Details About My Mission, Beliefs, and Values
Values tell you a lot about a person. They speak to what’s important to them, and give you a sense of who they are at their core. Hiring a stranger to photograph as intimate of a thing as your wedding day is a big ask — and you should feel completely at ease with who they are; ideally, they should share some of your values. That’s why I’m talking about my philosophy as a wedding photographer today, so you can snag a peek behind the curtain at who I am and what my mission is.
Let’s start with my values! These five items are the pillars on which I run my business (and life), and inform all of my decisions.
– Be open to growth/new ideas
– Serve others well by being a resource
– All identities welcome
– Attention to detail
– Feminism always
I think it’s important to know that I not only advocate for my couples to design their dream wedding experience, but I did the same for me and my husband. My own 18-guest wedding took place in September 2021 and designing the day around what felt right to us was a huge focus, regardless of what “tradition” (or my parents) said. At times it was hard to stick to my guns when faced with their disappointment, but I knew in my heart of hearts that this was the wedding day that truly made me happy more than anything else. That’s actually what my mission is as a wedding photographer: teaching couples to build a wedding day that is as meaningful as possible by learning to question the status quo, and challenging yourself to listen to your intuition. There are so many alternatives to your dream wedding day besides the way it’s always been done!
You know that saying, “rules were made to be broken“? I’d like to amend it: I believe that rules were made to be broken when relevant.
If you do decide that changing something is relevant to you, and if the idea of deviating from that tradition (even in a small way) feels uncomfortable, I truly believe you should challenge that feeling. Many aspects of weddings are habits that just happened to stick; even though they may not serve us in actuality, we keep doing it because that’s just “what you do” (scroll to #4 on this post for an example). What’s the point of that?
This is the beauty of intentionally designing your wedding day. I’m not here to tell you that you should ditch every single tradition and do the opposite just for the hell of it. But I AM here to tell you that you owe it to yourself to ask questions about whether a tradition is truly serving you, or if doing it another way would be better and more aligned with how you want to experience your wedding.
Hate being the center of attention but can’t imagine not inviting all 100 people in your lives to celebrate with you? Maybe you skip the first dances and do them later on privately. Maybe you hold a ceremony with just your immediate family before everyone else arrives for the reception.
Not feeling the rigid, tried-and-true schedule of a wedding day? Maybe you have a late morning brunch for your guests instead of dinner. Maybe you incorporate a workshop element (learning how to make a cocktail, roll a joint, or prepare an appetizer are a couple that come to mind) and skip the lackluster schmoozing aspect of a cocktail hour.
Can’t stand the silly and/or patriarchal traditions? Maybe you ditch the formal wedding party (your VIPs know who they are anyway!) and seat those people in the audience so they can actually see the ceremony. Maybe you walk down the aisle alone, or with your partner (we combined both of these at our wedding!).
Knowledge is power. I want you to know where your wedding traditions are from (many of them are far sillier than you’d expect), and feel completely comfortable asking whether or not you should follow those footsteps.
If after your reflection, you decide to ditch or change that tradition, great!
If after your reflection, you decide to keep that tradition, great!
The point is to know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. Far too many couples don’t. There’s no point to doing something just for the sake of it. It has to mean something.
As long as you’re crafting a wedding day that’s 100% meaningful to you, that’s all that matters.
I hope this post about my philosophy as a wedding photographer gave you some insight into what matters the most to me and how I serve my couples! If I sound like someone you want on your team for your day, I’d love to chat with you and hear all about it.