Dear Bride who emailed me last week,
You mentioned that you would love for me to photograph your wedding …BUT…you felt like your wedding wasn’t “fancy” enough. You said you saw so many beautiful, model worthy brides on my site and you were self conscious about asking me to document your big day because you were afraid you wouldn’t meet “beauty” standards. You said how you weren’t rich but that you valued photography enough that you would give up other things like fresh flowers and replace them with artificial flowers just to be able to afford to have me at your wedding. Then made a comment like “but who wants to photograph fake flowers?” You said your family isn’t “fancy” and the venue you chose was never published in a magazine….I’m about to keep it real with you because your email made me sad.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself, I grew up in a trailer……a single wide trailer to be exact. Ok, eventually we moved into a double wide but that wasn’t until I was in high school. I was POOR. My parents were teenage parents-kids raising kids….I’m going to be honest with you when I say this…when I first starting shooting weddings and got to visit the “magazine worthy” venues, I felt SOOO out of place. I felt like I didn’t belong there……and quite honestly, it intimidated me. I went to weddings in my Payless shoes while the bride wore her thousand dollar heels. I thought someone would “find me out” and realize I didn’t belong to “the club” so to speak.
I do remember very vividly walking away from some of the weddings thinking to myself “ohh my gosh, they paid so much for the cake and no one ate half of it or the favors were left behind, etc. This is how I learned that for me, weddings weren’t about the details…..it was about the people, the celebration and the love. Give me a couple that REALLY loves each other so much that it seeps out of them and a crappy venue ANY DAY compared to a huge production 100K dollar wedding with a bride and groom that have to be forced to look like they are in love. My job as a photographer is to bring out the best….and trust me when I say that not all of the weddings I shoot are at “magazine worthy” venues…it’s my job to make them look like they are!
Let me also tell you that Pinterest and wedding websites can be the devil. They show you all these little details or style their shoots which make it look like a legit wedding. I’m here to tell you…it’s all a lie. “Styled Shoots” are often set up by photographers or other people in the wedding industry in an effort to try to sell their products, publish them in a magazine to high lighting their: venue, rentals like chairs/tables, gowns, flowers, <fill in the blank>. Not only were they given a designer to design and coordinate (in most cases) but they are supposed to be for inspiration…….not something you are supposed to compare yourself to. As they say, comparison is a theif of joy.
Deep inside, I’m a small town girl…I will always be the girl from the trailer park that had big dreams and I will NEVER forget where I come from and neither should you. Don’t you EVER be embarrassed about what kind of wedding you’re going to have……don’t you ever be ashamed. You are gorgeous and you are worthy of gorgeous wedding images.
Fake flowers?! You go on with your fake flowers GURL….. but not having wedding cookies is where I draw the line! hahaha! It’s a Pittsburgh thing! haha!
a photographer who keeps it real