To drum up excitement halfway through the reception, this bride and groom had originally planned to do a fake exit—where they leave the dance floor and then come back in and keep partying. Instead, wedding photographer Joshua Mikhaiel (an Rf 30 Rising Star from 2015) proposed an alternative suggestion. "I never like to 'fake' anything at weddings, so I suggested that we just hand out sparklers on the dance floor, get the bridal party to put the bride and groom on their shoulders during a great song and just see what would happen."
The result was pure, raw joy. "I didn't give them any directions and just let them go with it and I got a stack of beautiful moments," Mikhaiel says. To keep the natural ambience of the moment, he used no flash and a high ISO on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 35mm lens. He also stood on a bar stool to get the high angle, which, he says, "helps the viewer really feel like they're in the moment."