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  • Writer's pictureBen Wagner

Black Dress Wedding Photography at Seattle's WithinSodo

Andi and Tyler told me they were a little different, they had their own pace, a unique style. This started with Andi's choice to wear a Black Wedding Dress on their big day.

This was my first time working at WithinSodo, a fantastic wedding venue deep in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood, just a few blocks south of T-Mobile Park. This was also the first of a few times in 2022 I worked with Sunflower Entertainment, who were the day of coordinators for the wedding.

I arrived early to have time to check out the venue, before making my way to the Groom and Bridal prep rooms to chat with Andi and Tyler and to get some candid shots of the two of them getting ready. This getting ready time is often my favorite part of they day, giving me a chance to meet and embed with the main characters of the wedding day, the officiant, parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen.

After everyone was ready, Andi wanted to do a first look with her dad. There's not always time for a father-daughter first look, but I love to do it when there's time. There's almost always a tear, or at the very least an emotional hug.

Then it was time for the wedding ceremony itself, held in the main gallery. Tyler wanted to do a traditional first look, avoiding seeing Andi until the moment she walked up the aisle. About half my couples choose this route over a more formal first look. Sometimes it puts a lot of pressure on the groom to "perform" in front of the wedding guests, but in this case you can't beat the authenticity of Tyler's smile when Andi walked into the room.

After the ceremony the group headed up to WithinSodo's fabulous rooftop deck. Here we had the signing of the certificate, some portraits, lots of hugs, and a lovely cocktail hour. We were lucky with May weather and a bright sunny day as the group enjoyed the sun and each other's company.

With the cocktail hour wrapped up, it was time for the reception back in the venue's ballroom. The spring light faded as it came through the venue's western facing windows, giving a bit of a dramatic look to the speech photos, particularly the black and white versions (as noted in my Wedding Package overview, every photo is delivered in both color and black and white).

Finally it was time to dance. There were, of course, the bride and groom's first dance, as well as father-daughter and mother-son dances. Then it was on to cake cutting, the bouquet and garter toss, and the dance floor itself.

This was my first time trying to incorporate a shutter drag into my dance floor photos, a technique in which the shutter is left open as the camera moves, causing light trails and some motion blur. I found this to be an addictive way to make creative shots on the dance floor, and it ended up being a huge part of my dance photo process throughout 2022.

All images captured on the Fujifilm X-T4 and X-Pro3. Processed in Capture One.

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