A friend sent me this meme some time ago and I thought – that’s ME. That is exactly me and my unplanned journey in photography. If someone had asked me as a child, or even 10 years ago if I’d be shooting weddings, I’d have told them they were lying on me!
In 2008, I had the privilege of being witness to my brother from another mother’s wedding. It was intimate, a sort of prelude of sorts in May to a larger more traditional wedding in December that very year (yes they celebrate two anniversaries each year ;-)
There we were in a quaint villa in Jolly Harbour – his mom, his brother, sister-in-law, niece, his sister-friendship (me), and his goddaughter (my then two year-old). Oh yes, and the marriage officer and a pastor of course. It was romantic. You could wrap yourself in the raw emotion that afternoon. And with my point-and-shoot in hand, I tried to capture every moment – the tears that rolled down the bride’s face; her husband strongly wrapping her in his “everything is fine my love” embrace, the broad grins on his brother and sister-in-law as they reminisced their own vows; a mother’s proud gaze… yes, I tried to get it all.
So I decided I’d gift them with a traditional styled album and sent the negatives away to be enlarged – I wanted a nice white album with all 5x7 and 8x10 prints. Yessir!! I was doing it large. But wait… the company or the postal service lost my package between the US and Antigua. By that time, my dear brother was literally harassing me for the photos, not caring if they were crappy!
Not one to keep still, and holding down two jobs at the time, I was a journalist at a local newspaper and was very familiar with Adobe InDesign. The light bulb went off – if I could design newspaper pages with this programme, I should be able to make a simple photo magazine for them!
I designed the book, quite proud of myself at this time, and delivered the digital copy to a friend that had a small printing company – I wanted this on magazine paper after all! When she took the book to be cut, someone saw it and asked if I could shoot their brother’s wedding … then someone saw their book and asked if I could shoot their cousin’s wedding… then someone saw their book and asked if I could shoot their wedding… and a few of my friends who were getting married after said to pick – either be a bridesmaid or shoot my maid (not much of a choice there).
Nothing, absolutely nothing beats word of mouth, and that is how it all started. Seriously. On Whit Monday 2013 (May 20th) I shot my 100th wedding! This included a host of friends, complete strangers, a number of tourists visiting Antigua and Barbuda from all over the world, a wedding in St. Lucia and a wedding in Cancun, Mexico!
It’s been an interesting, amazing, fun and sometimes overwhelming journey… but I love it! What can I say? I'm a hopeless romantic and I LOVE love!