December. So the wedding season has officially come to an end for me.
This year, I shot six weddings on my own (not too shabby, but still half of my desired quota) and second shot 19 weddings with other photographers. That’s 25 days of MY life spent with couples on the most important day of THEIR lives. For one day in our life’s journey, my path intersected with theirs and I was tasked with preserving the day for eternity. In pixels and points.
The wedding may be done and over, but somehow — I remain in that couple’s lives forever, on a disk. It’s kind of a scary thought that I am doing something so important for them. I’d better damn do a stellar job!
So for the year 2011, 11.11.11 was *the* day to get married. But if you were getting married in City Hall, you had to settle for the next best thing – 11.1.11. The much coveted all 11 wedding day was Veterans Day and government offices were closed. Now, weddings came in all shapes and sizes, but there’s something about the small City Hall weddings that pull at my heart strings. Whenever I interview a potential couple (wait— are they interviewing me?), I ask about their venue and why they chose it. Call me nosy but really, this is big stuff. It’s market research.
Choosing City Hall tells me two things tells me a couple of things. 1) The couple value marriage and what it represents, enough to sign on the dotted line. Sure – they could co-habitate for years, but something about having that piece of paper means something to them. I like that. 2) They don’t buy into the whole “wedding industry hoopla.” Now you could say City Hall weddings are bad news for wedding photographers like me, who need the big budget weddings to feed our family and pay the mortgage. Not true! I think it’s an untapped market, as they are done on weekdays and are quick to shoot. It’s not a bad way to make an easy buck. Plus, I’d like to dispel the stereotype that couples who get married at City Hall don’t have the money to hire a photographer. Not true! Whenever a city hall couple asks me to photograph their wedding — I do know that they value good photography and preserving memories. They just value photography, over…say, a big puffy wedding gown. They value the experience of getting married, without making a big production of it.
So, I never met Markus and Janice, my 11.1.11 couple before the day of their wedding and that made me really nervous. But one piece of information clued me in that I’d love them as much as any of my other clients. In an email, Janice specifically asked me to draw inspiration for their wedding portrait after a picture of her grandmother, who got married in Hong Kong in the late 30s. I melted as I knew my bride cared about family, tradition and value of staying together forever. I knew that my style of Beloved wedding photography would complement their no-fuss, love-filled City Hall wedding. I knew that I’d fall in love with this couple and would give my everything to make sure they loved their photos. It may have been a mere 90 minutes of my time on a windy San Francisco Day, but I know I will be their wedding photographer forever.
Thanks Janice and Markus for choosing me. Congratulations! Live, love and be happy.