In March of 2014, I received a message from a couple who had moved up their wedding to May (that’s right – they planned an entire wedding in 2 months) because the bride’s father was facing some severe health issues, and they wanted to make sure that he could be there to see his oldest daughter marry the love of her life. And so I helped plan this super quick wedding gave the couple my all and delivered a gallery full of pretty photos. Three months after the wedding, I received this message from the bride.

“Just wanted to reach out again, and thank you for being a part of our special day. I’m so glad my dad could be apart of our day even though he wasn’t feeling his best. I believe that you were meant to shoot our wedding. Thank you for being so time-sensitive in your delivery and making sure the day of the wedding he was taken care of. That made a significant impact on my family.

Today, we look back on these photos, especially ones during our father-daughter dance. He passed on to his perfect paradise today, and looking back at how he was at our wedding helped our family in such a hard time today.”

This message indeed was a turning point for me. Because of course it had never been about clicking a button and collecting a paycheck, but I was very much in the “honeymoon” phase of my career. I was excited about taking pretty photos, and I was so thrilled every time a couple told me that they loved their images. I loved everything about what I did, but I didn’t consider the impact that a photo can have, and the responsibility that comes with photographing weddings.

Your wedding might be one of the only times when all your family and friends are together in the same place. I don’t say this to be morbid, but you never do know when a photo might be the only tangible memory that you can hold on to of a grandparent, parent, brother, wife.

And I promise that I’m not trying to say, “Get good photos in case your loved ones die.” But I am saying that after your wedding, flowers wilt, cakes get eaten, memories fade, but your photos are forever.

And when you invest your trust and your money in me, I invest everything I have into you, your experience, and your memories. It’s not just a click of a shutter – photographing your wedding is a big responsibility and you deserve a photographer who has experience, who has the professional equipment and backup gear, who knows how to pose people and how to work with harsh or tricky lighting, and who will be there with you and for you, 100% of the way.