Why I’m a Wedding Photographer
When I first started Rebecca Marie Photography, nearly a decade ago, it was not because of a lifelong plan (after all I went from being a nerdy oboe performance major to getting a degree in graphic design). But as is true with so much in life, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back over the years, I’ve realized why there was such a strong pull towards portrait photography, and in turn being a wedding photographer.
And it’s because of this gal right here.
Spoiler alert: While you might think I’m the one on the left, I’m actually the chubby-cheeked little one on the right. #twinning
Meet my sister, Michele. Today, September 26th would have been her 38th birthday and (if you noted the past tense) it is because of this incredible power of photography that I was able to learn who she was. Stories were shared when photo albums were pulled from a shelf and flipped through. I learned what a tendency toward the center of a stage she had and her less-than-desirable nickname for me (Booger). I was lucky enough to hold snapshots documenting in-home theatrical performances, a Wish Trip to Disneyworld and a hospital bed covered in stuffed animals. Thanks to photography, I put visuals to the stories I grew up hearing. When I would learn a new aspect about her personality from shared 1st or 2nd-grade teachers, I could imagine what being in a room together must have been like, because I’d already seen those emotions captured in a photo and saved forever.
My initial pull towards photography wasn’t because of photos that captured my own memories but gave me access to someone else’s memories. This is what I think of when I adamantly say, the photos we take together, while important to you right now, will be that much more important in the decades to come. This is what I mean when I say “I am a photographer because of people.”
If you’ve followed RMP for even the shortest period of time, I’m sure at some point you’ve heard me talk or write about the importance of legacy. And while buzzwords like “authenticity” or “legacy” pop up on nearly every photographer’s website out there, for me it is rooted in a family history much deeper than its recent popularity.
When I harp on the importance of printing your photos I’m not jumping on a trendy bandwagon because a phone fell in a puddle and reminded us all of how fickle technology is. Facebook wasn’t around when my sister was hanging out with my older cousins and my grandpa (above), never created a Facebook account to save all of his ridiculous jokes or songs we sang driving through fields. While it may seem impossible to imagine, social media might not be around for our grandkids to receive a notification bubble in the morning reminding them of what fun memories happened this day last year or 5 years ago. Let alone, 29 years ago.
What we create together isn’t important because of Instagram likes or magazine features. In some ways, while of course, the photos are going to be important to you and your new spouse, these photos are going to be even more important to the people who won’t have your memories. This is important because – when actually printed and held in your hand – these photos will outlive us all. Your niece will be able to sit on the couch and flip through your wedding album, learning about the stories that came before her time.
It’s because of future generations that I’m a wedding photographer today.
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