Weddings are awesome. I know, I know. As a photographer, Iím sort of supposed to say that. But itís true- and not [only] for the obvious reasons. Sure, weddings are fun: full of dancing and champagne and family. Big, happy celebrations of finding love and throwing a party. But as a photographer, theyíre also a continuous challenge to shoot better, create better, be better. And I do love me a challenge. It’s why weddings feel like such a good fit for me.
Iíve actually been lucky enough to second-shoot weddings with Mark pretty often since my LeahAndMark adventure began eight months ago- awesome locations all over Atlanta and even my first out-of-state wedding in Indiana earlier this summer. But a few weeks ago, my adventures got stepped up a notch when Mark and I flew to Boston to shoot a wedding at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Um. AWESOME.
See, I have this thing for traveling, no matter how far- (or close-) flung those travels may be. I love packing. I even love airports. Seriously, even in hours-long lines at TSA checkpoints, Iíve got a ridiculous smile on my face. Take my shoes off? YES! LOVE TO! Search my bag full of underwear in front of a hundred people? GO RIGHT AHEAD, I’M†FLYING SOMEWHERE! And traveling with Mark can be quite glamorous: Delta Gold status and pre-boarding perks. (Though no champagne and hot towels this trip- next time, I say.) When we landed in Boston, Mark humored my giddiness from being†someplace new†and we drove into†the heart of†the city†and had lunch, real Bahstan style, at Quincy Market. Like a true tourist, I bought souvenirs and bombarded my husband back home with a constant stream of cell phone pictures. Then we drove down into Connecticut. I saw exit signs for New York City (which made me ridiculously happy), and I discovered that Mark is a serial radio channel surfer. Oh. And we drove right through a tornado warning, in Northern Connecticut. Because apparently, we bring so much Awesome with us to these weddings, even the skies spontanteously combust into Awesomeness. Or scariness. Something.
Whenever I shoot a wedding, whether Iím second-shooting with Mark or running the show myself, the whole day becomes a constant quest to do better than Iíve ever done before. I owe that to my clients, to my boss, to myself. I sprawl across the floor. I sprint from one end of the venue to the other. (Repeatedly. And again. And again.) I climb on things. I canít just sit back timidly and wait for the shots to happen in front of me. I have to anticipate them. Be two steps ahead, to catch them before theyíre gone again. And, as Iíve learned from the moment I set foot in our old Goat Farm studio back in January, I have to make them. Being a photographer isnít just about catching moments as they unfold before your eyes. Itís about†MAKING photos that tell you- immerse you- in those moments. And while most weddings follow the same loose formula: flowers, vows, the kiss, and cake (cake!), everything else is different. Different moments, different dynamics. And itís my job to make something different every single time I shoot a wedding. Or anything. Itís the best part about my job, which is saying a lot- I mean, I seriously have a job that lets me travel AND lets me get to know people on such an amazingly personal level. And I get wine. If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.
Thank you to Mark, for thinking enough of me to take me along. It’s a big deal each and every time I’m asked to work alongside someone at a wedding- you have to have faith that that person, as Mark puts it, doesn’t suck. So thank you. You’re awesome.
†Atlanta. Boston. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark. You. Are. Awesome.