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VALENTINE'S DAY: Siouxland wedding photographers share some favorite romantic shots

VALENTINE'S DAY: Siouxland wedding photographers share some favorite romantic shots


SIOUX CITY -- On entering the profession, Britton Hacke quickly saw he really likes the jolt that comes with taking photos of music concerts. Hacke also found he enjoys shooting weddings, when romance hangs in the air and he aims to capture images that exhibit the love and regard people have when starting a great new phase of life.

Britton Hacke Photography in Sioux City has been shooting weddings for a few years. Some are planned out for months ahead, while others have popped with less lead time.

"My first wedding was for a friend's mom, and it was Beetlejuice-themed at a bar. It was so much fun," Hacke said.

Hacke sometimes has a plan for how the wedding shoot should go, but he also knows that being ready to creatively react to a tender moment is crucial to getting a good outcome. A key thing is also to meet the expectations of the marrying couple, with the thoughts they have on things that are important to capture indicators of love.

Kelly wedding field

This photo of McKenzie and Andrew Kelly in 2016 in Sioux City is one of professional photographer Shane Monahan's favorite wedding photos. For Valentine's Day, the Journal asked Monahan, of Sioux City, and two other local photographers to share some of their favorites.

For Valentine's Day, three Siouxland photographers shared with The Journal a few of their all-time favorite wedding photos, captured over recent years. The photographers -- which also included Shane Monahan of Shane Monahan Photography in Sioux City and Christina Kjar of Christina Kjar Photography in Holstein, Iowa -- explained how they pulled off the shots and what made them so distinctive -- in other words, why they love them. 

Monahan's shot of Jamie and Austin Stubbs in Sioux City in 2018: "This photo was taken near the end of the night. The weather had not cooperated most of the day and the couple was a bit disappointed that we wouldn't be able to get a lot of outdoor photos. I realized the mist was perfect to create this sort of shot and asked the couple to just trust me. We went out, but tried not to venture too far, as I didn't want to get them really wet. Once I set my flash up and posed them, it only took a couple shots to nail it. It's still one of my all time favorite shots from an incredible couple."

Monahan's shot of McKenzie and Andrew Kelly in Sioux City in 2016: "The wind was blowing nicely, but we still needed a little help getting the veil to do what we wanted. My wife Becca held the veil in place and hopped out of the frame just before I took the photo. To get this shot, I used a large flash to help overpower the sun and create the deep blues and clouds that can be seen in the background. I love the dramatic sky and the overall feel you get when looking at this beautiful couple. No matter what lighting tricks you use though, nothing photographs quite like a couple in love."

Kjar's shot of Ashley and Mitch Trost in Holstein: "Winter weddings are becoming increasingly popular and are always a challenge with the weather. This wedding was a few years ago and I remember it being just above zero that day. When I took the bride and groom outside for a few images, it started snowing. It was the perfect snow with large flakes. I couldn't believe how perfect the timing was, that never happens!"

Kjar wedding snow

This photo of Ashley and Mitch Trost in Holstein, Iowa, is one of professional photographer Christina Kjar's all-time favorite wedding photos. For Valentine's Day, the Journal asked Kjar, of Holstein, and two other local photographers to share some of their favorites.

Kjar's shot of Claudia and Wesley Swanger in Ida Grove in 2019: "I had photographed both the bride and groom's senior portraits, so I was excited to be photographing their wedding too. Before the dance started at the reception, I took the bride and groom outside for a few images at night. The reception took place at the bride's family's airplane hanger, which was decorated with lights for Christmas. I wanted to capture the bride and groom spotlighted in front of the castle-shaped hanger."

Hacke's shot of Lilith and Michael Brandt at Stone State Park in Sioux City in summer 2019. "The shoot was at a Celtic-based ceremony in which the couple was surrounded by a giant circle of flowers and jumped over a broom at the end. "It was out of the norm. I could really feel a lot of love. I love her dress, and the look on his face as she's getting ready to recite her vows. Just the look of love on his face."

Hacke's shot of Gloria and Jared Cosgrove in Ponca, Nebraska in summer 2019: "I had a lot more time to show small details of the wedding. They put so much into the details. This is the bride's shoes and bouquet and her dress, hung up in the window. We used the light from the window. She liked that a lot."

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Visit to view more favorite wedding photos from three Siouxland professional photographers.


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