I've learned in the short time that I've been shooting weddings that our role is much more than just taking a photo. In the age of digital where everyone thinks they can do our job, it seems we are constantly trying to justify what we charge and all that is involved in wedding photography.
As many of my colleagues can attest, we are much more than photo takers. We are memory makers. We are storytellers. We are workhorses with hustle. We are firefighters. We are problem solvers. Often times, we are the only vendor present from morning until evening so anything that falls out of the realm of our job, often lands on our shoulders. I'm willing to bet there aren't many photographers who say "that's not my job" because we truly care and want their day to run smoothly, even if indeed, it is not our job to run errands, sew loose buttons, be the time keepers, counsel and calm crying family members, tie ties, fill in for the missing makeup artist, grab drinks for the wedding party, toast to the bride and groom, stay past our hired time, and overall just take on the responsibility of telling the bride and groom that everything will be okay. Even if we have to do it ourselves.
I remember reading an amazing article by the wonderfully talented Elizabeth Messina on the importance of feeding your photographer. Read the article here.
This past weekend I was second shooting a Greek wedding and my time was no longer required during the speeches. I was told afterwards that the hired photographer and myself were thanked in the speech and I couldn't believe I missed that. A thank you goes a long way and I realize so many people are thanked that we as photographers are often overlooked. Usually the caterers and the hall and many other vendors are included in the speeches but for some reason (and I don't take it personally), we have yet to be thanked in a wedding speech. And we work our butts off from morning until night and for many weeks leading up to the wedding, and many after. We work in inclement weather conditions and often times without even taking a small break the entire day. We have learned to survive thirst and have grown large bladders.
We love our couples and have made lifetime friends with them so this is not a disrespectful post towards them (especially since they show their appreciation in so many other ways afterwards) but merely an eye opening experience for those who think that wedding photographers simply show up and snap photos.
It's so much more than that.
And with that being said, here is a mobile upload I took at this weekend's wedding where the wedding party brings in a pig, the guys dress in wigs and play musical instruments and the guests throw money in. What a wild evening!
Thank you everyone for an amazing time and Melissa & David, enjoy your time in Hawaii!