Tag Archives: weddings

Seven years

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary.

I had just turned 22. I had been to almost no weddings, since we were among the first of our group of friends to tie the knot. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t get a manicure, or research hairdressers, or even think about my hairstyle until the morning of the wedding (!?).

Basically, I was blissfully caught up in my man and completely unconcerned about everything else.

Even though I had a terrible hairdo, mostly hate the pictures (I’m only sharing ones I can tolerate and have Photoshopped, heh heh) and would basically do everything differently if I had to do it again, I still cherish this day so much. Because, as my dad said, it’s not the wedding but the marriage that counts.

I’ve always remembered him saying that, and taken comfort in the fact that despite my willy-nilly approach to wedding planning, my general lack of preferences and research, and all the moving parts I failed to even think about–the wedding is secondary. Make that extremely secondary.

The point is this beautiful relationship, and August 13th just happened to mark the first day of it.

I had waited for this day for so long, it seemed like it would never come. After 4 years of striving for self-control and trying to stay physically pure amidst our obsession with each other, I could hardly believe that in one day the boundaries would go away, and we would be free. (And oh was it ever worth the painfully difficult wait–young, umarried thangs take note!)

So I guess our throw-it-together/we-have-no-idea-what-we’re-doing/who-cares-anyway approach is kind of precious. We were young. We’d been dating for 4 years and just wanted to get to the good part. The part where I didn’t have to go home at the end of each evening together.

After all, what are drooping hairstyles and bad pictures when I was about to become one with the man God had gently and securely tied to my heart?

Happy anniversary, baby! I’ve loved every year . . . every month . . . every day.

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.