My aunt gave me my first camera when I was only about 6 years old. No one ever could’ve guessed that one moment would eventually lead to my becoming a wedding photographer! It was one of those Polaroid cameras that immediately shot out the picture you’d just taken, and you could watch it develop before your very eyes. My aunt taught me about making the shot worth it since each box of film only had 10 cartridges. And that was all it took. I was hooked.
I loved playing around with photography. I took pictures of flowers and landscapes and our dog–anything I could. Years later in college I had friends who were into photography. They had DSLRs and would take beautiful portraits of friends. Those portraits led to engagement portraits and even weddings! But by that time I was up to my eyeballs in nursing school, and I’d see those portraits and think to myself that I could never do that. I wasn’t “creative” enough. Cameras cost too much. I didn’t have time anyway. Oh, the excuses we give when the truth is that we’re really just scared to try!
But, after five years of working as a nurse, we welcomed our firstborn. We finally bought a camera that could keep up with this wiggly, busy little girl. I wanted to be able to capture all the little moments of her precious life. I kept practicing with that camera and saw improvement. On a whim I advertised family portrait sessions for $95. Four people answered my add, and I took their portraits.
That turned into friends asking me to help at their weddings. It only took one wedding, and I was really hooked. In the 2.5 years since that, I’ve thrown myself into being the best wedding photographer I could possibly be. I’ve taken courses, upgraded gear, listened to podcasts, read books, and studied blogs. And this dream I once considered impossible? It’s my passion.
So, in light of this walk down Memory Lane, I thought it’d be fun to share
That seems both simplistic and very broad, but hear me out. I’m happily married to the man of my dreams. We celebrate our 7th anniversary in a couple of weeks, and every year is better than the last. I love being married to him and raising a family with him more than anything in this world. (You can find the first few parts of our love story here, here, and here with more to come next week.)
So, when we’re in the midst of your engagement session, and I tell you how excited I am for you, I really mean it!! I will never be anything other than thrilled and delighted and completely over the moon for you and your upcoming marriage! Marriage is a blessing. And if I as the wedding photographer can encourage even just one of you that you’re not giving up your freedom or committing to a ball and chain then I’ll call that a success. Every gift I give throughout the wedding photography experience, and every card I send will always come back to this one truth: marriage is amazing, and you should be excited!
Love stories vary so much from one to the next, and every single one deserves to be told! From the details you choose to define your day to the final kiss at the end of the sparkler tunnel after your reception, your wedding day tells a story. Maybe your love story follows many generations of love, and your grandmother’s engagement ring sparkling on your hand shows one piece of that puzzle. Perhaps your love story started with friends setting you up on a blind date or one class where your now bride made you laugh. The options are limitless! And I love telling these stories! I love capturing those moments and details that make each one unique!
Time flies so quickly. After months of planning, your wedding comes and goes in a single day. The marriage, however, is for a lifetime. And, in the course of that lifetime, there will be hard times. You’ll have disagreements. You’ll laugh, cry, and maybe even scream. In the midst of all that life one of the things that will carry your through are the memories. I’ve shared this story many times before, but at my wedding my husband’s great uncle wrote down the exact second we were pronounced husband and wife. I didn’t know it at the time, but that has been the greatest gift to us. No matter what happens in life, we can always go back to 3:38:42 on May 12, 2012 and remember how we felt in that moment.
Wedding photography has the same power. Photographs make time stand still and capture a moment forever. Generations later you can still look at a photograph and know exactly what you felt in that moment: the joy, the love, the tears, the laughter. I love being a wedding photographer and capturing that and knowing that I’m creating a family heirloom that will still have the same power and significance a hundred years later!
And what about the people who come to your wedding who move on from this life shortly after? Tragedies happen, and losing a loved one is never easy. But having a photograph that will preserve a cherished memory of that person forever? It can’t take away the pain, but it can bring back some of the joy of that moment. And it ensures that person will never be forgotten.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my nurse’s training made me a better photographer. I’m not sure how detail-oriented I am naturally, but being a nurse taught me the importance of even the smallest detail. The only difference is that now I arrange and take images of those details whereas before I’d chart them in a note in the medical record or call the doc (and still chart them in a note in the medical record–if it’s not charted then it wasn’t done!). When you tell me your story, I remember it. I love learning the details that make you who you are as a couple, and I love capturing the details that make your wedding unique.
Lighting. Manual mode. Off-camera flash. Depth of field. Composition. Layering. Framing. There are countless ways to make a photograph powerful, meaningful, beautiful, and timeless. Exploring all of these ways and practicing them has been so. Much. Fun! I could do it all day every day. Add in all the gorgeous details of a wedding and the amazing people I get to work with, and I’m truly in heaven. 🙂
I had no idea the first time I picked up a camera how much that simple act would impact my life. But through it I’ve met amazing people, told beautiful love stories, and had the opportunity to serve people I never would’ve met otherwise.
I never saw it coming, but I love being a wedding photographer.
What do YOU love doing?
April 19, 2019