Virginia & Matthew’s Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art Wedding

My first wedding of 2019 was Virginia and Matthew’s beautiful Birmingham, AL wedding planned by M. Elizabeth Events in shades of smoky blue, white and greenery.HDP-Tracy-15_-WEB.jpg

Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham PhotographyHDP-Tracy-16_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-8_-WEB.jpg

Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography=

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Virginia and Matthew's Birmingham AL Wedding, Cathedral Church of the Advent and Birmingham Museum of Art by Heather Durham Photography

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HDP-Tracy-179-2_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1857-2_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1874_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1885_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1886_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1892_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1897-2_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1906-2_-WEB.jpgHDP-Tracy-1911_-WEB.jpgPhotographer: Heather Durham | Assistant Photographers: Emily Kicklighter & Bethany Rogers | Planner: M. Elizabeth Events| Floral Design: Sarah Peinhardt | Wedding Gown: Allison Webb from White Dresses Nashville | Tuxes: Mr. Burch | Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy from Bella Bridesmaids| |Custom Wedding Invitations & Lettering: Jan Pruitt | Beauty: Abby Moorer | Ceremony: Cathedral Church of the Advent | Reception Venue: Birmingham Museum of Art | Caterer: A Social Affair | Cake Artist: Alethea Cowie | Entertainment: The Fountain City Players

 

 

 

Best of 2016 Real Weddings

It’s that time again…time to reflect on a year of Weddings. And what a fabulous year it was! I’m so grateful for my sweet and wonderful brides who have chosen and trusted me to capture their blissful moments, and for the vendors who have helped to make their dream day come true! I’m not focusing on the styled portraits in this post, because well I have way too many favorites and that just really needs to be a separate post for another time. This post is more about the moments and the details. A glimpse into the wedding day itself and what made each one so special. I loved pulling this post together and reliving every single one of your weddings! So here it goes…(drum roll, please) my BEST OF 2016 LIST! Cheers and bring on 2017!

Best Invitation Suite: Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
Invitation Design: Empress Stationary
Perfect…The muted tones, the custom initials and the calligraphy. Empress Stationary earned a feather in her cap for this one!

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Best Getting Ready Robe or Gown: Angel & Jared
She ordered it from London and it was stunning on her! So sophisticated.
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Best Getting Ready Venue: Amanda & Jacob
Venue: The Oaks, Centreville AL
The light was perfect, soft and dreamy, streaming in all of the windows. And bonus! The decor perfectly fit the style of this beautiful, classic wedding! I always choose my favorite getting ready venues by their quality of flattering natural light.
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Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
A bride’s prayer before walking down the aisle. I think I heard angel’s singing.
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Angel & Jared
I love a good shot of the bride putting on her shoes. Especially when you have this many windows and dreamy light.
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Best Wedding Gown: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Gown: Augusta Jones
Bridal Shop: Carriage House Weddings
Floral Design: Lillie’s
It fit her to a T. And that lace! Swoon! Pure elegance.
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I adored that it was Eric’s request for her to have a cathedral length veil. He wanted it long and mysterious. He got his wish, and it was handmade.
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Best Bouquets: Cat & Chris
Planner: M. Elizabeth Events
Floral Design: Laurel Green
I loved the gorgeous merlot color in the gathered mix of florals for this December wedding. And, the florals just seemed to perfectly complement her ginger locks!
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Best Ceremony Venue: Angel & Jared
Venue: Private Estate, Mountain Brook AL
Tent Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited
An amazing pool and magnificent pool house, with expansive views of Birmingham and Vulcan for your nuptials? Yes, please!

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Best Reception Venue: Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
Venue: Swann Lake Stables, Birmingham AL
This venue feels as if you are at a destination wedding, not in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama. It’s dreamy, with so much room to roam!  My favorite time of night has always been twilight. That cobalt blue sky gets me grabbing my tripod every time.

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Best Reception Design: Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
Venue: Vestavia Country Club, Birmingham AL
Floral Design: Lagniappe Designs
Cake: The Cakerie Birmingham
A hanging cake?! I mean that just takes the cake!

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Best Hair & Makeup: Amanda & Jacob
MUAH: Emily Summerville
Loved the updo, relaxed curls and natural makeup Emily created for Amanda and her bridesmaids. So soft and feminine.
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Best Use of Something Old: Cat & Chris
Planner: M. Elizabeth Events
Cat’s family jewels and Mother’s Veil
I loved the estate jewels Cat chose for her day. Just enough sparkle, with a touch of color against her creamy fair skin.
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Best Father of the Bride Moment: Niki & David
Planner: Two Hearts Weddings
Venue: Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort
From his first look with her, to their first dance with twirls and spins, then tears of joy. It was touching. Everyone knew they have a special relationship.
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Best Mother of the Bride Moment: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Caroline’s Mom seeing her in her gown and beaming with joy and pride for her only daughter. There was so much love in that room.

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Best Mother of the Groom Moment: Niki & David
Planner: Two Hearts Weddings
Such a tender moment between mother and son.
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Best Bridesmaids Dresses: Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
Carefully curated dresses in shades of merlot  were absolutely stunning for this December wedding. Not one was the same and each style suited its  bridesmaid’s personality and personal style so well. Hands down my favorite look! These bridesmaids dresses will definitely be worn again for a night on the town.
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Best Moment with Bridesmaids: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Caroline’s bridesmaids seeing her in dress for the first time was the sweetest, most endearing moment between a bride and her bridesmaids that I’ve ever seen. Pure excitement and adoration for their BFF.
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Best Moment with Groomsmen or the Guys: Katie & Matt
Planner:
Handley Breaux Designs
He’s got his girl and it’s time to celebrate!
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Best Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Caroline & Daniel
Planner:
Invision Events
Tuxes: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
I’ve always loved a white dinner jacket. Maybe it’s because my Dad wore one for my parents’ wedding. It’s a timeless look and a little bit Frank Sinatra. Winning.
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hdp-mcdurmont-w-577Best First Look: Sarah & Bubba
Planner:
Invision Events
 Just add water. First look along the bank of the Cahaba River, standing on a huge boulder. Romantic? Incredibly so!
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Best Ceremony Exit: Amanda and Jacob
Pure joy! The only way to describe it.hdp-beardenblake-833hdp-beardenblake-838-2

Best Funny Moment: These are a tie! Couldn’t decide! Too hard!

Angel & Jared
The jewish tradition of breaking the glass happened a little too soon! Oops! It was such a cute moment and a perfect part of the wedding day story for this fun couple.
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Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
A random turkey decoy was lying around on property at Swann Lake Stables. The groom, an avid turkey hunter, decided to have a little fun with it.
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Melissa & Paulk
Planner: Invision Events
Rebellious little southern girls in their heirloom dresses. This made me giggle…and hurry over there with my camera.
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Best Reception Entrance: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
If that’s not a proud groom, I don’t know what is…beaming with his girl on his arm walking to take their first dance as husband and wife.
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Best Bride’s Cake: Melissa & Paulk
Planner: Invision Events
Venue: Moore’s Mill Club, Auburn AL
I love simple cakes with simple florals. This one was so pretty and tasted so good.
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Best Groom’s Cake: Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
Completely edible…every single feather.
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Best Reception Dancing: Katie & Matt
Planner:
Handley Breaux Designs
When the bride is a former University of Alabama Crimsonette, you have to step up your reception dancing game! Okay, hang on. I know this is a lot of images, but you really have to see this! (And Roll Tide!)
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Best Reception Entertainment: Jared & Angel
Michael Jackson & Prince Impersonators
I mean, it was fun, y’all! Super entertaining. A real thriller!

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Best Sendoff: Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow! December wedding and honeymoon in Banff. Oh! And the snow was biodegradable. Way to be environmentally friendly Handley Breaux Designs!

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Best Transportation Moment: This one is a total tie. I love all of these so so much that there’s no way I could just decide on just one!

Leah & Eric
Private classic car collection
Timeless. Romantic.
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Melissa & Paulk
Planner: Invision Events
Private classic car collection
I love a convertible, with the veil blowing in the breeze and all of the town smiling and waving to the bride and groom as they drive by.
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Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
This crowd was ready to have a good time at the reception! And they did!
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Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Rare Transportation Trolley & Coats Classic Cars
The dip and the getaway wave goodbye.

