A Very Non Wedding: Whit & Colby

As a girl who’s more than slightly obsessed with weddings and photography, there’s pretty much nothing more thrilling to me than discovering new (to me) wedding photographer that is INCREDIBLE. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I feel like I’ve won the wedding-blogging-lottery. And don’t even get me started on what happens when I discover a videographer with as much talent as this. Actual tears people, there were actual tears.

I saw these images and the video on Saturday afternoon. A photographer friend of mine emailed me the link and said, and I quote, “This is possibly the best wedding film and set of images I’ve ever seen… I thought you might like to see! Holy shit it’s all so beautiful.” And you know what dude, I couldn’t agree more.

Just stop what you’re doing for 4 minutes, enlarge the video to full screen view, and completely immerse yourself in this…

I quickly shared the link with a couple of photographer friends of mine and we spent the next hour messaging back and forth about our obsession with the entire thing. Who were these amazingly awesome people? Where did Whit & Colby get off being so damn bad ass, sexy and cool? Who was this photographer? Who was this videographer? How could we subtly insert ourselves into their lives?! Could I pull off an undercut?

I just knew that I had to share it on Rock n Roll Bride so I emailed the photographer, Brooke Davis, to ask if I could. I then crossed all my fingers and toes and hoped and prayed it wasn’t already promised to another wedding blog. Within an hour she emailed me back to say she’d be thrilled for me to feature it and that she thought it was perfect for my blog. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK.

And then came the bombshell. It wasn’t a real wedding. And you know what, I was initially a little disappointed. Whit & Colby are a real couple living together in Utah but this wasn’t their actual wedding day. DAMN IT (PS guys, if you do ever get married pleeeease just do it exactly like this) But then I thought about it, and actually in a way, this is even more amazing because it was a set up shoot.

Photographer Brooke and videographer Chris live and work in Utah where they say they’ve been struggling to book the kinds of clients who are having the style of wedding that they really want to shoot. But instead of just sitting around wondering why the work wasn’t landing in their laps, they called upon some friends, grabbed a second hand wedding dress (which had been Whit’s Mother’s!) and pulled together the non-wedding of their dreams.

I think the thing I adore the most about these images is the people in them. So many wedding blogs (this one included) blog weddings that are so incredibly detail heavy. And I know that to many brides & grooms-to-be it can be overwhelming. It can seem like your wedding won’t compare or match up. It can appear that without all that ‘stuff’ your wedding won’t be ‘blog-worthy’… and oh boy does this shoot show you that thoughts like that are utter nonsense! This has got to be my favourite feature in a really long time, and there isn’t a sniff of a mason jar, a hint of bunting or a single friggin’ cupcake in sight.

I hope this set of images and video will inspire some of my bride & groom readers to think outside the box with their wedding plans and ideas, and to make you realise that it’s not the ‘stuff’ that makes a wedding, but the people. And the love.

But almost more than that, I hope it gives my wedding supplier readers a big kick up the backside to go out there and shoot what they love. Do something different. Be daring. Shoot something crazy, sexy, new, inspiring and cool. Stop taking the easy option by pulling together shoots that we’ve all seen before. Bunting, cupcakes and vintage crockery are great – I love them – but we’ve seen them over and over and over. Let’s showcase something DIFFERENT. Show people what you can really do. Show people what it is that you love and what it is that makes you stand out in this over-saturated market. Be an artist. Love what you shoot. Shoot what you love. It will ooze out of your images and you’ll be a better creative for it.

Thank you Brooke, Chris, Whit & Colby for sharing these with us today. You have a new superfan in me. And Utah-based Rock n Roll Brides – book them, book them now!

Supporting Cast

119 comments

  1. Mariette

    Its beyond awesome! I’m so in love with this non-wedding!! Well done to everyone involved!!

  2. RaquelA

    Oh Jasmine. Great comment! I was thinking the same thing as reading IDS comments. Everyone has an opinion, say it and move on with you merry self. Tell me that in a “real” wedding setting you don’t have to coach a couple to relax. Stage a pose. Or are all your couples models? Who know exactly how to pose their heads, hands, find the light and smile naturally. And do you give the client 500 candid amazing shots and not any set up and staged. Posed? Please, get over your opinion. These are amazing artists capturing a sexy hot couple in an amazing location.

    If this session inspires a few to think outside the box and to create more styled commercial shoots then so be it. Trends will always be around. They will come and go. The ones that help an artist be formed will stick to those people and move on from the others that didn’t really like it. It’s late so I am probably not making any sense. My point is, Love this shoot. ;)

  3. Staged or not staged its irrelevant really as its bloody fantastic that you are a champion of wedding photographers! and Brooke, well done! You know you are on the right track when your work promotes such a debate.

