My first wedding

I perused Craigslist the other day (I know, that’s risky, but…) looking for “creative gigs” and came upon a post requesting a wedding photographer STAT.

First, I am not a wedding photographer. So naturally, I clicked on the ad.

As it turned out, a very small wedding was occurring about an hour from my house in two days of the ad being placed. The original photographer had a medical emergency with his son and was in a bind. The photography budget was low, as were the photography expectations (in terms of quantity). I sent him a link to see my work and he felt I could do the job. All I could say to the guy is that I’m not a wedding photographer, but I was willing to give it a whirl.

A whirl I did give.

I was nervous yet hyper-focused. Unlike family photo sessions, there is no option to reschedule. There are no second takes or do-overs. You have to get the shot as the action occurs, which is why it’s imperative that real wedding photographers work in pairs or trios. You need the extra angles and opportunities.

Working solo, I hustled.

THANK GOODNESS the chapel was small. It was small enough for me to run like a crazy person from one end to the other – as discreetly as possible – and capture everything I could. Sure, there were staged photos, but nothing from the actual ceremony could be reenacted, so I had to be on point.

The wedding party and family members were gracious and patient, and let me dart around as I needed to. I don’t know if they knew this was my first wedding, but I had no time to chat. It was click-click-click for a straight two hours.

And I’m still editing. Normally I can edit photos from a session in several hours. I actually pride myself on a quick turn-around. That is an impossibility with a wedding! I actually talked to the bride today and reassured her that I was still working on them. I sent her a sneak peek via text and she was pleased. (Whew!)

Even though I’m also pleased with my work, I know booking a wedding much bigger than this one is not a reality. I would need a second shooter, or rather, I’d need to be the second shooter alongside a more experienced photographer. STILL, I’m sorta curious to know what this could look like if I expanded my lens collection, upgraded my camera (does anyone have $1,000 I could borrow have?), and pounded the pavement for clients. Right now I rely on word of mouth, and while people have been kind to recommend me, I’m not really “out there.” These are the things I ponder each night before falling asleep.

Oh, and wondering when I’ll find a literary agent. There’s always that.

2 Replies to “My first wedding”

  1. You brave woman! These shots looked great and I bet there are a ton more. I can’t imagine the pressure of “this is one of the biggest days of our lives and we’re trusting you to get it right”.

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