20 years ago today I photographed my first wedding.
This Saturday I photograph my last*.
And I’m not sure if I’m ok with it…
Let’s back up 21 years ago, (holy bad word, that’s half my life ago)
I’d just finished uni, I was hanging out in Tasmania and needed to make some money but of course, at Uni I was told that “wedding photography was the lowest form of photography”.
So I was never going to shoot weddings…. until friends I met asked/told me that I was going to photograph their wedding.
I grabbed 4 rolls of film, 144 shots and fell in love with weddings at first click!
To say that first wedding 20 years ago was eventful is an understatement, I have always won the “worst first wedding” stories with other photographers. In fact, most people I tell have their jaws wide open when I tell them. The short of it was we happened to come across a crime scene on a dirt road, one that we all had to go to court for 12 months later and give our accounts of what we saw. Ask me about it in person one day, out of respect for the victim, 20 years ago today was a severely life-changing event.
Luckily there were no more crime scenes since then and I realised that wedding photography blended my love of portrait, landscape and documentary photography… and I still love shooting all of that… and I still love shooting weddings.
When I was in my 20’s weddings were a great way to spend a weekend, shooting in pretty places with people who were having the best days of their lives.
I’d photograph all over Tasmania and then got to do weddings in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and a little further afield like mainland USA and Scotland.
I’ve shot in amazing vineyards, historic properties, back yards, centuries old castles, city streets and even a condemned burnt-out rollerskating rink.
I won many state titles for weddings including Wedding Photographer of the Year and multiple Wedding Album of the Year in two states. I even picked up the rarest of Gold Awards for one wedding shot at the national awards.
I’ve been featured in national and international wedding and photography magazines, before blogs were a thing.
I learnt ALOT about people.
I could tell when a stressed bride needed downtime away from over-excited mothers and how to remove the bride from said mother for a breather.
I could do all the things the bridesmaids didn’t do because they were self-obsessed on their own looks or had no idea. (luckily when the brides were over 22 their friends tended to help)
I learnt that when locking your keys in the car on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere it’s good to have a groomsman who is handy with a bit of fence wire.
I learnt that having a spare pair of pants in the car is always a good idea, and don’t wear bright undies.
I had fun with lazy wedding videographers who copied everything I did… until i walked up to my waist in a river (old school videographer, not like the ones today)
I’ve photographed weddings of very young love, people who met on twitter across the world, a heap of my friends, a few famous comedians, and had a few repeat clients!
The more I think about it… I think I need to write a book. I love stories and weddings are full of them.
In short I LOVE SHOOTING WEDDINGS.
So why am I stopping?
Basically, you only get a certain number of summers with your kids. I was lucky that when Saffron was young, I was her primary carer, I had many days with her on weekdays to make up for the ones lost on weekends… but then school kicked in and I lost those days.
That is when I slowed down, cut back to only 2-3 a month depending on location.
I only did weddings for people I had a connection with, people who were referred by people I knew or I already knew.
Fox is now a year away from school and I’m not the prime parent this time, so while he’s home I don’t want to lose all the family time. Especially seeing as he is going o need some special attention to reach his full potential (more on that later)
It’s a total coincidence that this weekend is almost the 20th anniversary.
it’s no coincidence that this particular wedding is the last one.
The wedding is going to be filled with old friends I’ve known for over half my life and as a bonus my own family will be there with me.
I’m pretty sad to be saying goodbye to this.
I’m pretty grateful for all the couples who have had me along for the ride and especially the ones who turned into amazing friends that I keep being able to share their life stories through portraits or just hanging out.
So, a big big thank you to every couple over the last 20 years that had me along for the ride.
Remember the ride continues with portraits!
If you read all this, sorry for the typos and thanks 🙂
Talk to you soon!
PS. If you want to catch up on what I used to do, there is a category on my blog, it has a 10 year or so gap where I was blogging on my now deleted wedding website but the old stuff is still there… and if you want your now long dead wedding photos gone just let me know… I can do some housekeeping.
Click here to see the archives… https://photobat.net/?s=wedding
* Of course, my arm can be very easily twisted to shoot something pretty special if the right wedding comes along!