Behind the Lens and from the Heart

A few months ago, I was honored to have had a good friend ask me to photograph her wedding. I hemmed and hawed quite a bit – at the time, I was hesitant to say yes: I only had a point and shoot, I’m not a “pro”, I was kind of nervous. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was something I wanted to do – for my friend and her husband to be, and for myself, to shake myself outside of my comfort zone a little bit. The wedding was this past weekend in Maryland – and I am so thrilled that I kicked myself in the pants and made myself do this.

Weddings are a strange beast. I’ve been to over-the-top BRIDEZILLA events. I’ve been to mellow courthouse nuptials. I have never been to a wedding quite like this. It was lovely.

The wedding and reception took place in covered pavilion in a gorgeous park. The bride and groom and their families set up the decorations and food – up until nearly the start of the wedding. None of that “the bride and groom can’t see each other” superstition. Mostly, I tried to stay out of the way and not knock (too much) stuff over. Also, I was armed with my camera hoping to capture the moments she would want to remember.

It was a beautiful wedding. The wedding march was played on steel drums – the simplicity of the ceremony and the relaxed nature of the afternoon was fitting. The group was small enough that we had a chance to speak to nearly everyone. The bride had thoughtfully prepared envelopes of seed so that kids could feed the ducks and swans (and my girls fed them. A lot. I mean, A LOT).

Oh, and there was cake.

Yeah, red velvet cake.

When all was said and done, I had snapped my shutter over four hundred times.

And some of those pictures went straight to the digital trash. I’m not gonna lie – they’re not all good. But mostly, I am happy with how things came out. It was so much hardwork – and even after the wedding, the process of going through all of these images and processing and editing is more difficult than I’d anticipated (learning curves are super fun, right!?) – but then, I catch a glimpse of the bride with her grandfather, or the groom watching her walk down the aisle, and I smile.

I’m so glad I could be there for them, and so honored that they chose me.

Sometimes She Surprises Me

This afternoon, the phone rang. As is the case 80% of the time when the phone rings it was for The Princess. It was her BFF, L, calling to tell The Princess that her fish-sitting services would no longer be required this weekend. It seems that today, L’s fish Jeffrey went to that giant fishbowl in the sky.

The Princess talked to her for a minute, then came into the kitchen (where completely unaware of the death at hand, I had been jamming to my iPod and maybe, kinda sorta dancing a little bit). She put the mouthpiece to the phone on her shoulder and said, “Uh, mom? L’s fish died. She’s all crying… So, I told her to take a deep breath, to think of something happy and that would wipe some of the bad thoughts away.” She then resumed talking to L, and currently they are hanging in The Princess’s bedroom (where The Princess’s two fish continue to thrive…somehow).

I don’t always feel like I do everything right. As a parent, there’s a large margin for error, and so many ways and methods of completely screwing things up. But for every tantrum my kid has thrown and for every time she’s rolled her eyes at me, at least I know that when the chips are down, she’s a good friend to her friends and that must mean I’m doing something right.