I’ll never forget this moment. I was shooting a wedding and the first dances had begun. The bride & groom danced and I had a smile from ear to ear while taking the photos.
(I always remember just how much fun Jason and I had during our first dance. It was non-traditional & a little fast paced. We chose a song that Jason would always sing to me, Randy Travis’ “If I didn’t have you.”)
Next, the father of the bride made his way to the floor and danced a lovely dance with his daughter.
Then, the mother & groom danced.
I lost it.
This huge rush of emotion came over me. I couldn’t help but think of my son, Noah. I pictured he and I in this moment. I began to think of what I might feel when dancing with him at his wedding! Through tears I continued to photograph.
Well in case you didn’t know, the photographer is NOT supposed to cry!
I quickly gathered my thoughts, pulled myself back together , and continued to photograph.
Oh but it wasn’t over.
The mother of the groom grabbed hold of her son so tight, laid her head on his shoulder and held back tears as best as she could.
I knew. I really truly knew what she was feeling. She was so happy for him. He had just married an amazing women. There was no doubt in that. But the realization that her baby son had grown up came to her in that moment, in his arms. He was a man now. All grown up.
My mind was racing.
Baby toes, baby fingers, baby hugs, & baby kisses. Jumping on the bed, snuggling on the couch, & bedtime stories. First day of school, first baseball game, first home run, & first sports trophy. First day of middle school, first day of high school, high school graduation, & the summer before college. It goes so fast.
Up to that moment, I had never taken so many photos of the mother & groom dancing as I did that night.
I always take time, after each wedding I photograph, to reflect. I usually begin by thinking about the day overall; how amazing the day was and how beautiful the bride looked. I also think about my performance. What could I have done differently and what do I want to continue to do.
I now always photograph with an emotional connection.
On another note, when Noah and I have our moment at his wedding, I’m pretty sure we will break out the following moves…….
(Yes, I know, my child has paper in his mouth. There is no explanation for this at all.)