My Favorite Wedding Dress Trends for Summer Brides

Last year, we learned that our brides had a recurring theme: they wanted their wedding dress not to just be a pretty white gown, but an educated fashion statement. Our Booth Brides were knowledgeable on the bridal market trends, chose what best suited their personality, and most importantly, looked and felt amazing! 

So, here are the summer wedding gown trends we want to see more of in 2017! 

Non-white wedding gowns

From Melissa's gold Carol Hannah gown to Zoe's soft gray-blue MoniRose Bespoke Gown, I just really can't get over gowns that aren't any rendition of white. If I were selecting my own gown again, I'd go for a soft gray blue or gray-green. Would you consider a non-white gown?

Gowns with sleeve details

Two of our darling Chicago brides were up on the growing sleeve trend and showcased it perfectly! Shelby's Liancarlo gown had a delicate but fresh take on illusion cap sleeves that matched her personality perfectly. Christina's Zuhair Murad gown had longer sleeves with geometric detailing that was perfect for her edgy and chic personality.

Bridal Separates

Adya made my day...maybe more like my month when she told me she had gotten separates at BHLDN. She wanted the option to change up her look throughout the day. I adore these options-especially for girls who like to change up their look throughout their day or who may have a size difference from top to bottom. 

Bridal Pantsuit

When I found that we were photographing this sleek and modern Delphine Manivet pantsuit, I actually died and came back to life. This is my idea of the perfect chic look for a really confident and modernist bride. I mean. Dang. How amazing are those architectural cutout details and cropped pantlegs? I'm definitely dying to see more simple and modern pieces this year.

So, which of these trends are you loving? I think I talked myself into each one now...but I think in reality, I'd love a non-white gown the most!

Elements of a Stylish Groom| Groomswear inspiration for Summer Weddings

We have to admit-it's easy to spend time reminiscing about our beautiful brides. But we've worked with grooms who have a distinct and intentional sense of style that is incredibly inspirational. From custom suiting, distinctive style choice, to the accessories that make their looks, here are some of my personal favorite elements that make up a stylish groom.

Custom Suiting for the Groom

A groom who chooses custom suiting is usually a man with an eye for heirlooms. He's the guy thinking about 10 years from now and making choices based on the legacy he wants to leave. This is probably my favorite type of groom to work with simply because this mindset most closely aligns with ours!

A custom groom is all about fit and detail. From a crisp suit that fits like a glove, to those personal details, like custom embroidery, ticking, stitching, or fabric selections. I love Christian's sleek monochrome look, Tom's Enzo Custom suiting with all kinds of handsome personal touches, to Matt's trim fit suit (his slim leg pants were seriously perfect!).

Accessories for the Groom

My favorite parts of a groom's wardrobe are his accessories. Yeah, I love how guys look in a well fitting suit, but those personal touches show his investment into his day and his distinct personality.

Take Mike, for example. He's wearing a crisp white dinner jacket to reflect a sense of mid-century style. His accessories were on point. From velvet smoking loafers, to gogosha optique sunglasses, a silver watch and black bow tie really showcased his sleek and mid-century modern aesthetic. So sexy!

The Best Hair Trends for Summer Brides

I adore summer. I bask in it's sunshine, generally refuse to let heat upset me (I went through a very long winter, after all!) and spend as much time outdoors as humanly possible. I love everything about the summer, so naturally, summer weddings are my absolute favorite! 

I particularly love summer wedding hairstyles as brides want to capture a more carefree and romantic feel to their style. I've selected a few of my personal favorites, from some sleek, minimalist hairstyle options to some more loose and carefree looks, I love each one!

Which style is your favorite?

The classic ponytail two ways for the effortless bride

You know the drill. A Ponytail is a staple for any woman, so naturally a comfortable choice for a bride who wants to feel effortless. Whether straight behind you or a side pony, take this classic up a notch by wrapping your hair around the tie, or adding in volume and loose curls. 

Textural and delicate updos for the romantic bride

All of these are variations on a classic-the chignon. But each of these girls had their own distinct personalities and I love how it turned out! Add in loads of texture with loose curls, volume with hair extensions (check out these hair extensions by legendary Team Hair and Makeup in LA!) or wrap with braids or a bun. 

Classic chic updos with showstopper hairpieces 

Choosing your moments with your bride style is key and each of these brides knew they wanted their hair to be the canvas for a show stopper hair piece, so they played it cool with sleek, sexy styles that framed these hair pieces beautifully.

