Why shoot weddings?

Why shoot weddings? What do I love about them? From the seasoned pro with 50+ weddings a year to someone like me that shoots a limited number, why do it? They are exhausting. They are stressful. They can be torture on gear. Bad light is a given. Schedules are never followed. You can’t screw up. You have to sort through 1,500-3,000 RAW images. Etc.

I used to think it was because it is the “Mt. Everest” of photography. If you can shoot a wedding successfully, just once, you have joined an elite club. You have respect. You have proven that your chops are finely tuned and you can handle good light and bad light, adjusting on the fly in a matter of seconds. You have proven that you can handle stress and overcome fear. A lot of photographers will not attempt a wedding because you just cannot fail and there are no second chances.

But that is not why I love to shoot them. It’s part of the reason I guess, but there is more.

Weddings are magical. Maybe turning 40 with two little girls of my own has softened me a bit, but it’s true. Weddings are a day that every girl dreams of. For those 8 hours, especially in the “getting ready” portion of the day, I am invited in. I am able to witness, time and again, moments between people that are truly amazing. Laughter, tears, wisdom, love, etc. The best part is that I am allowed all access to record these moments forever. To be a part of a day like this once is simply a blessing. To be able to do it over and over again is just awesome. To collect a check for it is simply icing on the cake.

I don’t ever get nervous shooting a family portrait or senior session. However, shooting a wedding is intense. If you are shooting weddings and it becomes just another paycheck then you need to do something else. Or, you’re not doing it for the right reason.

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