I Believe: As a Wedding Photographer

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We may all have heard these sayings a time or two throughout our lives; “Build a longer table, not a higher fence” and, “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you need to go into a different room.” They’re true, but what is also true throughout our lives is constantly evolving into the best version of ourselves. The person that I am today is a much better person than I was in high school, in college. I believe that to be a good thing. I believe that we are growing and shaping into ourselves throughout our lives. When we are children we are unapologetically ourselves. As we get older we layer up from what we think we are suppose to do and who we are suppose to be. Unfortunately it starts off small, without us realizing it, as teenagers if we were ever bullied. Even if you were not teased or picked on, somethings you decide along the way to leave behind or to not show interest in because it isn’t necessarily popular.

Well I am here to tell you that luckily, if you work at it, your adult life is about peeling back those layers that you taped on in the first place. It is about becoming who you truly are, finding what you are called to do and then having the courage to do that very thing that you would rise and/or fall for. What do you stand for? What are you being called to do that now as an adult there is no true layer preventing you from unapologetically going after it?

For me it is several things. I went after a dream of owning my own business with wedding photography. I jumped and choose to believe in myself, and now I photograph couples’ love stories for them to remember every moment, the small ones and the big ones. I have a passion for wedding photography and I believe in photographing this beginning of your life together.

Mostly, I believe in living a life that is fulfilled, that means something, that helps others and that has love. For wedding photography and photographing your wedding, your love and your beginning these are some of the personal things that I believe that make me a better wedding photographer:

williamsburg winery wedding in williamsburg virginia bride and groom wedding photographyI believe in laughter.

The kind of laughter that is uncontrollable! The ‘can’t get enough of your silly but clever puns,’ laughter. The ‘squeezing you tightly, his arms wrapped around you and you lean into his chest to muffle your laugh,’ laughter. I do not believe in wrinkles but I will support lots of laugh lines when we become older because they will tell our best stories.

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I believe in walking hand in hand together.

Not the hand holding where your delicately holding each other’s palms but I am talking about the hand holding that every finger is intertwined together. The hand holding that after you become Husband and Wife every time that you reach for his hand you feel his wedding ring in-between two of your fingers, pressing against your’s. He had gotten use to the way your engagement ring felt between his hands but you are just getting use to the feel of his wedding band between your’s. Every time that it presses against your fingers, between your hand, you smile up at him and you jiggle your fingers around just to let him know that you know it’s there. You can’t help but smile because it is your hand that gets to hold his. It is your hand that gets to feel the promises you made to each other each time your hands intertwine together. It is you that gets the reminder every time why you choose to hold hands and build this life together in the first place.

That is why I believe intertwining every finger, touching every part of his hand that you can because no one else will ever hold your hand the way he does. No one else will have the wedding band that you placed on to his finger under a tree on a cool day in May, to press against yours amongst your intertwined fingers. No one else will have the wedding band that represents his vows and his promises that he made on your wedding day to only you. I believe in walking hand in hand together.

I believe in butterflies.

The ones that flutter beside you in the garden and the ones that you feel when you meet your soulmate. The flutter in your stomach when your eyes lock together for the first time and you feel these words, “There you are.” If you are like me, than you also believe in the actual butterfly that flutters beside you. Beside you in the garden, on the side of a mountain, the one that lands on your ’66 mustang, and the one that your brother asked you to come photograph when he was still alive.

I believe in the butterflies that appeared on our hike, during our first summer of dating each other. We hiked through the woods in the mountains and suddenly, without warning, it opened into a field of wildflowers. With the wildflowers came brown and yellow butterflies fluttering about. We walked through the field, I took photographs of course, kneeling down to photograph a group of brown and yellow butterflies resting on the blades of tall grass. I was in my own world, believing in these butterflies, this moment that was placed down on earth just for us. I believed. Then as if someone told me to look over my shoulder, I stood up and as I turned I saw the only blue, teal and black butterfly in the entire field, possibly the only one on the entire mountain landing on the baseball cap of my husband’s (then boyfriend) on his head. This blue, teal and black butterfly stayed there. It did not flutter away but rested on his head and I teared up as I smiled and took a photograph. Just as I felt the words, “there you are,” when I met my husband I knew that this was Richard saying, “here he is.” I believe in butterflies.

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I believe in slow dances in the kitchen.

I believe in the slow dances in the kitchen that happen while you are cooking dinner together or in the middle of doing the dishes; because who wants to do the dishes anyway? He knows that I despise doing the dishes, so sometimes he goes to his phone and plays our wedding song. He takes me by the hand while I am already happily putting the sponge down and wrapping my other arm around his shoulder. We dance slow and close, in our small kitchen and when the lyric, “I remember all them lonely days, I traveled out on my own. Then you brought me everything, you made my house a home,” is sung; we kiss. I believe that we made this house a home together.

These are a few out of the many things that I believe and that greatly affect me as a wedding photographer. I would love to know: what do you believe that sets your love story apart? Answer in the comment section below!