Dear Brides and Grooms- I love you.
I love my job. No, I didn't grow up saying "I want to be a wedding photographer". In fact it wasn't until I moved to LA, went through film school, started learning cinematography and needed the practice that I even picked up a still camera. But I fell in love. I didn't realize that you could tell people's real life stories through still photos.
So why do I love my job so much? One might assume (as did I when I took on this career move) that it's because it's good money (in my case, that's not at all accurate). Maybe because I get to work from home? (I live in a tiny studio apartment the size of your bedroom with my husband and cat, not the ideal all day work space.) Maybe it's because I get to work at my own pace, quietly and on my own? (I LOVE PEOPLE, and have a hard time being alone all day. Music gets old and I hate TV.) I could list a million reasons why I should really love my job and yes each one of those million reasons is a perk in some way. And yes, part of the reason I love it is because I get to capture a part of people's history and be a part of what some consider the best day of their lives.
What I didn't expect... is just how much I would grow to actually care and love my brides and grooms. After a initial meetings, phone conversations, venue meetings, timeline meetings, constant contact throughout the process of their planning and most importantly, their engagement shoots... I really get to know these people. I get to know what they're passionate about and what their little ticks are. I get to know their story together and laugh with them and cry along with their loved ones on their wedding day because by then they've become not just clients to me, but friends, people I truly care about. And on that day, I find myself really hoping and praying and resting assured that their love is there to stay and that while they may have bad days together, I am wishing with all my heart that there are infinitely more good days that overshadow the bad. Because these are good people, who love one another, who are committing their lives to one another and deserve to be happy. I even find myself stepping into the front line and trying to guard them from any stress or bad news that day because on their wedding day, they should be protected from these things and allowed just to enjoy the day for what it is. It is my firm belief that it is the job of the close family, the wedding party, the coordinator and anyone else in the close circle- to figure out the problem and fix it regardless of what it is. But I'll save that long winded vent for another post.
These brides and grooms make me better. They give me joy which I'm then able to give to others. They help me to stay motivated, to keep up with people, to keep in contact, to be accountable for my relationships and my communication. They help me to not take for granted my own marriage and see the newness of what it could be every single day if we let it! And they make we work harder because at the end of the day, nothing gives me greater joy than when I can hand over photos of their precious day and know that I gave it my all, that I capture the rawness and realness and the beauty that came from their love on that day and that they will have these memories for the rest of their lives. And when I hear it or see the words "WE LOVE THEM." I let out a big sigh because I get the honor of knowing that I was a good part of their lives even just for a brief time. And the crazy part is that I actually miss them after it's over. We all get busy and life always gets in the way, it's nearly impossible to really keep in touch the way we do leading up to the big day but for as long as my photos are with them the rest of their lives, so are their brief but impactful friendships for me.
I knew I would get a chance to meet great people and be a part of their big day and that was never something that I thought I would take for granted, so I don't know why this came as such a surprise to me, but it has swept over me and taken me by storm. Telling the stories of these beautiful people in the middle of one of the biggest times of their lives gives me more joy in my everyday life than I could have ever asked for.
HUGS AND KISSES AND WELL WISHES TO ALL OF MY WEDDED (and soon to be wedded) FRIENDS !