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What a journey!

The last time we talked about this couple, we told the story of how we met them a couple of years prior to them reaching out to us for their wedding. All of our wedding packages include your choice of an engagement session, bridal boudoir, or a morning-after day in the life session.

Maria and Caleb had chosen the engagement session, where we got to take a mini trip and meet in the unknown-to-us land of Peoria, Il. where we made authentic images like this one.

Engagement Session | Luthy Botanical Garden | HYPER LENS CO.

This time, we get to finish our part of the story.

We arrived a day early to meet up and overlook the venue and grounds. Maria & Caleb booked their wedding at The Orchard in Hannibal, Mo. A seriously awesome historic former apple orchard. The Sales Room that’s under the rustic barn still smells like apples thanks to its massive limestone walls and cedar + oak timbers holding up the joint. It’s a cool place.

rustic barn at Hannibal mo wedding venue The orchard

On our walkthrough we discussed some of their favorite images a little more, and what they were interested in capturing. Caleb is a big fan of the candids I had captured of him and the other groomsmen getting ready, as he said “I didn’t even know you had taken those”!

Maria loves our general aesthetic and the way our photos made her feel when she saw them. This really cemented our position in working like photojournalists. Look for the authentic moments, try not to pose, and keep it moving. This is great because that’s what the majority of a wedding day is for us.

The other half of our dynamic approach is where we utilize a little more prompting, while never sacrificing authenticity. We reserve this mostly for our big dramatic shots, and our intimate couples portraits. We try to incorporate what we read a person to feel like while staying in line with our collaborated vision. In this case, we think these two images sum up our amazing couple these amazing people.

First Look?

Maria & Caleb were both in between on the idea of a first look. They wanted the authenticity that comes with seeing each other in the aisle, but also wanted photos of them together in the venue. Andrea and I solved this dilemma by arranging a first look that didn’t actually allow them to see each other AND give them an empty venue to be in. While still being together.

groom waiting for bride for first look photos
bride coming up behind groom for first look photo
bride and groom first look without seeing each other

Intimate Moments at Your Wedding

Can be difficult to find with all the celebration happening. Having a great group of friends and family in your wedding party really helps.

Having spent time with most of this group before, we were all familiar with each other. We knew personalities, who would stick out, and who we needed to prompt a little bit more. All that stuff aside, we really love the vibe the whole group has. There’s this sense of togetherness between all of them that you don’t find in most adult groups nowadays.

It’s very real, and I absolutely love that about them. It really is through thick and thin with them, and that’s what friendship is about.

We had a really great day with our new friends, and it was an absolute honor to be able to capture as many wedding moments as we did. Such great people and The Orchard is such a beautiful space. As a photographer, you really can’t ask for more. While our work as their photographers may be coming to an end, it’s really cool to have been a part of a story that spans multiple years with such significant parts of their story. That’s ultimately what I do this for… connection. Making our heritage quality images is only part of it.

a wedding at the orchard in Hannibal mo photograph collage
Tom Dahm

Author Tom Dahm

Tom Dahm is a family man and lifelong creative. The great-grandson of celebrated photographer Bernice Kolko, his work in photography moves through every niche to celebrate what it means to be human.

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