Epic Wedding Photo # 1

This black and white photograph is of epic importance to me as my one of my all time favorite wedding images because I love the simple story it tells of a journey and because the  photograph is of one of my best friends Steve Macomber and his wife Maggie. We made this image behind a rental beach house in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on the intracoastal waterway.  This was a long boat dock over the shallow marsh. To me, this image illustrates a couple at the beginning of a path together. We have no idea where life will take us but in marriage we commit to a walk together to the end. This is the only wedding I’ve ever shot where I was both a groomsmen AND the wedding photographer. In fact, I was  Steve’s best man on Feb 26th, 2005. With each passing year, I appreciate more and more the wedding photographs I’ve made of so many couple’s who have chosen to start a life together. I am now a “seasoned” husband married for more than 17 years with two teenagers. The milestone of wedding celebration means more to me now then when I made this photograph 13 years ago. Moments of celebration are gift in life, when captured in a photo they allow us to reminisce and to cherish. As I write this post, I am overwhelmed by the grief at the loss of my mother who has been fighting for good health for over a year after a fall when she broke 3 ribs and spent 2 weeks in the hospital. This was the beginning of a gradual decline in health with too many ailments to count. After more than 7 hospital stays, 5 operations including a foot amputation, and 4 stints in 3 different nursing homes in 13 months I have seen the definition of pain and suffering. My mother has fought the hardest battles of her life and her groom has been by her side every step of the way. After more than 54 years together Jim and Judy Exum’s journey together is over as COPD and pneumonia have taken away the breath of life. My mom and dad are my heroes, my mentors and my anchors. Life is short and life together is a gift so try to be kind, to be patient, and to cherish the time you have together. With humility – Steve Exum. #lifeisshort

Epic Wedding Photo # 2

Steve Exum’s #2 epic wedding photograph was also shot just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Doughton Park near Roaring Gap, North Carolina. This is another shot of Kate Hale and Mike Craft. There were so many great features to this epic location for me as a wedding photographer that Kate, Mike and I could not help but walk all over this mountainous overlook and shoot. Doughton Park has wide open fields and big sky overlooks with 360 degree views in multiple spots. After I made the photo of this couple next to the lonesome tree we made a short walk to look at one of North Carolina’s most incredible vistas. They turned their back to me to take it all in. I paused to take it in too almost forgetting why I was there.  Then … “click” the moment was recorded.  Every time I look at this photograph I’m reminded that when a marriage starts the world is in front of you and an adventurous journey begins. Mountains of joy we will climbed and valleys of despair we will cross. I’m reminded to be kind, to be understanding and to be patient, that I should love deeply and love often because sharing a life together IS the gift of our human experience.  For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/

Epic Wedding Photo  # 3

This shot takes us to western North Carolina off the Blue Ridge Parkway to Doughton Park near Roaring Gap. Kate Hale and Mike Craft originally from Greensboro, North Carolina became man and wife at one of my top 5 prettiest locations in North Carolina for wedding photography or any photography for that matter. I have since made the two hour drive from Elon to make engagement portraits, family portraits and pictures of my family because I love this area so much.  This mountainous backdrop is where we shot the Exum Family Christmas Card from 2008. It has wide open fields, big sky overlooks with 360 degree views which is rare in NC. Most of the Blue Ridge mountains are covered in trees so the overlooks and views are partially hidden due to the canopy of trees. Doughton Park in contrary has acres of hilly fields, lonesome stand-alone trees surrounded by grassy hills that are green in the summer and covered in broom-straw grass in late fall and winter. Giant rock outcroppings there also make this place an ideal spot for a portrait photographer and a commercial photographer. The long meandering trails, far off views and the protected parkway void of billboards and highway road make this a yoga workout sanctuary. This wedding photo of Mike & Kate in the broom-straw grass next to a lone tree begs to be printed, framed on hung as art work.  Coincidentally. Epic wedding photo # 2 which will post tomorrow also comes from the Wedding of Kate & Mike in September 2006. However, the view is completely different. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s # 2 image. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/

