sioux falls

Urban Fairytale | Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota Styled Wedding

Urban Fairytale | Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota Styled Wedding

Each year I am to do a photoshoot that inspires me and re-energizes all my creatives juices for the next year. This usually ends up being in the middle of winter, of course, so we are normally freezing! We got SO lucky this shoot, because it was a beautiful 40 degree day with a wonderful sunset; such a rarity in the winter. It was sandwiched between -45 (yes. Negative) weather and a small snow storm the following day.

I was super lucky to again partner up with Walker Down the Aisle to help bring my dream to life, which all centered around this beautiful skirt I had purchased a year ago. The inspiration was to make this as fairytale as possible, while also being as urban as possible in a mid-sized midwestern town.

Newly Engaged? Book These Vendors First!

Newly Engaged? Book These Vendors First!

The memory of your engagement is still dancing in your head, and your staring at the beautiful, sparkly new ring on your finger. Take a second to bask in the happiness! Congrats!!

Your next tasks may seem overwhelming, so here are some tips about what vendors you should book first! Keep a few dates in mind as your start to look at your top choices, as you may need to be flexible with your date to get exactly what you want. Keep in mind that a lot of wedding vendors books up early, sometimes over a year in advance!

Carley + Mike | Half Baked Cupcakes Winter Engagement Session

Carley + Mike | Half Baked Cupcakes Winter Engagement Session

Sioux Falls, South Dakota winter engagement session with cupcakes, bananagrams and coffee!

Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

When I first met Nicole and Jared, I could instantly tell how great their wedding was going to be. They are the friendliest people you could ever meet and their families and friends were the same way. From start to finish, Nicole and Jared's wedding day was so much fun and I was completely in awe of how great the day came together. I can't wait to show you more of their day below!

Angela + Michael | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

Angela and Michael's wedding was on the nicest summer day you can imagine; we couldn't have ordered better weather. It was great to spend such an amazing day with a sweet couple. When they are together you can't help but smile and you can just feel how much they love each other. Here's a glimpse into their day, their beautiful details, a wonderful tribute to Angela's mother and non-stop laughter and love.

Photography: Bethany Melvin Photography // Bride's Dress, Bridesmaids' Dresses & Tuxes: Bridal Gallery // DJ: DJ SieffStyle Entertainment // Rings: Gunderson's // Florist: Meredith & Bridget's // Cake/Cupcakes: QT Cakes // Reception: Washington Pavilion // Hair: Chameleon Hair Design

Shoutout to my amazing 2nd shooter, Chelsea for helping me capture the day!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit


Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Engagement Session

Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Engagement Session

This heat has me reminiscing about colder days, and that maybe I complained one too many times about the snow and lower temps. Which brought me to think back to this gorgeous spring morning I spent with Nicole and Jared.

Emma + Jon | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Engagement Session

Emma + Jon | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Engagement Session

I had the best time with Emma and Jon! Emma had so many ideas for the session, including bringing an old bike, and since their session they have gotten a tandem bike that they ride around. How cute is that? I cannot wait for their October wedding, but here is a peak into our evening we spent together in Sioux Falls!

Year In Review: 2015

How can it possibly be the end of 2015 already?  I know we say it every single year, but oh boy did this year fly by!! From start to finish, 2015 was completely and utterly amazing.


Jen & Jeremy's engagement session kicked the year off to an amazing start, and we captured truly adorable moments in their brisk morning session in January!


Next came adorable little Emma's cake smash! She was full of such energy and a touch of sassy. Her mama has her hands full with this adorable charmer.


Emmett was the most adorable little guy ever, and the son of a past bride :) I was so excited when Andrea asked me to capture some images for her of their little bundle of joy.


The next session I got the absolute privilege of shooting was Emily and Zach's engagement session in Yankton. We had all gone to college together, so it was so fun to be able to explore our old stompin' grounds to capture the picture perfect snowy engagement session :)


Cade was next! I have been taking photos of Cade for the past 2 years and just love watching him grow into a handsome little guy! Cade's parents always have such fun ideas that they want to try and sometimes the best photos just come from the in-between moments, like a mama tickling her little boy.


