Photographers Share Their Stories in April’s “You Had to Be There” Photo Challenge

Photography is far more than just pretty pictures. It’s the ability to capture stories within one to two images. Take these photos, for example. We asked our Photobug Community to share some of their favorite images that coincide with some of their favorite stories. From a bird sneaking in a picture to wish a newlywed couple the best on their special day to a heartfelt moment spent together in a hot tub after an engagement, each photo we’re sharing in April’s photo challenge has its own story. Keep scrolling to see the images photographers captured along with the “you had to be there” moment behind the scenes.

Image by The Outlovers

The story behind the photo: Eric is the most thoughtful, loving partner Sarah could ever have dreamt of. So, it’s fair to say she was a little surprised when she unwrapped her much-anticipated elopement day gift and was faced with a pack of plastic beads. Turned out Eric had packed the wrong gift! These were meant for Sarah’s little daughter, and the diamond necklace was still sitting in the closet back home! The two of them laughed about it ALL day.

The story behind the photo: When the bubbles hit, hard. Backyard wedding in Irvine. One of my favourite weddings ever. I got stung by a wasp, and the police came 4 times.” 

The story behind the photo:When I “pitched” (love a play on words) this idea to our couple that wanted to rock climb and stargaze during their elopement, I knew it would be an adventure. It is a photo I will never forget taking, and I doubt they will ever forget it, either. The combination of several loves these two share into one image.”

Image by Requiem Images

The story behind the photo: Here’s one from when I was 7 months pregnant and we almost died capturing this photo in a bouncy house. The bouncy house deflated with us in it, and I caught this as the hilarious panic ensued.”

The story behind the photo: The morning of their elopement, the rain was absolutely hammering it down, and the wind speeds were at 50+ mph with dangerously high gust speeds – we had planned on doing a hike out into the hills but knew that wasn’t going to be safe! E and N weren’t going to let the weather stop the day, though. So we braved the wild Scottish weather and had their ceremony not too far from the cars yet still lost in the wilderness! We got absolutely DRENCHED–possibly the most soaked through I’ve ever been photographing an elopement in Scotland (and trust me there’s been a lot of wet days)! Their ceremony was magic–so full of love and warmth even in the baltic air! After their ceremony we headed back to the cars and seeing N wringing out her dress and all the water that came off it will be a memory non of us will forget! Two days later, we headed back to the same spot and did the hike, and we were treated to a dose of glorious Scottish sunshine! It was nothing short of magic!”

The story behind the photo: This was one of those ‘once a year’ moments when we were in the right place at the right time. We were photographing an elopement on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It was a spring day, and we started the hike in bright sunshine. Then, out of nowhere, a snowstorm blew in (the first rule of photographing elopements in Scotland: be ready for everything and anything!). There was a 1-minute weather window where the snowstorm was clearing, and the backdrop became visible. We ran out and grabbed this shot. The conditions were brutal, freezing, wild, and so exhilarating. Moments later, the same scene was all sunshine and bright, blue skies! We love serendipitous moments like these.

Image by Sam Starns

The story behind this photo: Chasing northern lights in Norway. Once Lady Aurora arrived, we dropped everything to head out into the night. The magic of the aurora is only matched by being in totality for a solar eclipse.”

The story behind this photo: This was meant to be a sunrise engagement session in the Isle of Skye, but what it turned out to be was the stormiest, coldest, wettest session I shot all year. My camera filter was full of condensation, making many of the photos look pretty blurry, the wind was crazy, the couple decided not to do the second location we planned and cut the session short due the unbearable weather conditions but we were all obsessed with the final results!

The story behind the photo: I worked with an amazing couple who rented a venue in Santa Cruz…with two GIANT dogs. Everyone was so excited, they started cheering when the dogs crashed the party.”

The story behind the photo: Out of nowhere (and no food offered either) — this little birdie decided to wish the newly married couple well.

The story behind the photo: This photo was taken in Nusa Penida, the largest of the three Nusa Islands next to Bali. This particular beach, called Diamond Beach, is an untouched, white-sand, and silky blue water bay on the eastern tip of the island. We need to climb down the carved limestone stairs to reach the beach from the viewpoint at the top. It took us around 20 minutes. But it’s all worth it!

The story behind the photo: That wedding that got it all–torrential rain, bride and groom being soaked at the ceremony and jumping in the ocean straight after it, an epic sunset, and the fire dancers!

The story behind the photo: This couple had a Viking wedding here in Iceland and are both native Icelanders. We were adventuring around this fjörd for photos before making our way to their reception at a brewery. I had them set up for the photo, and unknown to me, their best man, who was with us, walked up and handed them pizza he had brought with him in his van, haha. Because you know–Vikings need to nourish themselves also.  It was just silly and awesome. We sat there eating pizza for about 15 minutes, including their best man, who was also dressed as a Viking (everyone was asked to dress like a Viking if they could). It was great.

The story behind the photo: After a sunrise proposal to my boyfriend in New Zealand on the exact date of our one-year anniversary, we ended the day as fiancé and fiancé. I planned a full day of surprises and took this self-portrait to memorialize this time in our lives as we enjoyed some private hot spring soaking tubs overlooking the mountains of Queenstown.

Thank you again to our super talented Photobug Community for sharing these images with us that showcase how a photo really is worth a thousand words. Want your work to be featured? Make sure to join our Facebook group so that you can get a chance to share your work in one of our challenges.

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