While shooting Nina & Luke's engagement photos last weekend, I was hit with a sudden epiphany. The session had been three hours long at this point (with lots of breaks for walking and laughing)...and Nina and Luke are an especially effusive, affectionate couple. As they stopped to kiss for the umpteenth time, and I lifted my camera to catch it, I was struck with the sudden realization that a lot of people wouldn't enjoy seeing that type of open romance, much less photograph it for posterity. But me? I couldn't stop smiling about it. In fact, I couldn't wait to get Brian home so I could kiss his face off. :)
I think it takes a certain kind of person, and personality, to photograph engagements and weddings. Just like I often notice that the best kid/family photographers are those people with kids and families themselves, I think people in love and happy about it naturally capture the best images of that expression. Being in love can't make you a great photographer, of course, but a depth of emotion combined with technical skills certainly can. :)
Having said that...photographers who aren't attached to someone might take extra special photos because they have HOPE for that kind of amazing relationship in the future. It's all about the feelings we are capable of.
My personal favorite wedding photographers just happen to be those who are happily married and get it...get that seeing that type of love is extraordinary, and feeling so lucky to be a tiny part of it. In fact, a lot of the photographers I admire either share the business with their spouses or have them along as second shooters/assistants. Even though Brian isn't a photographer, he is a wonderful assistant and having him there makes me better at what I do. I thrive when I see people around me sharing that kind of commitment and passion. I look at the joyful couples and feel their joy, know my own, and it's like being in a little bubble of bliss, where nothing bad can happen, and fairytales can come true.
I think that makes me an ideal photographer for this mushy stuff. :)