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And that’s a wrap of 2016 Weddings! See you next year 2017 Brides, with camera in hand and a big smile on my face! I love my job!

BORROWED & BLUE’S Q&A WITH HEATHER DURHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

 Borrowed & Blue

BORROWED & BLUE’S Q&A WITH HEATHER DURHAM PHOTOGRAPHY:

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Heather Durham Photography was recently asked by Borrowed and Blue, a locally-focused online wedding resource, to give couples everything they need to know about my photography services.

Birmingham weddings are their own brand of gorgeous—filled with Southern charm, refined rustic touches, and natural beauty. Trust us when we say that couples are going to want to preserve that beauty for a lifetime. That’s why today we are talking with Heather from Heather Durham Photography about all things wedding photography.” — Stephanie, Borrowed & Blue’s Market Specialist

Q&A Borrowed & Blue with Heather Durham:  

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How did you first get into photography?  My work experience in the fashion industry and as an art director for a magazine publisher, inspired me to pursue photography. During those years of working with other photographer’s images for catalogs and editorial layouts, I became fascinated at lighting and the power of an image to tell a story, affect our emotions, and influence our behavior. I believe every work experience since college led me to this. I started my business almost 14 years ago and I can’t imagine doing anything else!

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12307335_1146983628662976_9129577270449109560_oWhat single photo sums up your aesthetic?  An image with dreamy natural light and an emotional connection…for the subject and the viewer. Here’s a few of my favorites…
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Heather Durham Photography, Mary Christin & John's fall weddingHeatherDurhamPhotography5
211-hdp-beardenblake-877Cyd & J.'s Wedding at St Stephens Episcopal and Vestavia Country Club, Heather Durham Photography Birmingham Alabama
As a storyteller, what draws you to a particular subject? Whatever it is that makes them unique…whether it’s their dramatic eyes, freckles across their cheeks and nose, gorgeous red hair, or maybe it’s their personality that comes out through their laugh. I just know it when I see it and it becomes my mission to speak that life into their images.
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What is your favorite moment to photograph at a wedding? The First Look and moments right after. I absolutely love seeing the look on the groom’s face when he sees his bride in her wedding gown for the first time. There is so much authentic emotion in that moment. I use a long lens because I want them to completely forget I’m even there and get lost in the moment. This is their moment and their words to each other. I want to respect that.
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Katy & Matt's Wedding at Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Birmingham, AL

What makes or breaks a bridal shoot? First and foremost, lighting. Beautiful light is the difference between a good image and an incredible image. I especially love back lit portraits. Rim light gives brides a lovely, ethereal glow. Second, a professional hair and makeup artist. They are worth their weight in gold. The best make up and hair artists (MUAH) know how to help brides look their very best, especially on camera. You’ve dreamed of this day all your life, invested in a gown, and so much more. Your hair and makeup should be perfect and last the entire day…from the very first getting ready shot, to the ceremony, thru dancing and finally the sendoff shot. In my opinion, MUAHs should be a non negotiable item in your budget. Yes, I feel that strongly about it.
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046-HDP-HufhamLewis-W-423_-WEBHDP-HufhamLewis-W-367_-WEBHDP-HufhamLewis-W-523HDP-HufhamLewis-W-561What are some of the most photogenic spots for Birmingham engagement shoots? There are so many great spots downtown that are iconic Birmingham…the new Rotary Trail Magic City arch has been one of my favorite’s lately, Railroad Park right before sunset on the elevated bridge with the city skyline lit up behind it, The Alabama Theatre and Lyric Theatre district, Morris Avenue and the BIRMINGHAM sign at Regions Field, just to name a few. I’ve hit all of those in one shoot and love the variety it gives and the story it tells…especially if you’ve lived in Birmingham most of your life. I also love the view of the city from The Club atop Red Mountain. For natural settings, Aldridge Gardens, The Botanical Gardens and The Preserve are beautiful. And, I always love interesting bridges and a good, shallow creek like the one along Jemison Trail. The light that reflects off the water is amazing!

