This Saturday, 8th August, will mark six years since I first photographed a wedding. Wowza.
That first wedding was between Daniel and Tabitha. I had not met either of them until the day before the wedding and to add even more pressure to the scenario, Daniel is my husband’s brother. Although my husband and I weren’t yet married and had only been together for about two months so this would also be the first time I met HIS ENTIRE FAMILY.
The actual shooting of the wedding was tricky (no flash allowed during the ceremony, no natural light in the church, no idea on how to wrangle people for images…) I could easily look back and wince at my naivety but instead I am still really proud of these images. And I know that Dan & Tabs loved them. Happy anniversary guys! Here’s a small selection:
It was a slow burner this lovely little business of mine. It wasn’t an overnight success by any means. It took me a long time to get going. I made a lot of mistakes along the way; mainly not asking for help when I needed it or doing more thorough research when I first had a website. I didn’t get my pricing right for what seemed like an age. I remember a time when I had literally two memory cards and one lens.
It seemed like seasoned veterans would guard their techniques like buried treasure. These days people are far more open and willing to help out a newbie. I shot weddings for friends and family and then colleagues and then friends of friends and eventually I found myself at a wedding fayre with two sample albums and a digital photo frame playing a slide show on a USB. I must have looked like such a rookie. But what I lacked in experience I more than made up for in enthusiasm and as I stood there in amongst a sea of wedding professionals…perfect strangers were booking me. This is what I was meant to do.
I’m currently in the midst of my busiest year to date and while the equipment has been upgraded, the computer is no longer an ancient PC that overheats and works at a glacial pace. 2016 is over a third booked and I’m even taking on bookings for 2017.
But my enthusiasm hasn’t waned. If anything, I work harder now than ever before.
Each and every wedding I’ve done since that fateful day in 2009 has been just as special and important as the first. I still get just as excited when a couple decide to book me and, even my husband will testify, I’ve been known to do a happy dance on several occasions when that confirmation comes through. Each one gets under my skin. I’ve cried during ceremonies when the choir started up, I’ve gotten teary when I see the groom melt at the sight of his bride. I cried when I saw a mother touch her daughter’s chin just before she walked down the aisle. I got a lump in my throat as I saw the father of the bride toast his ex wife for being a wonderful mother to their daughter. I’ve applied plasters to sore feet, I’ve fixed hair styles, laced girls into their dresses, attached button holes, brought smoked salmon & eggs to a hungry bride during her make up session. Each and every couple are etched on my heart. It’s because of them, their love for each other and their trust in me that all of this is possible.
When I was at school I remember a career advisor ask me what I wanted to do. I replied “I don’t want to do a job I hate and I don’t want to wear a suit to work”.
In the immortal lyrical genius that is KISS, “If you want to be a singer or play guitar, man you’ve gotta sweat or you won’t get far, cause’ it’s never too late to work nine to five.” God Gave Rock n Roll To You.