From time to time, I get the honor of shooting a wedding. This is both exciting and terrifying. I get to form a friendship with a couple and their families and give them the greatest gift: their memories. However, I won’t lie. I spend many hours in anxiety mode scheduling every possible thing. I make list upon list, create several plays and scenarios in my head, backup locations, battery prep… and the list goes on. I remember the weekend before one wedding I had earlier this year. I couldn’t sleep, and instead I made a list on my giant white board at 1:00 am of everything I had to do to prepare.
Sometimes I feel that to be a photographer, you have to have this bubbly attitude and talk in a way that if you met me, it would clearly not add up. Every photographers blog gushes about the person they photographed. They want to make the reader feel as if they were to use them to photograph for them, the guest featured on said photographer’s blog, “You’ll be famous” and by right standards another object to gush about.
The reality? Photographers are chasing a dream and selling their brand. Of course we think your kids are cute. We love “love.” And YOOOURR wedding was the best to date. As photographers, we sell ourselves. If you hire us to shoot your special moment – you’ll experience roses and butterflies, unicorns and rainbows, etc. Every session IS unique and sometimes we get these little moments where there’s an “aha!” moment while shooting: cue burst of confidence. (That’s where we draw our strength. Little moments that remind us of why we do what we do.)
We shoot because we love it. We hide behind a camera directing the client on how to stand and hand placement, just to capture a “natural” pose. Why?? Because people in front of a camera freeze and forget how to be human. They realize that we’re instantly taking a picture that holds a place in time. And every insecurity comes to the surface – even if you are gorgeous and your family is gorgeous and everyone is wearing the perfect outfits that took wa-eeks to find. As a consumer, you are not alone, insecurities come out in all sorts of ways.
The below photo is credited to Will. He was probably shooting this to get his settings and whatnot, but it stood out to me. I was editing this sweet couple’s wedding the other day and I came across this image. If you know me, I am an introvert. I energize by spending time alone. When I have attention on me, I stumble over words and often feel dorky because I have a weird sense of humor. But in this one specific image, I had the attention of the whole bridal party. Although I was limited by time, the crisp Illinois weather had everyone cold and shivering, I hustled and directed. I kept on point, and even though I am an introvert. Truth moment, I am also a photographer. Just trying to sell my brand.