I first met Laura Murray at WPPI in 2013. Since then, not only has she been nominated for our 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography competition, she has also written for us, most recently for a piece on working with wedding planners. I love how her work is always so joyful and vibrant, and often infused with beautiful florals (think Real Simple meets Martha Stewart Weddings).
For Annie and Cody's wedding at Red Sky Ranch and Gold Club in Wolcott, Colorado, the theme was "wild, natural and Bohemian," says Murray. "I wanted to capture the day in a natural manner that would complement the personalities and vision of the bride and groom. I focused on candid shots, but also made sure to style and direct the posed shots in a complementary manner."
One thing Murray made sure to do was photograph all the paper goods—the wedding invitation, envelope, escort cards, RSVP cards, a copy of a watercolor painting—that the bride had designed and created herself.
"Instead of photographing all of this on the wedding day and missing key candid moments," the photographer says, "I took all the pieces home and photographed it the following day. In order to tie in the feel of the wedding to the invite shots, I asked the florist for some leftover greenery and blooms. I brought them home with me and used bits and pieces of the floral elements in the vignette of the invitations." (And the bride loved the process so much that she started her own stationery design business.)
"I can never anticipate the light on a wedding day," Murray says, "and for Annie and Cody's wedding we got a bit of rain but also parts of the day were full sun and no shade. But for the ceremony, the clouds parted and we had full, hot, intense sun. Harsh lighting like this can be a challenge, but I just made sure to meter correctly. Instead of doing bride and groom portraits immediately following the ceremony as planned, I suggested we wait for sunset when the light would be soft and flattering."
For Murray, hearing the stories behind the details and planning of the wedding day also helped with coverage. "For their Colorado wedding," she explains, "Annie and Cody sought cake flavors reflective of the area. Local Palisade peaches were the star in the peach crumble tartlets, as well as the peach butter cake. One of the cakes used vanilla whiskey buttercream, featuring Stranahan's Colorado whiskey. To include something chocolate, their wedding cake was a dark chocolate stout cake, using local Left Hand Brewing Company's nitro milk stout. The cake was layered with smoked caramel, espresso buttercream and milk chocolate buttercream. Individual lemon cream tartlets rounded out the dessert table, with a toasted violet meringue. The kids table was covered with craft paper. They supplied crayons so the kids could color during dinner. Each child also had a spray-painted dinosaur toy at their place setting."
IN THE GEAR BAG
Cameras: Contax 645, Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 5D Mark II
Film: Portra 800, Fuji 400h
Lenses: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, Canon 50mm f/1.2, Canon 85 mm f/1.2, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, 80mm f/2.0 Zeiss lens (with Contax 645)
Lighting: Canon 580 flash, Canon 430 flash
Miscellaneous: Holdfast Camera Straps, Think Tank Rolling Camera Bag
Venue & Catering: Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club || Wedding Planner: A Vintage Affair Events || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Veil: Donna Beth Creations || Jewelry: Larkspur & Hawk || Shoes: Bottega Veneta || Hair & Makeup: Three Little Birds Salon || Bridesmaids & Mother of the Bride Dresses: Two Birds Bridesmaids || Groom’s Attire: J. Crew || Wedding Bands: Catbird || Florist: Lale Florals || Stationery Design: Flower & Bone Design || Music: The Drunken Hearts; The Motet|| Cake: Megan Joy Cakes || Rentals: Colorado Tents & Events; Elite Entertainment || Transportation: All Mountain Transportation || Accommodations: Sonnenalp Hotel and Evergreen Lodge