“It’s a bit stressful isn’t it? You know, photographing weddings? After all, you only have one chance to get it right, and it’s one of the most important days of people’s lives? Why put yourself though it?” – Everyone I Ever Meet
I’ll never forget the first wedding I ever photographed. An old school friend reached out and wondered if I’d photograph his wedding, because he’d heard I was a keen photographer and he liked my photos. Of course I would! I mean, how hard could it be (despite the fact that up until that point I’d only photographed architecture and landscapes, and hadn’t photographed people. Or wedding ceremonies in dark churches. Or a bride walking down the aisle. Or the first dance. Etc). It was, without doubt, the most stressful thing I’d ever done in my life, but it triggered a desire and need deep within me that I’ve been following to this day.
So why do I photograph weddings?
1) I feel I make a difference
Photographing a wedding day is an enormous privilege. These are exceptionally special moments that will never be repeated, and it’s my job to ensure that these moments are captured for all eternity. I’m effectively the bride and groom’s backup eyes, as I’ll see and photograph things that they’ll miss, because they’ll be busy mingling, catching up with loved ones and having the time of their lives. I love visiting couples after the wedding and presenting them with their photos, and watching their eyes light up or fill up with tears of joy (and quite often both). To bring that level of happiness into people’s lives is a thing of wonder.
2) It allows me to be creative
I’ve always loved to create, ever since I was young. I remember spending hours as a kid drawing superheroes such as Iron Man, Spiderman and Superman. I’ve always loved music and have been playing the guitar and writing songs for longer than I care to remember. Photography affords me the same level of creativity – in essence it boils down to pressing a button on the camera, but on a much deeper level it involves composition, using existing light or creating my own, photographing with different lenses / utilising depth of field for maximum effect, recognising and capturing emotion and so on.
3) I meet new people and make new friends
Wedding photography is an incredibly social activity. You get to meet lots of couples, and you’re given an insight into their hopes, fears and desires. You get to meet their friends, family and loved ones. At the wedding itself you’re effectively a guest, (albeit one with a very important job to do!) and you laugh and cry with everyone who’s there. Some of the couples I’ve met have become good friends, and that’s something you can’t put a price on.
4) I share in people’s happiness
What other event or occasion do you know where everyone is deliriously happy for the entire day? Where everyone has assembled for one reason, and that’s to celebrate the love of two people? There have been occasions where I’ve arrived at a wedding not feeling one hundred percent (a bad night’s sleep thinking about the day ahead, or maybe the weather has just made a turn for the worse), but by the time I’m capturing photos I find that I’m beaming from ear to ear.
5) I love playing with tech
Yes, I’m a sad geek. Not only do I love meeting people, sharing in their happiness, indulging my creative streak and feel I’m making a difference, I also love cameras and computers. Which means that I experience almost as much joy editing and processing a wedding as I do photographing it. Yes, I really need to get out more…
Now, when’s my next wedding…?