cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wedding Photography

My First Wedding

So it's been a long time. May, June and July. Yikes. i suppose that means i'm not a real blogger anymore. I guess life happens to everyone. In June this blog turned 4 years old; the midlife crisis age in the blog world. In July this photographer turned 25 years old; the quarter century crisis age in the human world. Unfortunately i must report that i am not experiencing any crisis. No, the only crisis i experience on a daily basis is readjusting back into life in Brazil. I took my first trip back to the US in June. Three weeks visiting my family, three small weeks after nearly 18 months away. It was nice. On top of it all what made it even nicer was the culminating event i spent the last year preparing myself for--my first wedding photography job. Not meaning to exagerate, but photographing your first wedding is painful in preparation. If you have ever dreamt of entering the competitive field of wedding photography then you have probably spent mindless hours (days) browsing the web looking for advice, inspiration and other encouraging words from the professionals in the field. And if so, then chances are you didn't find any. One of the strangest things i came across during my study (yes, i consider it a study as i did it everyday) was the resentment from professional photographers toward new ones. Comment after comment on chat and message boards warning newbies to "go home and let the pros do the wedding, do you really want to be responsible for ruining such a special event?" Fortunately there are some very kind and helpful people in the business who stand out from these jealous old timers who actually do encourage and help. So my idea going into my first wedding was, well, he's right, i could mess the whole thing up. But on the other hand, we all have to start somewhere don't we? I also got pretty lucky on the fact that i not only got a beautiful couple for my first gig but also a beautiful setting. The backdrop was so stunning that you would have to be one fool of a photographer to mess it up.

I think it went pretty well. And my 25 year old spine was ready for the chiropractor by 10pm. The day started with the prep shots at the salon. The bride and bridemaides had rented out the whole salon for their hair and makeup. Unfortunatley the salon thought only two employees were necessary and the event took around four hours. By the time we got out of there and back up to the spa (wedding location) a bit of chaos errupted. The bride and groom are serious diy'ers (which showed in the delightful personal quality of the whole event) and so things were running behind schedule, including the cakes. As the wedding party scrambled to get the final details arranged, i found myself aiding the mother of the bride in cake decorating. yes. 7 three layer cakes needed to be assembled and decorated and there just wasn't enough time. If you know what's good for you; hire a wedding photographer who can be used in other areas as well including cake decorating, therapy and even manual labor. It all made me realize that the photographer isn't just the "artist on the scene" no-they are there as your employee and they are helping as much as anyone to get the show on the road. pretty great feeling. The fast pace of it all, the blink and you miss it. The pressure. the running. where are my shoes? Meeting the family members of both the bride and groom and having them clap you on the back with a big "oh you will do great, i can't wait to see them!" is sure to increase your nerves ten fold. The pressure helps though. Not gonna lie, as a perfectionist i loved the control. I would add a small suggestion however which probably would have helped me; EAT during the day.

The wedding took place at a lovely secluded spa in the middle of pea and wheat fields in Walla Walla, Washington, a city about four hours drive south east of Seattle. The bride and groom were not strangers to me, on the contrary the bride is my only lasting friend from those far off high school years. She was there when i got my first real camera and as my co-valedictorian (viking pride!) she knew that my obsessive perfectionism would surely result in suitable photographs. I couldn't have been happier to give her this gift (and to have done it successfully) and at the same time i am honored that she trusted me enough to give me the chance to be a wedding photographer. This has been something that has been lurking in my head for years, and i am ecstatic that it is finally ready to come out. I am now enterring the Brazilian wedding photography market in the areas of Indaiatuba, Campinas and the general São Paulo area and i couldn't be happier. i have a great way to come in photography as does every photographer, but it really does feel like a dream come true.

To view more photos of the K&J wedding, please visit my friend Rita's wedding blog at Missão Casamento where she is showcasing the photos for the Brazilian audience. For any information on my photography services, please email me at mallory (dot) f (dot) ramos at gmail or visit my photography website at Estou uma fotógrafa de casamento!