The role and experience of a wedding photographer

Article originally posted on Medium on July 31, 2018.

Some of the most significant experiences I’ve had as a photographer have occurred during the weddings I’ve photographed.

The moments full of embraces, laughter, joy, and love, are the moments when I feel most honored to be the person capturing it all through my lens.

The role of a wedding photographer:

Unlike what it appears like on the surface, a photographer’s role isn’t to ask people to smile or capture what an experience looks like. Rather, a photographer’s role is to capture the raw emotions of people and what an experience feels like.

For weddings, photographers have the privilege of capturing the most powerful emotion — love.

All day (or sometimes more than one day) the wedding photographer/s scramble and crouch in uncomfortable positions to take hundreds of pictures with the sole focus of capturing photos that evoke the most emotion and tell the love story of the two newlyweds; so the couple and family members can always visualize what such a life-changing day felt like.

While each photograph holds emotion, the photographs that often evoke the most emotion are the close-ups.

Couples looking into each other’s eyes. Hands interlocked in the most tender way. The expressions of the couple as they see each other for the first time as one meets them down the aisle. The kiss that signifies the beginning of marriage.

Because of the photographer, these countless simple, yet powerful moments, are able to be captured, remembered and cherished forever.

Despite the common misconception that a photographer serves as a person who parades around and asks for smiles for the camera, I believe that the role of a photographer is one who looks at the world and its people, in its truth, and not only captures but actualizes the beauty within all of the large and small moments of life — in this case, weddings.

The experience of a wedding photographer:

While each photo shoot is unique from the other, photographing weddings is an experience unlike any other.

During typical photoshoots, I may spend 1–2 hours with clients. However, because weddings include months of planning and 1–2 days of events, I not only get to know the couple but families as a whole. Throughout the entire process, I’m able to submerge myself in a new culture, witness the union of not only two people, but two families as well — all because of love.

After photographing over four weddings, I’ve learned about the significance of becoming a fly on the wall, simply becoming invisible and stepping back to take in the atmosphere as it is.

Through all the tears of joy, warm embraces and countless expressions of pure love and happiness occurring around me, besides capturing it all, I feel the love radiated from those moments. I feel a sense of euphoria that sparks inspiration and drives to not only continue capturing the insurmountable emotion of love through photography but to always remember the power of it.

Moments held open with an emotion as powerful as love, inspire young people, such as myself (I’m 21), to hold out in patience for that perfect, irreplaceable love. The kind of love that runs so deeply that even life’s most difficult trials and tribulations can’t cloud it.

In addition to the beauty of finding that perfect love, as countless newlyweds have, is the significance and blessing of living a life with a job that allows you to do what you love. With every new story to tell, every new photo shoot or wedding to capture through my lens, I can confidently say that I do.

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