To Weddings or not to Weddings: Part 1....

To weddings or not to weddings....that is the question. 

The month of July went by so fast! I did not have a ton of photography sessions which was okay by me because I was busy preparing for and shooting my first weddings! Yep, you read that right, I have now shot not only one, but two beautiful weddings right here in Summerville and Charleston. 

First, lets go back a little, I want to make myself clear that I did not seek out these weddings. Both were something that kind of just fell in my lap. You see, I never set out to do weddings. It really didn't cross my mind. I was very hesitant to agree to do either wedding. But after making it very clear to both of the potential clients that I WAS NOT a wedding photographer nor did I have ANY wedding photography experience, I thought what the hell! I knew I could take decent family pictures and candid shots to capture the day, which is what both clients were looking for more than a rock star wedding photographer. 

Okay, so I'll tell you about the first wedding. I am still putting the finishing touches on their gallery, but I have enough images edited that I can share a sneak peak with you guys. This was not your traditional wedding. Joel and Elizabeth are an older couple who decided to remarry after each lost their spouses. Now when I say "older", DO NOT let that fool you. These guys were quite the spunky pair and prove that age is just a number. They both love to dance and I had a blast watching them and their friends get down! 

I did a mini session for one of Joel's daughters back in May. Super cute family with four kids the last two being twins! Arden, the groom's daughter, asked me if I would be interested in possibly photographing a wedding. Without hesitation, I told her that I did not do weddings. She explained this wedding would be a little different as it was her father who was getting married. She gave me Elizabeth's contact info and told me to talk to her about details and to think about it. 

I spoke with Elizabeth and her daughter Nichole and explained that I was NOT a wedding photographer, but rather that I specialized in capturing lifestyle images of families. And after chatting about the wedding and life in general, these guys sounded like great people so I decided to do it! 

I prepared off and on for weeks. Taking online classes taught by some of the most sought after wedding photographers in this country. I went and scoped out the venue. The wedding was to be held at Miler Country Club here in Summerville, SC. The ceremony would be challenging, full sun around 5 pm. The reception even more challenging as it is an open pavilion lighted by various low light sources. This meant I needed to probably use a flash. Did I say flash? Yes. Flash... my nemesis. I hate flash. I feel flash often looks unnatural, stiff, especially if not done correctly. I usually shoot in full manual mode with only natural light. I'm a light seeker, not a light creator. So I figured out quickly that I would have to learn at least the basics about my flash. Another online class, oh my! I also worried about hording groups of people for portraits. Sometimes, I still feel like I barely know what I am doing. How was I going to portray confidence when I'm still building confidence myself. All of this racing in my head prior to the wedding. 

I decided to ask another aspiring photographer if she would like to come along to be my second shooter/assistant. That was a great decision. Having Yostina there helped provide some moral support and knowing she was also taking pictures definitely relieved some stress.  

The day of the wedding Yostina and I met a little early and came up with a rough game plan. I decided to go with mainly traditional wedding portraits and groupings, as I thought that would appeal to the bride and groom. Yostina and I walked around scoping light and locations. My gut turned a little when I first saw the "getting ready" room. It was dark. Really dark. There were a few lamps, even one without a shade. Sigh....I went ahead and attached my flash. 

The day was actually perfect. I met Joel and Elizabeth both prior to the wedding and I instantly loved them! You guys, this was a fun family! Everyone was kind and patient. I truly enjoyed the little time I got to spend with this family. The day was filled with love and it was all about two established families coming together to support the patriarch and matriarch of their individual families.  

Overall, the photography part of the day went well. It was hard work. Honestly, more work than I realized. I felt like I needed to be snapping at every opportunity or I would run the risk of missing something. Sure there are things I would do different... somethings maybe I wouldn't do, somethings that I'd wish I had done that I did not. I am confident that when I deliver their gallery, they will be happy with the ceremony pictures and the family pictures I was able to capture. But most of all, I hope they see the love, fun, and happiness that I witnessed that day. Because even thru a lens, it was obvious that the day was filled with all of that and more. :)

Enjoy a couple of sneak peak shots from the wedding. And stay tuned for To Weddings or not to Weddings: Part 2