We look forward to photographing at Hildene in Manchester, Vermont in much the same way as this confident groom is looking forward to seeing his new wife as they have portraits taken on the front lawn.
Hildene is full of beautiful vistas that can be used as the stage for couple portraits, and while we embrace the opportunities afforded us there, we are driven more by natural light than obvious backdrops. On this bright and hot summer day, the sun was beating down on everyone from a cloudless sky. Based on the time of day, the shadows the house was casting created an interesting line across the portico while leaving the sidewalk fully exposed to the light. Wandering off the path and slightly down the hill allowed us to see what the light was doing from a different angle. Using only the house as a background would have created a dark, looming, and nondescript framing for the groom, but placing him near where the main shadow was falling brought the recognizable mansion back into the picture, literally and figuratively.
The groom in this picture is one of the friendliest people you could ever hope to meet, but his confidence and excitement kept us smiling all day from behind the camera. We know weddings can be stressful days, attempting to juggle the timeline, distracting friends, and frequent family drama. Often times we provide an excuse for our couples to get away from things for a moment, allowing them to take a deep breath and regroup. We completely understand if the stresses of the planning process or the year-long focus on perfecting a single event can be more than people expected and we are more than happy to help then as best as we can, partially because we feel so at home during weddings. This stressful scenario was definitely not the case for this groom, as he spent the entire day smiling from ear to ear, excited beyond belief that he was finally able to marry the girl of his dreams.
During his preparations at the nearby Wilburton Inn, the groom regaled his friends (and Steve) with the story of how he met his fiancée. Spanning over a decade and reaching from the west coast to the east coast and back again, their love story evolved over the years. The first night they met they were each attending a wedding away from their respective homes, and wound up staying up talking to each other until sunrise. They kept in touch for awhile, but life and their careers took them in separate directions. Years later they reconnected through a mutual friend. They rekindled their connection and it eventually grew into a relationship. As he looked back on where he started, then talked about how they had grown together, and finished the story by catching up to that exact moment, you could see just how much excitement had been building within him. That smile is flashing in this image was on his face all day long. Working in an industry that focuses so much on brides, we love seeing grooms who are this emotional and ecstatic.
Location: Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests, 1005 Hildene Rd, Manchester, VT 05254.1/8000; f/4.0; ISO 1000; 102.0 mm.