Josh Newton Photographs Wedding During Forest Fire

Josh Newton Photographs Wedding During Forest Fire

Josh Newton is all too familiar with shooting under pressure as a professional wedding and musician photographer. Recently though, he had a wedding shoot that's gotten him national press for it's high stakes and unbelievably gorgeous results. Josh was able to take some time out of his busy schedule for a brief interview to talk about his now famous forest fire wedding shoot.

When asked about his background as a photographer, Josh responds that he's been shooting weddings for about ten years, starting as a second shooter for David Jay, "I was a second shooter or whatever, he rocked it out. After that wedding I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do." Ten years later, Josh is a veteran wedding photographer and no stranger to shooting under intense pressure with brides and in-laws breathing down his neck at weddings. But a recent wedding was a little more intense than he had planned for.

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I then asked Josh about the forest fire wedding, he explained - "Well the wedding was in Rock Springs, OR." Leading up to the event there weren't any forest fires in the area, not even a hint of other inclement weather. "When I showed up around 12 to start shooting the groom gave me a run-through of the whole venue."

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"So there was no fire at that point. At around 1 or 2 I went outside to photograph the guys and noticed what looked like a little brush fire way off in the distance." Thinking it was under control by the fire department, the wedding was to continue as planned. But Josh continues, "Around 3pm, it was getting pretty out of control."

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He remembered saying to himself, "Oh dang, that's not a small fire anymore. ", but by the time of the ceremony it had really started to get out of hand.


Josh continues, "A group of fire fighters stopped the ceremony, rolling up in an enormous, loud fire engine" he remembers one talking with the bride and her father. "Everyone was seated, the wedding party was standing at the end of the isle. The flower girl was just about to start walking."


After much insisting by the father of the bride and the wedding party the fire fighters determined it would be safe to finish with the ceremony due to the heavy cross winds, but the reception was to be moved elsewhere.


"After I shot the ceremony I was really liking the slightly ominous look of the smoke in the background so we took the long way to the reception" Josh smiled.

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This is where the real magic happened. On their one hour detour Josh and the couple were within about six miles of the flames, getting the beautiful pillar of smoke and tongues of flames in his images. "I'm an adrenaline junkie and I guess they are too, we're all from Alaska so that might be part of it."


When I asked Josh if he had any idea that the shoot was going to take off like it has Josh laughs a little "I was more worried that they would hate the photos with the smoke!"


Fortunately the couple couldn't have been happier with the images. Their one-of-a-kind wedding photos are now plastered all over CNN and other news outlets and likely to find their way into your next wedding client's Pinterest inspiration board.

The rest of the gallery from this wedding can be viewed here.

To keep up with Josh and his work be sure to check out his Website, Facebook, and Instagram.


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Mike Folden's picture

The last one is so incredible!

I had a the same thing happen last year while on location with REEF near Palm Springs , Ca. We were shooting in some sand dunes and a wild fire broke out on the peak just behind us. The winds were pretty strong and whiping the smoke up fast. It made for some interesting and dramatic light.

It was all a hoax...

Silly goose. You can tell by looking at the outline on the groom's back that your hoax photo is a reverse shoop hoax.

Green screen shot is so obviously a photoshop job

The dynamic range in these photos blows me away. I are the bride and groom so perfectly edge lit with a ginormous column of smoke behind them? All the detail is everywhere in that image. Something about broad range exposure still eludes me...but it's nice to see what's possible. And that my insane pursuit of it is maybe not going to drive me mad after all. I hope. :)

Yes I'd like to get a technical explanation of how that's all so well exposed.

the orignal images were beautiful. These images are just fun.