Loose beachy waves for the carefree bride

Want to feel the breeze in your locks and toss your hair around without a care? Consider these gorgeous carefree options. If you have a glorious head of hair, do me a favor and choose this style and call me to photograph you.  We're going to have SO much fun!

Dynamic and Detailed | Elise and Travis' Wedding Photography Review

Dynamic and Detailed | Elise and Travis' Wedding Photography Review

"Booth Photographics is a dream team to work with. From the very first time Travis and I met Stephanie and Stephen we felt so comfortable, at ease and had so much in common with them.

They have an incredible eye for capturing the smallest details to the biggest moments. They truly captured our engagement and wedding pictures exactly how I had envisioned them and took my breath away!

I love the fact that they are a team. Stephanie was able to take pictures of us girls getting ready while Stephen was able to take pictures of the guys getting ready. They are a dynamic duo that is hard to find! I am so thankful and grateful that they were able to capture our engagement pictures and wedding pictures because after going through the whole experience there is no one else Travis and I would have rather had by our sides. My sister in law is also using Booth Photographics for her upcoming wedding in June of 2018."

—Elise and Travis

Intimate Catskills Lodge Upstate New York Elopement

The beauty of elopements is in the feel of intimacy they portray. So when shooting this elopement at the Jake Anderson Workshop at Foxfire mountain house in the Catskills, my goal was to see everything through that lens of intimacy.

Intimacy & Warmth

The styling from Lacy Geary and stunning floral works by Kelly Lenard lent themselves perfectly to this intimate approach, wrapping you with a sense of love and warmth.

Workshop: Jake Anderson | Stylist: Lacy Geary | Florist: Kelly Lenard | Silk: Frou Frou Chic | Paper Goods: Plume Calligraphy | Ring: Susie Saltzman | Film Lab: Photovision | Venue: Foxfire Mountain House

The Best Luxury Northern California Wedding Venues

A few years ago, Stephen and I had the opportunity to spend some time in northern California, including the Bay Area, Napa and Sonoma Counties in California. Over the course of our time there, the relaxed pace and every day elegance of the lifestyle there worked it's way into my system, leaving me feeling nostalgic about leaving.

Yes, there are wineries everywhere you turn, making some of the loveliest wedding venues every. Adding in the beautiful mild climate and perennially sunny skies, and you have the ideal conditions for outdoor weddings in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Here's an ever growing list of our favorite wedding venues in Northern California. When you book one of these, do give us a call! We'd love to be a part of your wedding in Northern California!

Napa Valley

Beaulieu Garden

  • Where: 1960 St Helena Hwy Napa, California
  • Why: Beaulieu Gardens Exudes that California elegance in the most tasteful way possible. With such a beautiful outdoor setting, it's no surprise that it's become popular spot for luxury weddings in the Napa Valley.

Calistoga Ranch

  • Where: 1960 St Helena Hwy Napa, California
  • Why: For those who want to get away from it all while still having it all, Calistoga Ranch has you covered. Nestled in the very top of the Napa Valley in the foothills of Mount St. Helena, you'll find a laid back luxury in a private and unforgettable environment.

The Vintage Estate

  • Where:  6525 Washington St, Yountville, California
  • Why: In the heart of Yountville, just past French Laundry and V Marketplace, The Pavilion at The Vintage Estate and the Barrel room offer the best of both indoor and outdoor Napa Valley elegance. The central location and stunning grounds ensure a memorable experience for all guests.

V. Sattui Winery

  • Where: 1111 White Ln, St Helena, California
  • Why: V. Sattui is a staple in the Napa Valley. While they've been creating luxury experiences for some time and have been named on of the top 5 winery wedding venues in the world, their experienced, helpful staff and award winning catering team will help you provide a fresh experience for your guests that will be well worth the trip.

Sonoma Valley

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

  • Where: 24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, California
  • Why: The rustic stone and vine covered central courtyard will transport your guests to the Tuscan countryside. 

Buena Vista Winery

  • Where:  18000 Old Winery Rd, Sonoma, California
  • Why: One of the oldest wineries in California, Buena Vista Winery is a beautiful blend of historic character and understated elegance. Tucked in the hills just outside the town of Sonoma, your guests will love the private setting and beautiful grounds.

