I’ve been to Paris, spoken as a Valedictorian twice, spoken at a Violence Against Women Vigil, had my art displayed in a gallery, photographed a university convocation; I’ve done all these things that to me are pretty big milestones and achievements but there is one thing that up until two days ago have never done. For the first time ever I went to a wedding. This may not seem big to you but just wait until I explain it further.
This was not only my first wedding but also the first wedding I’ve ever photographed as well. You see the two women getting married have been colleagues and friends for quite some time now. One of the women I have known since I was in grade six and the other I met at the beginning of my secondary school career!
After moving away to go to university I hadn’t been able to talk to them both as much as I would have liked to. One day I got a message and I was told they were getting married. The question that came after than made my jaw drop; ‘ Emily would you want to photograph our wedding’? Keep in mind here that my biggest gig was photographing a university commencement ceremony and there weren’t any shots you ‘had to get’. It was a big job of course but certainly not as much pressure as a wedding would be. To add on to that I’ve never done one before in my life! I told them this but they still told me they wanted me to do the job.
Fast forward a month of so and I go together with them both and we did their engagement photos. In was during the colder part of the summer and the photos had an artsy feel to them. With rain boots and dresses, wet ground and lakes the photos were beautiful (I wanted to frame them for myself but I thought that could be weird..)
Now I’ll take you to this past weekend. I showed up at 9 a.m to meet with one of the brides and to drive up to the location of the wedding. As soon as we got their the jobs started and I was switching between the two taking pre-wedding photos of hair and makeup and different set ups for the wedding ceremony and reception. Within a few hours I knew the ‘big reveal’ would happen when the brides would see each other for the first time in their gowns with their hair and makeup and everything done.
I don’t think I’ve ever been that ‘happy-sad’ before. I cried while taking photos (awful I know, I swear for the most part they were still in focus). The look they both had on their faces when they turned around to see each other is a look of deep love, one that I will never forget. The ceremony soon approached, followed by the reception (both beautiful in each and every way).
This wedding was a “d-i-y” wedding complete with homemade decor for the tables and and over all autumn-Pinterest feel and it was by far one of my favorite experiences ever! A few things I learned – over shoot. It may seem daunting to go through 4000 photos later on but you will thank yourself when you didn’t focus the way you wanted to and missed a key shot. Its better to have many other great photos to make up for it that come up short and hand over a blurry kiss shot! Also, have fun with it! You are at a wedding, a celebration of love! Take it seriously because after all you are being paid to be there and do a job, but enjoy it too! You’ll be more engaged and your subjects will be more engaged with you if you are having a good time!