Wedding photography is a weird thing; it’s hard to get into, and hard to get out of. I’ve been shooting around one wedding per year since 2001. I’ve never advertised or tried to find weddings to shoot, but friends keep asking me for prices, so I keep doing it. One of these years, I’ll either give it up or try for 4-5 weddings per year, but for now one per year is quite enough stress, thank you.

I signed up this year’s wedding this afternoon. The bride is a friend of my sister’s, and one of her bridesmaids (from the wedding I shot in 2002). They’re getting married in July and were having a hard time finding a photographer. So I’m at it again.

In many ways, shooting weddings is the most stressful thing I’ve ever been paid to do. It’s amazingly nerve-wracking; during the ceremony, you’re basically just hanging on for dear life, trying not to miss anything important while balancing dozens of things in your head. Lighting, angle, framing, figuring up what’s coming up next and where you should be to shoot it, managing rolls of film/flash cards/buffer space, all while trying not to get in anyone’s way or make a spectacle of yourself. The posed pictures aren’t a lot better, because you’re always short on time and people always need to be somewhere else. So, you can’t find the bridesmaids when it’s time for their pictures, and you’re running 10 minutes late already, and the bride forgot that Aunt Mildred was going to be in town, so can we take a couple pictures with her, too?

The crazy thing is that I actually enjoy this. Something must be wrong with me.