I’m a photography person. I shoot weddings and portraits but perhaps more importantly, I love images, the things that catch my mind’s eye. I was explaining to a friend the other day that it’s almost a curse. I literally walk around seeing photos in my regular day to day life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that I can have creativity in my life…but sometimes it feels like I’m teetering across the line between enthusiasm and actual photography induced craziness. It’s hard to switch off.
On my wedding day, I didn’t want to switch off. I wanted to be, as they say, present. In fact Tom and I decided to make an effort to stick together all day – we had been warned by other married couples this would take a conscious effort. I know, the romance/reality of wedding days!. At several points during the day we found natural interludes, where we looked out at our wedding actually unfolding, said ‘let’s soak it in’ and then we did. It sounds unbelievably cheesy to say this, but it was like pressing pause. We said nothing, people chatted, laughed, ate, danced and we let it wash over us. It’s moments like that when you can hear your heart beating and you think ‘This is it. I’m alive. Life is good’. Those images in my head are probably some of my favourites of the whole day.
So, when I flick through our actual wedding photographs I also find my mind wandering amongst those images committed to my memory’s own heaving photo album. I can’t stop these pictures blurring, seeping into one another, blending with the sounds and feelings of those few beautiful hours, like the world’s most impressive slideshow.
So maybe there isn’t just one image that sums the day up. But this one, taken by several guests who all saw this same moment of us at the top of a hill, is the one that stands out again and again. There is something so unbelievably simple and real about it. It represents how I feel about wedding photography, as a creative person, a photographer, a dreamer and as a newlywed.
I think it is because it is at once planned (we hiked up to the top of that hill on purpose with our photographer) and unplanned (we didn’t expect guest to be photographing us from the marquee below). Part of me thinks that I wish our photographer had caught this, but actually on reflection maybe not.
You see, it warms my heart that it’s about more than composition, colour, contrast or exposure or one hell of a fancy camera. It is an example of a real moment deemed worthy of documenting by our nearest and dearest. We thought we wanted fancy photos at the top of this hill. And those photographs are beautiful and fancy. But sometimes life gives you something else, that you didn’t even think of and in the end that can be even better. And you don’t find out until afterwards. And the afterwards part is the best part.