Finding Value In Photography

Finding Value: My Wedding Memories

This is a blog post that I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but have finally decided it’s time.  I’ve been watching online workshops lately from powerhouse wedding photographers and have really connected to what they had to say.  They have stressed that they are not out to book wealthy brides that can afford them.  They are out to book brides that find value in what they do.  Brides that are excited about the story that they portray through their photographs.


Now I have to be honest when I say that when I was looking for a photographer for my own wedding, I didn’t know much of anything about photography.  I knew that I liked photojournalistic style, but I also knew that I didn’t want to send my parents to the poor house after this wedding was over.  I happened to luck out and found someone who was great at telling a story, but also affordable.  That doesn’t come along very often.  I randomly stumbled upon Foster Cryer’s website and that’s my only connection to him.  Boy am I glad I googled “Stillwater Wedding Photographer”.


Foster Cryer was nothing short of fantastic to work with.  He catered to us and went above and beyond his contractual obligations to give us a perfect experience.  I cherish our wedding photos for a number of reasons, but there’s one reason why these photos are PRICELESS to me.  One of my cousins, who was more like a brother to me, passed away a little over a year after our wedding.  The following images speak for themselves and I will cherish them forever….


This one our whole family will cling to forever.  I believe I’m correct in saying that this is the one and ONLY photograph of all 8 Blair cousins together.  I’m glad my grandmother is in it as well, it makes it that much better.



My family is from southeast Oklahoma and we grew up going to Clayton Homecoming the weekend around 4th of July.  We’d always go to the parade, turtle race and, our favorite, the street dance at night.  John Michael learned to two step at an early age and always danced with his grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins.  I love this – JM is dancing with our grandmother while his parents dance in the background.



Hate to call Foster out and I honestly never noticed until now, but this photo is out of focus.  This happens to me all the time, people on the dance floor are moving so fast and the focus ends up on hands instead of faces.  Many times, I haven’t included photos like this in my final wedding images to clients.  I get caught up in technical aspects of a photo when I’m editing sometimes and forget to think about the story.  This is a photo where technique goes out the window.  I’m so glad he included it in our final images and I know my mom is too.



It’s not exactly easy to dance in a wedding dress.  John Michael was straight up slinging me around that dance floor!  🙂  I knew he would never let me fall though.



JM and my little sister, Cassidy.  JM was big buddies with all of his cousins, even ones that were 10 years younger than him.  We were all truly his little sisters and brothers.




I love this shot and I don’t know why.  If this happened at a wedding I was shooting, I don’t know if I would think about catching this shot.  The tulle under my dress had been stepped on and ripped.  I wasn’t worried about it, I just wanted it cut off so people wouldn’t trip on it.  JM was a little reluctant to take a pocket knife to my wedding dress, but he did what his cousin told him to.  🙂



Here are a few other images from our wedding that I love.


This is truly what we do when my mom, sisters and I get together.  Cutting up and goofing off.




One of my absolute favorites that means a lot to me.  These are both of my grandmothers.  I am wearing my Nanny’s necklace and my Mimi’s pearl necklace is draped through my flowers.  The only photo I have with both of my grandmothers.



How often do you get to dance with your daddy?




Or your mama?




A shot of Kelly’s mom dancing with her daddy.  I’m really glad Kelly’s grandparents made it to the wedding.  His Pappa tore up the dance floor!




A couple that dances together, stays together?  Must be the case with my Aunt Karen and Uncle Dusty.  I have several memories of them dancing at the Clayton street dance as well.




Kelly has fond memories of his parents dancing as well.  I think he and Zach got dragged to one or two dance classes in their childhood.



Kelly and his best bud, Waylon, doing what they love best – playing music.  Kelly actually gets to be in Waylon’s wedding in a few short weeks.



My grandmother is so awesome.  I could do an entire blog post on her.  I was so lucky to have her sing at our ceremony and of course she kicked off her shoes and sang at our reception too with my dad and uncle backing her up.



I grew up with these girls and our dads have been great friends since before we were born.  I have many memories of singing with them and our dads.



Our wedding was non-stop fun.  In the end, the flowers don’t matter.  The food doesn’t matter.  The cake flavor doesn’t matter.  The invitations, bridesmaid gifts, napkin colors, centerpieces and other mindless details don’t matter one single bit.  Having a photographer that captures the love between you, your husband, your family and your very closest friends is what matters most.  We will have these photographs forever.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t remember what my bouquet looked like or what my bridesmaid dresses looked like.  (Some of those memory issues have to do with having twins just two short years later, but that’s another blog post).  Keep to your budget, but realize what matters most.  Maybe having a $5000 dress that you wear once matters most to you, but not me.  Thank you, Foster, for a great experience and amazing photographs that we love dearly.





1 Comment

  1. by Ramona Buckner on April 23, 2012  3:29 pm Reply

    So sweet, Val! I had to wipe away a fear tears but this made me smile. I'm glad Foster captured these wonderful memories for our family. It must be exciting to know that you do the same for other families.

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