Small Ceremony, Backyard Reception — First Wedding as a Photographer

Mr. & Mrs. Kwideria & Curtis Bates

As many of you know, this was my very first wedding as a photographer, and man, did it make me fall in love with the concept of weddings. I used this very experience as a learning experience. I knew of course, I was going to more than unprepared for my first wedding but with these shots that I was able to get throughout the day…I’ll admit I was actually more than ready just not with all the equipment (lol), but who can tell?

But if I’m being honest, I learn 5 important things:

  • get detail shots of everything (even if invitation is on the phone, be creative and make it happen) 
  • have backup batteries 
  • have multiple lens (at least two) that gives you the quality that you need – I used my 50mm the entire wedding, but I did have my kit lens as my backup 
  • scout out the location that the ceremony and reception will be taking place, because this will give you an idea of how to set up your couple, and helps the process goes by much faster when shooting after the ceremony
  • give each couple a wedding packet (which is a guide to give them an overview of everything such as engagement session, bridal portraits, wedding details, information on a first look,etc) — this will answer all of their questions they may have. 

The wedding overall was amazing! I’m truly thankful that this couple has given me an opportunity to document their special day. They loved their images, and I’m hoping as you glance through some of their images, that you do as well. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts below!!!

Vendors used at the Wedding:

Wedding Designer/Florist: I Dream Events & Designs

DJ/Band: DJ Gov 

Photographer: Shanavia Bates Photography

Tent/Tables/Chairs: Rent a Tent in Columbia 

Ceremony Hall: Little Zion Baptist Church

Reception: Their Backyard

Shirts Couple has on: I’Tyshaia Cave






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