It was two years ago that I was at the rehearsal dinner with Brianne and Luke capturing some images the night before the wedding. Of course, right after the meal was over a storm system came through and it became very windy, hail started to slam agains the windows and the tornado sirens were blaring so everyone made their way to the basement. As we sat there with no electricity I couldn’t help but think if this was a sign that I’m probably in the wrong field? How could you not think this? It was my first wedding, I was still working full-time outside of photography, so there were of course some doubts.
The big day came and I was walking into the church with my bag and camera gear, and enough batteries to power a city along with a charger. I showed up extra early because I wanted to know I was going to be prepared. That’s when curveball #1 hit me. The chargeable batteries were NOT charged upon packaging! Yeah, it was last minute, my flash showed up in the mail the day of the wedding, so I wasn’t sure if I’d need the batteries yet. So I charged the batteries and got to shooting some preparation pictures. Natasha was there as well with a camera backing me up. Now the thing with this wedding was it was a friend from school. In fact my first two weddings were friends from school, which makes sense right? So you would think my nerves would not be at a high, how hard is it to photograph someone you’ve know for a good portion of your life, and on top of that the wedding party and guest were all friends, parents of friends, friends of friends, etc. How hard could it be? Let me be the first to say, I think I was more nervous than a mother in labor with her first baby! I was sweating rivers of sweat, shaking enough to cause an earthquake, and the list of comparisons goes on. The bride was more calm than me!!
So we started out like any other wedding capturing images of the formals, and preparation pictures and then came the ceremony. Natasha was actually set up on a tripod in the back (give me a break, it was my first wedding), and I was so nervous as to what people thought of me that I just SAT in the front row. Yeah, I was sitting with the grand parents and parents! The only experience I had prior to this was our own wedding and our photographer just sat in the front row, so I did not know how it was done. Of course, it was after this wedding that I decided I’m not going to be the sitting photographer. Anyway, I was at an angle to where I could at least see the bride and I thought, these are the pictures they care about anyway, right? Well, the angle worked until it was time for the kiss an all I got was the back of the grooms head. Thank God that Natasha was in the back because had it not been for here I would have missed it! Let me clarify my earlier statement, Natasha was on a tripod because it was a poorly lit church and the camera she was using was not very capable work working in low light situations.
They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, and if that’s the case Bri and Luke should have some very good luck because it was pouring like no other the day of their wedding. Because it was raining there was not a chance of outdoor pictures, we were limited only to what we could do indoor. I was of course upset because I did not want all my pictures to be inside because I knew from Natasha and my wedding that I did not want to be that formal photographer. I knew when I started I wanted to provide something different, something that would make you smile or even shed a tear as you look through your pictures 20 years from now. We made it work though, and little did I know that it was one picture that I took from their wedding that would then bring me in a few bookings for the next year! I wanted to try a picture where I was looking down on her as she was sitting down holding her flowers along with the bridesmaids flowers to add some color. I snapped a few pictures, reviewed them and nearly deleted them. I thought my angle was awful and there was no point of even keeping them! I decided not to delete them and I’d just see what I could do with what I had.
In the end, we got a lot of fun pictures from the wedding to the reception and I was pretty happy with what turned out from my first wedding. This was only two years ago and in just two short years the business has grown to a point that I though was not imaginable. There’s no doubt in my mind that the timing of starting my business and Bri and Luke and even Tyler and Rachel (my second wedding) getting married was no coincidence. This has truly been a blessing by God and continues to be as this journey of becoming the best wedding photographer I can continues. Anyway, it’s my belief that it’s healthy for a business to always remember where they came from and where they started and it’s always fun to reflect on the past and remember what it was like and how things have changed so much (in just two short years no less). Have a great Tuesday!! Here are a couple pictures from that first wedding: