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a moment here, a moment there

November 23, 2010

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When I got a call from Xenia to shoot her wedding, she emphasized that it was small…very small. It was her and Glen’s second wedding, to be attended only by their kids, close friends & family. And she wasn’t sure she even needed a photographer.

I get calls like this a lot, and let me just set the record straight. So your wedding is small; it’s in your backyard, or at the courthouse; you’re going to have a handful of guests (let’s say, fewer than 20), it’s not your first wedding, or you’re already married and this is a “show” event for your parents, things like that. Do you really need a photographer? That is, do you really need a total stranger to come busting in and making your guest count a baker’s dozen?

Yes! Yes, you do! Whether it’s me or someone else, you need a photographer. Now, you may have friends who dabble in photography, or an uncle who’s pretty handy with the Rebel XSi. My reply to that is, “and….?” No. You want an impartial eye; someone who doesn’t really know you; someone who is going to basically observe and report (visually) the events of that day.

“Events,” you’re thinking. “what events?” You’re not being carried in by a horse-drawn carriage; there’s no first dance; there’s no 6-layer cake; there are no bridesmaids or groomsmen. “It’s low-key,” you think. “It’s anything but full of events.” Ok, I’ll buy that. Not a lot of events. But events aren’t what I capture. This is going to sound a bit corny, so brace yourself because I don’t do corny very often and it may be awkward for all of us: I capture moments. Fleeting expressions; subtle hand gestures; a tear that is wiped away before anyone can see it; your child, or grandchild, running with abandon through an empty hall, laughing and picking up the flowers that fell from the few bouquets you got together. Moments of life. And these, people, are the things we treasure most in life, aren’t they?

Sure, I’ll shoot you walking down the aisle; I’ll shoot your groom’s face when he first sees you; I’ll shoot all the things you see on your wedding day. But more importantly, I shoot the hundreds, the thousands, of things you don’t see. I shoot what’s happening all around you while you’re focused on your groom, or your kids, or your minister, or on keeping your dress from slipping down. (Yes, that happens occasionally, and you bet I’ll get a picture of it.)

No matter how small your wedding, no matter how few people attend, no matter if it’s just a few vows and a lunch at a local restaurant, it’s a special day. There are things that are going to happen; amazing, mundane, precious things, that you will never see. These are all the things that make up not just your wedding, but your family…your life. And when you go through those pictures for the very first time, I guarantee you are going to gasp and ooh and ahhh like it’s all brand new, because to you, it is.

So yeah, I’d say that’s worth hiring a photographer for a few hours.

To illustrate my point and this post, above is the wedding, the very small wedding, of Xenia and Glen, and a few of the moments that made up that day. The things that they didn’t see at the time, but do now.


What do you think?

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Chris Bonney

November 23, 2010

right on, Chris.

susan sabo

November 23, 2010

Susan does an amazing job of capturing the emotions and the details of the day! You NEED a professional photographer no matter how small!

Xenia Marshall

November 23, 2010

Thank you so much, Xenia! Small weddings like yours are some of my favorites; there’s a lot going on between family members when they don’t know someone is looking. I really enjoyed shooting yours.

susan sabo

November 24, 2010


I wish I could afford to bring you over to New Zealand and shoot my wedding. But considering my budget so far is about $3.50 (NZ :O!) and I’m going to end up chucking it together MacGyver styles with a peice of chewing gum and some ice block sticks out in the wapwaps of our hometown… I think you might be a wee bit out of budget.

I hope I can find someone like you and with your style to capture all those little moments.


February 10, 2011

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