After owning my own business for two years, I decided to take on wedding photography. I had only attended two weddings as the photographer. One was extremely small and took place in a nursing home. The other wedding allowed me to be a fourth shooter. Yes… fourth. However, I knew I wanted to photograph weddings. So, I dove into wedding photography head first. Sink or swim.
My first wedding was a true test of will. The forecast was calling for rain, so I took precautions to make sure I was ready for the day. Upon arriving at the venue, I began photographing the details. Around 2:00 pm we see a huge red blot on the radar. A severe storm was coming. The ceremony, originally scheduled for 3:30, was moved to 3:00. The consensus was they would rather have late guests than wet guests.
The ceremony moved fairly quickly. We met just outside the venue to capture the formals. As soon as the last photo was taken, drops of rain began to fall. I gathered all my equipment and went inside. Within three minutes, the slight drizzle became tornado weather. I remember looking out the window, yet there was nothing to see. The water was crashing against the house so violently the view was completely obstructed.
The bride looked at me, worriedly, and said, “I was okay with rain. I’m not okay with this!” The flower girl was clinging to her, understandably. All of a sudden it was dark. The storm had taken down the power line outside the house. The bride had to go to the next room to check on something, and the flower girl let go of her and then clung to me. I’m not going to lie, it was a scary storm.
Once the storm passed, we all looked outside. Trees had fallen on guests’ cars, a huge limb had landed directly in front of the door, and debris was scattered across the lawn. Everyone was safe, and that was a huge relief in and of itself. However, now I had some problems to attend.
There was zero power and nightfall was beginning. We still had the cake cutting, the first dance, and more. Before it became insanely dark outside, I urged the bride and groom to come with me to capture their portraits. The sky was a beautiful display of pinks, purples and reds. The storm gave us something after all.
When it came to the first dance, I luckily thought to buy a video light which would give me enough light to focus on the bride and groom. The musicians unplugged (obviously) and gave an amazing acoustic performance for the evening.
I walked away from this wedding invigorated. Okay, I was exhausted, but I was excited. A tornado interrupted the day, and caused havoc. No power, damaged cars, and one photographer who could have stopped and said, “Sorry, there’s no power, and there is no way I can keep shooting.” I could have gone home. But, I didn’t.
I kept going. If there was a wedding that was going to discourage me from ever being a wedding photographer, it would have been this one. I jumped in head first. Sink or swim. I’m flying.