Believe it or not, I had never been to a wedding before I was a wedding photographer. The first wedding, I second shot for; I left telling myself I’d never wanna be a wedding photographer. For one, I was new to it so I didn’t understand anything, and for two, I was too focused on the technical in trying to get good images. It was a lot of pressure coming into it for the first time.
8 years later as a seasoned professional who’s now shot, and second shot; more weddings than I can remember here are things I’ve learned as a wedding photographer.
YOUR WEDDING IS MOST LIKELY THE ONLY TIME ALL OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WILL BE GATHERED TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE.
It’s a bittersweet truth that learned when I was second shooting a wedding in Austin. The groom got up on the stage and said something along the lines of “Standing up here and looking out at all of you, I can see everyone gathered today whom I know and love so much.” When he said that it caught me off guard because I come from a big family, I usually see my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins almost once a week…but I don’t see everyone. I don’t see my extended family who live out of town, my girlfriend’s family, my aunt, and uncles extended family, and my closest friends all gathered in one location.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT AND DONT LET YOUR MIND GET LOST IN THE PAST OR WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE.
In the book, “THE WISDOM OF INSECURITY” by Alan Watts, he writes “In moments of great joy…we are so aware of the moment that no attempt is made to compare its experiences…There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.”
99% OF THE TIME, WEDDINGS DONT GO AS PLANNED. IT’S NORMAL. DONT STRESS & DONT LET IT RUIN YOUR DAY.
I can’t think of a single wedding I’ve been to that didn’t have some sort of hiccup. Someone was late, someone forgot their tux, the food wasn’t ready on time, there was an issue with the shuttle transporting guest from the hotel to the ceremony… just to name a few. As mentioned above, this is normal. Don’t let these things ruin your special day.
PRINTS ARE ESSENTIAL
The first images you’ll get from your wedding will most likely be on an online high-resolution digital gallery. You’ll view these images on your cellphone, iPad and share them with friends and family who will view them on their devices as well. After you’ve downloaded these images there are a high probability months will go by, perhaps even years before you see them again. Eventually, you’ll be asked about your wedding photos by your kids and you’ll think back to the gallery link, but by then you might’ve lost it or, if you still have it, the gallery link will long be expired and the photos you downloaded on your now “old” computer could be potentially lost forever. This is why prints are essential. Prints will be stored and kept in a photo box or better yet, photo album that will be easily accessible and will be shared and viewed for generations to come.
THIS IS MOST LIKELY THE ONLY TIME YOULL SPEND THIS MUCH MONEY ON YOURSELF/YOUR WEDDING.
Weddings are expensive. The venue, catering, DJ, Florist, photographer, dresses, tux, rings, wedding gifts, etc; can all add up very fast. It’s not uncommon for a wedding to be 50k or more. With this being said though, this is most likely the only time you’ll spend this much money on yourself/your wedding, which is why it’s important to make the most of it and celebrate your life.