There are a few jobs out there in the world that just seem like they’d be “fun.” Whether it’s a bartender, getting to spend your nights mixing fancy cocktails and chatting with regulars. A rock star who performs for adoring fans every night and travels around the world. Or, in my mind at least, a photographer always appeared that way, too.
From the outside, being a photographer seemed like I’d be spending my days visiting beautiful locations, working for myself (and I am a very understanding boss!), making my own hours, and doing what I love most – taking photos.
But, as in any job, there are downsides. Some of which you know ahead of time, like carrying heavy gear all the time and realizing the absurd amount of time that goes into editing a photo. Some of which, I never expected. And this one is, literally, the worst.
Saying goodbye to your clients.
Leading up to, and during, a photo shoot, I spend a lot of time with my couples, especially considering I do both engagement shoots and weddings with them. Where did you meet? How did he propose? It took him how long to call you after the first date?!
Even after I get to know you, I spend the most intimate moments of your wedding day laughing with you and crying with you as your mom zips your dress, the flower girl plants an unexpected kiss on the shocked ring bearer, and as you slide a ring on your soulmate’s finger.
I learn about your history as a couple from not only you, but from the jokes your parents make throughout the day, the speeches I hear during the reception, and the little moments of yours that I capture every step of the way. And, truly, your love inspires me.
And after spending that day feeling all the emotions you feel, I say goodbye. I go home and look through the pictures, crying all over again at how beautiful you looked, how happy you both seemed, how blessed I feel to have been there for such an amazing day.
A few weeks later, with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning, I send your gallery of completed photos to you and wait on the edge of my seat for a response. When I get that final email of thanks (and take a moment to do my happy dance after finding out you love the photos as much as I do!), I send a final email telling you how much I loved working with you and what a pleasure it has been getting to know you.
But the truth is, I don’t want to stop getting to know you. I have learned your inside jokes, the things to say that will make you laugh, the most intimate details of your relationship with your new husband, and I don’t think of you as a “client” anymore. You are a friend whose wedding I just happened to be photographing and someone I’d love to have double dates with someday.
Compared to that, carrying heavy equipment is nothing.