It's been really tough keeping up with everything internet over the summer. I'm in my second year as a wedding photographer now and I've learned a lot. The biggest lesson learned was to take on less work, or at least spread it out a little better. There were a few times this summer where the workload really hit me and left me feeling exhausted. One particularly memorable day in August had me feeling low. James and Alice’s wedding was my third wedding in three days (something I don't think I will ever do again). I had finished a previous wedding at 7pm the evening before in Coventry and made the drive to Sheffield straight from the venue to James' house which he had kindly made available for me to stay the night. Rushing to back up images and charge batteries that night meant I didn't get to sleep until 3am only to rise again at 8 to start another long day. So, tired and feeling sorry for myself, I pressed my suit, belted down some caffeine and prepared to make some smiles! It's at times like these when you really start to question whether you're really up to the job. I love being around the excitement and joy of weddings, but being exposed to it three days in a row with no sleep really takes its toll on your immune system. With this in mind, I pulled up at Alice’s parent’s house, equipment in hand, ready to catch some moments. All that began to change when I went inside and met Alice’s family... There are a few experiences you have, being a wedding photographer, which you wouldn't find in any other job. One of which is being allowed, for a very short time, into a very intimate part of people’s lives. In this time you discover a lot about this family, the things they've been through, where they hope to be going and also the relationships between the two families that are becoming one on the day. When I met Alice’s father it became apparent very quickly that he had suffered some sort of accident. It was at this moment I knew I was in the presence of a very strong family.
Once I felt comfortable enough to ask Alice of his story she told me about his act of heroism, the effect of the accident and his 3 years rehabilitation. He became an immediate inspiration to me. He'd spent the last 3 years building himself from the ground up, his family surrounding him with their love and support teaching himself to walk again so he could walk his daughter down the aisle.
And there I was, day 3 of a bit of a tough week, complaining of being tired and ill when all I have to do is the best job I can do to capture the memories of Alice’s big day. It's safe to say I immediately perked up a bit. It wasn't a short term perk either. His story is going to stick with me now for the rest of my life. If I ever feel again that I'm in the wrong job, or I'm a bit down I'm going to think of this day and his inspiration. It's a great part of my job, meeting new people. Every week I meet new and exciting people who inspire me, make me laugh and offer wisdom. Alice’s father is a prime example of the many people who I have the privilege of meeting and the honour of conversing with.
So I was there when the 3 years of strength and determination of his family enabled him to walk his daughter down the aisle. His speech was short and stuttered but ever more touching and powerful only adding to the awe felt around such an inspiring family.
A year ago I'd have expected this post to be my round up of a short 2010 wedding season. Truth is it's not over. There's plenty more work to be done. Instead I've ended up here, with stories to tell. They may be interesting to you, they may not be but these experiences are the ones shaping my life and my continuing pursuit of career as a successful photographer. I didn't know where I'd be a year ago and now I'm here, with a long way ahead of me so it's time to go back to work and if I show even a fraction of the strength and determination that Alice’s family have shown I'm sure I'll be fine.