A Stranger’s Wedding

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to be taking wedding photos for a vendor here in town who offers all-inclusive packages. Their contracted photographer will be going on maternity leave in the spring, so I’ll be taking over all of the all-inclusive weddings. For right now, that’s three, but that number will probably go up. More couples might choose the all-inclusive options, or they might choose me as their photographer outside of the package since I’ll now be listed as a “preferred vendor” on the venue site.

Anyway.

I needed to go out last week to meet the owner, and she suggested I come when they had a wedding going on so that I could take more photos to build my portfolio, which is depressingly sparse when it comes to weddings.

So, that’s how I spent my Saturday night last week. It went really well despite quite a bit of rain, and I actually think I got a few nice photos that I thought I’d share here. I didn’t get a lot of the “traditional” wedding photos because I didn’t want to be in the way of the real photographer, but I tried to sneak in where I could.

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The bride’s daughter was one of her flower girls. So sweet!

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At this point, the rain was starting to roll in, so the bridesmaids were doing their best to reassure the bride that every little thing was going to be alright….

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After a significant rain delay, the bride made the call to get this show on the road!

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So, technically, this wasn’t entirely a stranger’s wedding because I realized once I got there that I actually went to high school with one of the groomsmen (and the bride’s brother, I think). But we didn’t know each other then (or now).

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You can feel the love, can’t you?

It was this moment, seeing the way these two were looking at each other that I thought to myself, you know, I might actually really love wedding photography. I have no idea if this marriage will last, as so many don’t these days. But on that day, in that moment, there was only love. And I got to be part of it. That’s a beautiful thing.

Oh, and their vows were actually really funny!

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And this is where I tell you that I’m actually REALLY happy that I wasn’t the official photographer for this wedding, because in my effort to stay out of the way, I didn’t manage to get any decent photos of the kiss. Wow. Epic fail.

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And here come my favorite photos of the whole night.

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The main photographer stayed back to get pictures of everyone exiting the ceremony, but I spotted a little lovin’ happening between the bride and groom when they thought they were all alone.

This shot below is my very favorite. They had no idea that I had followed them. I definitely felt a little bit awkward and like I was crashing a very intimate party of two. BUT.

I love it.

I love catching these candid moments when no one is playing it up for the camera.

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Just a sweet moment between newlyweds.

I can get lost in the technical problems with this photo (it’s not perfectly sharp and crisp), but I have to stop looking at it with a photographer’s judgmental eye and appreciate it for what it truly is.

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And then she spotted me….

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I didn’t take any of the group photos because it was just weird to have the group look at one camera and then the other. So I snapped a few from the sidelines and then moved along.

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But again, I kind of like that they weren’t looking at me. Feels more genuine.

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Oh, and here’s their cake.

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All in all, this was a good experience. I was in dire need of some more shots for my portfolio and I desperately need the practice if I’m going to try to make this more of a “career.” I’m still not sure that I can hack it in the wedding biz. I need better equipment and more knowledge about the gear I already have.

But this is a start.

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