It’s been 6 years since my first wedding (I was the second shooter). I lived in South Carolina at the time and drove almost 2 hours to the venue in North Carolina. I couldn’t even tell you what town it was in– somewhere in the mountains. A friend was photographing the wedding and wanted some extra help. I jumped at the opportunity! And I had a ton of fun. I was addicted. I couldn’t wait to get home and edit the photos. I couldn’t wait to shoot another wedding. A small part of me was sad because I knew I would never be good enough to do the big weddings that I’d seen on The Knot. But another part of me just wanted to keep going because if I got to do one a year I’d be a happy woman!
That first wedding, though. There wasn’t a timeline, and I didn’t have a list of who needed to be in what photo. I didn’t have a spare battery for my camera because it never crossed my mind. I had two lenses. The pictures from that day are rough, but I’m so proud of them because at the time, they were my personal best.
That’s still what I strive for at each wedding- a new personal best! After every single wedding I look at what was great and what I want to improve on.
For that first wedding, I was pretty dang proud of myself for using manual settings and pushing my camera to its limits in low light settings. On the technical side, I really knew my stuff, and I felt like I worked well with the clients and family. I loved being around a group of people I didn’t know, learning their personalities, and having the honor of taking their picture on such an important day!
But the biggest takeaway I learned? It’s my job to take pictures. I know, it seems like a no brainer, right?
I like being helpful, so when I noticed the cake topper was falling over and about to hit the floor and smash into a million pieces, I dove for it. The lead photographer? She took pictures of it falling. And afterwards I heard someone say, “Oh my goodness, the cake topper fell over! Did you get a picture of that?!”
Noted. While I like to save the day, and it was certainly a nice thing to do, it’s my job to take the photos. Granted, I try to do it all! But if not, then I have to stick with the job the bride hired me for.