Less than 10 years ago, in 2014, Stanley Babb bought his first professional camera. His interest in photography had been fostered years prior, while in high school, when he’d been gifted a point-and-shoot camera from his father to capture fun moments with friends. As the years passed, taking pictures became a hobby he enjoyed. It would eventually become a passion.
“I would begin to develop a deep love for photography as it became such a soothing practice for me,” Babb tells ESSENCE. “As I started to get better I began charging for my services. After a while I had to choose between photography and my I.T. career. This was a no-brainer as time went on.”
And while he was ready to make the sacrifice of leaving behind a career in tech to be behind the camera, he couldn’t have foreseen that a few years later, that decision would put him in place to become an award-winning wedding photographer and one of the most sought after shooters around. He’s captured many weddings, for everyday people and celebrities alike, including Naturi Naughton, Draymond Green, Sloane Stephens and more.
“Most people say they really love how I capture people of color,” he says of why he’s become the go-to guy. “Most of the time we are able to get some amazing images even when things don’t go as planned on the wedding day. I try to consistently deliver what you see in my portfolio.”
He adds, “Another big part of it is the relationships I’ve been able to gain through the years. Whether it’s with clients, wedding planners and other wedding vendors, you never know where a referral will come from.”
It’s been a pretty amazing ride for Babb, and also for his very many clients, whose special day has been captured in a gorgeous way by the Bahamian photog. And while he’s done many weddings over the years, there are a few that stay on his mind, not only because of the beauty of couple and their destination (he’s traveled all over the world to capture weddings), but also because of his experiences overcoming odds, being embraced like family by couples, and more. We asked Babb to share a few of his favorite wedding shoots over the years, and what it was about them that made them so unforgettable. See what he had to say, and take a look at just a little bit of the brilliant work from his portfolio.
Patrice & Bobby
“Patrice and Bobby had the most amazing wedding in St. Lucia at the Sandals Resort,” Babb says. “From day one we had an instant connection. The couple lives in my hometown of Nassau, Bahamas. We had so much in common from the beginning.” He adds, “It was three days filled with so many events like boat tours, welcome celebrations and an amazing sunset wedding ceremony with epic island views. Always feels so good to have a good vibe with clients that we ultimately develop into relationships after the wedding. This stylish couple gives us their vogue pose as they complement such a gorgeous backdrop.”
Dasia & Khalil
“Dasia and Khalil will always have a special part of my heart,” he says. “Two years of wedding planning brought many tears as Covid ruined all of the plans. I grew such a great bond with this couple. After the third attempt, Dasia and Khalil decided that they would elope and have the vendors enjoy all of the festivities that would have been for their family. We spent four amazing days together in Cape Town, South Africa. We had a welcome dinner and multiple city tours, which we all enjoyed. This image shows Khalil admiring his beautiful bride at the close of their scenic ceremony.”
Yasmine & Randy
“Randy reached out on Instagram because he wanted to give his fiancée an amazing photography experience for their wedding day. I had no idea that they were going to be like family to me,” says Babb. “From the moment I landed in Dubai they were so accommodating. The weekend consisted of the most amazing adventures. There was an entire course set up with Squid Game-inspired activities, and we had the opportunity to ride our bikes and ATVs over some of the world’s most beautiful sand dunes. Yasmine and Randy had the most luxurious wedding at the Four Seasons in Dubai. This image captures their amazing ceremony backdrop showing their unique fashion.”
Aisha & Nigel
“Aisha and her husband Nigel will always be one of my most favorite weddings,” Babb says of the “9-1-1” actress’ nuptials. “Aisha had six days of events for their Grenada wedding. Her main focus was showing the world the amazing island of Grenada while enjoying it with all of her friends and family. From day one, I not only felt like family with the couple but her friends also welcomed me. This image really describes her relationship with her friends. She allowed all of her girls to wear white wedding dresses, to share the moment with her. I thought this was such a unique touch.”
Makki & Yonathin
“Makki and Yonathin had one of the most beautiful Ethiopian Weddings in Santorini, Greece. It’s always so good to be able to experience different cultures,” he says. “With Makki being a makeup artist in the wedding industry, this presented such a unique feel. We kept in touch almost every day for months leading up to the wedding, planning out details. Leading up to the wedding day, so many things weren’t looking promising but they really trusted me to deliver. What looked so deceiving ended up being such a perfect wedding day. The images we were able to capture from them came out even better than expected. Makki and Yonathin share a happy moment in this image.”
Sade & Afam
“Sade and Afam’s wedding weekend in Lake Como, Italy was a special one for me. I spoke with Sade on the phone every week for almost two years of postponed dates and uncertainty,” Babb shares. “As we finally arrived in Italy to one of the most luxurious locations I’ve ever seen, we had many challenges. Sade is a wedding planner in the D.C. area, where I shot many weddings, so our relationship was already there. After so many months together, I definitely felt that I had a younger sister. On the day of the wedding it projected thunder for the entire day. Sade’s faith stood strong and we were beyond grateful that we didn’t experience one drop of rain.” He adds, “In this image, the couple share a happy moment as they take a boat ride over to their ceremony area.”