Celebration is Contagious
January 30, 2014
This was the last picture taken at a wedding I shot back in December, a few weeks before Christmas. It was a little past 8pm when we left, Drew and I had been shooting photos since 11am that morning, dodging through icy, bone chilling rain that poured down relentlessly for hours, thankfully letting up in the early afternoon. As the party continued on we said our goodbyes, packed up our gear, walked out to the car buzzing with adrenaline and exhaustion, when we turned around and saw this. There’s something about this picture. I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is, but it feels like the perfect end of a story, the last page of a really good book.
It’s a pretty special thing shooting weddings. To be a casual on-looker, a complete stranger really, trying to figure out who belongs to which family, who’s friends with whom – is that her grandma, is that his cousin, her sister, stepmom, friend? – all the while attempting to be a ninja with my camera so as not to intrude on the moment. I take very seriously the task of creating memories, those sincere moments between people that don’t happen everyday, that only happen on this day, memories that will last far into the future.
Without fail, by the end of the night, I feel transformed. Like I was a real part of the day, not the fly-on-the-wall I started out as. There’s always a moment near the end where I want to put down my camera, grab a piece of cake, a glass of champagne and hit the dance floor. Celebration is contagious. But I like my role as the casual observer, to be able to slip quietly away into the frigid december night, looking out at the cabin all lit up, listening to the faint echoes of music, people laughing, dancing. Savoring the end of a really great night. I pretty much dig it.