I become emotionally invested in my brides. Always. Some more than others, depending on their story or the things they have been dealing with. There have been quite a few times in my career where I've gotten caught up in a moment at a wedding and lost it. Like, tears streaming down my face from behind my camera, shrugging my shoulders to control my breathing, lost it. To the point where guests are probably thinking "Dude, what's with your photographer? She is a totally unstable!" But I'm not unstable, I'm just a mom, a really mushy, sappy, kissy-kissy, love-my-babies mom. And in every single one of these situations, I can't help but think about my own family and my own children and how they would handle it.
Amanda's story stretched my heart in ways I didn't think could happen. Her mom passed away while she was planning her wedding. I couldn't imagine anything more traumatizing. And I couldn't imagine a more beautiful and graceful person to handle it. Meet Amanda.
P.S. The bodice of her dress was spectacular. Probably one of my favorite dresses all year.
When she and her dad saw each other for the first time, yeah... that time I kind of lost it.
Oh, their faces said so much.
They've been through hell this past year, but they were here, they made it. This is the day they waited for and dreaded all at the same time, but they are here, and she is here. You just can't see her, but you can feel her. This moment was beautiful for everyone in the room, and the two of them showed us all that it was okay to feel happy and sad at the same time...that it was okay to move forward and celebrate the day the way Amanda's mom would have wanted them to.
At every wedding, right before the bride walks down the aisle, I try to turn and snap a photo of the altar. Because this is the first thing she is going to see when those doors open and I want to make sure she never forgets that feeling of all her friends and family beaming with pride and anxiously waiting her arrival.
If you pay close attention to my blog, you may have noticed me slipping in some formal photos here and there. Why? For the interest of full disclosure: You see, the wedding photography market is saturated right now. It seems every week a new friend on Facebook has started a photography business. That's a good thing for a couple reasons.
Number one, it gives brides a ton of choices when choosing a photographer, and two, well, I love photography. So the more folks who share my passion, the better.
I know a lot of new photographers read this blog. I want to make sure they all understand very clearly that I don't only take photos of brides and grooms in beautiful fields with spectacular light. Every week is a new challenge in a different church, one darker than the next, and you have to know how to do formal photos and do them well.
I don't ever want to give the impression that I don't shoot formal posed photos inside the church. They are still a huge, instrumental part of the wedding day and you have to be able to shoot them with precision and confidence.
THEN you get to go outside and do the fun stuff :)
Amanda and Dustin have officially etched a little spot in my heart that will stay there forever. I will never forget their wedding, and I feel so grateful that they chose me to document their day. They have the kind of love that makes other people jealous. They are best friends and literally the most perfect match I could ever imagine. People like them remind me why I love my job so much.