When Brett Benham of Brett & Tori in Southern California first emailed me a Wedding of the Week submission, I was definitely impressed by their professional work, but it was after a scroll through their blog that I found what I needed — "I'm actually more interested in this hippy wedding," I wrote back to Benham.
He was more than happy to share it, saying that the couple — Chelsea and Ryan — "spent only $40 for their venue and had little to no details, but it's been one of my favorite weddings this year."
Benham says that the bride and bridesmaids got ready at her parents' home. "The decor in the room where she put her dress on was movie-themed, so we had to do our best to work around it as well," he says. "We cracked open the curtains on one window so it only lit up the bride while she got ready. It provided a nice dramatic look while diminishing the rest of the details in the room that we didn't want to show."
As for the couple, Benham says they were extremely laid back. "They were on a VERY tight budget," he says, "but the bride had been following our work for a few years and she was going to have us shoot her wedding no matter what it took. There were very little details to cover, only the commitment that they were making that day."
As for gear, "I travel pretty lightly," Benham says. "I only shoot with prime lenses, so I like to use two camera bodies (one Canon 5D Mark II and one 5D Mark III), which are connected to my Hold Fast harness. I pretty much use my 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.2 for the whole day. My wife switches between a 50mm f/1.4 and a 135mm f/2 throughout the day. We only use flashes if we need to."
At the end of the day, the photographers put it best in their blog post by saying: "I will choose an emotion-filled wedding over a detail-focused wedding any day of the week (not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with details). It's just that at the end of the day, all those details are over and they’ve served their purpose, but the emotions last forever."