Wedding Photographers in a Wedding Party
The night before my little brother Matt’s wedding, Heather and I held the rehearsal dinner on the porch of the farm style home at Handsome Hollow in Long Eddy, NY. Hands reached across the table, snagging pieces of charred corn on the cob while friends and family snickered over stories and helpings of nostalgia. It was the first time Heather or I were in a wedding party and it was enlightening to view the wedding experience from the other side of the lens.
I never knew how it felt to stand at the altar during the ceremony, looking into a crowd of people as they stare intently, listening closely to a story of love, each person waiting for that one line to fall upon their ears and strike a chord inside their respective hearts – well now I know that it feels awkward. “Does the way I’m standing look weird?” “Should I put my hands behind my back or lock them in front?” “Who should I be looking at?” All of these thoughts prodded my mind, sending my body into an awkward shuffle in between the vows and traditions and it made me realize how all of our wedding parties must feel.
As wedding photojournalists:
...We see people in their most intimate moments, vulnerable and exposed, and it’s our job to bring their emotions to the surface and capture them as accurately and as beautifully as possible. Experiencing a wedding from our client’s perspectives helped us empathize with the subtly awkward moments of the day, whether it was standing at the altar or allowing someone to photograph you while you put your pants on. These funny memories will help us help our future clients navigate their own insecurities assuring that we will be snapping away when their souls start to smile.
As wedding guests
...We sought to make the jobs of the vendors as seamless as possible; rounding up wandering family members for formals, keeping track of the bride and groom, and worst of all trying to keep my father, Jim, our oblivious “Uncle Bob” from popping into all of the photographs. Lucky for us the photographer, Monika Eisenbart, was very go-with-the-flow, allowing my embarrassing father to double-click his time-stamped photographs in all his glory while she professionally snapped away. Many guests overlook the hospitable hand that wedding photography requires and we were happy to help the hosts and vendors in any way we could.
When it comes down to it, weddings are about vulnerability and accessing emotions that are typically dormant in our hearts. Whether you’re attending a wedding or photographing one, do your best to empathize with those around you and enjoy the awkward shuffles that happen on the dance floor, the altar, and everywhere in between. That’s what love is all about.