The reason for this advice is simple- shooting weddings is challenging and, given that a wedding day is generally a once-in-a-lifetime event, poor results would be disappointing; there is no chance to do a re-shoot!
It is recommended to work as a 'second shooter' on a few weddings before taking on a wedding as the 'primary shooter'.
I had the pleasure last weekend of ignoring all of the advice offered by experienced wedding photographers. I shot my first wedding. With no previous experience.
However, I did do a lot of research. And a lot of practice. I even did a pretend wedding shoot with my assistant, who also doubles as my Sherpa guide.
Yup. My first wedding. And I lived to tell the tale! The most important part of the tale centers around the word 'privilege'.
It was an absolute privilege to photograph Dave and Patrice's wedding. I can't emphasize this enough. It is such an important day for any couple and I was mindful of the privilege for the entirety of the day.
Patrice is the youngest of 21 children. Yes, you heard me right. 21! Amazing in and of itself. Patrice's Mom, Ida, had 21 children by the time she was 38, which included 4 sets of twins. Her husband died when he was 39. Ida is now 92 and she was at the wedding. Amazing. Dave comes from a more conventional-sized family with five kids and has a personality that fills a room. This is the first marriage for both of them, despite being in their early 50s. Dave and Patrice are 'salt of the earth', warm and loving, and very easy-going. A great first wedding to shoot!
It was a privilege to photograph Patrice with her Mom. And one of my very favourites is the one above of Patrice and her Mom taken just after the service; a very precious moment for Patrice. I love it.
It was a privilege to capture special moments throughout the day. Like those moments where someone is helping someone else, either with their cuff-links or buttons or boutonniere. They are among my favourite photos from the day and I can see why wedding photographers take the time to capture them. And those moments when the people are laughing. Or crying. Or dancing. All so delightful.
Congratulations Dave and Patrice. I wish you many years of happiness. Thank you for the privilege of photographing your special day.