Literally… | Leavenworth Wedding Photography

I’m no grammer nazi, but when it comes to the word, “literally” I do have to chuckle when I hear someone say something like, “I literally moved heaven and earth to be here.” The visuals for that are awesome, right?

When it comes to photography, you can sort of categorize photographs into literal and non-literal images. So, you can photograph a person in a straight-forward manor, like a portrait, or you can render an image in such a way that it creates a feeling, and becomes something more than a descriptor:


  1. An element or term that has the function of describing, identifying, or indexing, in particular.

On a wedding day, it can be difficult to feel like you have time to look for these types of images, and I think sometimes, I turn that creative part of my brain off…literally. It’s frustrating, to say the least because I feel that these images are some of the most beautiful, and telling or even story-telling images of the entire day. But, we get caught up in the idea that a client wants to see the straight-forward, literal depiction of important moments on their wedding day.

For example, I certainly have been guilty of only photographing the bride putting her dress on for the first time using a wide angle lens showing the entire room, instead of a tighter shot focusing in on the details of her hands over her head as the dress covers her head, and nothing more. The latter image would depict the feeling of that moment, rather than the exact moment itself. Two different parts of the brain are at work here and are constantly in conflict.

My goal, on a wedding day, is to turn on –literally– the part of the brain that is creating and feeling, more often than I turn on the part that tells me…”make sure you show what was happening in that moment and nothing more!” I do know that this is easier to do when I have full-freedom from expectation. I’ve said this before, but it bares repeating, I love working with people who get that creative process! It is so inspirational and well, literally gets the monkey off my back 😉

Here are few examples of moments that are more about the feeling of the day, rather than the literal moment that’s happening…

(From Megan & Mark’s San Jose wedding)

(From Colleen and Arius’ Leavenworth, Wa wedding)

(Halley & Chuck’s Tacoma engagement session with their dog Grandma Moses)


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