"Photography does one thing that no other art form can do, it stops time. Photographs are time stopping devices. That moment or millisecond of our existence, the relentless march of time, is held and frozen... and so I feel that the 'snapshot' is what photography does best...there's something very poignant and wonderful about it".
I heard the above words spoken this week as I was sat at my desk working on wedding photographs (or 'wediting' as me and my photographer friends call it), listening to an interview on the radio with the author William Boyd. I stopped for a minute and really let that sentence sink in. Somebody out there in the space a few seconds managed to sum up perfectly for me the reason why photography is my passion, my everything, and why I feel I've got the best job in the entire world.
My job, the thing that pays my bills and keeps me busy, is the act of stopping time for other people. Its storytelling in it's most beautiful form. Its creating a documentation of one tiny moment in a lifetime that will never be repeated.
It's people's lives.
The photo we love is where we are dancing at the end of the night to Proud Mary. It shows the happiness of the day in just one photo, capturing the love , fun and cheekiness of our relationship and wedding day. We smile every time we see it! When times are bad or tough we all always have this to take us back to the moment when were so overwhelmed with love and happiness. A true capture of us" - Andrew and David
You see the phrase 'making memories' chucked about a lot these days (usually with a hashtag attached), it's almost become a throwaway thing, something to use on our social media profiles, bordering on cheesy. Making memories is important of course, but the phrase for me has lost all meaning. I take my role on a wedding day incredibly seriously. You'll see me jumping and running around like a loony, laughing and smiling with you and your loved ones, but the whole time I'm ridiculously focused on creating the very best possible images I can for you. Photography is a serious thing, and without getting too philosophical and arty about it, most of the time the weight of an image doesn't hit you until long after the event took place. It's like something as small as a facial expression or a hand gesture that is easily forgotten about that suddenly floods back to you one quiet rainy Wednesday. In a moment, the significance of the insignificant means a thousand times more to you than you ever knew it would.
A good wedding photographer will capture these things for you, they will know these 'snapshots' are coming before they happen. Good photographers care one hell of a lot about their clients, because they care about the authenticity of their work, and they know how serious and absolutely essential the task they are appointed to do is. We are literally there to contribute to part of a family's history, immortalized for all time. It doesn't get much more serious than that.
There are a thousand different well written blogs and articles out there about the reasons you should hire a professional photographer (like this one) and not just rely on your Uncle Bob with a fancy camera, so I wont preach (plus writing really isn't my strong point, I'm a photographer, not J.K Rowling!), but something that these articles don't point out is just how much our clients lives become a part of our own. We capture a wedding day for other people, but at the same time we provide our couples with their day from another person's perspective. We leave a little bit of ourselves in our art, and in order to do a good job we immerse ourselves, we feel involved, we care. We reel with delight when our couples announce they have a baby on the way, get a new job or buy a puppy! We also feel the deep sinking sadness when we hear the loved ones we photographed smiling away on that special day have become ill or passed on...your lives are our lives, we love what we do, because we love people, and we want to make people happy.
"The moments that are captured in-between mean so much more in a way because these are the pictures that sum up the real day, just full of smiles and laughter. I love the fact that when we look back on these we are taken right back to that moment and all the emotion, smiles, laughter, excitement and love felt at that very moment come flooding back. I know we will look back on these images in years to come when we're old and grey and still remember how we felt in that exact moment" - Sara and Josh
I asked some of my past Brides and Grooms to pick out one photograph from their special day and say a few words to describe why that particular moment was so important to them. I felt hearing it from their mouths might just put into perspective what I struggle to explain when people ask me what it is I love about this job. The responses were so heartfelt and genuine I wasn't at all ready for the floods of tears!
So thank you guys, YOU are the reason wedding photography is the best job in the world.