Chateau St. Jean

  • Where: 24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, California
  • Why: Make your guests feel like their invited to the wedding of the year at this fashionable estate wedding venue. The Italian renaissance revival style is plenty elegant without being stuffy or too formal.

San Francisco

The Pearl SF

  • Where: 601 19th St San Francisco, California
  • Why: San Francisco is such a vibrant city and you'll be hard pressed to find a more bold and energetic wedding venue in the city than the Pearl. The large, open indoor space is a great canvas to work with, and the rooftop space a wonderful bonus full of potential for creative brides and grooms.

City Hall

  • Where: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, California
  • Why: If you're looking for an iconic location in the Bay Area, chances are you've already considered San Francisco City Hall. The building itself is stunning from top to bottom. And while you may need a large production team to handle setup in such a large space, the unforgettable guest experience and enduring imagery ensure you'll relive your wedding day for the years to come.

San Jose

Villa Montalvo Arts Center

  • Where: 15400 Montalvo Rd Saratoga, California
  • Why: A stunningly elegant Italian renaissance revival estate in the hills outside of San Jose, Villa Montalvo is the perfect luxury estate wedding venue to make your guests feel like they're getting away from the business of the valley while staying close to the city.


Holman Ranch

  • Where: 19 E Carmel Valley Rd C, Carmel Valley, California
  • Why: Holman Ranch provides a stunning rustic stone villa setting on a private, working ranch for a relaxed yet luxurious and exclusive outdoor wedding in the Carmel Valley. Not only is the estate practically made for beautiful photos, the ranch grounds provide unforgettable vistas and sunset views.

Bernardus Lodge & Spa

  • Where: 415 W Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, California
  • Why: If a relaxed outdoor garden wedding in a winery setting is what you're looking for, Bernardus lodge might be the wedding venue for you. 

Nicklaus Club

  • Where:  100 Pasadera Drive, Monterey, California
  • Why: This beautifully elegant Italian style golf club venue offers so many beautiful spots for you and your guests—not to mention your photographer—to enjoy it's almost not fair! All just a short drive from beautiful Carmel.


Want to conquer wedding photography 'FOMO'?

We address the key reasons bride's fear missing out in their wedding photography and clearly break down what you can to to fix it and enjoy your day swept up the beauty of each moment.

Booth Photographics is a fine art wedding photography husband & wife team serving Northern California. We are passionate about blending enduring beauty & intentional storytelling to create timeless wedding photography.

How To Use Ideal Lighting For Your Wedding Photos

In over 60 weddings together (plus a bunch of second shooting), there’s one thing that will truly make my heart hurt while photographing your wedding day. I’ll watch the best light of the day (sunset) used for things like seating guests or cocktail hour while the worst light of the day (12-2 pm!) is used for the most important photos, couple’s photos. 

Flashlight or Snapchat filter?

Have you sat around a campfire as someone tried to spook you while shining a flashlight up their nose? They look terrible in that light, don’t they? It exaggerates every line, eye bag and blemish. It’s harsh, contrasty, and unflattering.

Using light at noon is the sun’s equivalent of a flashlight shining up your nose (just flipped the other direction!). It’s harsh, contrasty, and unflattering. It makes you look washed out and anything that bright sunlight is bouncing off of (like the green grass) will lend a color cast to your skin.

Using sunset light, on the other hand is like using a snapchat filter that makes your skin look amazing and smooth (I call it the “pretty filter”). Because the light is softer, directional, diffused and warmer, it’s more flattering to your skin tone making it look healthy and golden.

Prioritize your lighting

So how can you take the most important photos at the best time of day? Prioritize your timeline around your photos.

Use the best light for the most enduring photos. It’s really that simple. Our opinion is that you don’t need lots and lots of mediocre photos, but rather that you need the right amount of great photos.

Putting it into Practice

Be strategic with your time for photos. We can do more with 15 min at sunset than 1 hour at high noon.

With flattering lighting, we have much more freedom with how we can use a particular location for photos and the technical limits of where we can place you or which setting will work are much more relaxed so we’re free to focus on strategic direction and authentic interaction.

