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August 1, 2014

Side Effects of Being a Wedding Photographer

There are many things about being a wedding photographer that people don’t tell you about… like how much you’ll fall in love with your clients, how many hours you’ll actually spend on the computer compared to being behind the lens, how much you’ll laugh with family and friends of your clients on the wedding day, how much you’re going to invest in Advil for the day after you shoot a wedding… just to name a few.

But one thing that NO ONE warned me about were the wedding dreams/nightmares that also come with the job!

If you’ve known me for any amount of time then you probably know that I have some crazy dreams.  And that I remember about 95% of them.  I’ve always been like that and I still clearly remember one or two from childhood that are nuts.  Like the one where there was a huge swimming pool in a basketball gym but if you swam down far enough, you got to meet mermaids and stuff.  I think I actually had that dream twice, but it was a fun one!

Since wedding photography has become my life, it also becomes part of my dreams on a fairly regular basis.  But the funny part is that the dreams usually involve weddings we’ve already shot!  So, when I wake up, it’s a relief because I know there’s no possible way that what I dreamed could actually happen.  One dream I had a couple of years ago involved me being super late to take my friend Leslie’s bridal portraits.  I was relying on a family I was staying with to take me there (I’ve never lived with this family before!), but we got half way there and I realized I’d left my camera at home!  So we went back to get it and I think I woke up before even getting to the session.  But I’m pretty sure I was sweating when I woke up from that one.  Thankfully Ben was the first to remind me that Leslie had been married for several years and I was not responsible for her bridal portraits :-)

But the dream last night?  Oh my goodness, it’s the first time I’ve ever had a dream within a dream!  Seriously, it was like Inception while I slept…  I was on my way to Emily and Adam’s wedding but it wasn’t in St. Simons this time.  My GPS took me on a detour through a field where one of my friends was helping direct traffic (of which there was none).  So, she got in the car and we talked for a while.  The church was just around the corner so I had plenty of time.  After a while, there was hay piled up to the windows of my MINI and I must have gotten out to check on things because I saw one of the Chick-fil-A cows to the side of the car who had been throwing the hay at us the whole time!  Luckily, I got out easily and drove to the church.

When I got there, my second shooter was there and already working (which also never happens because I’m almost always early to weddings!).  Her name was Sabrina also. She had already gotten some detail shots and was getting photos of the band members who were sitting on the risers in the room (what?!?).  The bride and her bridesmaids were getting ready in a fancy choir room and they were up on the second level of the room which was off to the side.  So I went to see them and say hi and I knew almost all of the bridesmaids… one of them was Anne Hathaway (Emily, I had no idea you knew her!! ;-)).  Well, this wedding was taking place in September and even though the time hadn’t changed yet, it was getting dark at 5:45pm and when I opened my bag to get my lighting equipment out, I didn’t have any of it!  So I started to panic, but then I woke up (still inside my dream) and Ben was walking through the choir room door with the rest of our stuff.  Whew!  And I remember talking myself down from panic in my dream saying, “It’s ok, you would never leave home without all of your equipment or without going over the checklist.  It’s ok, it was just a dream!”

Since I was still actually in my dream though, the show had to go on.  Guests had been arriving for a while and it was finally time for Emily to walk down the aisle, so Ben, Sabrina and I got in place and were ready.  But, Emily and her dad actually walked UP the aisle in a completely different sanctuary (led by a group of kids all dressed alike in non-wedding attire) and when she got closer, she was in her PJs!  (Side note, my camera wasn’t focusing well and I was trying to check with Ben and the other Sabrina to see if they had gotten good shots!)  I asked Emily what was going on and she said that she and Adam were having a small, casual ceremony first and then she would put her dress on for the big wedding.

But, I woke up (for real this time) before the big wedding took place.

Y’all may think I’m crazy… I’m actually questioning my own sanity this morning!  But this is by far the most bizarre wedding dream I’ve had yet!  Brides talk about wedding dreams leading up to their own weddings (yes, I had those too!), but once the wedding is over, theirs generally stop.  So just know that if you’re a wedding photographer or thinking about getting into wedding photography, these crazy dreams could be a side effect!  Now you can’t say that no one warned you :-)


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