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franklin county times

Anatomy of a wedding photo

FRANKLIN LIVING— Clair (née Kennedy) and Wilson Whitlock are Red Bay natives who tied the knot Sept. 4. When it came to a wedding photographer, the bride made the obvious choice: her uncle, local photographer Scotty Kennedy. The couple celebrated their magical day with a ceremony at First Baptist Church of Red Bay and a reception at Hurricane Creek Lodge.

When it comes to wedding photography, Kennedy said a more “old-school” approach defines his personal style. While candid photos have become a popular choice for brides in the modern age, he likes to take the time to really compose each shot for a more posed, formal look, from hand placement to other small details.

Wedding photography is a demanding subset of the photography industry – physically as well as emotionally. “You only have a certain amount of time to get the shot,” Kennedy noted. Because a wedding photographer will be working in a high-stress environment, capturing all the memories of a couple’s special day, Kennedy said it’s critical for the couple and photographer to have a level of trust and be able to work well together.

“Be sure your client has seen your work,” Kennedy advises, either prints or an online portfolio. “They pretty know much know what they are getting when they book their photographer because they have looked at their samples.” If a photographer’s style doesn’t match how the bride and groom imagine their wedding being photographed, that particular photographer might not be a good fit.

Don’t forget the family photos! It can be challenging in the busy world today to find the time for pictures with extended family, but a wedding provides a great opportunity for that. Kennedy recommended being sure ahead of time what different family groups and pairings you want photographed.

For his niece, Kennedy wanted to make sure the photographs captured the understated elegance the Whitlocks were going for. The couple chose to rely on the simple beauty to be found in their venue, like the stained glass windows. The simple-but-elegant setting provided perfect backdrops for their photographs.

Although some brides choose to forego the traditional bridal session, it can be a great way to have a set-aside time to celebrate the bride and create a photo to display at the wedding or reception. Kennedy shot photos at his studio as well as on location. While studio portraiture allows a photographer more control over the background and lighting, on-site photos are a popular choice when it comes to capturing the ambience of the wedding day. It’s a choice that comes down to the bride’s preferences.

Kennedy said lighting is a crucial component to capturing an engaging photo. He utilizes flash as well as making best use of natural lighting for each shot. Using an external flash helps to catch the light in the subject’s eyes and keeps the photo from being a little dull.

Wedding photography is something Kennedy has largely set aside in favor of family sessions and senior portraiture, as well as school photography and custom framing. After decades in the industry, he said the most important thing is for a couple to just be really familiar and comfortable with their photographer and his or her skill and style. Trends change, so be sure you’re confident in who you’re going to be working with and what you want out of your photos.

Clair is the daughter of Mickey and Susan Kennedy, and Wilson is the son of Buddy and Mary Ann Whitlock. The couple resides in Red Bay, where Clair works in the accounting department at Tiffin Motorhomes, while Wilson works at Hurricane Creek Lodge.

|  Photos courtesy of Scotty Kennedy