that we could easily imagine them displayed in a magazine ad. All of our weddings are special but this list is our way to salute the exceptional talent and artistry of so many of our talented photographers.
These top 3 are in order of winner, second place, then third place. The remaining 21 photos are all in random order but were selected from 100’s of wedding photos from this year and all were special enough to be included in our Best of 2019 – Magazine Wedding Photos list.
Drum roll please! Today is finally here as we applaud our Best of the Best 2019 photo. To demonstrate what it takes to be the best of the best, just imagine you had a stack 4×6 wedding photographs and you will suppose to flip through these one at a time but at a fair pace of every 5 seconds. As you flip through some beautiful photographs, it has to be something fairly automatic that jumps at you during this quick process. So – you find one and set it to the side. You keep going through trying to set aside only a handful. Eventually you have your two stacks, the stand-outs and the nice ones. Now goes through the stand-outs quickly one more time. At the end, you probably have already discovered your favorite.
The winner of our Best of 2019 – Magazine Worthy Photos – was taken by Wonderly Creative of the bride and groom, Sara and Christian. I don’t think that I need to go on and on about the lighting or the interesting elements of this photo. It is a standout plain and simple. How bold and hilarious for Sara and Christian to on their own opt to take off their shoes, pull up her dress and shimmy up his pant legs and walk into the creek (likely about 40 minutes after their ‘I do’s’) and pose for this shot. Not to be outdone, photographer Yee Won also trapsed out into the water as well in order to get just the right angle. The lighting and angle are indeed just right. Icing on the cake is that this is photo number 3 from this particular wedding gallery that has made our Best of 2019 series so Yee Won gets a pat on her back – major kudos – for a job well done.
Second place winner is by Kenney Photography and is actually the second photo on this Best of 2019 list from the wedding gallery for Meredith and Kevin. I can state that it was likely one of our favorite galleries as a whole. So many awesome photos. This particular photo again has many great elements. I always say that the Kenneys know how to “dance with the light” and this is a prime example of it. The backlighting from the low fall sun coming through the trees is a perfect capturing of the sun at just the right moment for this photo at this location. All of that back lighting lets each and every limb, wisteria vine, and leaf behind it show off their detailing. This opening between these two large trees in our pathway towards our treehouse but because of the gap between the two trees, it allows the trees to frame up the couple. The bridal bouquet (created by Jill at HP Farms) is appropriately placed on that old tree stump to the side. Meredith’s veil has been tossed in the wind and as one who has often helped photographers try to do this feat, it is a challenge, so kudos to Lauren Kenney who wins the Olympic challenge in throwing it quite high in the air. And not to leave out the main characters here at all, but I often think some of the best photos of the bride and groom are these more tender moments instead of a full blown kiss. Meredith gently resting her head into Kevin’s forehead is a great symbol of words not spoken but love deeply felt. All of the great elements for an amazing shot.
Third place winner is by Kori Elizabeth Photography. This is the second photo on our Best of list from this same gallery from Suzannah and David’s wedding day. This photo has all of the great elements from interesting background and foreground. The mountain and the ridge in the backdrop along with horses grazing behind unbeknownst to be on display plus the creek, these features are all show stoppers. David and Suzannah are well centered and standing in a bed of fall leaves. Suzannah’s colorful bouquet smartly placed adds color too. A sweet and tender kiss adds the final cherry on the top. Love it!
Week Three Begins with another newcomer photographer to the farm, Adria Freshley Photography. This photo is in the same wildflower bed as the previous photo but nothing else is the same. The angle of this photo aims west into the sun beaming over High Point’s peak, and even though there is a glare at the top of the photo, it allows the detailing of the bottom part of the photo to stand out like the intricacies of her wedding gown and the flower and foliage of the wildflowers. I also think her position is perfect in that she is looking down and off to the side and that her arms are straight down and not even holding her bouquet. All of these little things, again, is what makes this photo (and others on this list) just have the “it” factor.