I’d recommend planning your ceremony for 2-3 hours before sunset to use lovely soft light for your ceremony. Whether you choose a first look or not, plan to make time for your couple’s photos after your ceremony instead of before. Here’s an example of my process for planning best use of lighting for, say, an early June wedding:

In early June, for instance the sun sets around 8:30 CST. Your best light will be from 6:30-8:45 (weather depending, of course) while you can’t fit in everything during that lighting, here’s what I’d recommend:

  • 3:45-private first look
  • 4:00-bridal party photos
  • 5:00-photograph completed reception space
  • 6:00-Ceremony
  • 7:00-Immediate family photos (4 shots)
  • 7:30-Couple’s photos-these are so lovely because you’re freshly married and there’s a lot of joy present! It’s amazing to channel that energy into a few moments of serenity together before you head to the more high energy cocktail hour.
  • 8:20-First Dance

As photographers, light is our muse. The better the light, the better you’ll look and the more you’ll cherish your photos for years to come!


5 tips for Better Fine Art Wedding Ceremony Photography

2016 brought some of my favorite ceremony sites to photograph and after narrowing the selection to my personal loves, noticed that they all share a common recipe that made me love them (I had no choice in the matter, really). I'm sharing the simple tips I have found to create a beautiful ceremony site that’s both intimate and intentional

Natural light/outdoor weddings

If you're planning an outdoor wedding, we thank you in advance! If your day is indoors, consult with your photographer on how to make best use of your light sources. 

Ceremony floral design

We love it when couples make their ceremonies an intentional time and think it’s particularly special when you use beautiful floral design to create that intimate and romantic atmosphere for you to share your commitments to each other. Talk with your florist about how you can create something that makes a statement for your ceremony (and how they can help you enjoy that design into your reception as well!)

Ceremony time of day

I cannot communicate how important this is! My favorite ceremonies were planned for later in the day so the couples could take advantage of the softening sunlight. These couples did this after consulting with us so if you like the way your photographer has photographed weddings in similar conditions, do share with them what you like and ask how you can achieve that. They/we are the experts on utilizing the conditions available and should have some great recommendations for you.

Ceremony location

all of these ceremony spots had beautiful locations, but notice the direction? They're all facing west-ish (so technical, right?) Because our clients were aware of our shooting style and asked us how to get the look they wanted in their photos, they adjusted the time of their ceremony and the location so we could photograph backlight and in softer light

Guest experience

Your guests are making some sacrifices to be with you! When the ceremony time comes, It takes a lot patience and dedication for a guest to sit quietly amid a group of people they probably haven’t seen in a while! Show your guests your gratitude during your ceremony time with a few thoughtful touches. Choose some pretty chairs for them to sit in and pass them a champagne flute or cocktail as they enter the ceremony site to thank them for their commitment to you during that span of time.

Many thanks to the following talents:

Jina and Jae's destination wedding at Villa la Vedetta in Florence, Italy: Florals-Jardin Divers | event design-Italia Celebrations

Shelby and Tom's wedding at Artifact Events in Chicago: Florals-Stems Chicago | Event design-Shannon Gail Weddings

Elise and Travis' wedding at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club: Florals-Flora Flowershop | event design-Door County Event Planners

Ashley and Eric's wedding at Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus: Florals-blossoms and branches

Franchesca and Josh's destination wedding at Walnut Grove at Tierra Rejada Farms in Moorpark California: florals-EmLily Floral | event design- Mia Bella Weddings

Adya and Brandon's wedding at the Lageret in Stoughton, WI: florals-Daffodil Parker | event design-Lavender Hill Events

Destination wedding at Villa Cimbrone: we haven't shot a wedding here yet...but we're putting it out into the universe that we want to and believing that it's going to happen! Isn't that the perfect spot for an intimate wedding ceremony?

Fine Art Travel Photography | Why We Photograph While We Travel

We recently finished sharing a series of posts from our 3 week trip to Europe. I really didn't want to post the last part of our trip because I knew that meant that it was really over. I miss it and have talked non-stop about going back since we've returned. And the reality is, I know that we will! (and I hope you'll join us for a session!) 

It's not easy to take camera gear with us while we travel. In fact it's a nerve-wracking risk that could lead to loss or damage! So...why bother? Why not just enjoy the travels?

Our Why

Our cameras are our tools to reflect how we learn about our subjects, whether a bride and groom, or a new place.

We approach working with our clients by first listening, understanding, observing, and building connections with them for weeks and months before we every photograph them. It's a vital part of our creative process and helps us create original and influential work. I thrive on understanding our couples and it drives how we photograph them.

