My first wedding! The bride gets dressed.

I’ve only recently started offering up my services as a paid photographer. And let me say for the record that I didn’t initiate this venture. I blame my pastor, Tom, who mentioned my name and hooked me up with my first paid shoot.

I hesitate to even label myself “photographer” since I’m such an amateur, with a limited range of experience and less-than-professional equipment, but what else can I call myself when people are paying me to take their picture?

Fine! I will say it: I am a photographer. Hear me roar . . . or a least miaow.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the engagement shoots, business head shots and event shoots that I’ve done, and as you may remember, in December I shot my first wedding.

How did this come about, you may ask?

I will tell you.

Kevin and Katina loved the results of their engagement shoot so much that they asked me to be their wedding photographer.

I was flattered, thrilled, freaked out, spazzed out, and obsessed with the idea. All at once.

The idea made my head spin, as if I were contemplating a big uncertain leap into a pool from a high dive, with no promises that my bathing suit wouldn’t fly off upon contact with the water.

(For the record, that did happen to me . . . once.)

I spent a sleepless night obsessing about what I should say and what equipment I would need to purchase if I wanted to make it work.

(Sorry, must pause to have a Tim Gunn moment: “Make it work, designers!“)

Anyway, while I was intrigued by the idea, ultimately I knew that I didn’t have enough experience.

And looking back at the split second that I thought “maybe I could do this,” thank heavens I slept on it and showed some sense!

Photographing a wedding is nothing short of monumental.

It requires skill, the right equipment, indefatigable shooting for hours and hours on your feet. Crouching, leaning, bending and contorting yourself to get the right angle. Not to mention a quick trigger finger and the ability to capture that moment that will only happen once.

Right after thinking “I could do this!” I thought, “What if I mess it up? Big time?” Therein lay the question.

There’s no replay button for moments like the kiss, or the cutting of the cake.

Plus, I was already on the bandwagon–one might call it the “band bandwagon,” heh heh–to sing/drum/tambourine/strum as part of the wedding band at the reception, and I thought that multitasking might be too stressful.

So, with my heart torn, I declined.

However, they counter-offered–what if I came and took pictures of Katina getting ready with the ladies, plus candid shots whenever I had the time?

Kevin’s brother would be the official photographer, so I could just shoot what I could.

YES! What a perfect solution.

The experience of shooting a wedding without the pressure was an ideal situation.

So this post is part one of the wedding photographs.

To follow in the week/s to come, I’ll share my shots from the ceremony and the reception too.

I loved being the invisible eye witness of this sweet time that Katina spent getting ready for her walk down the aisle with the ladies in her life–her friends, her Mom, her sister.

Even this little one who gave me the Stink Eye.

(and subsequently had to be comforted by the bride herself)

It was fun to essentially be allowed to eavesdrop and oggle; to look at everyone’s faces as emotions played across them, listen to the banter, capture their expressions as the women poked fun at each other, encouraged one another, and gave their feedback on Katina’s hairdo.

It’s a great fringe benefit of photography–you get to watch.

In fact, you’re getting paid to watch.

I’ve also recently received another inquiry about my wedding photography experience, abilities and availability. Even though I haven’t officially been asked and may not be (believe me, I’m totally fine with that!), I’m having a sense of deja vu . . . obsessed, flattered, terrified . . . yes, I think I’ve been here before.

We’ll see what happens.

15 thoughts on “My first wedding! The bride gets dressed.

  1. Suzie

    Now, that is how I’d like to shoot a wedding too. I’ve only done one wedding and it was nerve-wracking and there were so many little kids running around it was hard to get group shots without 1 or 2 little heads popping up here and there. She liked her pictures but, I would rather shy away from another wedding shot. I like do senior pics, prom pics, maternity pics instead but, that’s just me. You did an awesome job with your photographs. I love the one of her dress laced up the back. Some great shots of the bride too! Looking forward to seeing more 🙂

  2. Veronica Miller

    Great job, Jenna, and congrats on your first paid gig. Smart to decline being the official photographer, esp being part of the band and it being your first paid shoot–less stress this way! The bride looks stunning. <3

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks Veronica! =) (and it’s my 1st wedding, but 4th paid photography venture–I can’t believe all the opportunities that have come my way without even looking for them!)

  3. Skippymom

    You really captured how lovely the bride is. She looks like the most serene one of the bunch. [Excuse me for saying this, but her Mom looks very contemplative.] I think this is wonderful “practice” for something you are already very, very good at.

    Good luck!

  4. Kimby

    Jenna, it looks like your compromise worked out well — memorable shots and less stress! It was so lovely to witness the “primping” that goes on behind the scenes through your lens. I love weddings… 🙂

  5. Joanne

    Judging by these photos…you’re off to an amazing start! And by the time I get married you’ll be a seasoned pro. (In the very very hypothetical future.) So I’ll be flying you to NYC for the affair. No lie.


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