I remember the first wedding I shot like it was yesterday. It was a learning curve accelerated and I mean Bugatti Veyron accelerated. Despite the challenges, both expected and unexpected, I enjoyed the day.
It was a late July day and around here you can bet that it will be a warm day, and it was pushing just over 100 degrees by the afternoon. I woke up early that morning and started my routine. I triple checked my gear, the batteries had been charged the night before, the cards were freshly formatted, and my bags were packed. It was to be a casual "Hawaiian" themed wedding so I dressed accordingly with khaki pants a black Tommy Bahama Hawaiian style shirt and some comfortable loafers. I jumped in the car and headed out.
I arrived early to set my gear and get my bearings, having attended the rehearsal I had the general plan of the day set to memory and I was to the races. I had all of the preliminary shots that I needed listed so I quickly knocked those out all the while keeping an eye out for that candid moment that could easily be missed. As with most weddings the focus was on the bride but I make sure to pay as much attention to the groom as well.
If there is one constant that I have learned from shooting weddings, it's that the unexpected might as well be the expected. The wedding started a bit late and it steamrolled from there. The ceremony began and the shutter was clicking. Shooting the wedding alone I was all over the place. One thing I forgot to mention, the wedding and reception took place outside with limited shade. My gear was definitely getting a heat stress test, and I was proud of the way it performed. I was also getting a heat test of my own, looking back I should have worn shorts seeing how I was the only guy in long pants, and yes the groom was in shorts.
As a wedding photographer you find yourself wearing many hats, you are there to provide a service and at times you will find yourself going beyond what you might consider the norm. This is what you do, you are there to help out need be. On my first wedding I realized that and I have embraced it. This is there day and if you can do something to ease the stress do it and definitely do not add to the stress.
So was it an easy day, no. Would I do it again, of course I would. I love photography. Spending time with people on such a joyous day only feeds my soul, it pushes me to do the best job that I can for the couple. A wedding is a beautiful and happy day, I feel honored and privileged to be a part in a couples special day.
Shooting weddings is not for everyone, it's a demanding day of shooting followed by hours of work in the digital darkroom that is known as your post production work flow. If you love what you are doing, well that will make your job that much better and it will show in your work. So as I always say Shoot What You Love Love What You Shoot.