Then WEDDING SEASON!!! :) Andrea + Russell kicked off 2015 wedding season with a brisk March wedding in Iowa. We stopped by a family farm to take a few moments to have some fun and get some amazing images by an awesome red barn, and now they will soon be welcoming their first child into the world. Time flies, and I couldn't be happier for them!


Next up was Ashley + Josh. They had a beautiful spring wedding at the most amazing golf course in the Twin Cities. I was so excited to shoot this wedding as this was the 3rd time I had the privilege of shooting among this group of friends. It is so much fun when you know the entire bridal party already! :)


Blake + Sara allowed me to capture their memories in my hometown of Marshall! They are the sweetest couple and don't even get me started on their adorable little boy, Beckett. Their day was filled with a ton of laughter, and I'm so glad I got to be apart of it.


Next, I got to see Jen + Jeremy again for their laid back, intimate wedding at Camp Lakodia. It was so awesome to see all the had work they had put into the day, with even the cupcake stands being carved by one of the groomsmen!


Zach + Cassie got married next! They had people from all over the US at their wedding in the heart of Sioux Falls and there was such amazing energy! They were definitely one of the most energetic groups of the year :)



Then I got the pleasure of being there to capture Miranda + Nolan's wedding in Brookings. These two were the sweetest couple ever, and it is so apparent how in love they are. I was so excited to be a part in their day!


Garrett's senior session reminded me how old I am getting. I used to watch Garrett for a few summers and take him and his sister to activities, and now he is a senior? Oh boy. He's still the same high energy Garrett, just taller than me now... as he points out whenever he can ;)


Liz + Troy's wedding brought me back to Marshall once again, and they had this wedding thing on point. So many amazing details, locations and personal touches; one of my favorites being the vintage car they used to make their grand exit from the church. Troy's amazing grandfather drove them off and it was just perfect. 


Katie + Cody's wedding was an adventure up to Fargo! Amazing people, amazing memories, just all around amazing. I cannot tell you how much I love the both these families! I am so excited to be able to capture more memories in the future for them as Katie and her sisters bought her parents a family session for a Christmas gift! (They already opened their gift, I checked ;) No spoilers here!)


Rebecca + Joel are the sweetest people ever. Period. End of statement. Their at-home wedding was simply perfect and such a great reflection on them and their values. There were a ton of amazing details and I never stopped smiling the whole day. 


Next up was Emily + Zach! I was very excited for this wedding because it was in Yankton, at the amazing church that is on the Mount Marty campus (my alma mater!).  I was welcomed with open arms and we had such a great time making special memories and creating some pretty awesome photos for them to look back on!


I might get a little choked up, but I don't typically cry during first looks. Ashley + Brett got me so caught up in the moment that I couldn't help it. They are SO in love! The way they look at each other and just glow when they are around each other is SO amazing. I'm lucky that I got to capture this wedding, so very lucky. 


Elayne + Mike won the annual Love Is In The Air contest, so I got to revisit them for a 1 year anniversary session! Their pup Franklin joined us and in the tradition of sessions with them, it rained. It rained during their engagement session, their wedding (check the blog for more details on that!), and so of course it would rain for their 1 year session! We braved the mist and did an awesome cake smash session, then that afternoon met up again and got some glorious sunshine!


Little man Croix was my first newborn to transition over to offering lifestyle newborn sessions! He is the son of a past couple from when I first started wedding photography. I think we can all agree that this is an adorable little family :)


I got to meet up with Jayme + Brett for some early engagement photos on a cool fall morning! They were troopers as we took about a mile walk each way to get to this awesome location, and were even willing to lay down in the wet grass! Plus, they are super adorable. :) See more of their session here!


