JLRWP #02 : What does wedding photography mean to me?

I’ve been photographing weddings for the past 12 years and it has been a life changing experience. Photography plays such a big role in my life and it has became my livelihood, and my well being. And all the journey in the quest of making the next amazing photograph has led me to learn more about the craft, people and ultimately more about myself.

Many years ago, I met 2 newly engaged couple at Max Brenner over at South Melbourne. They were all friends, hence we all met together. They were planning their weddings respectively. Well, they decided to sign me. I’ve photographed their wedding portraits, wedding day photos and kept in touch all these years. Fast forward these many years, both couples are now with kids and family of their own. I recently photographed one of the family and had a blast photographing them. I met up the other couple, and we wanted to meet at Max Brenner but they were now close down. We outlasted Max Brenner.

These are some of the many stories which it’s close to me dearly, and I am proud how things turn out to be. As for some others where I could have done better, they became lessons for me to be a better photographer.

I often find myself perplexed when couple ask me what’s my style? What is my style? What should I be saying? Modern contemporary? Rustic? Simple? What does these even mean? Modern, to whom? Rustic, cos not every wedding I shoot is in the forest? Simple? Weddings are never simple ;). 

I don’t have a good answer and quite often I just don’t know how to answer that. If style means photograph that I repeat at every single wedding that I shoot, and if a style refers to what I deem to be important in the wedding, maybe I do have a style.

Photographing weddings is like photographing an elaborate family session with things happening the entire day. There are just a handful of occasions in one’s lifetime that everybody gather for you, and I make it a point to have family photographs a highlight on a wedding day. Add on to photographs of getting ready, wedding details, bridal party and the ceremony, we have a complete wedding photography coverage.

Investing into wedding photography is like paying it forward for yourself. When the euphoria of a wedding subsides, and when life takes over, and that one day when you pull that wedding album out from your drawer, it will brings you back memories from a pivotal part of your life.

There is a cadence in shooting a wedding. We develop an instinct over the years to know where we would be, get in get the shot, and get out. Or just let things be, so a wedding can be a wedding and not a Hollywood movie production.  What you don’t see in a photo is how we are on a wedding day, and that’s the cadence in photographing a wedding.

All these thoughts for a wedding day. Quite sure there are more, if I were to be long winded, if I haven’t already. This is what wedding photography is for me. In hindsight, wedding photography is simply photography done during the wedding, and the very end of it you’ll have photos to share on your instagram and facebook, and perhaps an album. To us photographers, it’s years in training, learning the craft and many hours of hounding on photography to deliver the kind of photographs that we call them our portfolios.  

This is what wedding photography for me. If you are looking for a wedding photographer today, what is wedding photography to you?