We are up to number 16. Are you enjoying any of these photos? Please make a comment when you see one you really really like (and why)! This next photo came real close to be in our final three. It should be a poster for our farm with the beautiful Queen Anne’s Lace wildflowers in the background and a beautiful bride holding one of our baby goats. It is the essence of our weddings. Another great photo from Wonderly Creative Photography.
Day 17 brings another cute picture of a baby goat but it has so much more. This photo just brings a smile to your face. The vintage truck-bed holds all of this crew. This particular wedding was unique in that it had “grooms-women” and who opted to wear suits like the groomsmen so even the bridal party stands out in this one. The whole crew seems to be having a mini-party. What fun! Photo by The Kenney’s again.
Day 18, on this rainy wintry day, features some of that garden color that I am so longing for on a day like today. This is the second photo from the gallery of Lacie and Josh by HMX Photography. After viewing the full gallery (and thank you thank you to all of the photographers who were so generous to let me have full access to all of the photos in the galleries), I saw almost a dozen various angles and photos from this general garden and barn area. Most of them were very nice showing off our magnificent “Cock’s Comb” and Zinnia perennial beds along with, of course, the kissing bride and groom. Most of the time when a picture stands out, I don’t always know why or what logistics to claim. This may be one of them in that category. I think it is well balanced and includes both our barn in the background as well as the intense florals, and I think actually part of its “recipe for greatness” is this particular “sweet and tender kiss” from Josh to Lacie’s forehead which also sets it apart.
Day 19 – I hope you can see how difficult it was to pick these favorites. So many good photos to choose from. This photo by Christina Marie Photography captures Angela and David in our “tree tunnel.” This tree-lined lane always makes for magical photos because it has such great depth with it. Each season brings a fresh new look to it. This photo is very early Spring so even the mostly bare limbs pose to create a unique almost architectural look to it. As you can see, our goats (photo hams they are) are eager to come to the fence if they see anybody remotely close….but even they along the fenceline adds appeal to this photo.
Day 20 gives us another dreary rainy and very cold day and it makes me long even more for the blooms and greens to return in full to the farm. This is the second photo from the gallery of Erin and Nick’s wedding by Zach Hawkins. This photo was taken in the greenhouse. With the right time of the evening and the chandelier beaming, it lights up the greenhouse and shows off all of the interesting details of the hanging florals and pots and such. Again, I think I am drawn to the sweet and tenderness of these types of kisses which helps just to give an overall interest to this particular photo.
Day 21 introduces our bride, Taylor, as she is in the old farmhouse prepping before the ceremony. Though you only get a glimpse of the bridal gown, I can tell you that it is stunning. We have had a banner year, I believe, this year when it comes to over the top spectacular bridal gowns. What makes this particular photo stand out is you not only get to see the off the shoulder dress (and sleeves) that this dress has but with Taylor’s olive complexion, it just creates a beautiful contrast. So much of making a wedding day special is all of the extra special preparation that a bride makes in her gown, her makeup, her, and her hair. As it happens, Taylor’s bridal bouquet is setting in the background in a mason jar but it too adds the touch of color that this overall photo needs. Photo by Heather Lynn Gonzalez Photography.
Week Two Begins Today. I am going to push down our first seven winners so that our next seven photos can be in the limelight a bit. If you are just now checking into the blog – be sure and scroll through all of our current winners.
The photo for today is from one of our tried and true photographers, The Kenneys, who seem to appear on our “Best of” series each year. This photo of Meredith and Kevin is taken on our garden pathway near the barn. One of the elements that the Kenneys are exceptionally good at is capturing the light. I often tell them that they know how to “dance with the light” in their photos. With the low fall sun coming from behind, it makes the happy couple almost glow. What this great lighting also captures is all of the organic textures in the background like the large Spruce and Poplar trees and the large Canna Lilies. The lighting outlines each detail in the foliage on each leaf and bloom. Then you have all of the interest on the sides with the old garden gate and our Cock’s Comb and Brazilian Verbena flowers. All of these floral varieties add color and textured interest. Finally…Meredith and Kevin are staged perfectly. Kevin’s casual stance, Meredith’s beautiful red hair, a stunning Boho bridal gown that allows all of that delicious light to beam through, and then the colorful and cascading bouquet in hand. All of it, again, comes together for a perfect recipe.
