Please play the video above while viewing over the wedding photos of Christina and Lee.
My first real wedding job was early September of 2010 over Christina and Lee’s wedding, two very lovely people, especially Christina, the bride. Their love story was sweet too, and the way they interacted with each other was adorable. I was taken aback by how understanding and laid back Christina was–definitely not your typical bridezilla.
I arrive early and people are decorating tables, arranging flowers, and the sun is on the brink of setting–it’s all very country yet elegant. Everyone there was friendly and smiled back every time. As the ceremony begins to approach, I am sweating more than I had anticipated. As the bride comes out of the dressing room (which led straight to the aisle), my heart begins to race because all of a sudden it hits me–This is one of the most important days of their lives, and I was absolutely responsible for capturing these moments–properly exposed, of course. As I had mentioned before, the bride was very understanding and open to helping young artists (as she had told me), but I was NOT about to let them down. As the bride walks down the aisle, Cody (my boyfriend actually) is playing the guitar with the song Over the Rainbow (along with their other family member). The sun was setting so beautifully, everyone’s face glancing over at the bride whilst the groom watched her walk with his eyes sparkling–you know, all of that romantic cheesy stuff that everyone loves to hear–and I began to panic because the sun was slowly descending into the earth, leaving me with less light to perform. I was somewhat panicking, trying to use the tripod and the flash. Sadly, some of the pictures turned out blurry but there were a few that worked.
Be that as it may, I was so uneducated when it came to weddings (for one thing) and especially with pricing. I had prior knowledge that wedding photographers charged a lot for weddings, but I never really understood why, in fact, I thought ‘how hard could this be?’
Now, here’s where I rant. Unfortunately, this wedding was my guinea pig and all I had on me was a measly Canon T2i and the standard 18-55mm lens that came with it. I was so ignorant as to what was ahead of me! Weddings can be scary! Anything can go wrong, and I mean anything and when “anything” happens, it’s the most terrifying feeling in the world. Not only is LIGHT stressful with weddings, it’s so candid. You have to find the right smile, the right tear, the right laugh, and perfect moment to catch, and they can happen within less than a second. It’s like swatting flies, except… well, much more graceful and discreet.
Like I said, LIGHT is stressful. You’re sweating physically and mentally. I put forth all of my hard work and effort because my entire body and soul is engaged while trying to capture these moments. After a wedding I am, again, physically and mentally exhausted but in the end it is so worth it. These are moments caught on camera for this couple to remember for the rest of their lives, and you were able to provide that for them.
So when people underestimate the price of professional wedding photographers, think about it. They are using expensive equipment that they had to buy for themselves (or rent), putting forth all physical, emotional, and mental hard work and effort alongside with many other things such as worrying if you have enough battery, enough memory, whether all flashes have enough battery and whether you need to change them, having to check the LCD screen to see if you are under or over exposed while those special moments are passing, running to one side of the venue and running to the next to catch another quick moment, making sure you’re also an entertainer by smiling and making conversations and keeping people comfortable while you take their snapshot. I mean, there are so many things that all add up to that price, it is well worth it.
Brides and Grooms to be, spending money on a wedding photographer is the best investment you’ll ever make. It’s money that may be gone for now, but you eventually gain it back and what’s important is that you have those memories exactly as you remember that night. A $50 camera with an on-camera flash at Walmart can maybe capture the moment just as well as a professional using professional equipment but the quality, the light, the ambience, the mood, and the talent behind that picture really can make you remember that moment so much better.