Morgan Trinker Photography | Birmingham, AL »

Birmingham Southern Bridal Show 2011

First of all, welcome to all you brides and grooms and family and friends of brides and grooms who might be stopping by my blog for the first time. It’s so great to have you here! Feel free to browse around the different categories (listed above), or just read up on what’s been going on around here these days. I’d love to hear from you!

Yesterday was one of the craziest, most chaotic, most exciting experiences I’ve had as a wedding photographer. I had heard tales about bridal shows… the manual labor, the exhaustion from being on your feet all day, the insanity of it all…. but I have to say, I actually had a lot of fun! Of course, there’s no way I could have done it without the assistance of my wonderful and patient husband, who managed to not have a heart attack when I explained in detail exactly what we would have to do in order to pull this thing off. But we survived it, marriage intact, and now that it’s over, I’m so thankful I did it!

Here’s our booth:

I have to admit, I’m really proud of how it turned out. After doing a ton of research online and getting advice from seasoned pros, I decided to go all out and basically construct a mini living room to reflect my personal aesthetic. It was a complicated and labor-intensive process, but I think it really made the booth stand out in the crowd. We built the “walls” by hinging together 5 3′-wide hollow doors (I originally purchased nine thinking I wouldn’t get a corner booth, but then I did, so we pared it down to six, but then we had to remove one on the end because of bridal show policy about leaving open space to see other vendors or something. Luckily it was an easy fix, but I wish I had known before I painted both sides of NINE doors, which required 3 coats of primer and 2-3 coats of paint on EACH side. Oh well! I’m just thankful we snagged a corner booth. They’re so much more open and visible, and we were able to handle the crowds from both sides. Highly recommended!) On one “wall” I hand-painted my logo, which would have been easy if I had one of those projector things to make a tracing, but I didn’t, so I went all 9th-grade-art-class-style and made a grid over my logo and then enlarged it on the wall and did a lot of free hand drawing and painting. I have new respect for my logo designer, who makes that lovely calligraphy look so effortless… it took me a LOT more effort than I thought! I purchased the sofa from Urban Outfitters (which is being used in my office), and the coffee and side table are from our living room. The bookshelf was a $15 Goodwill purchase, which was easily freshened up with a coat of white paint and some fun green accents. The accent lighting was from Lowe’s, and the lamp on the table is from IKEA. I also brought along my brand new sample albums from VisionArt and new canvases from Simply Canvas (one of which is not pictured because of the wall issue, but again- oh well!). And I had a slideshow running on my iMac the whole day, too.

Here are some detail shots:

Overall, we got an AMAZING response to the booth. Even before the show started other vendors would walk by, stop, stare awhile, and just smile. And that was exactly the reaction I wanted! I wanted it to be a little unexpected and fun and happy and cozy. A lot of brides told us it was the best booth there, and we had some people just stop and stare and take pictures of it to show other people, which was a huge compliment. Everyone loved being able to “come in,” sit down, and flip through albums. (Note to all the couples featured in those albums: I can’t tell you how many “oooohs” and “ahhhhhs” I heard while people were looking through them. You could tell they were getting some great ideas for their OWN weddings!) I got to talk to so many fantastic brides, and the whole afternoon was literally a complete whirlwind. I can’t wait to follow up with them and hopefully book some fabulous weddings this year!

So to my photographer friends, if you’re asking yourself if it’s worth it to do a show (because I know, it’s an ENORMOUS investment of energy, money, and time), I would say absolutely yes. But if you’re going to do, DO IT RIGHT. Go all out. Make your booth 100% a representation of YOU. I feel that one of the most successful parts of our booth was that it was almost as if we were inviting all these brides into our own house. It was a little peek into my world, and you could tell that it resonated with a lot of people who may not have the most traditional wedding style. If that’s you, then I’m your girl. ;)


Ashley - Morgan! Trinker! I ADORE you. You better not become so famous that I can’t book you for my wedding…because I NEED you to shoot my wedding. It’s that simple. Salt Lake misses you, girl. Mwah!

Heather - YOU are a DIY Goddess. Everything looks so perfect and you are a *doll*! I want to live in your booth, okay?

Debbie - You definitely have the “Midas” touch! Everything you do turns out like you have done it for years and years. So cozy, I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t your own living room. I’m sure you will be flooded with requests from brides and friends of brides. Congratualtions on all the hard work and a job well done!!

KanzlerFoto - Well, you did it! AND you did it with such class and just pure awesomeness. This is something you and I talked about often, and I’m glad you made the leap and ran with it! In my opinion you went in with clear eyes and a full heart, which means…you can’t lose.

