At a recent wedding I got busted by a guest. It was during the reception, I was standing off to the side ready to capture the next event on the run sheet when it started. Waterworks. As soon as I heard the song that the Father of the Bride had chosen for the Daddy-Daughter dance I knew it was coming. Every time I see a Dad and Daughter dance to this song I can’t help it. And I usually hide behind my camera and try and keep the tears to a minimum as I immortalise the special bond between a Father and his little girl. But this time I looked around my camera, just to enjoy the lovely scene for just a moment when he caught me. A guest sitting a few meters away saw my teary eyes and pointed me out to his partner, “Look, even the photographer is crying!”
I laughed and shushed him for outing me, and went back to hiding behind my camera. But the truth is, I cry at weddings all the time.
Now, that may sound odd coming from someone who goes to so many weddings, but the truth is I’m still as touched by the love and emotion of those special moments as anyone else. At every wedding, and for every couple, the beauty of the moment never ceases to move me. Isn’t it an amazing thing that these two people not only found each other, but through all the obstacles of life have discovered a safe place for their heart in another person’s hands? That in a world where there is so much fear and hate, that love can be born and live for a lifetime with that one lover and friend?
And so I tear up. It can be the vows, the speeches, the dance, the pre-wedding letters…even just that lingering warm hug between a proud mother and her boy. And even though my assistant often laughs at me for it, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I love what I do so much. Because I realise that this is a special and important day, one that you not only want to capture the beauty of, but the rawness of the emotion as well. And while I’m feeling that emotion myself, I’m acutely aware of how precious a moment it is that I’m preserving forever.
So if you need tissues I’ll always have some on me, but they’re not only for the bride (and groom). And thanks to all my couples who trust me to capture your important day for you. It means a lot to me too.