Listening and Learning

We have the same approach to our travel work! Photography has always been a tool we use to listen and learn, then express. Before we travel anywhere, we spend extensive time researching places and learning about their history, culture, and community. We strategically plan our time to immerse ourselves in these communities and natural settings to learn.

It’s likely that if you asked us about the socio-economic status of each place we visited, we could tell you the average income, cost of living, the cultural breakdown, and the neighborhood and lifestyle values. If you go back and look at our travel works with fresh eyes, you'll see that understanding in every photo.


Travel photography as a form of understanding culture

Each photo we take while traveling represents a reflection on something we’ve learned in this process of travel. Every single photo is crafted through the lens of an understanding and appreciation for a culture or history. Every travel piece you see has that thought process super-imposed on it.

"So these photos are not just pretty pictures. They are the lessons we’ve learned. "

They are the history we experienced. And they are a reflection of how we became stronger people, filled with more grace, more understanding, and more care for people who are different from us.

Each of these photos reminds us that God is an incomprehensibly creative God. It reminds us that, in his creativity, he created people and lands that are vastly different than I am as a celebration of that creativity. How inspiring is that?

May these photos also give you pause, bring you to admire that same creator God, and help you to see what we learned from this most recent trip.

See all our travel posts here: 


Paris | Fine Art Travel Photography in the City of Love

Paris is called the city of love so often and I resisted the idea that it would charm me. I felt like it was way too cliche and I just wouldn't let it happen to me!

Why Paris really is the City of Love

But it did and here's why: The Parisian way of life lulls you into a romantic dream.  But as I type this, Paris still has a piece of my heart. Not because of the romantic architecture and chic street styles. If you're not there long enough, that will likely be all you have time to remember. No, Paris stole my heart because of it's lifestyle. 

It was here in Paris, after almost a month of travel, that we finally found a routine we loved. It was in Paris that the structured French ways made us feel relaxed and at the same time free to explore this historic city. 

We stayed in a 5th floor walk up (and herein lies the case for fitting everything into a carryon. I so wish I had done this! But what a great workout!!) in the enchanting and walkable Le Marais district. As we unpacked in our tiny but beautiful artist loft, I noticed that we were above a courtyard containing 6 cafes. 'What. We're never going to sleep," I thought. 

But our first night there, we opened the windows and the soft sounds of conversation, clanking glasses, and laughter actually lulled me to sleep. I listened to Nora Jones amid the sounds of life below me and held Stephen's hand and asked him "Could life really be any better?" It seemed perfect.

Our evening aperitif routine

Throughout our trip, we hadn't quite grasped the idea that dinner was later than in America. We were always the first ones waiting for the doors to open at a restaurant and would eat alone. We knew it in our heads, but hadn't found a way to adjust. Finally, in Paris, everything clicked! We had the happiest routine of finding fresh croissant in the morning at the nearest patisserie, then setting out for a day of wandering the winding, shop-laden streets of Le Marais, St. Germaine, and Canal St. Martin, then seeing some key attractions, like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero, Tuilleries Gardens, and the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre

By the time early evening hit, our feet were so sore that we needed a break. We'd meander back to our Le Marais flat, stopping by our favorite fromagerie, patisserie, and boucherie for cheeses, meats, and some fresh bread for our snack. We'd go back, try new cheeses, do a little work, and take a nap, then change and go out again with the locals for dinner around 8-9 pm. 

One foot in the past, one foot in the modern world

It was this slow, meandering way of life, with one foot in the past and one foot in the modern world that won me over.  The lifestyle here is forward thinking and modern, but people know when to disconnect. They balance the frenzy of modern connectivity with the charms of a slower, disconnected life.

It was here in Paris that we looked up real estate costs. It was here where we re-evaluated what we truly valued enough to keep in life. (whyyyy do we Americans have SO much stuff??) and it was here where I told Stephen "we have to come back. I'll do whatever it takes to replenish our travel fund." 

A Parisian lifestyle of fewer, better things

Paris confirmed things that I already loved in life but didn't know where they fit into my culture. I love a less is more mindset. I love fewer, better things. I adore connecting with people over long, relaxed meals, and I love kindly helping people. All of these loves made perfect sense in the Parisian culture. 

While I know that no culture can really be fully assessed in a handful of days, I found myself in Paris. And that won't be the last time we're there. Paris, je'taime.