The start of fall was arriving so family photos started to fill up! I started off the fall family season with the Johnson family! They were some of the most well-behaved kids for photos, even though there was so much going on and we got some great shots for this family, who hadn't had family photos done all together in a long, long time!


My last wedding of 2015 was with Liz + Mike back in Yankton! We had awesome locations, great people, and a gorgeous sunset to end the day. It was the perfect way to end a great 2015 wedding season :)


Next was an early morning engagement session with Jon + Katie! Katie is Emily's sister (bride from above!), and I am so excited to be able to work with their family again. We went all over for their photos, including the baseball field, for some fun themed photos!


Next to rock out in front of the camera was Kristin, a 2016 senior from Mitchell! She killed it in front of the camera, and was seriously a huge sweetheart. I had a great time with her and her mom, and got to shoot some amazing images in the process!


Fall family mini sessions got in full swing, starting up with the Gentrup family! Their girls had so much energy, but were so sweet and we got some great shots!


My dear friend Maddie was expecting her little boy any day, so we took some maternity photos with her husband, Jeff, on a day where there was an AMAZING sunset.


The next family session was one from my dear friends, the Millers! This is the 2nd year I have taken their fall family photos, and we've got 2016 already scheduled in the books. I can't wait to see them again!


Next up for fall family mini sessions was the Johnson family! I was so glad that Shayla contacted me to capture this stylish family. They were so great so work with :)


The Andel family was my next session for fall minis and I couldn't get over how adorable Dawn had dressed her kids! I mean, the fur vest is just so cute!


This was the 2nd year I got to take photos of Jennifer + Adam and their adorable dogs, but this year I got to help them announce amazing news! They will be welcoming a little one in 2016! I was overjoyed to be able to help them come up with a few ways to announce it :)


Lindsey and Hunter's mini session was over the top adorable. Hunter was a great listener and him and his mom have an obvious special bond. I was more than happy to portray that in a few photos for them.


Tess was up to do an impromptu bridal session so we headed out and got some great shots. Who doesn't love a little lipstick and birdcage veil action?


I can't say enough about Kim + Chad's engagement session at Strawbale Winery. We used up every little bit of light we could and explored every inch of the winery to get some one-of-a-kind shots. It helps that they don't mind making googly eyes at each other because they are SO in love :)


I was so excited to do some more lifestyle shooting with Patty + Kyle and their adorable little boy :) We got so many amazing pictures, I don't know how Patty will ever decide what to print.


My friend Maddie had her baby! So of course we had to follow up her maternity session with some lifestyle newborn photos. Little Simon is quite loved, and I can't wait to watch him grow!


My last lifestyle session of 2015 was with the Hunt family and it was an amazing way to end the year, in front of the Christmas tree with some amazing people.


My last session of the year was with the amazing Hoogendorn family. Cal is the pastor at my church and I was so very honored when he asked me to take some photos of his family!

2015 was unbelievable and I am so very blessed to be able to do what I love.  2016 is already filling up fast, and I can't imagine what is going to happen, the people I will meet and the amazing love I am going to capture. Stay tuned, amazing things are about to happen!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit

Rebecca + Joel | Lismore, Minnesota Backyard Farm Wedding

On the most beautiful day in August, I got to be apart of an adorable at-home wedding on a farm in Minnesota. Rebecca and Joel were so kind to invite myself, as well as all their guests, to Rebecca's family farm!

There were many gorgeous details and so much hard work that everyone put into the wedding, but the atmosphere was so relaxing and calm the entire day. Rebecca and Joel are amazing together and there is no way to describe them without using the words incredibly sweet and caring.

I'm excited to show off some the images from their day and share a glimpse of the fun day they allowed me to capture for them!

