Whim and Willow Photos share Wedding package winners Michelle and David exuberantly fun and stylish Berkeley Fieldhouse wedding.

How do you create a bond and communication with your clients in a way that allows you to access their vision for their day and translate it so effectively in their album?

One of the things that we really pride ourselves on is our ability to build a relationship and rapport with the couples that we work with – and that starts right from the first communication and continues all the way to their wedding day! It’s important to not only show people warmth and understanding, but be willing to show your human side too!

At the end of the day, couples want to work with people that make them feel comfortable – it’s ok to make mistakes, laugh at yourself, and get silly!

If you were to have a phrase or song lyric to pair with this wedding what would it be?

ConDragulations by Rupaul! These two and their crew have an obvious love for Drag Race and then went from references to it, their vows, the clacky fans that everyone including Michelle had throughout the day, and their fun, whimsical, party energy!

You created a series of shots with a slightly blurred glimmering edge that were stunning. What was your process for this and do you usually allow for some experimentation in your wedding albums?

For those images we used our set of fractal lens filters from @getfractals! We love experimenting during shoots whenever we get the chance!

What attracted your couple to this venue and how did you make the attributes they appreciated stand out in their album?

Michelle and David actually won their wedding package in a radio contest! Here’s the funny thing – we were actually in our car listening to that radio station as they announced that someone had won a wedding package for the Berkeley Fieldhouse! We both wondered who the lucky couple was, and a few days later Michelle and David reached out to us about photography!

The Berkeley Fieldhouse is a great mix of urban architecture and downtown vibes – it creates this intimate pocket right in the heart of the city. We made sure to utilize the natural outdoor features within the space to give their wedding album a more natural feel while also making sure to take advantage of the fact that we were right downtown!

Michelle and David had two ceremonies. A pre ceremony in the treehouse and then a larger one on the outdoor patio of the venue. What was the intention behind this choice and how was it as an experience?

Michelle and David wanted to have a smaller “pre” ceremony beforehand to have a nice intimate moment with just them and their best man and maid of honor, but to also take care of the legalities with the marriage license. Their main ceremony was officiated by one of Michelle’s long time friends, and allowed them to be married by someone special and beloved by them!

We thought that this was such a beautiful idea!

You fully utilized and explored a lot of the fun little spaces around the venue creating a diverse, beautiful and playful album for your couple. How did you prepare for this and how do you work with your couples to make the most of these opportunities for them?

With any wedding that we shoot we make sure to do our due diligence for both ourselves and our couples by either scouting way ahead of time (we met with Michelle, David, and their wedding coordinator a few weeks before so we could check out the venue ourselves) or show up a few hours early for out of town weddings to make sure that we have the lay of the land before we get started! Scouting is so important for us not only so that we are properly prepared to shoot, but also sets our couples at ease because it’s one less thing that they need to plan their wedding day!

Looking back, what stands out as the most unique aspect of this wedding day ?

What really stood out to us about their wedding was their ceremony and how funny and casual it was! Since they got the legalities out of the way earlier, their entire ceremony was constant references to the show Friends and copious mentions of Drag Race! We think that they did their ceremony this way because they really don’t take themselves too seriously and are focused on having fun!

The album of the wedding ceremony reads very well as narrative stills, following the content of the ceremony and noting the subtle nuances and exchanges. What is your experience with couples on how significant this becomes when they look back at their albums over time and reanimate their day ?

A lot of times the wedding day is a whirlwind for couples getting married and goes by in a blink of an eye, and because of that, a lot of couples actually miss out on a lot of the happenings throughout the day – that’s where we come in!

It’s important to us to really tell the story of a wedding day so that the couples that we work with get the chance to not only relive it when they receive their galleries, but also see moments that they otherwise would have missed!

If you were to select one photo to make your couple a giant print which one would it be?

At the venue there is a tiger from a carousel that’s used as decoration and we really wanted to utilize it for a photo. We got Michelle and David to stand with it and they immediately started acting like total goof balls! There’s one shot in particular that we love where they’re both making funny faces at the camera – they don’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s what we love about them!

It is clear in the album that you observed and noted every effort and detail that went into making the day a signature timeless capsule for your couple. Noting the details of the wedding parties attire details, the floral designs, the fans and sourdough bread! What is your process for bringing to collection every precious detail ?

As much as we are there to photograph the couple and catch candid shots of them and their guests, it’s also important to keep in mind that we are there to be visual storytellers. Before we even get to the wedding date we work with our couples through questionnaires and emails to put together a photography timeline so we know the flow of the day and have a plan of attack so that we can successfully document every single detail!

Since there are two of us we not only have the opportunity to have two different perspectives on the same moment, but also work efficiently together to make sure that we have everything covered! One of us might be taking detail shots of the venue while the other is documenting people showing up to the ceremony. Or, one of us might be capturing the couple’s first kiss as the other is documenting the reaction of the guests!

Your couple went ahead and got married (adhering to all safety protocols at that time ) in the topsy turvy time of covid varying and changing landscape. What were some of the ways you adapted as photographers  and helped them safely have the best day possible ?

A big part of dealing with couples and weddings during the pandemic is accepting the fact that things are going to change – whether it’s the venue, guest count, and even the actual wedding date. Right from the get go we decided that we were going to be part of the solution and not part of the problem and really work with our couples to take the pressure and worry off of them and figure out ways to make changed plans and rescheduled dates work!

And it goes without saying that we’ve always done our parts to keep safe and healthy for our clients by wearing masks, keeping to safe social distances, constantly washing and sanitizing our hands and gear, and getting vaccinated!

Whim and Willow Photo

Berkeley Fieldhouse