    If i get engaged for a third time :-) pack your bags girl and you can be my photographer. Nice to see the grain of black and white back in vogue.

  4. This is just NEXT LEVEL! Kat, you must have been SO excited to post this one. Gosh, that is so damn poignant, sexy and full of every kind of awesomeness! It makes me totally excited about the kind of options that are out there for weddings. Geez, even their names ooze cool.

  5. Elly. I don’t understand how Brooke is a champion of wedding photographers? To me all this is a very cool, very styled Engagement shoot. I don’t think it’s the work that has caused debate it’s the fact that people are drooling over this when it’s all been done before. The quality of it is not to be argued with, but it really has all been done before.

    I suppose this is the Purpose of Kats blog, is to bring these sort of things to a new brides attention but as a photographer it’s really nothing new.

    If people have the time check out :

    http://jonaspeterson.com/
    http://beaposer.com/
    http://www.josevillaphoto.com/

  6. Having studied, worked, lived & breathed the ‘RULES’ of photography for many years, its not until you break them that you realise you have been seriously missing out!

    This post is what breaking those rules is all about! I love the video work not being on a tripod and the raw emotion from the couple and….. well just everything bout it!

    Thank you so much for sharing Kat!

  7. This so lives up to the hype. I love it and god damn I wish all the weddings I made dresses for were like this.
    I’ve already made up in my head that these people are so cool and in love that they don’t even need to get married in real life. And most of all I love the lack of ‘stuff’ everywhere. Funny how many things you don’t need in order to get married.
    Love it, love it, love it!

  8. Alexandra Barton

    I think the photos above are beautiful and definitely offer brides to be and photographers ideas and inspiration however, i agree with others above that this can’t be called a wedding – it’s a styled photo shoot and it just so happens that the couple within the photo shoot have genuine feelings for each other.
    You don’t need ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ for a marriage or weddings but there are reasons why people have these ‘things’. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and these ‘things’ are usually there to help capture and create as many fun and happy memories about the day as a whole for the couple in question and the guests.
    I imagine that most couples could pull together 2 friends and go to have some pretty photos taken up a mountain but most people tend to want to share their important day with as many friends and family as possible while creating and preserving as many memories and stories as they can.

  9. I think it is unfair that if I wished to remain anonymous, which I clearly do, that you come on here doing something like the above. My work is not in question here, if you go to an Art Gallery are you not allowed an opinion.

    Why do I have audacity. I am only sharing my opinion. It may not be shared by others, but it’s still an opinion, right or wrong.

    Typical Forum/Blog type mentality in that you’ve turned nasty…

  10. anna

    Typical ‘bad photographer’ mentality, Damon. Kat clearly likes this work, this is her website. You don’t have to look at it if you don’t like what you see. Do you also go up to strangers in the street to tell them you don’t like their clothes? Because that’s no different than what you’re doing here. Think before you type.

  11. lucy

    i think youre the one being nasty here. you posted a comment to criticize and now you say the other comments are the nasty ones. jeez get over yourself & just appreciate these photos for the amazingness that they are. if you dont like them, then fine. didnt your parents ever tell you that if you havent got anything nice to say then dont say anything at all?

    move on dude, move on.

  12. Pete Smyth

    Well I adore the photography and the film, its stunning. Its like a perfect scenario, cool road movie shot by Tarantino. The couple have bad ass hair and tattoos and bloody cool friends, its a bit like an amazing advert. Just waiting for Slash to bust out a guitar solo! This will have taken a long time to set up and capture and organise, its totally devoted to the photography and film, but I do feel that it is in no way realistic or normal.
    If you are a model like couple who adore being on camera and don’t mind getting naked then yep this will be something to aspire to, to the many other people me included this an unobtainable dream. There are no details as such, but in reality the couple are the details. If they were an average looking couple doing a shoot around the bullring in Birmingham? would people care so much?
    Also details are totally personal, whether its white chair covers, sugared almonds, mason jars, cupcakes, tattoos and cool friends, its nice to have a choice, lets celebrate the options.

    Felt compelled to comment, it is no way aimed at being shitty to anyone, its just my thoughts. I don’t feel its fair to gang up on anyone for not sharing the majority opinion.

  13. Debs

    Perhaps the biggest disconnect between the post and the images are that this is a styled shoot and you are referencing real weddings in your points in your post.

    Brook is AMAZING and her pictures are incredible. Perfect almost… intimidating perhaps to anyone who is not so cool or so confident, but certainly aspirational… for a styled shoot.

