Megan & Andrew’s Rehearsal Dinner at The Haven, Birmingham AL

Megan & Andrew’s Rehearsal Dinner at Haven was beautifully designed by Hothouse Design Studio & Prophouse Birmingham. It was a wonderful celebration of time-tested, lifelong friendships and the adoration of close knit families. I was blessed and inspired by the kind words I heard spoken about Megan and Andrew. They are wonderful examples of true friendship. It was a lovely evening.

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Julie & Derek’s Surprise Wedding at a Friend’s Private Home in Mountain Brook, AL.

 

Julie and Derek disguised their wedding as an Engagement Party and surprised all of their family and guests when they revealed the real reason for the gathering at their friends’ home. And, we made our own sunshine for their portraits outside late into the evening. It was fun keeping their secret and capturing their nuptials. Such a sweet couple and I wish them the very best!

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Photographer: Heather Durham | Floral Design: Mary Cox Brown | Hair & Make Up: Stephanie Brooks + Angela King | Cake Artist: Olexa’s | Caterer: Shindigs

 

 

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Birmingham Magazine Summer/Fall 2017 Issue [Published]

Loved working again with an amazing team of friends/talented creatives on a fashion cover story in the current Birmingham Magazine Weddings Summer/Fall 2017 issue. Brides…need some inspiration for your wedding style? Pick up a copy on new stands now for ideas for every occasion, and where to get the looks… from the Engagement Party to Bridesmaids Luncheon, Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding.

Here are some of my favorite images from our shoot in the studio…

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Photographer: Heather Durham | 1st Assistant: Andi Rice | Art Director: Laura Buchanan | Stylist: Mary Beth Wetzel | Hair & Make Up: Kerri Bunn of Boma Beautiful | Models: Anna Kathryn Fitch and Ellie Martin | Hand Dyed Silk Ribbon: Leslie Nunnelly, Cocoon Silk Ribbon | Floral Design: Lisa Thorne, Thorne & Thistle

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Birmingham Magazine Summer/Fall 2017 Weddings Cover

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Thanks to the incredibly talented team of friends who made this shoot happen and to Birmingham Magazine for putting us on the cover of their Summer/Fall 2017 Weddings issue. And, if you know me well, you know how happy I am that it’s turquoise!

Be sure to pick up a copy on news stands now, and stay tuned for the full blog post to come…

Photographer: Heather Durham | 1st Assistant: Andi Rice | Stylist: Mary Beth Wetzel | Hair & Make Up: Kerri Bunn of BOMA Beautiful | Models: Anna Kathryn Fitch with Elite and Ellie Martin with NEXT

Sarah Corrine & David’s Vestavia Hills, AL Wedding [Avon Theater Reception]

David’s Mom, Cindi ,and I have known each other for years. She owns a pilates and cycle studio in Birmingham where I used to teach. So, I was so excited when I was asked to photograph her son, David’s wedding. It was such a lovely wedding in shades of white with powder blue bridesmaids dresses by Amsale. Sarah Corrine’s custom wedding gown by Birmingham’s own Heidi Elnora, was classic and timeless, created to give Sarah Corrine two slightly different looks for the wedding ceremony and the reception.

It was obvious that Sarah Corrine and David adore each other! I wish them all the best for a lifetime together of health and happiness.

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Photography: Heather Durham Photography | Assistant Photographer: Emily Kicklighter | Floral Design: Susan G. Huff | Wedding Gown: Heidi Elnora | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids | Tuxes: Joseph A Bank | Caterer: Cafe Iz | Cake Artist: Pastry Art | Invitation Suite: William Arthur-Crane & Co. | Videographer: Four 10 Films, Evans Smith | Ceremony Venue: Vestavia Hills Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Avon Theater | Entertainment: Creativity Band

Hamilton & Jake’s Engagement Session in Downtown Franklin, TN

I had so much fun with Hamilton & Jake during their Engagement Session in downtown Franklin! I wasn’t available to shoot their upcoming wedding in Birmingham, but excited with them for their nuptials and move to Nashville. Glad we’ll have some more Birmingham natives in this town! They are such a sweet couple and it was fun roaming around on a beautiful fall afternoon with them. Jake is one lucky guy!

