Bravest Bride on her Wedding Day


After 13 years photographing weddings, occasionally a bride will still surprise me but it’s always the girl I least expect.

This is certainly true of Leah, who shocked us all on wedding day when she willingly wrapped herself with a 12 foot Python in route to the church! Her groom stood by his bride, just as shocked as the rest of us.

Therefore, I can say without any hesitation, that Leah was THE bravest bride. Because, even I, would not wrap a snake around myself.  You might think I’d be that kind of girl, but I am not.

But this story isn’t about that… I’ll share that somewhere else & spare those who don’t like snakes.

I’ve decided to tell a different part of the story… about the view from behind the altar.

{Psst.. still curious about the snake, check it out here: ‘Is your photographer ready for anything?’}


The ceremony has begun.  From behind my lens, I’ve caught my bride sharing a laugh with her father as he happily gives her hand to Christian.

I smile BIG as I trip the shutter… the interaction & emotion I am witnessing makes me giddy! I know I’m getting great shots and I want more…

I quietly change my position as the congregation begins to sit.  I decide to sneak through the door on the side of the altar so I can get a better view of the couple.  They had brought in a priest from their own church which means I am usually free to be as sneaky as I want.  Upon my arrival, I wasn’t confronted by a church lady reminding me of ‘the church rules’ so this seems like fair game.  Besides, I am frequently called ‘The Ninja’… because I use full advantage of my small frame to hide in small spaces.

In this situation, I find it’s best to get my shot then ask forgiveness later.

I silence my shutter, crouch down, monitoring my breath, slowly sneaking my lens around the corner in an effort to be as ‘ninja-like’ as possible.  Then I hear a whisper coming from the hallway I’d just come through. My blood runs cold as  I turn to see the church custodian motioning for me to come towards him.

Oh no! I’ve just been caught!

I slowly pull myself from my position and do I as I was told. But instead of scolding me, he asks “Do you want an even better spot?’

Shocked & delighted I nod my head as he takes me around to a locked door.  He pulls out his set of keys & quickly leads me directly behind the altar.

“oh- hmmm..” I hesitate, ‘ I’m afraid the congregation might see me here?!’  I whisper.

“Naw!” Willie says with a wink, ‘Don’t mind them!  Besides, as long as you get great pictures- it doesn’t even matter.’

I could have kissed him!

Once again, giddy with excitement, I find myself behind the organ making slow movements until I get my camera into the right spot.  I notice a mirror on my right that provide a perfect view of the couple.  To my left, I can get a straight shot of the bride & groom saying their vows with the crowd happily watching from behind.  I stay in position, calculate my exposure & wait for the pay off.

Leah & Christian didn’t disappoint- their smiling eyes & constant laughter brought joy to everyone who came to witness.  There I was, skillfully & thoughtfully hiding behind the organ to capture it all.  Some days are better than others, especially when Willie is there to lend a hand!













Wedding Day Details

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  • Erin - Great story! The snake was definitely an intriguing detail. I love how you got the perfect spot behind the altar to shoot. What a darling couple!! Thanks for sharing their story.

  • Adrienne - I wish I got this chance every wedding day!! I actually don’t think there was a hiding place behind your altar… Now that it been a’few’ years, I can barely remember your church!

  • Ashley - How awesome!!! I wish there hadn’t been any church rules at our wedding. Though the shots you go were still awesome, naturally. Beautiful photos as always!

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