    For me, the point you made on losing details and being more focused on the love, the REAL wedding that Brooke has on her blog for Katie and Trevor would have been a much better example. http://blushbyb.com/blog/index.php/katie-and-trevor/
    Stunning photography, a real wedding and really low on details. Ok, so in the UK we have to do a lot in a 30 minute portrait allocation (if we are lucky) and in the US they often have an hour… sometimes more as it seems the time for photography is given a higher priority… but this was actually a wedding. Achievable.

    The point about weddings being too detail oriented is true. I have had one bride get really bogged down thinking her wedding should be bloggable. It’s such crap and something that really saddens me about the industry today. But to support the point with something too perfect is not going to help really push it home for our British brides. I’d love to see something beautiful yet real.

  14. At IDS………….Kat is a champion of wedding photographers and I actually didn’t say it was a new concept, I said ‘Staged or not staged its irrelevant really as its bloody fantastic that you are a champion of wedding photographers!

    Thanks for the offer to check out the other photographers who work you clearly adore, and I did but not sure of the purpose of posting the links, was it to demonstrate these photographers are doing something different, something that has never been done before because if that was the point then we shall have to agree to disagree.

    The point of my comment was that I am glad Kat champions, promotes, encourages, supports, screams from the roof tops about wedding photography of all kinds, even the kinds I don’t like and the kind I’m nuts jealous of.

    If people are drooling over it, good for her brand and good for her as a photographer it may be a form of shameless self promotion, but there is no shame in sales.

    Its great we have a platform for such a debate. Photography is really subjective as demonstrated by the number of comments, me personally I think pre wedding photo shoots and staged shoots are a load of bollocks not in line with my photographic style so I don’t generally offer them or do them but I can appreciate them when I see one I like and appreciate the fact that other photographers do them, each to their own.

    What I find I love about her work is the grainy black and whites, I’m a black and white freak your right nothing new but I like the execution.

  15. IDS-
    My name is Whitt and i am the bride in this feature.
    I am personally offended by your comments about this.
    Colby and i are very much in love. we have a unique and special love.
    every couple shows their love differently. the only thing “staged” about this shoot is the fact that we didnt sign a Marrige License. Brooke was there to capture the moments between us. the whole day she was a fly on the wall, we were not directed in any way. not once posed. or ever told to “hold” or “Stay there”. this was shot while we danced, sang, kissed, and enjoyed a beautiful day together. Brooke is a very successful and saught after photographer not only in Utah. She does very well for herself and in no way is “struggling for buisness” She wishes to gain more clients who are “alternative” like us. and when asked to do this shoot we jumped at the chance to document how we feel for each other. you are entitled to your opinion but remember, the people involved worked very hard on this, let them share their amazing work. take in, appreciate and respect it.

  16. Nettie

    The comments on this have gotten a little strange, featuring the most bizarre “advice” I’ve ever seen. Think inside the box? Be average and like everyone else? Yes, thats what this blog is all about(!) And how is a unique wedding somehow not real? Educating people that you can have beauty in the non-traditional is an amazing thing.

    This isn’t a wedding, but its a love shoot that could inspire a real wedding easily, and its a showcase for the photographer and videographer who do actual weddings too. Thats what this blog has been doing for years!

    And how gorgeous is this shoot! Whit and Colby are utter babes and I want to be as cool as them when I grow up.

  17. HHEEEYYY!!! Thanks for the compliments! I’m so glad you all like the video and thanks again Kat for the feature! It looks amazing–

    Brooke and I loved doing the shoot and it couldn’t have turned out better.
    Love you Whitt —

    Haters gonna hate.

    peace.

  18. IDS – you do realise that you were never anonymous to anyone, as your name on these comments links right to your website! Hahaha.

    Next time you want to be anonymous, don’t put your personal details in.

  19. Staged or not staged. I flipping love it. It has emotion, sex, rock, passion…I could go one….. more than anything I find it inspirational. Move over Mr.Grey!!!!!!!!!

  20. S.Cat

    You guys are so beautiful!!
    You actually totally encapsulate what my fiancée and I are going through right now – we’re engaged but we don’t really care about having a wedding now like our family are after. This video is perfectly what I had in mind but didn’t know it til now – you know, just wake up one morning, normal day to day stuff, make brekkie, hang out, ooo let’s get dressed and ring some mates for a beer and a little wedding. Yeeeeah.
    It’s so us to do something like that because together my partner and I have decided that getting married for us isn’t about a great change in life nor about saying we want to breed or anything like that – getting married for us is our way of saying to each other – we are so happy and in love and let’s not have that change… <3

    PS: Whitt – is that really your place?? I am OBSESSED with your camera collection and have one to match. xxx stunning. beautiful. xxxx

    Thank you so much Kat for sharing.

