I was recently at my bank (officially changing my newly-married name….but that’s a whole other story) when my banker asked me what I did for a living. I told them I was a wedding photographer and their response was, “Oh, that’s where the money’s at!”. Like I must be rolling in the dough! The sarcastic side of me almost wished I told them to just check my bank account, but that would have probably been a bad idea. Their response really did bug me, because if I could pinpoint the reason I love weddings, money would not be my answer. And to be completely honest, he was not the first person to tell me this sort of answer. I don’t know about you, but that just puts a bad taste in my mouth. Eww!
Ask anyone who is passionate about what they do and I guarantee that their answer won’t be the paycheck. But rather doing something with purpose and meaning. Today I’m sharing a little bit of my heart and why I love wedding photography. The wedding industry is always evolving and trends are ever changing, but there are a few things that instantly drew me to weddings!
I’ll never forget the first wedding I photographed. It was with my college friend, Sara Martin, and we were freshly in photography school with the whole world at fingertips. We honestly had no idea what wedding photograph entailed, but we were eager to learn and get experience! It had been raining that day, so the entire wedding had to be moved indoors. Which meant that the ceremony was in a less than ideal spot, but everyone worked together to make it look beautiful for the sweet couple. The young couple didn’t have much decorations or elaborate things planned, but one thing is for sure….it was magical! Not in a materialistic, candles & flowers sort of way, but in a….wow, this is such huge life event way. I remember seeing the groom’s reaction to the bride walking down the isle; with a glimmer of tears in his eyes and I remember seeing him smile as they made eye contact with his bride; I was instantly drawn in! I hardly knew these people but I felt such a strong connection to them and their story that I felt like it was not just a “hired vendor” but a friend, serving them as they made their vows to each other. Their wedding could have been inside a grocery store and the moment would have been just as beautiful.
After that wedding, it’s like a spark was ignited! I feel like God called me to photograph weddings. That was 7 years ago, and I am still in the game! Weddings are so much more than a beautiful venue or perfect dress; but about a marriage covenant to each other. And if you look up the word covenant….it’s not to be taken lightly! Definitely more than a promise or a decision; it’s an agreement. And if I know one thing, God is a huge fan of weddings! (The Bible begins and ends with a wedding). Jesus first miracle was also at a wedding; turning the water into wine. So no wonder I found myself in the wedding industry!
In wedding photography, I find so much meaning and purpose in my work. To be able to support a couple as they make a commitment to each other; it becomes more than just “taking pictures”. I like to view it as serving others through photography. I heard Dave Ramsey once say, “If you focus on helping others, you will never have to worry about money”. If I won the lottery, I could still see myself photographing weddings! (in the perfect world I would do it for free).
So any time someone says “Wedding photography….that’s where the money’s at!” or even photographers starting off saying “That’s fast cash!” it makes me cringe a little because weddings are so much more than that! With all of my wedding clients, I make it my goal to serve them to the best of my ability. Helping them have the fun wedding experience with the best pictures I can create; documenting their covenant. That’s my “why”!
To all of the sweet couples who entrusted me with they wedding pictures; thank you! You guys are the reason I do what I do. Thanks so much for joining me in my wedding photography journey!