“I’m shooting your family the way I WISH my family would have been photographed growing up-It has a huge impact on how I shoot and how I see the world”
I sat in the ice cream parlor dabbing my eyes with a napkin. Obviously, I cry too easily. I sat across the table from my bride and groom whose wedding I would be shooting in just a few short weeks. During casual conversation, the groom asked me if I ever cried at a wedding….I kind of chuckled (because that’s what I do when I’m uncomfortable with my emotions) and then answered him. “Yeah, I do, especially when it comes to the father-daughter stuff. I’ve never really been super close to my Dad and when I see such a sweet moment, it makes me emotional.” In our family, we weren’t the huggy-kissy “i love you” kind of family. I knew my parents loved me and cared about me but didn’t know how to show it all that much. For me, that was my normal… until I started shooting weddings.
Now that I have a child of my own, I probably go a little overboard with the hugs and kisses and probably annoy the crap out of them with the “i love you’s”. I tear up when Dad sees the bride for the first time and lord help me the minute that the bride entered the dance floor with her dad, I hide behind my camera as the tears roll down my face snapping away behind my lens. I watch how natural it looks for them to have a “special moment” with Dad crying and imagine Mallory out there with Greg some day or my mother/son dance with Levi. But part of me also wonders would my dad react the same? I’m just being honest.
The next day, the bride emailed me to shared with me something she had left out at the meeting-mostly because she was afraid that she’d get too emotional in the middle of the parlor. She explained how her dad was recently diagnosed with cancer and may not be feeling very well on the day of her wedding and that the wedding is going to be super emotional for everyone. She told me how they had thought about post-poning the wedding because she wasn’t sure how he would feel but that Dad didn’t want them to. And then it hit me….like a pile of bricks.
You are letting me in……
…into some of the most vulnerable times in your lives. You are trusting me and bringing me into your lives to document your day the way you want to remember it for your grandchildren. You are investing in me….emotionally…and for that I thank you! I learn so much about myself by meeting with each and every one of you-more than you might ever know!
I mention this in my about section on my website but I feel like I should reiterate it here.” …in some ways, I’m shooting your family the way I WISH my family would have been photographed growing up-It has a huge impact on how I shoot and how I see the world…… and this is the reason I love what I do so very much. I create something tangible that you can hold on to, point at and SHOW that you existed and were loved! I photograph people who are sentimental and value preserving life’s big moments. They value relationships, stories and authenticity”
Thank you for reminding me of this, investing in me…..and for letting me in. <3
Thank you SO VERY MUCH.