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Sarah & Bubba’s Birmingham Wedding at Swann Lake Stables

Sarah was a sweet, beautiful and relaxed bride. She gracefully meandered around Swann Lake Stables barn and grounds bordering the Cahaba River in her Kelly Faetanini dress, Toni Federici veil and Badgley Mischka heels. Bubba, her adoring groom, wore a formal white dinner jacket well. Humphrey Bogart would be impressed. The bridesmaids wore lovely in their soft blush pink dresses by Wtoo.

Sarah & Bubba’s  details were perfectly curated by Courtney Wolf of Invision Events, with a nod to the groom’s love of hunting, especially turkey hunting. Turkey feathers were thoughtfully placed into all white flower arrangements by Hot House Design Studio. And, the subject of many guests’ iPhone cameras was the amazingly detailed wild turkey groom’s cake. Even the feathers were edible!

I always say I have the sweetest couples and families and I really do! I feel so blessed! Sarah’s Mom and I hit it off from the first time we met over coffee to discuss the wedding and my possible role as their photographer. I’m so thankful they chose me. It was a privilege and a pleasure to capture their wedding story. It was perfect. You can also see this amazing wedding on Borrowed & Blue here.

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Photography: Heather Durham | Assistant Photographer: Emily Kicklighter | Planner: Invision Events | Floral Design: Hot House Design Studio | Props: Prop House Birmingham| Wedding Gown: Kelly Faetanini from Carriage House Weddings | Tuxes: Mr. Burch | Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridal Veil: Toni Federici | Bridesmaides Dresses: Wtoo by Watters | Catering: D’Armond Catering | Cake Artist: Magic Muffin | Hair & Makeup Artist: Emily Summerville: Videographer: Clay Carroll Production | Band: Heart Tu Heart | Ceremony Musicians: Cahaba River Strings

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.
Katy & Matt's Wedding at Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Birmingham, ALHDP-Dunn-W-560_-WEB031blog_048-hdp-dunn-w-434_web1
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.

Caroline & Daniel’s Rehearsal Dinner at The Club [Birmingham, AL]

It was a privilege for me to get to know Caroline and Daniel from their Engagement Session to rehearsal dinner, and finally their beautiful wedding. They are the sweetest couple and their chemistry and love for each other made my job so easy. I hardly had to direct them because their adoration came through in the images very naturally.

Caroline and Daniel’s rehearsal dinner was held at The Club, atop Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama on a beautiful summer evening, glistening with late afternoon sunlight. Caroline wore her mother’s ivory beaded wedding gown, which was such a lovely way for Caroline to acknowledge her close relationship with her mom on her wedding weekend. This mother-daughter bond is quite special and I loved watching their moments together unfold as they were taking in a day they had both dreamed about for so long.

Here are some of my favorite portraits from the rehearsal dinner. I’ll post the wedding very soon… and I promise, it will be worth the wait. It was perfect.

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Planning: AK Brides, Anita Kanellis | Venue: The Club, Birmingham AL

Wedding Gown Fashions [Birmingham Magazine Summer/Fall 2016]

I loved everything about this shoot and our amazing team. I’ve worked with Hair & Make Up Artist, Celine Russell, many times and it’s always a pleasure. Her work is flawless. This was my first time working with stylist, Mary Beth Wetzel and wow! Can’t wait to work with her again. She’s a mover, shaker and beautiful shoot maker! Getting the cover was just the cherry on top! Thank you Birmingham MagazineHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-107_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-139_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-140_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-91_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-35_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-40_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-6_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-163_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-173_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-69_-WEBHDP-BhamWeddings-June2016-63_-WEB