Erin Kesler - Shut your face, Morgan Trinker; this is the most uh-mazing display of class, taste, and Trinkerness, haha! It’s stunning, and I would book you in a heartbeat if I were one of those brides! Btw, I’m swooooooning over that couch. I’ve been obsessed with it for the past year or so, but it’s just out of our price range right now (annnnd we’ll be overseas for a while, anyways, so…). Love you and so glad it turned out. I feel so lucky to have you as a friend and also so proud as a friend! Morgan Trinker is the absolute best!

Karla Collegeman - AMAZING!!! You simply rock. That’s all I can say. I’ve seen 2 displays so far that have wowed me. The Kaiser’s and yours. Great job and I can only imagine how happy I will be reading regular posts of all the weddings you’ll be photographing this year! Yay for you and Yay for me :)

Stephanie Carson - Once again you have AMAZED me! Well done Morgan! I am so jealous of your creative instincts…your eye for color is just amazing!

Halie - I LOVE this! We went to a bridal show Sunday too here in Nashville and not one photographer booth looked this good. I’m so proud to call you my cousin and future wedding photographer! :)

Kimber - Morgan, this is simply amazing! Congratulations! I love that it is soo soo you! I agree with Ashley, though. Get super famous, but not so famous I cant get you to shoot my wedding…one day. :-)) xo.

Kathleen Frank - The booth is amazing, and I absolutely love that you painted the logo yourself!!! I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful wedding that you book because of it!

Aileen@Love&Lavender - Oh my gosh, LOVE! I’m sure your booth totally stood out in the crowd. It’s sooo super cute!

Ada - Morgan, I met you at the Birmingham Southern Bridal Show. My daughters and I arrived late and rushed through a few booths before the fashion show. They shopped while I held three seats for us. When the fashion show was over, they dragged me through the crowd to meet you, and see your awesome booth and photography. I must say, you have a beautiful style. My daughter is so excited to find a photographer that totally gets her. When she sets a date we will be proud to have you shoot her engagement and wedding.

christina moodie - This set up is so so cute! I love the green couch! Such a good idea to make it set up like a living space. so cozy and friendly

smittengreta - your booth is uhhhhhhhdorable!!!!!!!!!!! my friend hayes from my bridal buzz said that he met you at the show! small world, that is so cool! :)))

carly - I still can’t get over it. I love this so much. Seriously, I am so inspired. When I grow up, I wanna be like you, Mo.

Gemma - Morgan, is there anything you cannot do?!!!! This is the coolest booth I’ve ever seen, EVER!
May all your hard work pay off in dividends.

Becky Johnson - Morgan, the booth is beautiful!! It is so much fun keeping up with you through your blog and watching your business grow. Congratulations on another successful adventure!!

Aunt Heather - Morgan Kate!! Girl you looked like you rocked the bridal show!! It WAS SOOOOOOOOO you!! I hope the brides-to-be that met you and saw your booth know what originality that they would be getting with their photos by booking you……bravo to you on your hard work (and also to “behind the scenes” Jamie!!) Love ya’ll!

Jenna Gines - Morgan!! I love it! You have the cutest style ever! I bet it was the BEST booth and photographer there :)

Hi-Fi Weddings - good grief girl this is insanely gorgeous! we are totally kindred souls, i just know it! next time there needs to be more hang out time :):)

Gail - This is INCREDIBLE! I woulda hired you on the SPOT! ;) And I’ve thought a lot about the idea of doing a show myself. If I ever do, I am straight-up emailing you for more advice on cost/ideas/etc. Fingers crossed you get a ton of bookings from this!

Bridal Shows 101 « bhambride - [...] perspective, you can check out our recaps from the January Southern Bridal Show and the Hi-Fi Fest┬áHERE, HERE, and [...]

Shanna Magnuson - wow this is a beautiful booth you have! the style is fabulous!

Wil Reiner - Philadelphia Wedding Photographer - Thanks for posting this, your booth is amazing! I’m inspired to start designing and build my own!

The Bridal Show Breakdown | Vienna Glenn Photography - [...] of me when I signed up for the booth! They were right, so so so right! First, I have to credit Morgan Trinker Photography for the hollow door idea for the backdrop. I am sure other people may use this idea as well, I just [...]

Landi Whitefield - Your wedding booth is fantabulous! I have been scouring the net to make mine…and have a quest…How did you build the walls? Anyhow great job. Landi Whitefield

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