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“the happiest day of my life”

Last month I had the great honor and luck to shoot my very first wedding, thanks to Susie, the maid of honor who recommended me to the bride. I was nervous and stressed leading up to the wedding. Being trusted with documenting someone’s big day is enormous pressure, and I wanted to make sure “expectations were managed” before I signed on for anything. I am far from the skilled photographer I’d like to be, I have almost no gear at all, no fancy tools or tricks of the trade, nothing. So, I REALLY had to bring it.

Even though I couldn’t have asked for a more comfortable, hospitable atmosphere to shoot in, I was unhappy with the photos and very disappointed in myself; the results fell far from my standards. However, everything else was basically perfect. I got to stay the night in Monterey, drive Susie’s sweet ride, enjoy warm weather, and most importantly, get invaluable experience.

Weeks later, after spending hours on editing, I finally sent the online album to the bride and then gave her matte prints recently at dinner. My new drug now is hearing a bride tell me how much she genuinely loves my photos, that her and her husband watched the slideshow over and over; I LOVED watching her and her friends pour over every individual photo with relish, sometimes exclaiming, “That’s one of my favorites!” or “Ooh, I love that one!” It’s incredibly fulfilling, especially when she said it was the happiest day of her life, as well as the best wedding she’d ever been to. I felt so good to be a part of something so special. Inside, I was beaming with joy.

Ultimately, what matters is that the bride and groom are happy with the photographs. I’m still cringingly self-conscious of these photos, but even if I never shoot a wedding again, the experience was totally enriching and rewarding.

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

Melissa & Chris Wedding 2010

10 Responses to ““the happiest day of my life””

  1. esteban Says:

    those look great.

  2. mich Says:

    these made my eyes well up thinking about my own wedding day. you really captured the happiness of the day. the touching moments, the goofy moments, the overall gaiety! great work, jenn. your only problem is not recognizing your own awesomeness. I see many a wedding photo gig in your future, my dear!

  3. Alison Says:

    those are beautiful jenn! hope you are well, miss you.

  4. christina Says:

    sister. those photos you captured are amazing! the one with the bride and her dad (gem), the one with her holding the dog standing next to parents (ruby), and the one of her bridesmaid doing hair (precious diamond). Sis, seriously, I feel you. Doing hair/makeup is just as nerve-wracking. Basically setting the tone for how they feel for the remainder of the day. It is this crazy intense ritualistic process with weddings. I’m so proud of you! I’m not surprised that she would be amazed. I loved those photos of detail: the back of her dress, the flowers, the ring, etc.etc.etc. There’s a reason why they chose you dummy. You are talented and pick up the little special precious details.
    Btw, you made grandma’s rather bland apartment look amazing with those photos.

  5. Anne Siggins Says:

    Dear Jennifer: Great work.

    We all so proud of you ! :-)

  6. Anne Siggins Says:

    Dear Jennier:

    By the way, we totally agreed what Christina said. :-)

    Your family.

  7. brig Says:

    Bravo Jennifer!

  8. anthony Says:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bittermelon/5098959184/

    Is that the father of the bride hugging the bride? That picture is like AWWWW.

  9. Anne Siggins Says:

    We wish we can see more beautiful wedding photos like this ! :-)

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