Today we’re delighted to introduce you all to a newbie to the wedding scene – the very lovely wedding photographer Laura Aziz! Laura started photographing weddings just last year, and if this post is anything to go by she’s well and truly got the wedding bug!
Reading through this post brought back a lot of happy memories of starting out ourselves and we’re so grateful to Laura for sharing her thoughts in such an open way. So without further ado it’s over to Laura for the reflections of a newbie wedding photographer…
About 10 months ago, my friend David sent me an email and asked me the following; ‘Would you photograph our wedding for us?’ It wasn’t completely out of the blue. But if I’m very honest, I was scared. Oh ok, make that terrified.
Six months before this, my husband, baby and I packed up our things and left London to move to Manchester. I left behind a job in TV with the hope of starting a business finally making use of all the years I spent studying and adoring photography. Beyond the idea of ‘taking photographs of people’ though, I wasn’t entirely sure where it would go.
Having put lots of blood, sweat and tears into planning my own wedding, I am very aware of what this day, and all those days leading up to it mean. We picture it, daydream about it and then meticulously plan and love it into life. If all goes to plan, it will only happen once. So yeah, it’s a big ass deal. And as a photographer you are responsible for capturing that, for the couple, their families and future generations to look back on. And scariest of all, there are no do-overs…you cant just say “excuse me can you just kiss the bride for the first time again?”. GULP. So whilst that’s partly where the fear came from, it’s also where all the excitement comes from too. You are documenting a big, important, life event. So whilst that is indeed, scary, it’s also kind of wonderful.
So when David and Emma gave me the opportunity to do it for real, I couldn’t really say no could I? As a couple they were incredibly relaxed, and even though it was my first time, they trusted me. I was so lucky to have them as my first couple. Beforehand we talked about the day, the people, the places. I felt prepared. I had all the technical things covered and I had thought through the entire day. So theoretically, I was ready to rock. But emotionally? I had no idea. It really hit me on the day, when Emma put her dress on with her mum and her sister, and then her dad came in and saw her as a bride for the first time. That small, intimate moment needed no words, you could feel it. The years of love and shared moments leading up to that point… even now I think about it and get teary. Being invited in to capture it for them was such a privilege.
Weddings are a very special type of photography. It surprised me actually, after shooting David and Emma’s wedding, just how much it meant to me. I’m not sure why it surprised me. I love romance. I have love for Nora Ephron and Richard Curtis movies like you wouldn’t believe. But I had never felt like that about a job before. And then I realised, if this was my job, how cool would that be? To get to feel that way about your work? From that moment on, I knew this was what I wanted to do. What I wanted to be. A Wedding Photographer.
So far I have shot three weddings and I have cried at all of them. Don’t worry, I shoot through the tears! But I wasn’t prepared for that at all. Now I bring tissues. Another surprise for me was realising what a collaborative effort wedding photography can be. I always thought I’d be a strictly documentary photographer – and for most of the day I am. But one of my favourite parts of the job turns out to be spending a little one on one time with the newlyweds for portraits. It is so cool to be around two people who are starting this amazing journey together, just messing around a bit with my camera and capturing those unique moments as the newest of newlyweds.
Lastly, not only wasn’t I quite prepared for how amazing the couples would be, but their families and friends too. At every wedding I have been welcomed so whole heartedly. Someone always takes me under their wing to make sure I’m fed and watered and know what’s happening, and with who. Getting to know people is one of my favourite parts of this job. The little stories shared about their children, their friends, their soon to be husbands and wives. It means so much to be trusted and welcomed, and on a professional level it’s what makes the photographs special. When you know what’s happening on the inside, you can capture it all the better on the outside. It’s an amazing feeling when someone from the wedding day emails me or writes a comment on my blog, telling me how much they love the photographs. Being able to give that kind of feeling to someone is what is always in my mind and what I am always aiming for.
I guess what it all boils down to, what really surprised me about this crazy world of wedding photography… is the LOVE. The love of everyone involved. The love for a job where you get to be a part of such a special time in peoples lives. The love for the speeches and the tipsy dancing and the nervous tears and the wildly happy laughter. I hope I get to do it for a very long time. All together now, AWWW.
Thanks so much to Laura for sharing that fantastic insight into what it’s like starting out as a wedding photographer. But you’re about to get a whole lot more thankful, because the lovely Laura is offering a fantastic exclusive 10% discount on wedding photography for the next 3 months for all Bride Vs Groom readers! Just let Laura know we sent you and you can make an absolutely fantastic saving! Now you can’t say fairer than that!
Don’t forget to check out more of Laura’s work at her website: