This past Thursday, May 9th, myself and Eric Talerico traveled down to Charleston, SC to photograph one hell of a wedding story at the Lowndes Grove Plantation. Along the oak-lined banks of the Ashley River, Anthony Reto and Tommy Berner shared their vows and were married with plenty of family and friends in attendance. Sandi sat this one out and stayed home with our 4-year-old son Luke since we had just recently traveled to Vegas for WPPI, so I brought our associate photographer Eric Talerico to 2nd shoot with me. Eric helped me shoot their engagement photos in Philly just a few months prior so it worked out perfectly, especially since he had already built up a level of trust with them.
If you’re wondering if this is the first same-sex blog post on the Twisted Oaks website you would be correct. To be completely honest, it’s also one of the blog posts that I’m most proud of. This was a wedding that would come with a slightly higher level of pressure. A level of pressure that Eric and I would ultimately put on ourselves for no other reason than the lack of experience that we had with photographing same-sex weddings. Sure, I’ve been told that as a professional there shouldn’t be a difference between how I photograph a heterosexual wedding and same-sex wedding. The truth of the matter is that no matter what kind of wedding it is, the unknown is always tapping you on the shoulder asking if you’re ready. Asking if you’re prepared for the job ahead. As a photographer who is used to posing a bride and groom, or capturing the natural behavior between and man and a woman, a same-sex wedding like this can easily throw you off and lead to an unnecessary level of anxiety and added pressure. The funny thing is that as a storytelling photographer, the lack of experience means one thing, and basically one thing only. There’s absolutely no need for any of it. Once the day gets started, you simply begin to photograph two people who are madly in love with each other on their wedding day. That’s it, end of story. The most important part of the job happened long before the first click of the shutter on the actual wedding day which is earning my clients’ trust. Without trust, Tommy and Anthony wouldn’t be able to naturally be themselves in front of mine and Eric’s cameras.
The first time that I spoke to Anthony and Tommy regarding their wedding, they asked if I had any experience with photographing a same-sex wedding with two grooms. I did, but only one, and because of that fact I wanted to make sure that if the two of them were interested in having me photograph their wedding that I would be a good fit. After talking with them for probably close to an hour about their relationship and their wedding plans, I knew that their wedding would definitely be a special one. I wouldn’t be able to tell you why, but I knew that I would be able to capture their wedding day exactly the way they wanted. The way that I knew I wanted, in an artistic and storytelling way that I knew I would be able to tell as long as I let go of my fears and anxiety. After the call had ended, I was worried that they would want to have someone with more experience with same-sex weddings be their photographer. Luckily, I was wrong… and the rest is history.
This was both mine and Eric’s first time in Charleston and we arrived the day before to explore the downtown area a little to scout out shooting locations. Downtown is where we would be spending a good chunk of time taking portraits the next day. It was honestly like walking through a photographer’s playground with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, preserved history and alleyways that give the feeling of being taken back into a previous century. Charleston had so much to offer that we basically scrapped any ideas of planning the day out. It really didn’t matter where we went, we knew it wouldn’t be too difficult to photograph them.
The next day, their wedding day, couldn’t have gone any better. I woke up feeling a ton of pressure to make sure that I basically brought my A-Game, but once Eric and I arrived at the AirBnB that Tommy and Anthony were getting ready all of the pressure faded away. The rest of the day couldn’t have gone smoother, and as you’ll see in the photos below this wedding turned out to be one of our best. Walking the streets of downtown Charleston was just as we had expected and the photos we captured do a pretty good job of showing you why. After about an hour of basically letting the two of them enjoy each other’s company and soak in all the feels from their wedding day, we drove over to the Lowndes Grove Plantation where their ceremony and reception would be. If you’re a fan of our work, it won’t take you long to see why this venue fit our style of photography perfectly. Overall, this wedding turned out to be one of those weddings that you put so much pressure on yourself to make sure you came through in the end only to have it be one of your favorites. Personally, I couldn’t be happier that Anthony and Tommy got to share their wedding day at such a beautiful location in front of family and friends as I know they had always dreamed of, but also that myself and Eric were the ones who were there to make sure that each and every special moment will live on forever. Congrats again to the both of you and thank you one more time for not only having us share in your special day but for trusting us with such an important job. It really does mean the world to us and I know that I speak for both myself and Eric.
VENUE: Lowndes Grove Plantation
TUX: Boyd’s – Canali
PLANNER: Zachary Andrew Events
VIDEOGRAPHER: Blu Couture Wedding Films
FLORIST: Palmetto Bloom
DJ & ENTERTAINMENT: Dj Wade – Wedding DJ Charleston SC – OtherBrother Entertainment