Rachel + Mike // A Sea Pines Resort Wedding on Hilton Head Island

Being a good wedding photographer isn't just about taking beautiful photographs. It's not just about knowing how to operate your camera. It's not about knowing the perfect poses to make your couple look like models. It's not about being able to take the perfect detail shots, finding the perfect place to hang the dress, knowing just how to arrange the invitation suite for that perfect flat lay shot. While all of these things may contribute to your ability to capture a wedding day thoroughly, being a good wedding photographer is about so much more than these things.

Being a good wedding photographer is about presence. It's about being aware and present in each moment of a wedding day. It's about noticing. It's about bringing a sense of calm and peace to a wedding day, not being one more potential stress factor on your couple's big day. You are potentially with your bride and groom more than anyone else on the wedding day, so your presence, and the vibes you carry with you, are very important.  Being a good wedding photographer is about pointing toward something greater - a narrative bigger than yourself, and it's about helping each couple see the value and beauty of their own unique story.

Rachel and Mike invited us into their story and allowed us to do just that. It was such a gift to be a part of their day and to know that we had their complete trust. 

In the middle of Mike and Rachel's first look, after we guided them through a time of reflection on the day and the commitment they were about to make to one another, Mike (who is a psychologist, mind you) turned to me and asked, "Do you guys practice mindfulness, or is the way you direct just a part of your personalities?"

Pause. This is one of the biggest compliments we've received in our career (especially coming from someone who is well acquainted with the practice of mindfulness!) We truthfully don't have a steady mindfulness practice, although it's something I've dabbled with and resonate deeply with when I give it the time (and mindfulness - hah!) that it requires. But this idea of slowing down, being present, and noticing the little things is exactly what we hope our couples take away after interacting with us. We hope that they can look back on their wedding day feeling, not that it was a complete blur, but that they were encouraged to soak it all in - the big moments and the little ones alike. We hope that they look back feeling that they were fully present with one another, instead of rushing through a checklist of the day's events.

Sometimes we wonder if being wedding photographers is even what we're meant to be doing, since much of our "why" has absolutely nothing to do with the photos. But, as we mentioned in an earlier post, our cameras are our ticket into this intimate space of a wedding day. They serve as our free pass to enter in, be present, and most importantly to invite our couples to do the same.

Rachel and Mike, thank you for inviting us in. Thank you for letting us do our thing. Thank you for fully embracing the big moments and the little ones on your wedding day. It was truly a privilege to photograph and film your celebration.


Many thanks to everyone who made Rachel and Mike's day so beautiful!

Coordinator: Tracey Mancini of Sea Pines Resort

Hair and Makeup: Eye Do Makeup and Hair Design

Dress: Pronovias from I Do... I Do... in Morristown, NJ

Invitations: Paper and Lace

Ketubah: Ketubah.com

Other Paper Goods: Minted

Florals: Tracey Inglesby of Flowers by Freshcuts

Ceremony Venue: Atlantic Room at Sea Pines Beach Club

Officiant: Rev. Christopher Mietlowski

Cocktail Hour Venue: 18th Lawn of Harbour Town Golf Course

Reception Venue: Harbour Town Clubhouse

Live Band: We Got the Beat

Catering: Sea Pines Resort

Cake: Sea Pines Resort

Photography and Video: Grain & Compass