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Leslie & John's Rehearsal Dinner at Regions Field, Home of the Birmingham Barons

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Where else do you love to photograph? The beach towns along Hwy 30A…Rosemary, Watersound, Carillon, Alys, Seaside, Seagrove and Grayton. I’ve grown up vacationing there since I was a young girl, so I know the area well and have seen it grow and flourish over the years into a beach haven. There’s just no place quite like it! I could work there for months on end and never run out of beautiful places to shoot. It’s my happy place!
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What’s your favorite photograph you’ve ever taken? I view every shoot as the possibility for a new favorite shot! I guess right now it’s this one because it made the cover of the current issue of Birmingham Weddings Magazine. There’s nothing more gorgeous than natural light streaming in from a window or doorway. For this shot, I sat the bride on the settee in this amazing wallpapered foyer, grabbed the pillows from another room in the house and opened the front door. My assistant held a reflector to add some fill to her face. I sat down on the floor and shoot from that low angle to make the dress look more dramatic…bigger than life. The shadows bring out the detail and the highlights compliment her dewy skin. So simple, yet so lovely. (Makeup and Hair: Celine Russell | Wardrobe Styling: Mary Beth Wetzel | Photo Assistant: Andi Rice | Wedding Gown: Anne Barge from The White Room)
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What’s your favorite wedding that you’ve shot? Oh! That’s so hard! I love so many! One of my favorites in the past year was Lindsey & Grant’s wedding last August. They got ready at The Tutwiler Hotel, with ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral downtown and reception at Iron City…such iconic Birmingham buildings on a beautiful summer day. And, the chemistry between them was a beautiful thing to watch through my lens. I’ll never forget their First Look in the gorgeous sanctuary at St. Paul’s, and Grant’s adoration through tears as she walked down the long aisle towards him.

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What’s your favorite out of all the Birmingham wedding venues to shoot? I’m not sure I can name just one! There are so many amazing venues in Birmingham. The Club atop Red Mountain and Vestavia Country Club have beautiful ballrooms and views. The Tutwiler is such a beautiful historic hotel with a lovely terrace and courtyard for photographs. Iron City are B&A Warehouse are wonderfully roomy venues for big crowds and guests who enjoy a good party and love to dance. I also love Swann Lake Stables for an outdoor refined rustic setting and look forward to shooting a wedding there again in a few weeks.

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173-hdp-chochran-76_-web217-hdp-chochran-989_-web213-hdp-chochran-986_-webWhat is the first thing you ask couples when they approach you? I always ask how they met. I love to hear their story, so if possible, I can incorporate that location in their Engagement Shoot. The couple below had their first date at City Cafe in Tuscaloosa while they were in college at The University of Alabama, so I was excited to be able to include that memory in their Engagement images. I also want to know the couple’s expectations for their photographer and details of their wedding plans and wedding style to make sure we are a good fit.

hdp-daniel-es-284_-webWhat’s the biggest mistake that couples make when choosing their photographer? Not looking at a photographer’s entire wedding day gallery from getting ready to departure. I encourage all couples to look at a full gallery, not just the select shots photographers post on social media and portfolio websites. It’s important that a photographer know how to perform in every lighting situation that’s thrown at them. A photographer may have beautiful natural light photos, but then when they find themselves in a dark, candle lit reception room or outside at a dark sendoff, they don’t have the skills or lighting equipment to make those images look beautiful too. By looking at an entire wedding gallery you can make sure there is a consistency in the photographer’s work.

135-hdp-daniel-878-2_-web1 140-hdp-daniel-930-2_-web145-hdp-daniel-949-2_-webHDP-Daniel-1137-2HDP-Daniel-1151-2What makes Heather Durham Photography different from other wedding photographers? Wedding photographers are with the bride and groom more than anyone else on their wedding day. And prior to the big day, we exchange, emails phone calls and texts about details. I’ve become friends and still keep up with so many of my brides from over the years. To me, it’s about more than just doing my job as a photographer. I’m a storyteller, a problem solver, a fixer, a stress reliever, a veil attacher, a dress bustler, a face blotter, and a tie straightener. I’ve even let a mother of the bride borrow my earrings for family portraits when she forgot hers! I’m whatever a bride and groom need me to be on the wedding day to help them relax and enjoy the day. I think brides would say that my attention to detail and willingness to serve sets me apart from other photographers.

