I have a problem. Itís called being a people pleaser. I know, itís not really a problem. Only it is. Because instead of doing what I think would be awesome, my mind first and foremost thinks about what I should do or what it thinks other people would want or want me to produce. Itís incredibly generous of me, I know. Iíve been doing it for the longest time, but now Iím trying the really difficult task of rewiring my brain to think of me first. I am a person after all. So many other people think of themselves first and the only person I only ever let down is myself. So this is me trying really really hard to think of myself first. Ugh itís against all my inner autopilot-ness. If I want to change my mind, I will. If I want to take a different path, I will. Right. Hmm. Iíll let you know how this goes. Itís much easier to type that to practiceÖ
Jocelyn and Jon are a great example of two people who did exactly what they wanted when it came to their wedding. No trying to please anyone but themselves; their wedding was completely for them. The details, the ceremony; everything was personal to them and it was beautiful. This was was my first outdoor-wedding and also the first time, in my three wedding repertoire, that I felt yes I actually produced good photos here. Well done Ellie. I think I gave myself a pat on the back for this one. Iím not sure what it was exactly other than the continuing learning I was going through, and having done two previous weddings that was slowly building up my confidence in my ability to produce good photos. I was still balancing what I should be producing and what I wanted to be producing on the same set of scales. But Jon and Jocelynís wedding was the first time I could go yes, I am on my way. My photos still have a long way to go, but I felt I had gotten over the first hurdle.
I left Sugarboo with a smile on my face, my first wedding portrait session under my belt and the confidence that I was getting better at this.
Fall has fell; I think Summer is definitely over. The weather is cooler, the leaves are different colours and I have 20+ weddings under my belt that I have photographed with LeahAndMark.com. A lot can change in five months. In May of this year I packed my suitcase and hopped on a 9 hour flight: London to Atlanta. Five days later I photographed my first Wedding. Every stage of the journey to Atlanta felt big; getting on the overnight train from Edinburgh to London, waiting in the departure lounge for four hours constantly thinking about what I was about to undertake. I remember the phone call I had with Mum after walking the length and breadth of duty free about 7 times. Everything was exciting and full of possibility, as it would be when you move to a new country. I had only ever been to Atlanta once before, in 2011, and thatís when I met Mark for the first time. I had been working in New York that summer and had been tweeting and retweeting Markís blog and his then current interns like the sky was falling – I think it was Season 3. I liked the internship, a lot. I wanted to do the internship. I mustered up the courage and messaged Mark to ask if I could meet him for some photography advice when I was visiting. I got a response. I was a bit shocked to be frank. I remember writing that message, adrenalin flowing through me, because I was taking charge of what I wanted to do. I almost didnít expect a response though; I was a fan, a big fan to a very busy photographer was he really going to have time to meet with me and give me advice?
The rest is of course, history. He did meet with me. He taught me an awful lot in the little-over-an-hour meeting we had. I made the decision shortly after meeting him that I wanted to come and do his internship. Three years and 6000 miles later here I am learning everything I can.
Which brings me to photographing Jenn and Chrisí Wedding; my first wedding. Iíd followed Markís blog long enough to know he makes epic shots. He also makes epic shots look easy. They are not easy; Iím just going to put that out there right now. I had left any and all expectations back in the departure lounge in London, but photographing my first Wedding was hard. There was 4 of us photographerís altogether and I was at the bottom of the food chain. I was trying my best not to step on anyoneís toes, whilst trying to take in what was happening and take photos. I wanted, really wanted to make awesome photos. I didnít. In hindsight, after Iíd gotten over the crippling disappointment of that happening, I should have known that I wasnít going to be able to produce photos on the same level as Mark on my very first wedding. It was worth daydreaming about though. What I did get was one of the biggest learning curves I have had in long time. I had seen how the behind the scenes of a Wedding and the photography came together as well as the importance of being kindly direct. I think for my first wedding I learned a lot about what not to do but sometimes thatís the best way to learn what to do.