Photographer: Bethany Melvin Photography // Dress: The Wedding Shoppe // Florist: Wendy's Flowers // Cake Decorator: Taylor'd Cakes // DJ: Thunder Music DJ Service // Caterer: Tony's Catering // Tent:Big Top Tent Rental  //Glassware: Ideal Wedding and Events  // Decorative Flower Boxes: The Flower Mill


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit


Jayme + Brett | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Engagement Session

Throwing it back a few months to sunshine, green leaves and warmth! I had an amazing morning engagement session with Jayme & Brett. I got to know Brett after he was a groomsmen in a wedding I shot, and then got to meet Jayme and instantly saw how wonderful they were together. And you aren't seeing things, that HUGE ring Jayme is holding? Brett HANDCARVED an exact duplicate of her engagement ring. How AMAZING is that?

Jayme & Brett are the sweetest couple ever and I'm so glad I got to spend some time with them and capture some adorable moments.


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit


7 Reasons to Have a First Look

7 Reasons to Have a First Look

First off, I'd like to say that there is no right decision, do not feel pressured in anyway to change what you want to do for your wedding. It is your day and you should have it your way. Everyone is different and I strongly believe that weddings should reflect the character and personality of the bride and groom, even down to how they lay out the day.

8 Secrets to Make Your Wedding Photographer Love You

8 Secrets to Make Your Wedding Photographer Love You

I wanted to create this list so that you can be ready to celebrate each and every moment of your wedding day. I want to make sure that the dream that you have of your perfect day is clear to me so that I can create an amazing memory for you. I hope that you will like these tips of some things you can do that will make your wedding photographer be giddy, heart-eye emoji in love with you, which will result in the best photos possible.

ENDED: Free Engagement Session Contest!


CONTEST HAS ENDED! Congrats to Jayme!

Thank you so much to all the entires I got as a response to my posting! Below are the amazing engagement stories that were shared with me and I hope I am able to capture the rest of the love story for them!

Kyera N.:

He spent 4 months going around to everyone that means the world to us asking permission or letting them know how and when he would do it. The week before he had his mom take me to get our nails done (which we do pretty often so nothing strange there!) It was a brisk day in march and he said we had a couple of errands to run for his mom which he said was looking for a place to take pictures of our family that would be coming into town that next week! I was a little resistant because it was so cold but somehow he convinced me to throw some jeans on and a couple sweatshirts and go out! We looked at the Yankton trails and he said he really wanted to go look at the falls so we did that too. He insisted that we go up the hill past the falls... the next thing I know he is showing me a video of my dog barking on our patio and I'm asking him why he let her bark so much! wink emoticon he said keep watching and I'm sure glad I did! (See video above) I turned around and everyone was right there with us the whole time! We all came back to our place and grilled burgers and brats and talked about wedding ideas! I am so excited I'm engaged to my best friend who just happens to be the love of my life! We are so blessed to have such amazing and supportive friends and families!

See the video here:

Alejandra V.: 

On a Sunday in July of 2014 my fiance ask me to marry him it was the day I said I do. From them on my heart couldn't stop but to say yes...we went to the movies n also had a daughter in April of 2014. I then on realized that it take two people to become one...I was in love at the age of 19 and knew from there that my whole life I've been lookin' was right there from the start...when my fiance asked me to marry him on that day it was nothing but a happy moment of joy and tears. He surpised me with a big red ruby ring and on that ring he wrote babe i love uu...this day I would never forget but to remember the day of feeling so amazed.

Jayme W.:

On Friday, July 3rd my boyfriend (at the time) and I were going to

take two of our out of town friends to see the Palisades State Park. We were posing for a picture when he reached down and pulled a lifesize replica of my engagement ring (that he made himself out of wood) out of a book bag. I was so confused as to what was going on when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! My friends were also there and got the entire thing on video. Afterwards, we went back to my house in Brandon where all my best friends were waiting to help us celebrate a night out in Sioux Falls. It was a night I will never forget!


