Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1 Camera, 2 Girls, 3 Shotguns, a Dear Head and a Wedding

A few weeks ago I had some friends ask me to shoot their wedding. It was kind of a last minute deal as their engagement wasn't exactly a long one. I almost didn't do it, I was that scared. After a few hours of going back and forth and having the cons heavily out weigh the pros, I said yes. And from that moment on for the next two weeks I was in a cold sweat non stop. I ate, slept and drank weddings. I ate, slept and drank all things photography. And I was constantly wishing I had just let the fear eat me and said NO!!!! But at the same time I knew it was an incredible experience for me. One that I had basically been handed on a silver platter even if that silver platter arrived on the late, late train :)

I was a nervous wreck the week of and my poor family had to just move out of my way. I wasn't grumpy but I would go through periods of not really talking (I know, right!) and my sister got 1,000 articles of clothing ironed and a sparkly clean kitchen and a couple meals out of my anxiety! She said she wished I shot weddings every weekend. Ha. Ha.

I was scared out of my mind for a few reasons:


2. I DID NOT HAVE THE EQUIPMENT TO REALLY DO IT. Especially the ceremony because it was indoors.


4. I DID NOT HAVE THE EQUIPMENT TO REALLY DO IT. Especially the ceremony because it was indoors.

5. Even though I've been shooting in manual for over a year now I really just started feeling like I actually have control of my camera and it's settings. Like 2 weeks prior to them asking me. That's not very long. Not very long at all.

My sister being the wonderful person that she is graciously offered to be at my beck and call on the day of the wedding and do what ever I told her to do. We made a deal that as long as I didn't bite her head off, she wouldn't get her feelings hurt. And as long as she understood that if I was short in my answers or directions that I was not bitting her head off it's just that when I am focused I am short and to the point. SO when I was short and to the point she didn't get her feelings hurt. And we worked VERY WELL together and I cannot stress enough how vital she was to the success of my first wedding. I learned very quickly that you must have 2 sets of eyes, hands and ears to pull a wedding off. If she had not been with me, I would of tanked. And tanked so low that I most likely would of never made my way to the surface again. We could be a jam up photography team. Jam up. And yes, I am tooting our own horn :)

On the way to the before wedding location we were driving Jon's truck because he had the kids and was going to meet me at the church after the wedding so I could go on home because he had a preaching appointment the next day. Well, remember how I posted earlier about my husband keeping his deer stand warm during Thanksgiving break? Uh-huh. All of his guns were in the cab of the truck and the head of his 180 lb, 6 point buck was in a cooler in the back. Red neck much?? We were cracking up laughing at our selves the whole way there. Talk about arriving in style. Then, as soon as we got to the groom's grandparents house, I.freaked.out. It was a beautiful house with a nice, big pond out front and hundreds of acres of farmland surrounding it. Farmland. Yep, no shade and at 10:15 in the morning the sun was high and bright and I panicked. I didn't know if I wanted to cry or puke and told Bets that 'I was just kidding. I'm not really the photographer for this wedding. Lets go.' But I pressed on and just started praying for the Lord to send me some clouds. And HE did. For the rest of the day. Even though flat light isn't like beautiful golden sunlight it was 10,000 times better than harsh, bright light. Maybe even 10,001 :)

Photos courtsey of the brides father!

Overall, I was pleased with my work. The wedding party was super easy to work with and I had a great assitant that made the whole process go smoothly. There were no major catastrophes. She helped me check off the list of groups and poses we wanted to get and brought the ipad so we could remember to get a few special poses that had caught my eye on pinterest. I nailed focus on just about every one of my shots which was the most important for me since you cannot fix that post processing. But doing this job did let me have a peek and just how much goes into wedding photography and how much more I need to work on. I do know, however, that had this wedding party not been long time friends of mine I would of never attempted it. It would not of been fear that stopped me but good sense!! They knew first hand exactly what they were getting since they have seen my "work" on Facebook and I don't think they went into this blindly thinking that I am some big time photog capable of producing lots of jaw dropping images. It was nice though, to have someone think enough of my "work" to want me to capture such a special day for them. I had a blast and even though I don't know if wedding photography is a path I want to choose to travel down, this experience did not leave me swearing off weddings for the rest of my life!! I call that a successful shoot!!!

And one last thought, my sister and I knew we had no idea what we were doing but vowed to march in there and take control and put on the best act of our lives. And we pulled it off. Several people said they had no idea that this was my/our first wedding, that we were SO professional. Bam. Nailed it. Thank you Lord, cause we prayed hard!!!


Becky said...

you're amazing...truly amazing. And it's wonderful to have such a supportive and smart sister!

Emily said...

Wahhhhhhh ! I wish I had a sister. But I have a very talented SIL! Way to go! Can't wait to see some of the pics.

Sam and Nelda said...

Love, Love, Love this post! Smiling all over myself as I sit, pulled over in my car. Great capture of the WHOLE moment by moment ordeal.
So glad Bets was there for you. I can SO see ya'll in that truck. I actually see a movie something like "Sweet Home Georgia" ... "The South's Photographer of the Year"...
Still smiling... Thanks Amanda Grace for all the joy you bring~