I Shoot Weddings ~ I Mean, I Don’t
Beth and Russ’ wedding 2 weeks ago was Fabulous! A beautiful happy evening full of close friends family, smiles, stories, music and laughter, some reallyy good Champagne and delicious bites. I’d met Beth and Russ only once prior to that day but they’re such a sweet, hospitable couple they made me feel like one of their group. It’s been about 4-5 years since I last shot a wedding, so I jumped at it with renewed enthusiasm plus a heap of apprehension. Weird mix, but it fueled my appetite for a nice challenge which with me, usually tends to yield pretty good results. Needles to say we were happy with how the pictures turned out, yayy!
I never really considered myself a real wedding photographer, even after I had a couple dozen or so under my belt. I’ve shot enough to know what it takes, what to do, what to expect. Enough to know they are highly invigorating, as in, making you hustle till your bones are sore. Enough to know they are opportunities for you to produce some of the most joyous, lovely, emotionally moving images of people you will ever take.
I still don’t consider myself a wedding photographer, but once every year or two I will somehow accept the request to shoot for a friend or family member. And that’s ok! Friends and family are important to me! The majority of them I’ve usually shot for pennies, sometimes just barely enough to cover film, developing and gasoline. Hours and hours put in at my expense to hand over the best I could do at the time with what I had, and it always seemed to please and be beyond expectations. It was my gift to them though, and my big reward came from seeing them happy with my work – my views captured and my interpretations of their special Love Day. Early on when I began shooting, my circle of friends were mostly hmm…financially limited shall I say? and I was the only one with a decent camera they knew. Charging $300 even seemed a big deal. As a young inexperienced shooter I knew charity would be a key to growth and hopefully success, making it a great pleasure to offer the service as a gift. It was like school, and awesome to get paid any amount for doing and learning! Everyone’s got to have beginner stories like that…sometimes you practically have to give give give for nothing in order to get where you can finally take reward for all you’ve put in.
I still don’t think I’ll ever consider myself a wedding photographer and intend to keep turning down requests for shooting them. Not because I don’t like the actual weddings, not because I might not get fair compensation, not because I think I can’t provide the bride and groom with beautiful captures, and not Entirely because it’s long, demanding work ;] I will just say for now, because it’s not my chosen specialty. Pushing the shutter button to catch a great moment might be my specialty and passion, but there’s a little bit more that goes into shooting a wedding than simply pushing a button.
I still will be asked in the future to shoot a wedding I’m certain of it, and I’m certain to someone somewhere at some point I still will say yes,