12 July 2010

Never Say Never

It's hard to know where to even start. I wanted to post something this past week and it just never happened. There are multiple things I could post about, but perhaps I'll focus on the one main one. The thing I said I'd never do. And yet did. Yesterday.

I photographed a wedding.

And guess what?! I loved it! It was an amazing day and I still can't believe how much fun I had! And how relaxed I felt. (Thanks for your prayers!)

The past 6 months or so I've been following various wedding photographers' blogs to be inspired and to learn from their work. Over and over I have read the photographers describe what an absolute joy and privilege it is to be with a bride and groom on their wedding day. Yesterday, in the midst of various moments both happy and mundane, I had the same feelings that I had been reading about for months. I felt incredibly honored to have been asked to be the photographer - the one to share such intimate moments with the couple and family throughout the day. A day that none of them will forget. Nor will I.  A bride and groom have great faith in their photographer. The weight of that did not escape me in the months and days leading up to The Big Day, nor did it when the day actually arrived. Their faith in me both inspired me and humbled me.

As I started getting more and more involved and passionate about photography in the past 12-18 months I was asked repeatedly if I would do wedding photography. At times people assumed that would be the next step for me. I vividly remember telling multiple people I would not do wedding photography. Too much pressure. Too many chances for failure.

Never say never.

The funny thing is that when I was first asked to photograph this wedding I rather quickly in my head and heart knew that I didn't want to do it, especially based on my previous assessment of what I thought wedding photography was all about. I agonized deeply over the decision, asked for multiple people's opinions, and prayed often for wisdom about making the right decision. At the end of those two weeks my outlook had changed and it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up, but I also knew what I needed to do prepare in various ways so that I could be the photographer I wanted to be on that day. Since that time I've worked diligently to be ready.

Over and over the past few days I knew I had made the right decision. Everything just felt right. Sarah and Matt (the bride and groom) were wonderful to work with, as was the family. And despite the pouring rain and ominous clouds (at least 1/3 of the skyscrapers in Philly were covered with dark, thick clouds as Sarah's dad drove me to their house around 10:45am), God heard my pleas for some sun and kept my heart at rest (I was dying for some of that beautiful natural light to help me make better photos). It was still raining when we arrived at the church a little after 1pm.

But, my friends, miraculously (literally) it began to clear!! By the wedding's start at 3pm the sun was streaming in the large side windows. Throw in some outstanding music provided by stellar musicians, a radiant bride walking down the aisle to bagpipe music (I wish you could have heard it! It was perfect and I was nearly in tears looking through the viewfinder!), and a convicting wedding sermon and it was a recipe for the best first wedding I could have had.

God is good. And I haven't stopped praising Him since.


3 for Me! said...

So glad everything went well and that you made the next step in photography:)

The pictures you shared were great! I love the "real"-ness of them... I"m sure they weill be treasured;)

Kate E. said...

So glad it went well. I knew it would anyway though! :) I was thinking about you all on Saturday and wondering how things were going. I can't wait to see the final pictures.

Miss Mommy said...

Good job!! Is the bride related to Becky? I don't think I realized that.

Mark and Rachel said...

Miss Mommy - Yes! It was her younger sister.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rachel,
It was very special to have you photograph Sarah and Matt's wedding. Your flawless attention to detail with such a gentle spirit was such a gift from the Lord. Thank you for adding so much to this special day.


Susan Fletcher

Kristin Tabb said...

Rachel, that is awesome! Wow. Ok, you are a true photographer now that you have your own watermark AND you've done a wedding. I have much to learn from you!