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What tips do you have for couples who have never been photographed before? Relax, have fun, don’t always look at the camera, look at each other a lot, talk to each other, and don’t be afraid to move. Flip through magazines and see what shots/poses you are drawn to. Movement and shots where you are unaware of the camera feel more natural and editorial. Even if it’s doesn’t feel natural or come easy for you, it’s my job to make it look like that way.

hdp-daniel-es-330_-web-1hdp-daniel-es-87_-webDSC_2219HDP-Bearden-7_-WEBDSC_2586What are some of your upcoming projects for the future? I just returned from France where I was shooting for a commercial client. I can’t wait to finish editing the images. It was a dream job! Stay tuned for the blog post…

Also, two months ago I moved to Nashville after living and working in Birmingham all of my life. I will still be shooting wherever in the world my camera takes me, and I’ll always shoot in Birmingham, because that’s home and where all of my family is; but my goal for now is establishing and growing my business in Music City. My focus will be on editorial and commercial assignments and weddings. For years, I’ve had this secret little career goal to document behind the scenes of a musician’s life on tour. I guess I’m in the right city now to pursue that dream. We’ll see what happens…I’m thrilled for new adventures with my camera and new locations to shoot in this exciting town!

Feeling inspired? Book Heather Durham Photography today.

For the rest of your wedding planning needs, be sure to check out Borrowed & Blue.

Amanda & Jacob’s Spring Wedding at The Oaks

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this sweet couple through their engagement and wedding day. They have the kindest hearts. Amanda was a calm and graceful bride, enjoying every single detail of her day while sharing lots of laughter with her lovely bridesmaids. And, it was so endearing to watch Jacob’s admiration of Amanda all day long…especially at their First Look. And, his tears over reading her letter to him moved all of us watching the moment unfold.

I know this couple will have many happy years and a long life together because of their strong foundation in the Lord and their careful consideration of each other.

When I got in my car at the end of a 10 hour work day, I read the kindest and most thoughtful thank you letter from them. It means the world when clients appreciate you as you pour your heart and soul into telling their wedding day story. Amanda and Jacob, the pleasure was all mine! You were a dream to work with! Many blessings to you. XO, Heather

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You can also see images from this wedding in the current issue of Tuscaloosa Magazine in an article featuring the venue, The Oaks.

Photography: Heather Durham | Assistant Photographer: Abbie Clinton | Venue: The Oaks | Day Of Coordinator: Danielle Sullivan | Wedding Gown: Allure from Bridal Bliss | Groom’s Tux: Allure Men from Mr. Burch Formal Wear | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridesmaids Inc. | Floral Design: Mary Beth Rush | Invitation Suite: Annabelle’s | Hair and Make Up Artist: Emily Summerville | D.J.: Feel the Beat Entertainment | Videographer: Main Street Productions | Tens & Rentals: Special Events, A Game Day Tents Company | Cake Artist: Mary’s Cakes and Pastries

Amanda + Jacob | Engaged!

Excited to share Amanda and Jacob’s Engagement Session with you because their wedding day is almost here! April 30th they will tie the knot at The Oaks. Can’t wait for their big day!

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Sneak Peeks of Rita and Michol’s Wedding

My friend Melissa Pardi asked me to shoot a wedding with her a few weeks ago and of course I happily agreed! I love shooting weddings! There is something wonderfully unique about each and every one of them and it’s fun to look for those story-telling images from the day. And, when you capture them it’s a magical moment for a photographer. So, although I don’t have a lot of time to blog right now because I am trying to frantically get Christmas gift prints and Christmas card orders filled for you; I thought I would at least post a few sneak peeks.

One of the unique moments in Rita and Michol’s wedding was the cute nephew who decided in the middle of the ceremony to dance up and down the center aisle. And by dance, I mean break dance  [the worm]. Since a lot of what I do is kids’ photographs, I thought it was adorable and memorable so I had to capture it as part of Rita and Michol’s wedding story. After all, some of the time their back was to all the fun and they missed it. The last photo is of their departure from the reception. I can’t wait to share the rest…soon…