When your couple tells you that they aren’t interested in cake cutting – in fact, they’re so uninterested in doing a cake cutting that what they’re going to do is have a cake piñata and they are going to smash the shit out of it – you’re so pumped for what’s about to go down!
I’ve photographed weddings where they’ve done WWE-style wrestling introductions full of costumes and searchlight style lights as the couple busts through a curtain of glitter. I’ve had couples who’ve decided to read their vows to one another privately right before the ceremony so their words could be felt one on one and the tears could flow more easily. I’ve photographed dinner tables decorated with gorgeous deep plums and crimson reds surrounding intricate custom made wooden Ouija boards and skulls gathered from the preservation lands nearby. I’ve photographed so many cool moments and a piñata smash instead of a cake cutting was a new one to add to my list of unique and perfectly “them” moments!
Couples finding ways to make the day theirs, make the day represent who they are and what they mean as a couple is my absolute favorite. Forgoing traditions that don’t suit them and instead, doing things that will make the day feel true to them is what I always encourage.
So Jess and Jared deciding that kicking off the celebration was going to start with Jared doing a flip into the reception and a little later they’d take baseball bats to an explosive white cake piñata, I was on it!
I knew the smash was going to result in some cool pictures but I also knew that it could go rather fast, escalate quickly, and be super dynamic, meaning I couldn’t just set up my off-camera flashes in one spot and hope I didn’t need to adjust it mid-swing.
So instead, I had my second photographer put the flash on a stick and had him maintain an angle to me that was complimentary and to keep the light pointed at the person with the bat so no matter where I or the person moved, they’d always be lit.
Turns out, that was the perfect plan!
The couple took turns swinging at the pinata and changed their plan of attack when it wouldn’t burst open which meant a lot of movement – as well as the piñata naturally moving. But when it finally did split open and the confetti busted out, I was so glad that Jess’ beaming face was behind the bat.
Being ready, anticipating moments, knowing how to work in an unfamiliar space and trusting that you can adjust as needed – these are all aspects that I’ve honed over the years to add to my arsenal as a documentary wedding photographer.
I’m so thankful for my couples – all of them! – for bringing me in, being unapologetically themselves, and celebrating with wild abandon.
And thank you once again to WPJA for recognizing my work and awarding me for this image! If you’re interested, feel free to take a look at my full profile on WPJA to see the rest of my award-winning wedding images by heading HERE!
Maine & New Hampshire elopement photographer, I AM SARAH V Photography, photographs events for wildly in love couples seeking an NH & Maine wedding photographer with a photojournalism & cinematic approach. You can see more of my work online at www.iamsarahv.com or on Instagram. I photograph many locations including Kitz Farm in Strafford New Hampshire and I’d love to photograph your day too! If you’d like to contact me directly, please email me at email@example.com
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