Earlier this year, in exploration of my creative process, I wondered what it would it be like to shoot a wedding in which I had total freedom. No input from my couple of what images I needed to take, no set start time, and no set finish time. Just me, no assistant. So against the advice of many of my peers, I put it out that I was looking to shoot a wedding for free. Not as a charity endeavour, as a selfish project. Even before they told me they were planning a Medieval wedding, I knew right away that Jodi and Steve were the right pick. Coming up to the day, I felt a lightness and an excitement thinking just about photography. Typically, approaching the wedding, I am considering the day as a whole.
What a lot of people don’t realize, is that being a photographer in a community where we don’t traditionally have wedding planners, I am the person that knows the most about the plans for the day. So as well as capturing photos and moments, I am helping with the boutonnieres, ensuring that people get to where they need to be, and that the bouquet doesn’t get left behind, among other things. I value that my couples trust me to support them in all elements of their wedding, and not just the photography. I don’t actually believe the most important thing about the day is the photography, it’s that the celebration fulfils what they dreamed of. I thought it would be interesting to see what it was like if I just went as a photographer, and focused solely on taking meaningful photographs.
I decided to do everything different with this wedding. I dressed differently, smirking as I pulled on my converse with a comfy dress. I used different lenses and I went with a camera bag half the size of what I usually use, because I had the freedom to leave my backup gear in the car.
I’m still digesting my takeaway, there are a few things I know for sure: I now don’t underestimate the amount of energy that goes into knowing everybody’s names, working with couples to make recommendations for timing, memorizing the schedule, helping the day flow, and carrying a massive bag. I’m not willing to give those things up completely, because my couples matter too much. But maybe there will be some ways to adjust it to create some extra space for the photography part of my job. My other big takeaway and affirmation is that I love what I do. How wonderful to have a career that I can continue to challenge and question myself and work with such beautiful people. I think there are still things that I learned, and as I go into my busy wedding season starting Friday, it will be interesting to see if the experience I had with Jodi and Steve will impact my photography.
This day was incredible. I really lucked out with a wedding that had swords, jousting, and the incredible backdrop of Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, and most importantly, a couple that I truly enjoyed. Thank you Jodi and Steve, I am just so sincerely happy that I know you.
Catering: The Beez Kneez Catering
Decor: Beautifully conceived by the bride, Jodi and made by her and Steve
Rentals: All in One Party Rentals
Hair and makeup by Roots the Salon
Location: Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens