7 things my wedding photos (& my wedding) confirmed
We got married, and it was awesome.
When my (now) husband and I told our friends and family we were getting married, the second thing out of nearly everyone’s mouth (after ‘Congratulations’) was ‘so who’s doing your wedding photos?’.
The answer was ‘I picked my photographer out 4 years ago’. True story.
I fell in love with the work of Canberra-based Dan O’Day after seeing the photos he took of a music industry colleague’s wedding back in 2010. Dan O’Day’s photos were (still are) beautiful contradictions. His photos are real, but at the same time, just like illustrations from your favourite childhood storybook. His photos get sun in your eyes , just like in your memories and they are simple yet incredibly complex. You feel something in your chest when you see them.
Luckily for me, my (now) husband has the same great taste in photography as I do so booking Dan was the first thing we did after picking our date and securing our venue.
We are also super lucky to know Trent Clark, a beautiful film craftsman, who couldn’t have the job because he’s a long time family friend and we wanted him as a guest (well, mostly a guest, we did make him take a dozen or so rolls of film).
So, I know a lot about photography, I have a lot of experience in wedding photography, I have a lot of experience with people and witnessed a lot of tricky people behaviour. And I have a lot of experience with the love and hate girls have with themselves and their flaws and their mind and their bodies. So, as a photographer who came to the craft through 50% sheer terror of humans (the other 50% was wonder at humans), cameras gave me the ability to hide from the humans and to avoid any record I ever existed, I spent a lot of time preparing myself mentally for my wedding day; for the overwhelming attention that comes with being the Bride on a wedding day, for the intensity of the lead up to linking oneself to one other for a lifetime and, particularly as a photographer, for being photographed en-masse in 360, good-sides be damned.
There are so many things I’d observed through my work and weddings that I knew in principal but it’s a weird thing to experience it for yourself and still have the same reaction you’ve seen other Brides have, despite the rational voice in your head giving you the soothing advice you’ve given others a thousand times.
1. You are going to hate almost all of your wedding photos.
The ones with you in them anyway. It’s really tough to be in photos and photographed in 360 (if you’re the average person).
You’ll be overwhelmed the first time you arrive to one in your collection that you kind of like (read: your new spouse doesn’t look too gimpy and you don’t have what you perceive as 4 chins). You’ll be in complete shock when you get to the first one you adore (read: you look exactly how you pictured in your head and your new spouse has both eyes open).
Almost all the photos your friends and family send you will be worse. Prepare yourself. If you think your professional photographer got your bad side, your friends and family will show you how it’s really done.
2. Try on dresses. Try on as many as you can.
I didn’t. I regret it wholly. Wedding dress sales ladies made me want to punch things and I honestly knew what I wanted. What I didn’t know was about my body type. This isn’t helped by wedding dress stores who despite their dresses being largely ripped from major international designers, refusing to let you take photos in the dresses (or out of for that matter) for fear you may get your dress made elsewhere.
I went with the relaxed dress you see below but had I tried on something similar, I would have seen that my broad-backed, D-chest, no-waist boy-figure (as well as my self-esteem) would have been hugely flattered by a more traditional, structured dress which minimised horrid angles in the photos.
3. ‘Kiss-proof’ lipstick isn’t kiss-proof
Despite it staying on my hand for a month when I colour tested it. My husband turned up to our wedding with my red lipstick on his collar from the hug he got when I first saw him before we walked up the hill to our ceremony. He handled it well.
4. There will be sneaky-nuts. And flaming bouquets.
Be ok with shenanigans. Your friends and family on their best behaviour are still the friends and family you know and love. Your brothers will still do bunny ears on you in your photos, your high school friends will still do ‘sneaky nuts’ in the background of the photos. And in my case, brothers will stick sparkers in your bouquet right before you toss it.
5. You will never feel so loved by everyone you know at once, ever again.
Take time to look around. Observe your nearest and dearest and take a mental photo. Relive that when you look at the background of your photos. Your family and friends looking at you and your newly-minted partner with such love and support is such a heart-exploding thing. Don’t forget to thank them for this.
6. Pick your wedding photographer for their work. Only.
Never for price. This doesn’t mean you have to spend outside your budget, it just means do your research. Regardless of the end cost, you’re buying something that’s going to be substantially more expensive than many things you will buy in your lifetime, so make sure you commission a photographer who creates work you love (and then when you hate all the photos of yourself for your usual self concious reasons, you’ll still love the photos of your spouse and family and friends).
7. Be Bride-zilla. Or Groom-zilla.
Don’t be afraid of folk perceiving you as a ‘-zilla’ of whatever kind. If people try to tell you what you want when it comes to your wedding, they deserve fire breathed at them. Seriously. I should have done this a handful of times but I decided that I was a Bride, therefore must be being unreasonable, so regrettably decided to roll with other people’s interpretations of my requests.