  21. HOLY, Srsly, SWOON. This is just too beautiful, I don’t even know how to re-act. I want to share it with everyone, & at the same time keep it for myself. HA. Also, I was thinking the same thing, how romantic this was because of the lack of detail, this was so about them, their love and friends. Personally, I think wedding days get a little out of hand, but this, this is just utterly beautiful, real or not. Because their love doesn’t look fake and everything about this is badass, thanks for the share!

  22. Trish Glass

    This literally just saved my life and completely calmed me down for my wedding. I have been searching for the perfect “urban” venue with barely a budget in sight, no one helping me, and I am going out of my ever lasting MIND!
    Then I thought to myself, screw it, screw it all. This is Johnny and I’s wedding we will do as we please. Then I thought “YELLOW STONE NATIONAL PARK!” Only $50.00 to get married there and it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I am a animal lover, I love to camp and Johnny shares the exact same interest. We are going to pile everyone we can in to a van and head down there. Spend a whole week and get married in a spot where no one else has been married before :D
    I planned all of it on the spot about 2 hours ago and then I saw this post and it was a sign. Thank you for posting this amazing set!

  23. literally so in love with this shoot! it’s perfect!
    the love in the images is so easy to see, and the video is a beautiful view into their lives!
    PLEASE have your wedding like this when you get married for real?!

  24. OH. MY. GOD. Hands down this is the most amazing shoot I’ve ever soon. Emotional, raw and down right gorgeous. Thanks for sharing Kat!

  25. kyla

    Um. for real. this is awesome. I have followed Brooke’s photography for a few years now. she is amazing. and christopher, you should be getting paid some serious bucks for work like this. I’m talking Hollywood rates. Cool couple, can we be friends?

    Thanks for sharing this!

  26. Okay, so Elena Hernandez suggested I take a look at this and I trust her completely. Still, I clicked on the link with my usual cynicism. Well, I couldn’t have been more blown away by what I saw.

    Let’s set the stage here – In terms of my style I’m the polar opposite of Whitt and Colby and I NEVER post comments on stuff like this…but here’s what Brooke and Chris did (together with Whitt and Colby) that just made me proud to be in this industry. They captured moments that were magical. Brooke and Chris told the story of Whitt and Colby, doing exactly what every great photographer should always try and do. Plus, they reminded me of something else – they captured that common denominator between all of us no matter how different our styles might be…passion.

    Great photographers and videographers are “great” because they’re the ultimate storytellers. Their whole job is to tell each couple’s unique story and turn memories into tangible moments. My style might be a whole lot different, but after watching the video and looking at the images, I just wanted to get out to dinner with all of them! Nicely done you guys!

    Actually, “Amy B” said it best a few comments back: “Emotional, raw and down right gorgeous.”

  27. Brooke, Chris , Whit & Colby,

    Skip beat me to it! He said it as eloquently as possible..this is a great example of creativity and genius! It matters not to me that this is a staged stylized shoot…it shows a love story in the most unique way possible and the story telling of both video and photography are fabulous! Kudos for taking a leap of faith in creating a work of beautiful art.

    Blessings,
    Elena Hernandez

  28. Badb Dubh

    Amazing, really. Your photos described passion and harmony of marriage. The loved couple is totally beautiful.

  29. Candice Smith

    Oh. My. Gosh!!! I love this shoot. Everyone else’s comments have already said everything that was in my head while I was looking at the photos and watching the video.
    It truly is inspirational as an avid amateur photographer. It also makes me wish my fiance and I had the guts to just do a wedding like that, and not worry about what our families will say.
    Whit and Colby look like such an awesome couple, and I only hope that our photographer down here in Sunny SA will be able to capture moments of love between my fiance and myself on our wedding day.

    Also, does anyone know what the name of the song is playing in the video and who the artist is?? Absolutely fell in love with that song, and it would be perfect for my own wedding.

  30. SashaCat

    Can somebody tell me what the song is.

    ps: this is my favourite post on rocknroll bride. Stunning stuff.

  31. Evelyn O

    This has got to be my absolute favorite!! Ever!! The video is the very best and captures the real life and love of these two. They’re super bad ass together. I love the bride’s entire image! Ultimate favorite and very inspirational :)

  32. HOLY SHIT this is AMAZING!!!!! Such talented people involved and completely agree with what you said Kat, it doesn’t always have to be about the details, this was so so simply, yet so so beautiful.

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