Ask Andrea - Why Do I Take Behind The Scenes Photos at a Wedding?
One of my favorite photos from my own wedding was snapped by our genius photographer, John Michael Cooper of Alt F.  It shows the beautiful chaos and craziness that goes into setting up a bridal portrait.  It's all kids and craziness, but it's so real and so perfect!

One of my favorite photos from my own wedding was snapped by our genius photographer, John Michael Cooper of Alt F.  It shows the beautiful chaos and craziness that goes into setting up a bridal portrait.  It's all kids and craziness, but it's so real and so perfect!

Behind the Scenes Photos and Videos....I love them!  Love them!  And I've become known for them over the past few years.  Recently, I received the following Direct Message via my Instagram account:

Q. Beautiful weddings! Do you also work as the wedding photographer for your couples?  

It turned into a whole series of messages back and forth..."If your couples have their own photographer, then why do you take so many photos?"  and "Did you ever take photography classes?"  

Where does my obsession with behind the scenes photos comes from?

The not so pretty answer is that once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was working at a venue when one of our client's photographers had a mishap resulting in all of their wedding photos being destroyed.  All of them.  Every. Last. One.  Now, this was before the days of cell phones.  All the beautiful bride and her groom had were cobbled together from those cheesy throw away cameras people left on the table.  I don't even think they have a full length photo of her in her dress, or a clear one of them together.

Heartbreak.

Years later, when I first started my own wedding planning business, I took on a client who's photographer I wasn't quite comfortable with.  A rash of panic came over me...What if something goes wrong?  What if this photographer isn't good, and the bride doesn't get the photos she is hoping for?  And, selfishly, what if all the beautiful detail that we've worked so hard to put together goes undocumented, and then I don't have anything that properly shows my work?!?!?

Cold Sweats.

Thank God for my very patient, brilliant, and resourceful husband.  He jumped online and the next morning a J1 Nikon arrived at my door.  "The only way to be sure that you get the pictures you want," he said, "is to take them yourself."

See why I married him?

Let me state something for the record:  Since starting my company, I have never (knock on wood) had an issue with any of the professional vendors that I have hired showing up.  In fact, all I have ever been is blown away by the talent, the craftsmanship, and the amazing results we have gotten.  My couples all enjoy stunningly photos and video that are certain to stand the test of time and become heirlooms, beloved by generation.

So why do I still do it?

Well, to start with it's become somewhat of a passion project for me.  After months of planning, I become invested in each wedding I do.  Being able to capture the day through my eyes, the way that I see it, has been a very special experience for me.  

I find that I also tend to get one shot that the couple loves.  I get to know my brides and grooms so well, I develop a sense about what they want to see, and how they want to see it.  It makes me happy to get that one shot that they love that they can put up on Facebook or Instagram really quickly.

The details are everything!  And I always want to ensure that I capture them beautifully.  For the bride, and for myself!  From the wedding of Rebecca & Andrew Gullixson.

The details are everything!  And I always want to ensure that I capture them beautifully.  For the bride, and for myself!  From the wedding of Rebecca & Andrew Gullixson.

My shoe-obsessed bride, Amy, loved this shot of her bridal shoes alongside her bridal party's shoes.  it was a hit on Instagram!  From the wedding of Amy & Eric Noe.

My shoe-obsessed bride, Amy, loved this shot of her bridal shoes alongside her bridal party's shoes.  it was a hit on Instagram!  From the wedding of Amy & Eric Noe.

Behind the Scenes...Literally!  Actually, behind the crystals. From the wedding of Laura & Adam Wolter.

Behind the Scenes...Literally!  Actually, behind the crystals. From the wedding of Laura & Adam Wolter.

Fabulous shoes.  Are my brides shoe-obsessed...Or am I?   I must admit, they are one of my favorite things to photograph!  From the wedding of Halona & Rocky Bernard.

Fabulous shoes.  Are my brides shoe-obsessed...Or am I?   I must admit, they are one of my favorite things to photograph!  From the wedding of Halona & Rocky Bernard.

This crystal bouquet was such a showstopper!  And the detail of the bride's dress were just too beautiful.  I was up high and had to grab a shot from this angle.  From the wedding of My-Lee & James Mitchell.

This crystal bouquet was such a showstopper!  And the detail of the bride's dress were just too beautiful.  I was up high and had to grab a shot from this angle.  From the wedding of My-Lee & James Mitchell.

From the moment we started planning, Michelle was obsessed with her Bubbles and Bourbon bar.  I had to get a shot for her!  From the wedding of Michelle & Michael Tran.

From the moment we started planning, Michelle was obsessed with her Bubbles and Bourbon bar.  I had to get a shot for her!  From the wedding of Michelle & Michael Tran.

While the photographer set up a professional photo I grabbed the perfect shot of my bride relaxing with her new husband moments after the wedding was done.  From the wedding of Lori & Brian Notheis.

While the photographer set up a professional photo I grabbed the perfect shot of my bride relaxing with her new husband moments after the wedding was done.  From the wedding of Lori & Brian Notheis.