Epic Wedding Photo # 4

This epic wedding photo from an epic wedding celebration story is # 4 in our studio countdown of epic photos by Steve Exum. It features a shot of Shawn Daelemans and Nick Hardy of Tracy’s Landing, Maryland getting married on a North Carolina Beach in October 2016.  Every wedding photographer loves a beach wedding. The landscape is beautiful in every direction and no matter the time of day or even the weather conditions, the beach is always beautiful. Combine a beautiful spot that with a fun loving wedding party and a bride that truly appreciates pushing the creative envelope, you have a formula for an epic wedding. I made this shot of Nick & Shawn kissing under incredible cloud formations at sunset barefoot in the sand. I new this decisive moment would make my top 10 when I pressed the shutter. I’m going to retell their epic story because it began with fireball shots and ended with canon-balls into the pool. So here goes … Nick married Shawn in front of Southern Comfort’s ocean front beach house in Ocean Isle, NC. Shawn and Nick booked their wedding with me months prior and when Shawn shared a collection of Pinterest wedding images that featured jumping groomsman, a bride in tug of war with the groom and many other spicy fun photos, I knew I had a bride with spirit. Shawn warned me to expect a rowdy group of friends, family, and wedding party. My second shooter, Alex Tricoli, and I arrived early to find Nick and his groomsmen doing fireball shots while ironing white shirts, khaki pants, and trying to tie sea green neck ties. Immediately, they tempted Alex with a fireball shot. Maybe rowdy was an understatement. While Alex documented groomsmen antics, I made photos of Shawn and her bridesmaids applying make-up and having their hair styled. Shawn looked stunning with flowers in her long brown hair, styled to one side. Her bridesmaids were equally equally beautiful in their sea green dresses, artfully applied make up by Natalie, and their manicured toes prepared for a barefoot beach ceremony. Our formula for a great wedding celebration was just getting started. Shawn’s dad, Greg Daelemans, walked hand in hand with his daughter under picture perfect skies. Our groom Nick, showing his sensitive side, wiped a couple of tears as Shawn and her dad walked down the sandy aisle to join him. It’s the partiers that are also the most sentimental. After reading personally written vows, trading rings, and sealing the deal with an epically long kiss, Greg Daelemans’ daughter became Nick Hardy’s wife. Now the real party could begin. FYI, a wedding reception without liquor, beer, or wine equals a very short party. This was definitely not the case for Nick and Shawn, thankfully.  I have shot hundreds of weddings and I can tell you the level of passion and energy on their dance floor, with tunes spun by Butch Barnes, fell within my top 10 all time favorite weddings. Even the guests at the rental beach house next door were dancing outside on their deck. The hardcore partying climaxed when father of the groom, Jim Hardy, cannonballed into the pool followed by his sons, Nick and Marshall, and a half a dozen friends. Nick and Shawn danced one last song followed by a wildly popular presentation of photos by Alex and me set to music and projected onto a big screen. The “official” party was over. As Alex and I were packing up gear the bride and groom invited us to stay for a beer and enjoy post wedding “fellowship” until 1 a.m. THAT, my friends, was a recipe for a perfect epic wedding. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/

Epic Wedding Photo # 5

This shot happened when Jenny married Jason to become Mrs. Jenny Elmore Paxton in Greenville, NC Sept 17, 2010. This was the second of three wonderful Elmore family weddings I documented over an 8 year period. I LOVE the Elmore family and all of their spouses and am grateful to parents Jennifer Elmore and John Elmore who poured unlimited creativity into these weddings making the photo ops beautiful. It helps having a mother who runs Jennifer Elmore Interior Design This era began with the wedding of Hannah Exum Elmore and Jack Elmore in 2008 in Snow Hill ended in June of 2016 when Jenny’s sister Janey Hachmeister married Chase.  Jenny and Jason’s  black tie affair in downtown Greenville was sandwiched in the middle. I like placing my couple’s in a signature spot and backing up a bit to immortalize the day. One of my goals as a wedding photographer is to create a piece of art you would proudly print big and hang on your wall. I alway begin my wedding  coverage by scouting great locations near the ceremony and the reception in search of an epic location. This colorful downtown mural was within a short walking distance and made for a perfect backdrop for Jenny and Jason. Happy New Year to the Elmore, The Paxtons, The Hachmeisters, and the Exums. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/

