Here Comes the Bride. My First Wedding Shoot.

Sometimes, when an opportunity arrives on my doorstep, I get swept up in excitement and leap forward to seize the moment, only to find myself totally engulfed with anxiety later.

It’s a nice balance, I think.

See, one day recently, I got a message from a friend and fan of Buried Carrots. She wanted to recommend me as a wedding photographer. I was thrilled. While I primarily take photos of food, I’ve worked very hard over the past year to start building a portfolio of portrait and event photos. A wedding would be such an incredible opportunity. I gave her my contact info and many thanks.

Then a few days later, my phone rang. I couldn’t answer it.

The bride left a message. I sat down and took several pages of notes about what I was going to say to her when I called her back. It all sounded very professional. If I was going to be her “professional” wedding photographer, I better sound like I know what I’m doing, right? Because I TOTALLY know what I’m doing, right? I neatly set out all my notes on the desk, mustered all the social skills I could muster, and called her back.

Then something funny happened. I didn’t really look at my notes. I just listened to her talk about her special day, and then I simply spoke from my heart about what the opportunity meant to me. I told her that I’m self-taught and still learning. I told her I’ve never photographed a wedding before. I told her that I would, of course, do my best, but I couldn’t really guarantee my work at this point because I’m still so new to all this.

But I also told her that I was very comfortable with natural light photography. I told her that everyone I’d worked with so far had been pleased with my work. I told her that I work hard, I’m reliable, and I’m passionate about photography.

She hired me.

We agreed on a fee that we were both comfortable with. For me, the experience will be the most valuable payoff, from the uniqueness of the shoot, to the challenges of post-processing. If I plan to shoot weddings in the future, I need to shoot a wedding. I need this photography experience as much as the bride needs a photographer.

So, yeah, balance. A little bit “jump blindly from the ledge” and a little bit “totally freak out.” It works for me.

Follow my journey from booking my first wedding gig; to freaking out about various things related to the wedding gig; to researching, planning, and preparing for the gig. Read a more detailed post and watch for subsequent posts at my other blog: Composing Kitchen.

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About Karen Milling

Freelance Photographer and Writer with a passion for vegetarian and vegan cooking. Currently my work can be viewed online at my three blogs: Buried Carrots is devoted to colorful writing and delicious vegetarian and vegan food; Composing Kitchen focuses on my efforts, together with my partner, to follow our passions and design our lives; and Karen Milling Photography features my work as a portrait, headshot, wedding and food photographer.
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3 Responses to Here Comes the Bride. My First Wedding Shoot.

  1. Lynn D. says:

    This is terrific! The double scoop of hope seemed to do the trick. Thanks for your massage therapist advice and encouragement. She’ll be back from vacation next week.

  2. Annie says:

    Love it – love it- all of it!!

  3. I relate! ‘Fake it ’til you make it’ comes to mind – as someone who is very new to the business of photography, I experience all of the above. Every new project brings a new challenge, resulting in late nights with many hours spent pouring over blogs looking for tips and inspiration.. I love the challenge, despite the fact that it’s usually coupled with slight panic. Congratulations on your first wedding.

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