I've been editing like crazy this weekend. (If you are one of my clients and reading this right now - I'm working hard to get you your photos before the holidays!) But, naturally, with all this time spent staring at a computer monitor tweaking thousands of photos I've had some time to think as well.
I've thought about how lucky I am to have a job I feel confident in. That I've never looked down and thought "what is this camera doing in my hands!?" It's the most natural thing in the world to me. When I'm shooting I'm in my comfort zone. And the older I get the more I realize that being good at something and enjoying something do not always go hand and hand. And that even if you are lucky enough to find this you can rarely make a living from it. So, I'm thankful that I can say that with my job.
I've also thought about how crazy bizarre my weddings can be at times. If you follow me on Twitter you've read some of my thoughts. At my last wedding of the season I realized that my job makes staying the weekend at a beach house with 30 strangers completely normal. My job makes helping a bride use the bathroom and sharing my chapstick with groomsmen pure instinct. I've had to play the role of best friend, confidant, roommate, deejay, wedding planner, seamstress, florist, waitress, interior decorator, chauffeur, babysitter, peacemaker, drill sergeant and, oh, photographer all in one day. I've had people curse at me, ask me out, dry hump me, spill beer on me, call me ugly, call me beautiful, make me laugh, and make me run into the bathroom crying. I've been in a car accident on the way to a wedding and had to lie my face off that I felt fine the whole day. I've had trials in my personal life that have haunted me like ghosts and made it hard to photograph two people entering 'happily ever after'. But, I've also cried happy tears, made true friends, felt so much happiness I thought I would burst, taken photos I couldn't be more proud of, and visited far away places surrounded by complete strangers only to be loved and treated like family.
In one month I will graduate college. It's been insanely difficult at times to balance work and school, but I know I will look back and be incredibly proud of myself for not taking the easy path. Because honestly life is anything but easy. And I've wanted to quit it more times this past year than I ever have before. But I think if you make your life about other people it might actually be worth it. And that's one of things I'm the most thankful for with my photography business - that it's just as much about me as it is about the people I photograph. I have shot five years of days that people will often look back on as the happiest of their lives. And if I can preserve that happiness for anyone I'd say my job was well done.
Here are a few photos to close out this post. If you are a wedding photographer you know what I mean when I say that you can feel like the designated driver for hundreds at a wedding reception. ;) You witness all the crazy while not actually being a part of it. It makes for some very honest photos I think.