Cassidy’s Bridal Portraits

Before the Shoot

When I was first approached by Kyle and Cassidy, they mentioned their need to have Bridal Portraits. I had never done them but I was confident I could do it. I actually never really thought about them much until the date approached. It wasn’t until I got my first email from Cassidy, that it really clicked for me. Her one simple sentence, in no exaggeration, summed up what I want to give to people, what I want my couples to feel like.


I just want to enjoy this moment and feel like a bride, not a wedding planner.

-Cassidy Helmick

To say that you want to feel like a bride really struck a cord for me. Cassidy and Kyle planned this wedding in under five months. That is a SUPER tight window for something that is already stressful. I remember how stressful it was when my wife and I were planning our wedding, and I want to make sure that my couples have the opportunity to step away from their planning and feel like a bride, or a groom, regardless of how short their planning timeline is.

The goal of this portrait session was twofold; it gave Cassidy the opportunity to feel like a bride on the day of our shoot, and she also printed some of the pictures to display during the wedding, allowing her to be present for each moment, instead of feeling like she was on display, needing to be available to everyone to see her and her dress.

I will forever use this phrase as a way to show my future clients what they can expect in any session.


Day of Shoot

We chose two locations for some indoor and outdoor shots. Hollins University has a great landscape, perfect for outdoor photos, so we went there later in the day to capture that “Magic Hour” light. We started the day at a little church where my wife happens to work part-time! It has beautiful stained glass, and a wonderful balcony.


I was very excited, but also nervous for this session. There was nothing I wanted more on that day, than to make her feel like a bride. I even rented an 85mm lens to really up the quality! My wife came along to help out on the shoot and Cassidy’s bridesmaid Julia also came by to help. I couldn’t have done this shoot without them. THANK YOU BOTH.

The first part of the shoot went very smoothly. Cassidy is such a natural in front of the camera. I frequently would be giving a posing suggestion, and immediately stop mid-sentence and yell, “Good! Stay like that!” She has a natural grace. But, don’t just take my word for it, take a look!

I was so happy with how these shots from the church turned out. The location was great, the light was awesome, and most importantly, the bride was amazing. I can say I did all this work with the camera, but she really made this shoot what it was. She also punked me good. I went to hand her what I thought was her water only to hear, “oh that’s not mine.” Oh no! How could I screw up this simple task!? “I’m just joking,” she said, with a sly smile. She got me good.

On to Hollins University! It was right around freezing, temperature-wise, with a double-digit wind chill. Miserable would be an accurate descriptor of our outside conditions. So Cassidy stayed in the car as long as possible while I tried to set up the shot.


There is this time of day which is roughly one hour before sunset, called “Magic Hour”. It’s almost always the best light of the day, soft and warm, perfect for outdoor portraits. Unfortunately, we had to be done shortly after magic hour started. This put us in some very harsh light that I was having a hard time combating. But with the help of Julia, my wife, and the tenacity of Cassidy, we got some great shots. Here are some of the best!

The Delivery

This shoot caused a roller coaster of emotion in me. My first bridal session, with less than ideal outdoor conditions, and the pressure to make my client feel like I bride; I was anxious to get them edited and sent to Cassidy.

What I got back after I sent them, definitely brought tears to my eyes.

“THEY’RE PERFECT!!!!" began Cassidy’s e-mail.

I was so relieved, and more importantly, so proud of the work I had done. Working with Cassidy has been a true blessing and has given me more fuel to keep me positive, and to keep me moving forward in my career.

Thank you all for reading! I will be sharing their wedding experience with you in the future!

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