Despite having met hundreds of couples and covered a lot of weddings, I still find moments that get me. In a good way. Not necessarily bringing me to tears (though that still happens) but just occasions where I find myself feeling good, real good, inside.
Below are my top ten.
1. First contact.
This happens by email followed by an exchange that last for months. I haven't met you yet but it feels like I kinda sorta know you. By the third exchange you'd have already shared your story. How you guys met. And I never seem to get tired of it. Each story is different. Like reading a summary off the back of a book but this story isn't fiction. Not based on real life buttrue to life. And I get to meet the lead characters at the finale.
2. Meeting my bride and groom.
Usually, I'll get to meet you on the day of the wedding. Since it feels like I already know you, it's like meeting a friend you haven't seen for so long. Warm hugs and huge smiles define the first few seconds. A quick chat and I'm off to start with the coverage.
3. Bride getting ready.
Aside from initial shots of the location as I enter the wedding venue, the bridal prep is the first thing I shoot. I love seeing the makeup artist and hair stylist do their magic and watch your transfromation in a few minutes.
I enjoy getting creative taking photos of the little details of your wardobe. The dress, your shoes, garter, jewelry and veil. It's really all in the details. And I want you to remember each one in the coming years as you and your family go back and browse your wedding photos and see it in its entirety.
4. First look.
Some couples prefer to have a First Look wherein the bride and groom meet each other right before the ceremony and spend some quiet time together before all the chaos start. It gives them a chance to soak it all in and see and fully appreciate each other while they're still "fresh" so to speak.
I love watching and capturing those first few seconds when they see each each other. The moment is raw and I've found myself tearing up with the groom on some ocassions.
5. The groom's first look of his bride.
More often than not, couples take the traditional route and do not see each other up until the time the bride walks down the aisle. The look on the groom's face is priceless and almost instantly sends a ripple effect on the bride who starts getting emotional as well.
6. Exchanging of vows.
I love hearing the details on how they met. Sometimes they're sweethearts from college, for some couples it's their second marriage, some gay couples I've worked with have been together for years before having the opportunity to get married. Whatever their story is, it always gets me excited about being there, documenting a highlight in their journey and I get pumped up even more for the rest of the coverage.
7. The hug and kiss after the pronouncement.
They've sealed the deal and I think, even if the priest/officiant doesn't ask them to hug and kiss, that would be any couple's instinct anyway. The main part is done. They're officially husband and wife and the adventure of married life begins.
8. Congratulations after the ceremony.
This happens in a flash where you'll find me snapping left and right trying to capture both bride and groom in the middle of congratulatory hugs from friends and family. I want to get as many shots as I can. Aside from the fact that this is a good time to get photos of guests with the couples, the festive mood so easily translates on the photos.
Whether it's from the bestfriend, sister or Dad, this part gives you a glimpse of their love story from somebody else's perspective. You'd hear sisters reliving that phone call from the bride, spilling it right after the first date. Or how the groom's bestfriend would recall how his friend always seemed to be "busy" during that time only to find out that he's started seeing "someone."
10. Going home.
Not because it's over but because I feel like I was part of something good. Something special. I've worked different jobs and I've never felt the same way going home like the way I feel after a shoot. Whether it's a full day wedding, a City Hall wedding, an engagement shoot or a family shoot, I always find myself smiling as I drive back home. I guess it's having a sense of fulfillment. That you did something you love and you know you did it well.
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