I (Lena) was asked by Rachel if she could intern an entire college semester with us. Her instructor asked her to follow around a photographer or a graphic designer. I've known Rachel for several years and I was happy to help her out with her college credit. She wrote about her experience and what she observed as an intern at one wedding. She and I did many other shoots. She also learned how to do some basic editing, album design and other general things we do as photographers. Rachel is pictured below in the middle. An Intern’s look into the Crazy, Wonderful World of Wedding Photography: (In Rachel's eyes)
I went to my first wedding as a photographer, that’s right I was a wedding virgin. I had been prepped. I had been told what to expect. I was told to expect a long, full day filled with pictures and moments, a lovely bride, a happy groom and really good cake. My instructions were to wear all black, comfortable shoes (which I did but at the end of the day my feet still hurt) and to make sure to bring snacks and water. Plus, the most important thing is to be a part of the background, capturing moments and not being in the moment or I would miss it while taking photos.
I arrived at the venue at 11:00 am and set my bag down in the room, got my camera out and I got started. My job for the day was to mainly observe and to take pictures and video if I saw something I wanted to take photos of. I knew Jon and Lena would cover the wedding like they usually do but they encouraged me to have fun taking some photos and trying out some different angles and to see the wedding from a different viewpoint. I saw so much. I never realized that the photographers take care of many things before the ceremony, meaning they help organize everything up to the reception and then the DJ takes over. I also learned that photographers never ever stop, I'm not sure Jon or Lena ever took a quick break! They keep their eyes open and took photos of everything. I could tell they were documenting the wedding really well. I also noticed that Lena has an emergency kit that anyone would be proud of. It has a little bit of everything in it, from safety pins to scissors to a steamer. The bride needed to dive into it the bag several times.
One of the things I didn’t expect to have to do was go around and try to find the bride a pair of socks, but I happily did and she shined when I gave them to her. I was very excited to help her out because she was wearing cowboy boots under her dress and desperately needed socks. Seeing her excitement in me "saving" the day with socks was satisfying!
Being able to see the love that the couple had for each other was just wonderful. It’s one of the primary reasons that I wanted to learn more about wedding photography; to capture those moments of love and laughter. I was in awe in being able to see the ceremony from a perspective of non family or friend. It was truly amazing to experience that.
After the ceremony Lena and Jon did all of the portraits in under twenty minutes which was good because it was very warm in the church and everyone was starting to sweat. My job was to fan the bride with a fan and to keep the bride and groom hydrated with bottled water that Lena and Jon had with them. Lena kept track of who was needed for portraits and arranged the subjects while Jon took the photos. It took a lot of teamwork and it was awesome to see how that process worked. I was able to learn which shots were typically taken, the logical order in which they take them, and how to do some of the fun shots.
We were there to document moments and we had to be alert, attentive and on our feet for the majority of the day. We ate when the bride and groom ate, but that was because we had to be finished as soon as they were so we could continue working. The food was very good but I’ll admit that the cake was even better. Then it was time for the dancing and that may have been the hardest part because everyone was moving and I had to try to figure out where to stand without getting in anyone's way. The music was loud and fun and since it was my first time, it felt a bit hectic and I was amazed at how Jon and Lena worked the dance floor with such ease. I also loved watching the kids dance because they were so adorable! After all of the fun dancing, the reception ended and we all went outside because the bride and groom were leaving in a helicopter! I was so excited to observe my first wedding and see a helicopter exit. What a fantastic experience that was!
By the end of the day I looked at Lena incredulously and said “You do this every weekend?!?!” She smiled and said “Yep, and this was a short wedding!” After she said that I realized we weren't even close to being finished with the wedding, there was a whole assortment of photos that had to be edited and an album to be designed.
I can’t wait to go to the next one.