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July 1, 2013

10 Things I Love About Shooting Weddings

It still blows my mind that this is what I do… that I get to meet couples and walk through a season of their love story with them.  And not only that, but I get to document it!  To think that the photos I’ll take on a couple’s wedding day will be photos they look at for the rest of their lives and share with their kids and grandkids and great-grandkids… well, it’s humbling to say the least.  I love going to weddings and seeing images of weddings past displayed as an honor to their family.  I love looking at those photos and wondering just what their day was like.  Were they stressed?  Did they have THE best time?  Did they dance the night away?  What did their wedding cake taste like? What went wrong that day? (because we all know that at least ONE thing will go wrong!)  I just have so many questions!  But I guess that’s why they say a picture is worth a thousand words, huh?

So, as we wrapped up the first half of our wedding season this past weekend, I thought it fitting that I make a top 10 list of why I love doing what I do.

I love…

  1. …being in the know.  It’s a little selfish, yes, but I just love being behind the scenes and knowing all that’s going on and what all is taking place to make something happen.  Being a guest is a wedding isn’t something I’ve done for a while, but when a guest arrives, they’re only getting the second half of the wedding day!  It’s so much fun being there the whole day, from getting ready to the departure.
  2. …having a moment with the bride before portraits.  I only started doing this recently when I heard Justin and Mary talk about it earlier this year.  Once the bride is dressed and ready to go, I ask everyone to leave so I can have 5 minutes with the bride for a few portraits.  It gives her (and me) time to take a breath and soak in all that this day is about.
  3. …when the love of a couple is so evident that it moves me to tears.  If any guys are reading this, they’re thinking, “What??”  But you girls will know what I mean.  Some days are so special that certain moments overwhelm me (in a good way!) and I’m thankful I have a camera to hide my happy tears.
  4. …seeing the uniqueness of each couple.  Every wedding has the same overall flow.  They get ready, they might have a First Look, portraits take place, the ceremony happens, more portraits are taken, then we go to the reception.  But each wedding is SO different depending on each bride and groom and I love seeing how they create their day around who they are!
  5. …shooting at different venues.  As much as each wedding is different, so are the venues where weddings take place.  And every photographer loves a change of scenery!
  6. …shooting at the same venues.  This is a little more difficult sometimes, but this past weekend, I realized I needed to break out of my normal mold and challenge myself even though it would be the x-number time we’d be shooting at Grace Church Downtown.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love that building.  Possibly more than anyone.  But, we aren’t going to grow as photographers if we don’t change things up every once in a while.  I love the results, but I’ll let you guys be the judge when I post Margaret and Will’s wedding tomorrow!
  7. …wedding cake.  Enough said.
  8. …thanking the mother of the bride at the end of the evening and seeing the joy in her face from the day.  Not every wedding is perfect.  And just as every couple is different, every mother of the bride is different.  And while each has her own way of saying thank you, the hug I get from her at the end of the evening helps remind me that the long (and sometimes hot!) day was completely worth it.
  9. …fun (and helpful) wedding parties!  Aside from the bride and groom, the wedding party is who I spend a lot of my day with.  So when the guys and girls are fun and there to enjoy the day and their friends who are getting married, it makes the day that much better!  It’s also amazing when the wedding party is helpful… the bride and groom have a lot going on so when their friends are there to not just stand beside them but to help carry things, set things up, straighten her veil or keep an eye on his boutonniere so it stays straight, it just makes the day smoother.
  10. …having the power to freeze time.  I realized the other day that of all the vendors who are typically at a wedding, I’m the only one that keeps working when all is said and done (other than a videographer!).  The day goes by SO fast, but when I get home and download my cards and start to sort through and edit them the following week, I get to relive the day.  Not only that, but when I deliver the images to my couple, THEY will get to relive their day!  I still remember looking at Jana’s blogpost of our own images when we returned from our honeymoon and tears just streamed down my face.  Photos freeze time, they freeze memories, moments and emotions.  And I get to do that as my JOB!  It’s such a huge blessing.

Margaret was such a beautiful bride… can’t wait to share more in their blog post tomorrow!


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