10 things I’m grateful for as a wedding photographer
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again (and probably a million times more): I’ve got the best job in the world.
Now, let’s not gloss over things. Photographing a wedding, with all its pressures and only one chance to get it right, is hard. But there are many things that make life as a wedding photographer easier and more fun.
And for that, I’m extremely grateful.
(Which is good. Because, apparently, gratitude makes us happier, healthier and more confident – as well as a bunch of other amazing things.)
A few years ago I started a gratitude journal and made a daily list of ten things I was thankful for. To start with, I was surprised at how easy it was to think of ten things. But as the weeks went by, it became just another thing on my to-do list. Yawn. So I stopped. But, without me realising, the routine of recognising the good things had set in… so now I just feel grateful all the time.
And when it comes to photographing weddings, there are so many things I appreciate. Like…
1. I’m FROW for the romance
There aren’t many people that get to see the couple’s faces as they make their vows and exchange rings. But as a wedding photographer, I’m lucky to have a front-row seat to watch the ceremony unfold. So I feel like I’m getting married right there with my couples. What an honour! And while I’m discreetly tucked away behind a church pillar or pedestal of flowers, I do sometimes catch their eyes – and share a reassuring wink ;)
2. Relaxed couples
There are some combos that just work. Ben & Jerry. Chips and curry sauce. Ginger biscuits and cottage cheese (don’t judge me). And … my laid-back photography style and happy-go-lucky couples. Because not only does it feel great to be around people who are having a ball, but I also get to enjoy the buzz of capturing them being ‘them’.
3. Drool-worthy venues
Okay, so we all know your work environment contributes to your wellness and happiness levels, right? Well, I’ve basically won the lottery with my work environment(s). I’m professionally ‘required’ to hang out in incredible wedding venues, go on adventures to explore new places, and immerse myself in awe-inducing countryside. I know, I know. It’s a tough job, but I’ve got this.
4. The UK countryside
There’s a reason poets and novelists devote their prose to the lush, green English countryside: It’s heaven on earth. And the appeal never gets old. No matter how many country weddings I shoot, being surrounded by nature is always magical.
5. Childlike joy
I love that weddings give you a permission slip to let your hair down and be playful… Kicking off your heels, hitching up your dress and playing cricket. Screeching with laughter as you shuffle through a sack race and wiggle through a limbo challenge. Pulling funny chocolate-y faces while playing the after-eight game. And I get to be part of the fun by capturing it all as it happens.
I’m fairly hangry on a regular day, but the action and excitement of shooting a wedding churns up an extra big appetite. Thankfully, wedding food is the greatest! And I consider it my duty and responsibility (????) to taste test caterers so I know who to recommend to my couples. The wedding food that tingles my taste buds the most is Kerb Bear’s Pakora Chicken… closely followed by Froconut’s Firecracker Fudge.
Beautiful beasties pulling a horse-drawn carriage, curious cats jumping out at me as I photograph the dress, playful pups acting as calming cuddle-givers… (too much alliteration?). I love it when furry family members are involved. And spoiler alert: I’ll definitely fall in love.
8. Coconut water
Photographing weddings gets a girl thirsty. And when I’m busy and forget to have a drink, there’s no better way to stay hydrated than to load up on coconut water. My fave brand is Rebel Kitchen – it’s organic and sustainable, yo.
9. Quality suppliers
For my second last drop of gratitude, it’s a shout-out to toastmasters for gathering guests for group photos, venue staff for lighting dinner candles early so I can photograph the table settings before the guests arrive, stylists for showing me which is the top table (not always obvious!), makeup artists for doing such a great job that I don’t have to retouch blemishes, and florists for giving me a knowing smile when we’re smack bang in the middle of stressful getting ready moments. These are the legends who keep my sanity intact and make my life a whole lot easier.
10. The SVP pups
When I get home from a long day running around, there’s nothing better than Daisy jumping into my arms, wild with excitement after being separated for so long (which must feel even longer in dog time). And as soon as I put my feet up, there’s Poppy – ready and waiting to lick my sore, sweaty feet. How could it get any better?
Want to know what else makes me tick? Grab a cuppa, take 5 and find out more about me.