I’ve spent so much time pouring over other photographer’s blog posts, trying to teach myself more about depth of field and off-camera lighting while also trying to get any information I can about posing people for photos. This self-taught photographer thing wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many generous photographers that so willingly share their knowledge. But this way of learning has it’s downfalls…
My typical wedding prep looks like this:
Tuesday: finalize wedding timeline, confirm with second shooter, look at other photographer’s wedding portfolios and study their composition.
Wednesday: make sure the equipment I rented is set to arrive on time; look at other photographer’s work and think to myself, Oh my gosh what have I gotten myself in to? I suck at this!
Thursday: don’t sleep because my anxiety is so bad; look at other photographer’s work for posing ideas and decide that this is definitely going to be my last wedding because I’ll never be *that* good.
Friday: excitement sets in; anxiety sky-rockets; clean and pack gear, charge batteries, print timelines, etc. Scroll through my favorite photographer’s instagram pages AGAIN. Feel in adequate AGAIN.
Saturday: game time!
Do you see a trend? Comparison…trying to be someone else as a photographer instead of myself.
It had been months since I’ve photographed a wedding, so when Ben and Lydia asked me to be their wedding photographer back in the spring, I knew I had the whole summer to work through these insecurities and approach their wedding day as Lauren Young, and not Lauren Young’s version of ___________ (insert all of my favorite photographer’s names here). And the first thing I did? Vowed to STOP comparing my work to others! Vowed to get to know my couples, who they are, what their relationship is like, what makes them laugh, etc. I vowed to work on my technical skills this summer (editing, camera adjustments, etc.), spending hours staring at my own work!
And while I didn’t mean to fill half of this blog post with all of that, it just seemed like the perfect way to express how absolutely perfect Ben and Lydia’s wedding day was, on so many levels.
Ben and I go wayyy back (elementary school), but when my sister and his brother married ten years ago, I felt like I really got to know him and his family. So we’ve watched each other via Facebook graduate college and work our first jobs, always catching up at our nephew’s birthdays. And then as this photography thing has developed, Ben’s been an awesome point of contact for so many things: second shooting, a videographer recommendation to my brides, lighting questions, etc. Last October, we worked a wedding together – I as the photographer, Ben as the videographer. And that’s the first time I heard of this beautiful girl named Lydia. He grinned from ear to ear when he talked about her. And then a few weeks later I met her at a family gathering and she was just as charming and sweet as he’d let on.
Flash forward a couple months and the three of us are sipping coffee, making plans for their wedding day. We talked about their plans for a small, intimate ceremony with family in a beautiful inn in Chambersburg; about how they wanted it to be relaxed and focused on their marriage. We talked about how really, they just wanted to be married, no matter how it happened. While I love a good Pinterest-inspired wedding, what I love more than anything is a couple whose focus is on their marriage, simply.
So on a rainy Saturday in September, cozied up in the beautiful Ragged Edge Inn with their dear families, Ben + Lydia tied the knot! The ceremony was perfect; Lydia’s entrance down the grand staircase, their laughs as they got tongue-tied say their vows, their family watching intently and their huge smiles after they said “I do!” It was such a special – and PERFECT – day, from start to finish. And the best part? Simply that they are MARRIED. I just love these two!