Epic Wedding Photo #6

Epic Wedding Photo # 6 – Ok, I love trees. I really, really love trees. In fact, I married my wife Molly under a beautiful sprawling tree in our front yard at our first house. While this will not be last tree shot I share, I promise, the next two epic wedding photos we post will involve great landscapes and NO TREES. There’s a pattern here obviously in my definition of what I think is an epic wedding photo, the subjects are relatively small surrounded by an amazing landscape. There something timeless and soul-nourishing about a beautiful landscape and a pair become one for eternity. So our countdown continues with a shot of Jennifer Bohannon and Patrick Bailey who were married at Dunes West Golf and River Club in Mount Pleasant South Carolina on Sept 1, 2007. This was one of those days plagued by the threat of rain that came and went all day. My two biggest accomplishments that day was first shooting this image under this giant palm tree and second, convincing the club wedding coordinator to bust a move by carrying all 150 white folding wedding chairs from the rainy outdoor location under the plan-B tent. She was reluctant to move the chairs because she did not think there was enough time to move and dry them. She was pushing to move the whole ceremony into the dark, ugly bar room and have people stand around. Yes, it’s true, we only had about 10 minutes to make the move but I convinced her I knew the groom Patrick and his half a dozen groomsmen who would be more than willing to help along with my second photographer and myself. We made the move and the ceremony happened under a big tent, nicely lit and ten times prettier than the club bar room. With a little hustle and a can-do spirit, we all made it work. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/

Epic Wedding Photo #7

Epic Wedding Photo # 7 – Our 10 day countdown of epic wedding photos shot by Steve Exum celebrates the marriage of Kristin Felts Weldon and Rob Wells on Sept 8, 2007. Their adventuresome wedding story carried our crew down to Charleston, South Carolina where the live oaks are numerous and some are of epic proportions. I love an outside wedding under the shade of an oak. If you want a lot of shade to get married under a giant 1500 year old oak tree. Kristin and Rob became husband and wife under the sprawling giant limbs of the Middleton Place Angel Oak tree on John’s island. This giant tree is dwarfed by Kristin’s giant heart and her solid relationship with Rob. This wedding was the second Felts wedding for me in 2007. Kimberly Felts Castro another beautiful bride with a soul to match married Marcos Castro just 3 months prior that year. Thank you, Felts, Weldon and Castro families for the high honor to shooting 2 amazing weddings that year. For more info about a great wedding venue check out https://www.middletonplace.org. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/

Epic Wedding Photo #8

Epic Wedding Photo # 8 – Our studio countdown of the 10 most epic wedding photos by Steve Exum continues with a shot of Mandy Redwine and her beau Adam Lockner who were married October 11, 2008 on family land covered in Live Oak trees. This land backed up to the Intracoastal waterway near Ocean Isle Beach, NC. While this wedding was 9 years ago, I remember every aspect of that day including the weather and the constant threat of rain with overcast skies. Fortunately it never actually rained at any point that disrupted the outside ceremony. We dodged most of it with the exception of a few moments of drizzle. The challenge for a wedding photographer is that he or she must embrace the conditions, incorporate them into their wedding story and find beauty in it. I choose this image because life will bring challenges and it’s how you handle those challenges that either build cohesion in a marriage or destroys it. Adam and Mandy were unfazed by the weather that day and embraced the concept it is good luck for your marriage if it rains on your wedding day. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/


Epic Wedding Photo #9

This is a countdown of the most epic wedding photos shot by Steve Exum …. me! I’ve been shooting weddings for more than 2 decades and pride myself on telling a great story AND capturing a few timeless images that speak to the institution of marriage as something that has always been and always will be. Most of these images will incorporate elements that are as old as mankind, a couple and a beautiful natural landscape … except for this image. Photo #9 in my countdown features Elizabeth Williams & Stephen Johnson who were married outside at Fearrington Village August 18th, 2012 followed by a reception in the barn. So this man-made landscape is the entrance to that barn. I chose black and white for its classic impact. I asked Stephen to pick up Elizabeth and voila, the decisive moment was captured. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/

Epic Wedding Photo #10

For the next 10 days, we are going to post one epic wedding photo by Steve Exum from more than 20 years of documenting wedding stories. Many thanks to all my couples for the honor of telling your wedding story. This is a bridal portrait of Megan Kennedy Roberson who married Wesley Roberson at Summerfield Farms in Greensboro, NC. Megan and Wesley exchanged their vows under this old oak tree in June 2016. This series will end with my all time favorite photo of one of my best friends Steve Macomber and his wife Maggie. For more information about our wedding photography contact our studio at http://www.exumphoto.com/wedding-photography/