Morgan D.:

Just a normal day in December. my fiancé asked if we wanted to go eat some where that evening, so we did. I picked Famous Dave's, what's more romantic than barbecue ha!! Then he asked if I wanted to go walk around falls park and check out the Christmas lights around the park, I've never seen them before! We started on our walk in falls park, just a normal walk, I wasn't thinking anything of it. Until he walked me up to a dressed up light post that had a ornament on it. The ornament read "Morgan, you leave me breathless! Our love is strong, together we are complete! I will always stand by your side! But.. Right now I am behind you, turn around! I turn around and there he is on his knee asking to marry him! Of course I said yes!!!!And he had a photographer come and catch the whole thing!! It was the most perfect proposal I could of Ever dreamed of! But the night wasn't done yet! We finished walking around the falls, we sat on a bench and talked. Shortly after we sat down he had what he called his "bro service" (some of our friends) come and serve us champagne and gave me flowers!! We sat under the stars and lights and cherished the moment!!! It was the best night I could of ever asked for!!!!

Michaela W.: My fiancé started working at my uncles motorcycle shop in 2011. My dad would go down there for lunch and tell Derrick that he had a daughter he could date (jokingly? Maybe, maybe not!). The very first time I laid eyes on the handsome man who lays next to me sleeping right now, I felt like a lightning bolt shot through my body; what i could only explain as love at first sight. Fast forward ohh almost two years later, October 2013, we were laying in bed the day before my beauty school graduation. Derrick asked if I was nervous for the next day, I told him I was because I am such a baby. He wrapped his arms around me tightly and told me that I was his baby and that he loved me. He pulled out the ring and slide it on my finger. No, it wasn't movie perfect but in my world it was perfect. We are best friends. That's the best part, we have so much in common and yet so much differences. We fit each other perfectly. Marriage isn't about a perfect engagement or a big expensive ring (or wedding!), but the love that you have for one another. I wouldn't change that night for the world. <3

Cassandra P.:

3 years ago I was lost, I turned to online dating. I can't remember the site that my lover and I meet on, but we started dating in January, by February 10th he bought me flowers with a little note one them asking me to be his girlfriend. I also found out that I was pregnant with my ex's kid. My new man was great and stuck with me and supported me through everything. Helping me raise my little man smile emoticon on February 10th of 2014 he asked me to marry him,and of course I said yes. We where going to get married in May 22 2015, sadly we had some financial issues that we could not have the wedding I wanted. Maybe next summer, I'll finally take on Skadsen as my last name.

Rebecca S.:

My fiancé, Jake, and I were at his cabin for the weekend with his family. On Saturday we spent the day fishing and Jake patiently worked with me on holding a fish. Around 5:30 that evening we started getting ready for our dinner reservation with his family. He told me we were going to dinner because his sister really wanted to. I got ready like normal, except I put on a dress because his little sister was excited and wanted to dress up. Jake and I were ready early, so he asked if I wanted to fish while we waited. As soon as we got out on the dock he handed me a pole and I dropped my line in the water. Little did I know, this was just a distraction so he could pull the ring out of his tackle box and get down on one knee. Almost immediately after I dropped my line in, I caught a fish! I was so excited but this was not a part of his plan. He quickly got up, put the ring away, and took the fish off the hook. He threw it i

n right away and I was thinking, "Why didn't you let me hold it?" As I turned around to ask him, he took my breath away... he was down on one knee, holding a beautiful ring and smiling up at me. He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him! I couldn't believe how lucky I was and I said YES! To my surprise, my parents showed up at the restaurant to join us for dinner. Jake, had already asked their permission, got their blessing, and arranged for them to share this special moment with us! We were so blessed to have our parents with us! I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and the boy who stole my heart!


Megan S.:

Our engagement was wonderful. My fiancé and I have been together since freshmen year of high school, almost 6 years. It was my boyfriend's (at the time) birthday. We spent the day going out for breakfast, playing mini golf and ended it with dinner downtown. He then told me he wanted to walk around for a while since it was such a beautiful night. He took me down by the river while the sun was starting to set. He told me that all he wanted for his birthday was to spend the rest of his life with me! Then, he got down on one knee. It was perfect. He also had my best friend hiding around the corner capturing the moment. And might I add, the ring is gorgeous too!

