Hawk Buckman

Joe's Honky Tonk - Kearney, Nebraska

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Joe's Honky Tonk

Without a doubt, the most interesting wedding I’ve ever documented was held in Kearney, Nebraska. You have to hand it to folks from Nebraska. They really know how to throw down a party and this one was no exception as it was held in a Bar.

The only thought I had the entire time I was shooting this event was “I’m shooting a wedding – in a Bar – in Nebraska”. It became a running joke not only in my head but with the guest who absolutely loved it. 

It was a beautiful ceremony, and one heck of a party afterward, where country music rising star Luke Mills, and his band, cranked out original songs and a few very well-done covers.

Adapting to surroundings, whatever they may be, is a necessity for any photojournalist. This particular shoot was like training to become a combat war correspondent. My head was on a swivel from the time I arrived until the time I departed, which was late in the middle of the night.

Commitment to the mission, or project, is paramount when capturing people’s stories. Make sure the photographer you hire for your event meets these criteria. If you have any doubts, don’t hire them. The first key to knowing where a potential photographer’s loyalty lies is when you ask them “how long will you be staying after the ceremony and reception?” The answer should always be “When your story is complete, or you ask me to leave”. Money should never be the singular motivation for a photographer to tell your story.

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