Business, Personal, Photography, Wedding

February 16, 2018

Behind the Lens: Fading Wedding Memories

With it being the off-season, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my business, weddings, and my own wedding. As a wedding photographer, I get asked lots of questions about the decisions I made for my wedding – what I’d change – what advice I would give to other brides-to-be, and I have my go-to list of things to say.

As we’ve kept unpacking and organizing our things, I found our wedding album.  I flipped through the pages expecting to be flooded with nostalgia and memories, but to my surprise, I was met with a blank mind. I didn’t remember half of what I was seeing in the pictures! I remember very brief moments getting ready, Matt’s reaction at the first look, walking down the aisle, and like nothing else. Isn’t that awful?!

As a person who thrives off memories and images, I can’t even remember my wedding day and it was only 5 years. I stared at those pages looking at that young 22 year old bride smiling from ear to ear filled with excitement. And I looked at that handsome, dapper young man whose eyes could make my heart melt and I could barely remember it.

I think it’s normal to question your career and profession, and I question my own all the time. Is what I do actually significant? Is what I do worth it? And there are days where I feel like I’m not worth it. But then there are days like this one, where I am so grateful for photography, especially wedding photography. I’m SO thankful I invested in an incredible wedding photographer who captured our wedding day in images that are precious to our hearts. Moments and memories that I don’t even remember anymore until I see the images and then flashes of memories come back to me.

I thought that if anyone would be able to hold onto their wedding day memories, it would be me. I have spent a significant portion of my time in the last 5 years intentionally reflecting on our wedding day with the intent of preserving memories. But despite my attempts, memories fade.

I sit here over 5 years post my wedding, and I will preach this message far past the time I am a wedding photographer, but other than choosing to marry Matt, hiring a professional wedding photographer who captured the day beautifully and naturally, was the best decision we made.

I 100% believe that photography is an art and that it can be captured in many ways. But for me, wedding photos should capture the day as it is – not push an artistic agenda. To me, that agenda can look like too much posing, pushing certain traditions (or non-traditions), or even over-editing so that the images look nothing like the day. That, to me, defeats the whole purpose of photographing – aka documenting – a wedding.

I love remembering our wedding as it actually was. The orange (however much I dislike this choice now) of the bridesmaids dresses was that vibrant. The sanctuary was dark with a crazy mix of lighting (purple reflection from the carpet, yellow tungsten lights, blue stained glass windows, orange reflections from the wood paneling… ), the day was sunny and windy and I love that there are sun flares and that my veil is blowing all over the place. Those are unique things that made our wedding day ours.

Karen, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being an incredible photographer who captured our day as it happened. You’ve preserved precious memories for Matt and I and our families and hopeful one-day family.

And to all of my past and future couples, I hope I did/can do the same for you. Memories fade, no matter how hard you try to keep them fresh in your mind, but images can live on far past those memories and I’m so thankful that technology allows us to capture instances forever.