7 years in the industry and I've learned a few things about weddings and about myself.
The first time I worked a wedding as a second shooter I was 13 and using a film camera. Then, during a summer in college, I worked as an intern and third shooter for a wedding photography studio in Philadelphia. That’s where I learned the most about how to actually work a camera. But, here’s the thing, I was so afraid of being a bad photographer I acted like I already knew everything. I had a hard time asking questions, even though that’s the very thing I was there to do. As we all know, you don’t learn that much by pretending like you know everything.
The next season, when I was still shooting with that same studio, and getting marginally better images, I loosened up a little. I was surrounded by some truly talented people, and I realized I could actually learn from them, or be intimidated by them. All of those photographers were willing to help me and most of them are still my friends, 7 years later. When I started to let myself learn something, I made some progress. I moved from a third to a second shooter position, then to shooting weddings on my own.
Throughout all these years, I noticed some things that seemed to happen at nearly every wedding. Family dynamics can be stressful. Disorganization creates a fresh hell of problems. Communication is everything. If your wedding is outdoors, your unity candle will never light properly. People go nuts for a cake with raspberry filling. The bride’s hair will take 30 minutes more than planned. If you are nervous and you don’t eat all day, but you’ve been drinking champagne, you will faint (ok, that only happened once, but I did catch the bride as she was going down!). I still don’t know how to properly put on a boutonierre, or how to spell it. Most brides wish they had worn sandals or sneakers, because you can’t really see her feet and they’re infinitely more comfortable than stilettos. I’m so much happier as the photographer, rather than the guest.
I have a lot of lessons under my belt and I’m still learning new things at every wedding. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll tell you hilarious stories and answer your questions.