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 Here is a fun article from The Krakens blog featuring Melanie Mauer, an LDS photographer in Kentucky. Her work is beautiful and she has some lovely insight on working outside of Utah with brides and grooms from all walks of life. Enjoy!

 Photographer Feature

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Melanie Mauer is a professional photographer with a unique talent for weddings. As Mauer says, “Photographers tend to focus on their favorite subject, whether it be vast landscapes or action-filled sporting events. I concentrate on what I find most beautiful – people and their loving relationships with one another.” Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Southern Weddings, and The Washington Post. She is from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky and manages to make one of the most beautiful cities in America even more picturesque with her camera.

How did you get started with photography? Photography came as an answer to prayer – I’d written down what I hoped for my work to be (creative yet technical, flexible to accommodate family life) and the options as I saw them. I sought the Lord’s input and it became crystal clear. After that prayer and entering the fine art program at my college, I learned that my grandfather was a photographer and my great grandfather was also a photographer. We didn’t live close to my grandfather and I knew him as a retired business owner but it somehow feels woven on my DNA.

 

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As a Mormon shooting elaborate Gentile weddings in the land of tobacco and bourbon, what sorts of thoughts come to mind about marriage and weddings?  Don’t leave out the betting on race horses! I’ve had interns come from BYU-Idaho and it’s been a little startling to them! Because I photograph emotional moments, I’m looking for connection/commonality – and there’s buckets of it beneath the surface. I live in a region where love for family is exhibited through action. People stay near their families in the so many cases – also, only my immediate family is LDS so even within my family there’s a range of devotion to various religions.

Weddings (as well as births and deaths) are amplifiers – they bring emotions to the surface that stay tucked just underneath on most days. That amplified love is a rich experience to be surrounded with. I can’t remember a wedding where my own eyes didn’t well up because of a beautiful exchange. I’m also the sort that becomes transfixed by great art. Art is often in imitation of life and I see that unfolding right in front of me. Weddings are such an iconic time – it’s an intimate thing to share it beside a couple. And I see how good marriage is over and over again and love being with them again as their family grows.

How do you prepare? What do you bring? How much do you plan versus taking what comes? I love to prepare. Even if it’s for a trip, I’ll plan out stops for good food, places to visit based on recommendations from friends and even do quirky things like search hashtags on Instagram so I get a sense of what I’ll see.

Over the years, I’ve made note of all the questions I have with regard to a wedding and that goes out to a bride a few months before their day. We also formulate a schedule so everyone being photographed knows when and where we need them so it can run as smooth as silk and be super efficient. I catch up via phone a couple weeks ahead of time with my client and then let that great plan we’ve worked on play out. That said, it’s a frame work…we know we’ll create an image of the bride and her mom but within that plan I have lots of latitude.

I bring the expected gear (a variety of lenses, lots of batteries, a large reflector and scrim to modify light) as well as back-ups – and some less usual things like a handkerchief for the groom in case he gets hot and needs to wipe a brow, sporks for my assistant and me because we may get a plate of dinner but not get silverware until 15 minutes later and there’s not much time to eat, vintage stamps that may play well with their invitation…lots of random things that stay organized in a tiered container in my trunk.

What’s your favorite wedding story? Weddings are rife with great stories so that question is more difficult than you might imagine. Immediately, I think of so many. Four years ago, I was concerned about a particular wedding because the grooms’ mother passed away just weeks beforehand. I knew the family would still be in the throws of grieving and yet, while the air became thick with emotion when she was mentioned, the family was so ready for a happy occasion and the chance to celebrate.

The bride decided not to dance with her father in the typical father daughter dance and said she knew she’d dance with her dad many times that evening – but instead she sang to him and the entire tent was in tears because it was SO good. Her venue was their family farm that had been sold many generations ago by an uncle who wanted to travel the world and her grandfather would check in with the owners and say “If you are ever ready to sell this property, please sell it back to our family.” And they did about a year before her wedding. It’s like driving into a painting it’s so beautiful there.

Visit Melanie Mauer’s website.

Follow Melanie Mauer on Instagram.

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We love the simplistic beauty captured by this lovely bridal shoot. It feels like she stepped right out of her surroundings. Enjoy!

Inspiration

Photography: Breanna McKendrick

 

 

Do you ever worry that many of the guests at your wedding don't know you as a couple? Showcase your love story in a new way with personalized wedding magazines, designed by Betsy Jorgensen with Unlike Juliet. Here's how she got her inspiration! Enjoy!
 

Invitations

 
 
Photo courtesy of Megan Lily Photography.
 
When I was planning my own wedding, I realized that the majority of our guests would only know one of us, so I tried to think of something special I could do to remedy the situation. I happened to be taking a graphic design class at the time, and the week after our engagement, the class was given an assignment to design a magazine layout. That's when inspiration struck!
 
I spent all my free time designing a magazine that would let guests feel as if they knew us and our love story. We had a great story to tell, after all, and it was fun to create a lovely memento to share with our family and friends. Inside the magazine, we included the story of how we met, with both of our versions of the story placed side by side, how he proposed and an introduction to all the members of our wedding party. I even included an embarrassing photo timeline of each of us from birth to our engagement.
 
 
 Photo courtesy of Turquoise and Palm Photography.
 
We had only printed enough to place a couple copies on each table, but our guests loved the magazines so much, they started sneaking them into their purses.
 
 
 Photo courtesy of Megan Lily Photography.
 
Fast forward two years, and here I am, making magazines for couples all across the country looking for a creative way to share their love story with their guests.
 
The majority of my clients use their magazines as wedding programs, but I've also had brides mail their magazines to guests afterward as pseudo thank you cards. I do my best to make sure every couple has a magazine as unique as their love story. I design each and every magazine individually - I don't use templates.
 
 
Photo courtesy of Trisha Marie Photography.
 
My advice to brides? Write down your love story. Whether in a journal, a scrapbook, or a custom wedding magazine, get those precious details on paper to cherish in the future!
 
 
 Photo courtesy of Trisha Marie Photography.
 
If you'd like to learn more about Unlike Juliet's custom wedding magazines, hop on over to www.unlikejuliet.com or www.instagram.com/unlikejuliet. We're hosting a week of giveaways to celebrate our new website. We'd love for you to join us!
 
 
 

Brittney and Mike make a striking pair in every setting. Take a look at their lovely formal session. Consider a bridal and groomal shoot to help save time on your big day!

 Featured Groomals

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Photography: Laurel Parker

 

 

 

 

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