When I first started my business, wedding photography was the one thing I categorically said I’d never do. I had my reasons – many of them – and my avoidance was going really well until I was sneakily coerced into doing one by an old college friend, not that many months after starting impactvisuALS.
I got a message that asked if I was free to shoot for a couple of hours on a specific day, and said yes without really knowing many details. As it turned out, Dean and Bonnie were having a secret and very low key wedding and I would be both photographer and witness with one other guest – their wicked mate Kathy. I was a bit nervous about it, sure, but when the couple arrived at the registry office in knitted jumpers and jeans I knew it was just the kind – if not the only kind – of wedding I’d want to shoot. It was informal, intimate, and perfect in its own way, and all of us were happy with the shots that came from it.
After the wedding, knowing that I was unlikely to be asked to shoot anything like it again, I didn’t advertise myself as a wedding photographer. In my eyes, I still categorically didn’t want to do them – though this time for fewer reasons than before.
That was until earlier this year, when I was asked by another college friend if I would be up for shooting her wedding at the start of October. I made it painfully clear that I wasn’t a wedding photographer, and it turned out that that was precisely why Hayley contacted me in the first place. Hayley is the polar opposite of the bridezilla who’s been planning her perfect day since she was a small child, and when she told me about her and Matt’s plan to have a humanist ceremony in Matt’s parents’ garden, followed by a big party in a barn with a rodeo, chip van, no speeches, and everyone camping over afterwards in bell tents, I was sold. Hayley had seen some of the event photos I’d taken before – candid shots, nothing too posed, and everyone obviously enjoying themselves rather than being dictated into standing in a certain way while waiting for great Aunty Maureen for 20 minutes to get the best shot for the family album. She wanted someone who would blend in and capture the moments that she and Matt would miss due to being the centre of attention.
To me, this informal way of getting married suited my preference for an informal way of working with my clients – for this, I could do wedding photography! Everyone gets to enjoy the wedding, and the newly married couple get to enjoy looking back at genuine photos of people having a great time on an occasion solely about their devotion to each other.
Like Matt, I succumbed to pressure and said yes – the wedding is tomorrow (October 2nd)!
Here are a couple of shots from Dean and Bonnie’s wedding last year – they’re now expecting a baby boy, who will arrive in the next couple of weeks!