or: What Really Matters About Weddings
I found this blog post in my drafts folder. I wrote it years ago after seeing post by another wedding photographer about why she doesn’t blog every wedding and what makes a wedding blog-worthy. The list included things like light and location.
I can understand not having time to blog everything if you shoot a lot, or simply wanting to show only your best work or only a certain style. A photographer’s blog is, after all, a marketing piece for future clients.
There’s recently been some discussion among photographers, myself included, about how wedding photography awards and popular images on social media have a tendency to lean towards gorgeous locations (think mountain tops and destination weddings) and couples who look like models (most often white and straight, but that’s changing slowly).
For many photographers, things like light, location, and the subjects’ appearances have a lot to do with the quality of their work. Beautiful places, great natural light, and conventionally beautiful people are easy to take good photos of, and a great photographer can turn these things into something truly stunning. Of course, a truly great photographer can make a great photo of almost anything. I personally find all couples getting married to be beautiful because they’re just so happy and bursting with emotion.
I blog every wedding I photograph (unless the client asks me not to). I no longer blog them for the client, since most clients get a slideshow to share with family and friends, so the blog post may take a while to be posted. But I do eventually blog everything, because I think every wedding is blog-worthy. Here’s a few reasons why.
Weddings are about love
I suppose some weddings aren’t about love, but the ones I photograph definitely are. My clients are psyched to be marrying their best friend. They’re excited to start a future together. They know how lucky they are. Photos that show that love make me smile and I hope they make you all smile too.
Weddings are about family
And not just biological family. Weddings bring together people who love each other, who’ve grown together, who can’t imagine life without each other. And it’s not just about the bride and groom’s relationship with their guests, but also the guests’ relationships with one another (see more in my post “Wedding Photography is a Gift to Your Guests”).
Weddings are about mothers…
and friends. Whether they’re in your wedding party or not, friends are your chosen family and they make weddings so much more fun and meaningful.
Let’s not forget our furry family members. I love it when people make pets part of their wedding day (and so do the guests).
Kids are always fun at weddings and it’s always fun to watch people’s relationships with them, from the couple’s own kids to their grandkids and nieces and nephews to guests’ kids.
Weddings are fun and funny
People are fun and funny. No matter how annoyed I get in traffic or at noisy neighbors, weddings always make me fall in love with humanity again. From sweet and silly speeches to breaking out the moves on the dance floor, weddings are an amazing place to observe people’s personalities.
The dance floor is, of course, a space for amazing moves, tons of laughter, and being impressed at how much energy your older relatives have.
Weddings are always unique
No matter how many times I work at the same venue or photograph the shoe game, the photos are always different because the people, emotions, and moments are different. Even 140+ weddings into my career.
People personalize their ceremonies with their own vows, unity ceremonies (a couple of my favourites below – a shared rye and coke and an umbrella ceremony), cultural or religious elements, and in one instance, completing a task together as a married couple (see sawing a log below).
Cocktail hour and receptions are where people really put their own spin on things from games to late night snacks (and ice cream trucks) and family traditions to interesting toasts (including singing and Facetime toasts). And of course, who can forget cutting the cake with a sword
I’ve been told several times that clients were grateful that I was able to capture beautiful photos of their relatives who passed away shortly after the wedding. I’m thankful I was asked to be there.
Weddings are a chance to get everyone you love together and celebrate the beginning of a new family and expansion of two (or more) existing families.
I think my clients are thrilled with their photos, leave me glowing reviews and e-mails, and get their photos printed, not because my work is amazing, but because their relationships are amazing and genuine. My work merely documents that.
When I photograph a wedding, I strive to capture the couple and their guests for who they are, to capture the essence of the moments, to see what’s really there.
The elements above exist at every wedding, whether it’s an elopement, a wild party, or a relaxed reception. I don’t care if you get married at a community hall or a gorgeous mansion, if you’re a size two or twenty, if it’s your first wedding or your fourth, if there are no guests or hundreds. As long as there’s love there, I’m all for it.
This blog is here to celebrate weddings and relationships. They say to show what you want to shoot. I want to photograph all of the above and more.