Why I became a wedding photographer

I get asked quite often what drew me to wedding photography, and my answer is probably quite surprising to a lot of people!

Firstly, I never set out to be a wedding photographer. When I transitioned from a career in music to a budding interest in photography, I remember specifically telling people “I will NEVER shoot weddings!” The thing that really turned me off weddings in my early stages of photography was the straight up blood chilling fear of screwing up someones precious memories. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of things that happen during a wedding can’t get the “take 2” treatment!

After starting my career working exclusively with bands for album covers, promotional shoots, and concerts, I started getting asked to do some portrait work for families, friends; things like that. I’ve also always had a huge passion for landscape photography, so that’s something I’ve always been in to. It only took me a couple of years to realise that, other than the fact that I had never shot a wedding, a lot of the skills I had honed in other areas would translate very well to weddings. The kinds of wedding photography I’m attracted to blend documentary style, candid, and a much more genuine and authentic portrait, and a lot of that I was already doing with my existing clients. Add in a little creative flare, some good Dad jokes, and a rad landscape here or there, and it wasn’t a big stretch to dive into wedding photography.

My first year in the business, I shot three weddings. The next year, I shot 30. With each wedding I shot early on, I became more and more comfortable with the flow of a wedding and, more importantly, my place within it. I learned that attention to the details needs to be tempered with an awareness of what is truly important, and that for every beautiful sunset portrait moment, there is an equally beautiful candid moment between people that lasts only a second. It’s the balance between things that I’ve really learned to love, and what I aspire to capture at every wedding I shoot. There are so many amazing things happening at a wedding, and sometimes it’s just for a fleeting moment.

Hands down though, the thing I love most about wedding photography is that I get to spend the day with a couple on one of the happiest days of their lives. I know that sounds super hokey, but it’s never lost on me. Sometimes I’m up before dawn for a wedding, or away from my family in a different city for a couple of days. It’s easy to let a little exhaustion sneak in, but when I walk into the first location for the day and you just feel the excitement in the air and the mood of everyone, it hits home every time how important the moments are. This couple, and these families, will remember this day for their whole lives. I get to be invited into their world for not only A day, but THE day. How cool is that?!

I’d love to be involved in your wedding! Reach out to me anytime at info@russellstaffordphotography.com