From a photographer's view point weddings can be the most demanding and time consuming niche to get involved in. They aren't wrong! However, in my experiences while shooting weddings it has opened an entire new outlook on life for me, and has in turn helped to shape me into a better human being. I can honestly say, I love photographing weddings!
How I Started Photographing Weddings
I began my photography career back in college when I signed up for a few classes. What's funny about those classes is though I learned a lot about photography from a technical standpoint, I still had no idea what I was doing with the camera. Fast forward two years later shooting portraits and overcoming my own life obstacles, feeling worn down and like I wasn't really making a difference in the world. But I wanted to! I needed to find a way to do what I loved, and was good at, to fulfill a bigger purpose. Suddenly the lightbulb turned on that perhaps weddings was the new door I needed to step through. I had enjoyed every wedding I attended and never wanted to go home. Even then somehow I always ended up taking pictures at them since everyone knew I could take good photos. After this realization I started marketing to brides, booked my first 2 weddings on my own and asked another local photographer to second shoot some of their weddings for the added experience.
For me this is the best part about shooting weddings! The people I've met over the years helped mold me into a more understanding and non judgmental person. Have you ever had a first impression of someone where you thought to yourself "I don't think we're gonna get along too well"? That's what I mean. I've found the best friends in the people I never thought I'd talk to. Once you're more willing to talk to those you never imagined, it really opens your eyes to the experiences that each person has overcome or is currently battling. I remember hearing a few stories were I was moved and knew I would never be able to do what they did. I gained appreciation and empathy. But that's the beauty of life, everyone has different trials and everyone can handle a different amount of stress/burden. I definitely relate to others more now and over time have learned to enjoy the little things in life.
At each wedding there are always differences to the ceremony, timelines, reception games, and traditions. Whether the traditions stem from religion, ethnicity, geographical location, or lineage, I absolutely love experiencing the unique traditions each one has to offer. That time I watched a couple with a love of sailing physically tie a knot in rope, another time the couple wrote down what first made them fall in love with the other and then showed me FRIST - they didn't even know what each other wrote until they got their album and could read it together. Moments like that I can treasure with my clients. Sometimes when the world seems dark, these memories give a light at the end of the tunnel. Capturing these moments also allow others to know love is never ending. Each bride has a different story. Everyone has this crazy journey of life!
My Takeaway and Future Goals
I've finally been able to be a happier person. We are all just living life the best we can, so when I come to a wall that's blocking me from moving forward, I no longer get upset, want pity, or look for the quick way out; I stay calm and look at what I CAN do! What is the goal and how do I get there? In your lifetime there are going to be SO many negative things you encounter, that is a given, so there's no need to stress over it. Just be prepared as best you can and know that your not alone. Keep moving froward. Don't be afraid to ask for help and offer your help when you see someone else who may need it.
As my business continues to grow I wan't to be able to be able to give back to the people that god blesses my life by knowing. My brides not only hired me to do a job but they also put ALOT of trust into someone, they just met or saw images by online, to capture a very important day of their lives! The best way I can do this is by creating a community and keeping in touch with my clients. For some, my photos are the last images they may have with a grandma/grandpa/mother/father. Imagine how touched you would be when your photographer sends you a beautiful canvas of you and grandma Sue after hearing of her passing. A wise man once told me "responsibility isn't always the expectation of your need to do something, it is your ability to respond!" If you have the ability, you should do something. Showing my thankfulness for choosing me is only a small thing but feel like giving my brides this gift is a way I can have hand in putting a smile on someones face and in turn making a difference in multiple lives.