Katrina K.:

My fiancé and I have been together for almost 3 years. We have frequently talked about getting married so I had a hunch that we would get engaged soon. I was a little worried about how he would propose because he isn't the greatest planner;) I always figure out his plans before they happen because it's hard for him to keep a secret. However, he definitely pulled this one off! He was gone for a week on a family vacation and I stayed behind to work. The night he got back, I was very excited to see him! I didn't have power in my apartment from a thunderstorm so I couldn't make a big welcome back supper-- but he already had that covered. He picked up Panera mac and cheese (our favorite) on his way into Sioux Falls and then picked me up for a picnic. (On a side note, he had some help from a friend in ordering the food because he was running late). He had planned to go to Falls Park, but I said I wanted to show him Tut Hill Park. I put a wrinkle in his plans (like usual), but he went with it! We ate our picnic at Tut Hill in a gazebo surrounded by a flower garden. After we ate, he pulled out this Winnie the Pooh book. I loved Winnie the Pooh when I was little and I am going to be an Elementary teacher so I have been obsessed with kids books recently. He told me to read the book...or listen to it I guess I should say. It was a recordable book. He recorded himself reading the book, and after each page he read, he added little sayings about us. We listened to the whole book together and laughed about his little tidbits. After I listened to the last page, I looked up at him and he was on one knee with the ring box in his hand and asked me to marry him. I was in total shock and started tearing up. I was asking him so many questions about how he planned it that I almost forgot to say YES! It was perfect for us. I found out that he had been planning this for four months without me knowing, had gone all the way to the twin cities to buy a ring but then found a better one in Sioux Falls that they had to order and he had to drive all the way back to the cities to return the first one, AND he drove over 2 hours to my house before he left for his family vacation to ask for my parents' permission in person. I couldn't have asked for a better man to marry! And I have to reconsider his planning abilities ;)

Rhonda S.:

On a random April morning my fiance asked me to go on an airplane ride with him since one of his friends on the fire dept. with him is a pilot. As

we were flying over a few of his family's fields he pointed things out to me as we went. At one point he told me to look over to my right. As i did, I saw "Will You Marry Me" written in the field with a disc! I should mention he is VERY afraid of heights, so as soon as I said yes and shed a few tears, he was more than ready to be on solid ground! I along with many others were so impressed with how well we could read it from the plane and he didn't even need to use the tractor's GPS to get the lines so straight!!! Sure makes me wonder how many others had flew over the field and seen the proposal!


Oceaan Nicole F.:

He took me to my favorite place, which is the park my grandpa used to take me to before he passed away. He pushed me on the swings for a minute then we went over by the picnic tables and he sat next to me and told me how much he loved me and all that after that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him <3 <3 <3

Amy C.:

Had texted my fiancé on my break at work that morning telling him how my fibro was at a all time high of pain and work wasn't helping , the stress of working the floor by myself ,co-workers not showing for their shift and ect....he showed up after he was off work proposed in front of everyone on his knee with a red rose!! I was surprised and ecstatic!! Said yes of course and that last couple hrs where the best!! He loves me so much !! Can't wait to be his wife!!! Waited 46 yrs to be one and proud I'll be his!!!

Samantha I.:

On our 6th anniversary my fiancé now wanted to take me out for dinner! He asked my mom to take both out kids! On the night of dinner he seemed off, and nervous, but I didn't think any thing off it! When it came time to leave my mom ended up flaking on us frown emoticon so we took the kids to a Mexican restaurant, a three week old and a 4 yr old! Josh and I were a bit upset that we couldn't enjoy a dinner by ourselfs! But we had good company wink emoticon! And the pitcher of margaritas did me good! After supper we went to the movie store and got a movie(which we never watched) on our way home our kids fell asleep smile emoticon! I went to the room and was well a bit tipsy to say the least, and josh was no where to be found! I went down stairs and there was a brown box in the middle of the floor that Said open me! Out came a balloon and In the box was a dozen roses, and a bottle of my fav champagne! I was so busy looking at the stuff in the box that I didn't read the balloon which read will you marry me! I trueness around and he was on one knee of course I said yes! The he asked for a dance! It was totally unexpected and I was deff surprised! Love him, and no matter what happened that day he was still determined to ask me that night! (Mom felt bad after)!