Day 9 highlights a very romantic photo by Roxy and Jon Photography showing a tender escort of the groom leading his bride towards the honeymoon treehouse on our property. With the cafe lights overhead and a glimpse of the lit up treehouse on the far left, all eyes are on the bride and groom as they slowly walk towards the treehouse. Enough lighting helped this photo which could’ve been extremely dark, but having the mostly dark photo also adds to the ambiance of it too.
Day 10 shows off another “newcomer to the farm” photographer, Kori Elizabeth Photography, with one of our best overall galleries. Part of what I liked so much about her gallery as a whole is that she was able to use to her advantage the somewhat lack of color of late fall. A novice photographer sees the lack of foliage, the lack of flowers blooming in the garden, and the subtle colors in the sky as a short-coming. Each season has its beauty if you have the eyes to see it. Kori definitely sees it and took great efforts to showcase it. This photo allows each naked tree in the background show off each detail of each branch and allows the light to play with the browns and soft rusts of late fall. All of these subtleties allows the bride to stand out especially with her bright bouquet. I also love the way the water accents this photo and all of the reflections that it brings too.
Day 11 features a photo by Juicebeats Photography. Our greenhouse often takes some very romantic photos partly because it is authentic to our farm but it feels as though the bride and groom has snuck away for a quiet moment – just the two of them. A good photographer can capture this “nobody is around” look which is of course part of the goal. Julia and Dylan certain look like they are enjoying this moment. The gorgeous blooming vine adds great interest to the photo plus Julia’s bouquet with its intense colors (created by HP Farms).
Day 12 is just a sweet choice by Jana Scott Photography. I admit this one is harder to describe but it kept making the cut at each round. I think part of it is purely the bride, Sarah’s, expression. The vine on the Milkhouse adds all of the great backdrop both in color and in lots of textures. Some photos just have an “it” factor….and this one does.
Day 13 highlights a much more artistic photo by The Kenney’s of one of our brides, Lauren. This is an interesting take off on one of those “veil photos” that are popular now. Instead of having the bride and groom under the veil, which is the typical staging, the Kenney’s have created a unique way to have the veil swirling above and around the bride in the background – leaving a stunning up-close photo of the bride. Though I didn’t have access to the color version of this photo, I can’t help but think that this black and white version still would’ve been the preferred shot. Unique and beautiful, this photo deserves to be on this special list.
Day 14 introduces a new photographer to the farm, Natalie Caho Photography. Somehow her lens or filters (or editting) paled the wildflower stems to a beautiful silver tone, but still allowed the yellow to remain distinct and in place which added a mystique to the photo. I remember Natalie asking the bride and groom to walk into the wildflower thicket to which I yelled from my golf cart “go for it – it will be well worth it!” I look at this photo and can almost imagine what the groom is thinking…”I hope there are no snakes,” which of course there weren’t! Often to capture those magic photos, you have to go beyond your comfort zone….and this one demonstrates why.
Let me start with a fun one by Zach Hawkins Photography. Front and center is Erin and Nick with their glorious spontaneous expressions. The lighting is perfect with the sun beaming from the side yet still capturing a bit of the precipitation too. The garden always abounds with flowers but shooting from just the right angle as Zach did, he shows off each variety to their best advantage add great depth, a sense of texture and of course great staging. The umbrella always adds a bit of interest especially with the happy smiles from the Erin and Nick. Even Erin’s dress has a garden-vibe that blends so perfectly into this photo location. So many great aspects of this photo that come together in perfect harmony.
Let’s go for another one. If you were quickly flipping through hundreds of wedding photos, you have to admit this one by Wesche Photography would certainly catch your eye! We tend to select a couple of these “bride with a baby goat” photos each year, and we indeed selected two again this year. Kaitlyn and Nathaniel seem to be enjoying a sweet and tender kiss but ly including little “Annie Oakley” to the photo adds a cute and adorable punch to it. Of course it makes everybody say “ahhhhh” and to boot, little Annie Oakley is looking straight at the camera as if on cue. In addition, I have to say that her little airplane ears makes her look extra precious!
This next photo in our Best of 2019 series is by Wonderly Creative. This photo is a delightful way to show off how a bride often feels when she first puts on her wedding gown. You imagine yourself in a beautiful wedding dress, and now, finally, that special moment is here and that special day is here. I don’t know what is going on in Sara’s mind as she twirls in her dress but she looks happy, sassy, and ready to get this wedding ceremony under way! I hope each bride feels the way that Sara “looks like” she feels in this photo.
Again, these first 21 photos are in random order but were selected out of all of our 2019 bride photo galleries that were submitted to us. This next picture stands out partly because of the natural elements that fortunately showed up free of charge to this lucky photographer (and to the couple too of course). It is hard to order such a day that has any one of these elements; interesting assortment of cloud coverage in the background, the two mountaintops with a variety of tree foliage colors scattered throughout, and the deep red clover patch that Kelli and Adam are standing in. If you ever met Kelli and Adam, you would know that they would happily do their part with such a happy (almost giggly) embrace. These two had this amazing expression on their faces all day long but this particular picture just has that winning recipe of having all of these great elements coming together all in one photo. This photo was rescued and edited by Chlogo Films.
I have a doozy of a photo for you today by Abigail Lewis Photography showcasing a very Boho inspired bride with our horse Spirit (formerly known as Chief….but my granddaughter won the argument for a name change). We often have brides wanting goat and horse photos. The goats are so much easier because they can be held and repositioned while, of course, a horse cannot. We are often at the whim of the mood of the horse “that day, that hour, that minute” that the photo op is desired. Spirit was very compliant, fortunately, to being the prop for several photos in this gallery. The very elaborate headdress (by Emily Kay Designs) and the positioning of the two faces being so close to each other made this one the best of the series. Great photography! Can’t you just visualize this photo being in a magazine as a backdrop for some product (like cologne or jewelry)?
Day 6 shows off a photo by HMX Photography appeals so much to us because it has such interesting elements in the foreground (the wildflowers), the mid-area (bride and groom kissing – always a good winner), and the background (not only the mountain but the sun setting just at the right time). That fleeting moment where the sun is still blaring to the moment when the sun peaks along the edge of the high peak of the mountain to the moment that the sun actually hides all comes and goes so quickly. To be able to get situated for the photo, which in this case means the bride and groom had to walk willy nilly into the tall wildflower patch as the bride, Lacie, is asking me “there are no snakes in here, right?” then to set up the pose just right for the photo is either pure luck or talent….or some of both. With us being a flower farm, we love the added bit of color and texture that this foreground offers to the overall picture.
Day 7 and I hope you are enjoying this roll out of photos. This next one is of Elisa and Samir under the bridal veil and it is taken by Kirsten Boston Photography. The staging of this photo is in our greenhouse but by most accounts, you can’t tell it, though the low hanging chandelier in the back helps to give this photo a bit of back lighting to the couple. Many brides try versions of the veil photo but most of them end of falling short. Most of the failures come from it looking too contrived and the couples even feel a bit awkward with it. But, when it does work, they are unique and amazing, so I think it is always worth trying. This particular photo only has a wisp of the veil which actually helps to add a bit of intrigue plus the expression of Elisa and Samir captures a truly genuine and tender moment that was fortunately captured on film.
I relish all positive comments and encourage you to leave one. ~ Margie