Last night on our walk home from one of our favorite restaurants in our neighborhood (Crisp), I started to not feel well, which ended in a bedtime of 8pm. Around the 1 o’clock hour, I bolted up due to a screaming baby. After a quick diaper change and a “round up” of Boone’s 6 pacifiers that he sleeps with, he was back to sleep and I was back to bed. Unfortunately, I lie there for quite sometime wide awake. The answer to my insomnia? Twitter.
After 15ish minutes of scrolling through my feed to get caught up on the day (does anyone else get stressed when you are behind on life stalking?), I came across a re-tweet that led me to a blog post entitled “The Mason Jar Manifesto
” by Australian photographer Jonas Peterson
After reading through it and skimming the 200+ comments, I put my phone down and tried to go back to sleep. And yet still, I couldn’t manage it….this time, my mind racing about the post.
The timing was impeccable, as just a few hours earlier – right before I crashed into bed – I received a facebook message from a past bride – Melissa. The message:
Hi Cheyenne, I know you’ve shot a million weddings since ours and won’t remember our grandparents, but I wanted you to know that Tom’s amazing grandfather passed away last week, and a very special picture that you took of him at our wedding was the chosen shot for the front of his memorial service program. They also blew up a picture of Charles and Leone from the anniversary dance at our reception….they ended up making it to 60 years before he passed away. Yet another reason I’m so thankful we had amazing photographers to capture those special moments. Thank you.
The following 2 images were attached.
Of course, I was in tears when I read the message last night. And, as I write this, I am in tears again.
The mason jar post and Melissa’s message to me are particularly relevant. Both really struck a chord with me as a photographer….specifically as a wedding photographer.
Don’t get me wrong – I love shooting pretty details and getting featured in blogs/magazines just as much as the next photographer. And yet, it is SO easy to get caught up in all of it that it distracts from the core of what a wedding is really all about…and sometimes, it is a distraction to my approach for how I photograph a wedding. The outcome photographically is typically the same, but the degree to which I allow myself to truly be IN the happening of a wedding day – the degree to which I get sucked into the love and emotion of the day to where I can FEEL it in my soul – THAT is the difference. The difference is in the meaning of our work.
It’s so easy to forget that what we are capturing – beyond the details – is what is lasting. Love. Joy. Commitment. And on and on. And that, truly, is more important to me than having a wedding full of great details being published in a magazine that will be read once and then tossed aside forever forgotten.
What a special privilege we have as photographers for such an important day in the life of two people and their families. I am so blessed to have a job that leaves me feeling so full of life and love.