WIN A FREE ENGAGEMENT SESSION! Over the weekend I hit the 3K mark on my Facebook page so I thought I would do a little giveaway to say thank you for your support!

TO WIN: comment below with your engagement story and you will be entered to win! Contest will be live through Sunday, July 12th :)

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit

A Few Of My Favorite Things


It's Monday. That is not one of my favorite things, so for my blog post today I'm going to think of the things that make me happy to get me through the day.

- Photography (of course)

- Pancakes

- Empty grocery stores

- Starbucks or Scooters!

- Ever-changing hair styles

- Oversized, comfy sweatshirts

- Animals

- Organizing

- Rearranging rooms

- Pizza. Specifically Jake's Pizza in Willmar, MN...oh my do I miss that pizza

- Pens that write smoothly

- Swimming. I'm pretty sure I was a mermaid in a previous life

- Jammin' on my guitar. She's a blue Indiana Scout and her name is Norah

- Car jams

- Photog Meetups with other local photographers

- Panera Mac&Cheese

- Stella Rosa Rosso wine

- S'mores from Crawford's in Sioux Falls.

- Shakes from Kroll's diner in Fargo

- Twinkle lights

- Christmas 

- Hershey's kisses

- Traveling to new places

- Movies. Specifically one’s from the 90’s that not many people know of.

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit

The Informed Client: Copyright Release vs. Print Release


If someone asked me what is the number one question that I get as a photographer, it would be this:

"Can I get/Do you give/How do I get the copyrights to all images?"

My answer to this question is always that I do not give copyrights, but I do give a print release to purchased digital files that allows you to print up to an 8x10 photo. Now, each photographer will have a different anwer to the question based on how they have decided they are going to run their business -- that is totally a personal choice on the part of the photographer.

That being said, I think the photog-language can sometimes be confusing so I am here to help!  So here are the differences between the two releases and why a print release is the mindful choice.


  • This document releases the copyright from the photographer to the client.  At the moment of transfer the copyright no longer belongs to the Photographer, he/she no longer owns the photograph.

  • In cases where copyright has been handed over, the Photographer can technically never use the photographs without the permission of the client.


  This means you cannot use the photo for marketing purposes, portfolio purposes or any other means without getting permission.

Clients:    Chances are you are wanting the photo release so that you have the ability to add to your own photo album, place on social media etc. This can be acheived with a print release and still gives the photographer the right to build their portfolio and include your photos in part of their budding collection.


  • This document gives the client the ability to print photos for personal use, within the clauses of the release.

  • In cases where a print release is given, the Photographer retains ownership of the photos and has the rights to use for market, portfolio or other.

  • Allows photos to be used by both parties.


  Giving a print release has many benefits.

- Client cannot edit the photograph at all (any edits good or bad will be connected with your name)

- Photograph cannot be used for monetary gain by client (commercial or other)

- The photograph still belongs to you, but your client is still getting what they want.


   Why does this benefit you also?

- Unlimited printing of your photo session*.

- Posting of files on your social media.

- Digital file to keep forever.

*Check your photographer's release policy. Most established photographers will only release digital files up to a specific size. This is done to ensure that you get the best, highest quality images that are large scale. Usually consumer-available labs have a capability to print large format, but they spend little to no time reviewing their product, or checking that the output is the best it can be for that image. 

I hope this has helped clear up any confusion on the difference between a Print Release vs. Copyright Release! :)

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit