The Other Side of the Tracks

        Last night I had a wedding to go to. But this wedding was different… I was not the photographer and my wife was with me to enjoy it. After going to so many weddings as one of the vendors, my perception of a wedding as a guest is completely changed. What I see and what I do is not the same as when I went to a wedding before I was a photographer. I do remember the last wedding I went to before becoming a photographer (my cousin Lisa’s with my wife who at that point was just my girlfriend) and it was a completely different experience.
        The absolute first thing I noticed as we walked into the wonderful country barn wedding site five minutes before the ceremony (not three hours before the ceremony), was the photo and video equipment that was set up. This wedding actually had quite extensive setups for preserving the memories of the day; boom stands with remote operated cameras, light modifiers on stands in different positions blocking or reflecting sunlight, and a four person staff. It was much more that I bring or setup for my wedding jobs, not better or worse just different work styles. However, the whole evening I couldn’t help notice the photographers working. Because of the extensive amount of equipment staged around the ceremony, I don’t know if it was that or me being a photographer that had my attention on them so much, but before photographing wedding I never noticed the photographer at the wedding.
        A rustic barn, an old Ford truck, handmade programs, family keepsakes… All things that I notice when photographing a wedding, however, I enjoy them in a much different way without my camera at my hip. This wedding had a wonderful theme and many Pinterest worthy ideas. The way everything came together was spectacular. Old bottles and jars for flowers on the table as well as down the aisle, burlap table runners, handmade programs and napkins, lots of old furniture, and an Arnold Palmer bar served with sugar rimmed mason jars all pulled together in this rustically contemporary cowboy theme. Yes I would SEE these things when photographing, but I was able to experience them as a guest.
        When I went to my last wedding as a non-photographer, I was able to spend time socializing. And though I didn’t know very many people at the wedding last night, I was with my wonderful wife and the kids were at the babysitters. As much as I love my job taking pictures for so many different people, it was great to experience the other side of it… and with the one person I wouldn’t want to be there without!

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