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I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

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The Best Of Dakota Hersey Weddings: 2021

February 15, 2022

Weddings

The best of Dakota Hersey Weddings 2021

Now that 2021 is over, I realized that I have been shooting weddings for 7 years… 7 whole years. Not every year was filled with back to back wedding weekends but I have been feeling the rush of creating and capturing an experience for couples for awhile now.

Even still, this year did have a few firsts:

  • First year with 20+ weddings
  • First Greek Orthodox wedding
  • First Catholic wedding
  • First destination wedding
  • First double header weekend (two weddings back to back)
  • First downtown Raleigh wedding
  • First year photographing the same venue multiple times
  • First year where almost every single couple had a coordinator
  • First mountain wedding
  • First wedding with a band
  • First year creating wedding albums
  • First year doing outside nighttime portraits (aside from sparklers)

Every wedding is a chance for me to create something that is as magical as the actual love between my couples, but when you shoot 20+ weddings a year you have to be intentional about 1) capturing what’s expected and 2) doing it in a way that’s a little different each time.

2021 was a year of a few firsts but for the most part it was about really challenging myself to take my images to the next level.

It was working in venues I’ve always dreamed of but in different angles than I have seen online, playing with the arrangements of invitations to create something visually pleasing but unique, and finding poses for couples that highlight the natural relationship between the two of them.

Of course I absolutely LOVE all of the couples I have the honor of working with, but this post is fun for me because I get to look back through my images and picking the ones that are the BEST of the best – the ones that are visually beautiful or were created in the mist of some obstacle…and there are a LOT of possible obstacles on wedding days.

Finding optimal light in small bridal suites, making up time lost in other areas of the day, harsh light in mid-day sun, packed dance floors, cluttered rooms, cloudy and rainy skies, venues I’ve photographed 3 times in a row, freezing temperatures, sweating through my clothes, dodging downtown traffic, managing large crowds who are 6 beers deep, wind…

My job is to create magic regardless of the situation.

I’m really, really proud of the images I created this year. I could spend all day scrolling through them, and this is just a small portion of what was actually delivered.

I can’t wait to have them printed in an album because the only thing better than seeing them compiled like this is seeing them in print.

Thank you so much to all of the couples and their families who trust me and process…and never question when I rearrange furniture, turn off lights, or take them to a questionable location. You’re the best!!!

Sunset portrait at The Carolina Barn wedding venue

Invitation flatlay at River Landing Wedding

Maid of honor getting bride ready at private residence wedding in Washington, NC

Spring engagements at private farm in Goldsboro, NC

Fall wedding at Crest Wedding Venue

hello!

I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

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