So you noticed the silence? It's been one of those situations where I literally didn't have the time or energy to blog, 2 days of Chinese wedding madness and it really was bonkers, beautiful, noisy, vibrant, exhausting, suffice to say I just don't know what I was thinking when I'd booked train tickets to go away to York for the night but I'm taking the loss because currently the only friends I have with me are Mr Voltarol and Mr Ibuprofen!
It's crazy that my Apple watch said I had burnt to few calories over the last couple of days when in fact I've been contorted and stretched, wedged between ironing boards and doors and piles of stools capturing a tea making ceremony, I've stood on chairs at tables quickly navigating from one chair to the other in a crowded restaurant to capture the toasts, I've wrestled with handbags and grouped a couple of hundred people into a lovely formation, I've learned to count to three in Cantonese, it's been the hardest but most enjoyable wedding I've ever shot and a reminder that shooting weddings should never be done on a whim, shooting weddings takes stamina, you have to be a psychologist, a people manager, you have to be assertive whilst not making people hate your authority, you have to get the job done and you have to know your cameras inside out, wedding photography is not for the foolish, the unqualified, and its' certainly not to be taken lightly, I cringe when I hear someone say "oh it's ok, my friend has a good camera, they're going to shoot my wedding."
I've shot weddings now for 10 years, I used to shoot 35, now I shoot around 10 because I am 42 not 22 and because my business now is made up of so many different things, the writing, the kids and family portraiture, the travel photography... I tried to give up weddings, I had got down to my last couple and then, something happened, after 8 years I suddenly fell in love with wedding photography all over again, maybe I finally felt qualified or maybe I just remembered how beautiful it is when one person declares their love for another in front of all of their friends and family, maybe I fell in love with other peoples love, the die hard romantic in me still dreams that i'm going to find this unending love again one day.
Weddings are beautiful, wonderful, emotional, busy, bright and bustling places to be, the cacophony of a crowd of happy people gathered celebrating noisily the love of their dearest friend or family members, there's something magical about that and every time I think of retiring from weddings I think just how much I would miss that but more than that. There's a story I've told a million times but something which is so special in my heart that I'm going to tell it again, it's my favourite moment of a wedding, the groom standing at the alter, the bride, accompanied by her proud father enters the room, they start that slow walk down the aisle, and the groom turns to see his bride for the very first time, their eyes meet and everything else in the world ceases to exist, for that one moment they see only each other, their hearts and souls connect and just for 1 second nothing else matters. I'm sitting here telling this again with salty tears running down my cheeks and every time I tell someone about that moment I get emotional but that right there in one sentence is why I'm still photographing weddings.