I also love getting a photo of the photographer working.  So many times these awesome people are behind the camera.  People don't realize what goes into taking the perfect photos. Capturing someone I love doing what they love is always a treat, and over the years I've gotten some spectacular pics!  It's always nice to be able to share a cool photo with someone who spends their life taking photos of other people.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer and all over artist John Michael Cooper of Altf Photography shooting groom turned friend David on the day of his wedding.  From the wedding of Celia & David Schaffer.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer and all over artist John Michael Cooper of Altf Photography shooting groom turned friend David on the day of his wedding.  From the wedding of Celia & David Schaffer.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer Ron Miller photographing Marci & Mike Pugnale at Vdara.  What perfect timing - this shot was taken just as the flash went off!  From the wedding of Marci & Mike Pugnale.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer Ron Miller photographing Marci & Mike Pugnale at Vdara.  What perfect timing - this shot was taken just as the flash went off!  From the wedding of Marci & Mike Pugnale.

Dalisa Cooper of Altf Photography shooting the wedding cake.  See the results below!  From the wedding of Hayley & Bryan Heard.

Dalisa Cooper of Altf Photography shooting the wedding cake.  See the results below!  From the wedding of Hayley & Bryan Heard.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer Adam Frazier and Las Vegas Videographer Terrence Lighten of Lighten Films setting up the shot!  From the wedding of Alice & Jimmy Wu.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer Adam Frazier and Las Vegas Videographer Terrence Lighten of Lighten Films setting up the shot!  From the wedding of Alice & Jimmy Wu.

The things your photographer will do to get the shot!  Las Vegas Wedding Photographer Ella Gagiano climbs up on a sink, using the mirror and her light to get the best ring shot possible.

The things your photographer will do to get the shot!  Las Vegas Wedding Photographer Ella Gagiano climbs up on a sink, using the mirror and her light to get the best ring shot possible.

But most importantly, in the event that there is ever a "God-forbid" moment, I know that my couples will have at least a handful of high-res, in focus, and clear photos that document their day for them.  But honestly, I worry about that less and less, because the teams that I work with are so beyond good...They actually have double cards in their cameras, so they won't loose anything!

And the truth is that no one person can be everywhere at one time!  And that means that, occasionally, to get the "money shot" there are secondary shots can get missed.  For example, in the moments before the ceremony starts, it's most important that the photographers get great photos of the ceremony location and take their places to shoot both the bride coming down the aisle and the look on her face when the groom sees her for the first time.  That leaves her final moments unattended to and undocumented.  That's where I come in...

I love shooting that moment when it's just a father and his daughter.  I always find what they do with their hands to be so telling and intimate.  I love how he was holding her bouquet for her, and how their hands were clasped together.  From the wedding of Michelle and Michael Tran.

I love shooting that moment when it's just a father and his daughter.  I always find what they do with their hands to be so telling and intimate.  I love how he was holding her bouquet for her, and how their hands were clasped together.  From the wedding of Michelle and Michael Tran.

Amy, the bride, being walked down the aisle by her father.  From the wedding of Amy & Eric Noe.

Amy, the bride, being walked down the aisle by her father.  From the wedding of Amy & Eric Noe.

Walking down the aisle at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens.  From the wedding of Alice & Jimmy Wu.

Walking down the aisle at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens.  From the wedding of Alice & Jimmy Wu.

Side Note - Beyond a few classes in high school and a life long love of documenting everything, I have never formally studied photography.  The only teachers I have had are the tremendously amazing professional wedding photographers in Las Vegas that put up with my lurking and who have provided me with thousands of photos as inspiration.   And after seeing their work, I would never presume to serve as anyone's wedding photographer.  I'm happy to simply serve as the best wedding planner I can be!

What a wedding cake!  What a photo!  Only a professional photographer can get an image like this!  Thank you Dalisa of Altf Photography. Wedding Cake by Peridot Sweets  |  Las Vegas Wedding Venue: Keep Memory Alive Center  |  Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito Events

What a wedding cake!  What a photo!  Only a professional photographer can get an image like this!  Thank you Dalisa of Altf Photography.

Wedding Cake by Peridot Sweets  |  Las Vegas Wedding Venue: Keep Memory Alive Center  |  Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito Events

Word to the wise - no matter how much you, your best friend, your cousin, or your neighbor's sister's roommate loves photography and weddings, always leave photo and video to the professionals.

Always...


Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito is often published, with works featured by the likes of Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, The NY Times, Junebug Weddings, and more. With an eye catching style that shares not only the story, but the soul, of a wedding, Andrea's clients praise her for being their wedding planner, event designer, advocate, and friend. Named the Best Wedding Planner in Las Vegas (2013), Wedding Professional of the Year (2011) and ranked as one of the top 50 wedding planners world-wide, Andrea works with celebrities, athletes, executives, and all people in love! Based in Las Vegas, and working as a destination wedding planner world wide, you can learn more at www.AndreaEppolitoEvents.com.