So I'm not one of those people that got into photography because I wanted to do weddings. I didn't spend my free time or teenage years thumbing through the latest edition of bride magazine or follow famous wedding photographers work....I hadn't even been invited to a lot of weddings as an adult and have only been a bridesmaid once (and I'm proud to say I remember almost half of it!!)
I just never paid a lot of attention to the whole "wedding" scene. Although like all kinds of photography, I absolutely had a deep appreciation for a good wedding photographer. I just didn't want to be one.
If I remember right, it was the one thing I left the most room for in my budget when I had my own wedding..... that now sit in a pile inside a shoe box on a shelf. (see blog titled "adulting" for more details on that subject of my marriage....<warning> it has feelings )
As I was saying.
If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I ever wanted to get into wedding photography, I probably would have looked at you with my eyes big and said, "oh my god, no."
It appeared incredibly stressful....with months and months of back and forth interaction between bride and groom, and on the day of - the mountain of responsibility that is on your shoulders!!??!
Making sure you have your shit together during the ceremony and don't miss the first kiss.....or the ring exchange....or what if your equipment fails or your memory card is corrupted or you eat shit as your trying to glide inconspicuously through the isles?!??!? And then there's the bridezillas....what if they hate their wedding photos and slash my tires? Bridezillas are a genuine concern. They make reality shows about these people. That shit's terrifying.
So how the hell did I get into weddings you ask? I was begged. I was enjoying my life of 1 hr portrait sessions and simplicity when a former coworker of mine who was in the midst of wedding planning had their photographer cancel last minute and they were now two or three months away and slim on options.
I tried everything I could think of to get out of it.
me: "you know I don't do weddings, right?"
her: "Yes but maybe you could just this once?!?!?"
me: "so you know that means I've never done a wedding before, right?"
her: "YESSSS but I bet you will do great!!!"
and we went back and fourth like that until I finally decided to give it a try. I'm not even going to lie when I say I spent the majority of that wedding like a deer, standing in front of headlights, wondering if I was going to make it out alive.
Well I'm here, so I obviously made it....and happy to say my tires were never slashed so I'm taking that as I didn't completely blow it. (actual picture from 'said' wedding)
Oh and btw, I learned what wedding photographers were talking about when they said they had a 'wedding hangover.....' you think running a marathon tires you out???? omg.....wedding photography should be an Olympic sport because DAMN.
So once I got some sleep, and the overwhelmed feeling disappeared, I became quite literally overwhelmed in a different way....a way I didn't expect to be overwhelmed by.
.........I just got to be there for damn near every moment, every emotion, every kiss, every hug, the "firsts" of their lives as a couple, on one of the most important days of their lives??! Like these people will never forget this day for the rest of their lives....
and they chose me to be there? Holy shit.....thats pretty sweet. And while I want nothing more than to continue to refine my skills as a wedding photographer, its been more rewarding and amazing thus far than I can even begin to describe.
And quite honestly, thats what it was for me. It wasn't just a 1 hr portrait session of telling people how to stand and making fart jokes so they laugh.....(you know, I've heard SOME photographers do this)
But its an experience, Its an honor... and its an amazing feeling to be the person chosen to document such an important day. These are moments you don't get back.....emotions that aren't coached or influenced.... these are kisses without prompting, hugs without instructions. Its just genuine, raw, beautiful, love. And I'm totally addicted. I'm so unbelievably fortunate to say I'm doing what I love, and I love what I'm doing.