Aiming for Authenticity

I had the honor to shoot a beautiful Spring wedding over the weekend. Weddings are big days - they are chaotic at times, loud, filled with so many people, and oftentimes stressful. Sometimes even family sessions can be the same - it just really depends on how everyone is feeling that day. At the end of every session (or wedding), I look back on the images from the day and find myself evaluating my performance: Did I offer enough poses? Did we cover everything the client had in mind? Did I follow my inspiration images? Was I good enough?


So anyway, looking back on the images from this wedding day, I couldn't help but think to myself - I wish I had more time for poses with the bride and groom, I wish I had more time for poses with the bridal party, I wish, I wish, I wish. But then something amazing happened. I stopped wishing and I started observing. What I observed was that through all of those thousands of clicks that I had claimed were "no good" there were authentic interactions between people. There were  crazy out-of-state aunts laughing their heads off, telling stories of their travels; Bridesmaids taking selfies over and over trying to get that perfect shot; Cousins hugging and laughing; A bride who was filled with so much joy and love that she couldn't keep her eyes dry; and a newlywed couple who were giddy just looking at one another. 


What I'm realizing is that it isn't the poses that make me love photography so much. It's those images that are captured between the poses. The ones that no one realized I was taking - sometimes I didn't even realize myself. I can't wait to dive further into the photos from this wedding - I just know there are so many gems in there that the bride and groom will cherish forever. I couldn't be happier to be the one to hand these memories over to them. 


Here's to less worrying,  more fun, and the reminder that, as always, with a little light and a lots of love, everything will turn out just fine. 

Write a comment

Comments: 7
  • #1

    Diane (Tuesday, 15 May 2018 08:36)

    Those candid photos will be treasured! You have a gift!

  • #2

    Heather (Tuesday, 15 May 2018 08:55)

    Thank you, Diane! You have no idea how much your positive feedback means!

  • #3

    Meghan Alderson (Tuesday, 15 May 2018 09:40)


    Reading your blog just made my heart feel so full of appreciation and love.

  • #4

    Heather (Tuesday, 15 May 2018 09:43)

    Thank you, Meghan! I'm so honored to have been a part of such a beautiful day - and not just the weather! The love that you and Garrett are surrounded by is something that not many people can say they have. And you both deserve every last bit of that love.

  • #5

    Meghan Alderson (Tuesday, 15 May 2018 09:54)


    Reading your blog just made my heart feel so full of appreciation and love. I saw you there at every big moment, but also at every little passing moment, capturing that memory; and you capture it at just the right time, where every emotion can be seen.

    Also, thank you for calming me down multiple times, you are very good at that :)

    Heather, you’re truly a gem! Thank you

  • #6

    Gail Alderson (Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:42)

    Heather and asst,
    You both were such a joy to have on our daughters special day! I've fallin in love with the very first photo, can't wait to see more!
    Thank you for all your dedication and long hours spent to capture Meghan's wedding day!

  • #7

    Heather (Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:49)

    Gail, I’m so happy to have been there! I couldn’t have asked for a better family to spend the day with :)

Heather Stern Photography, LLC

Fenton, MI           |       heather@heathersternphotography.com     |         Metro Detroit

Wedding and family photographer in Metro Detroit, Southeast Michigan, and beyond.