A Wedding Show Weekend and How I Remembered…

This Saturday and Sunday we had a two-day wedding show. We had a booth at the Wedding Show in downtown St. Louis hosted by St. Louis Bride and Groom magazine. It was our first time doing a two-day show, and wow…it sure is tiring. After having our normal work week, we dove over on Friday night to set up everything, and we arrived back early Saturday morning to be ready for the doors to open. After a few hours of rest Saturday evening, we were back at it first thing this morning.

Bridal shows are always a lot of fun, and we had a great time meeting so many brides and their entourages. There is such excitement in the faces of everyone that it definitely makes for a fun and lively atmosphere. Of course, there is always the compliment of grooms-to-be who were strongly encouraged (i.e. dragged) along by their lovely ladies to see everything and to give their “input.” One couple made us laugh out loud when we asked them how long they had been walking around the show. At the same moment, she said “Not too long” and he said “quite a while.” Oh the wonders of different perspectives!

It’s always wonderful to hear little tidbits of peoples’ stories in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. There is such variety in every person’s unique travels from “nice to meet you” to the “I do,” and hearing the little parts of it and seeing the joy and relish with which they describe it all never fails to bring a smile to my face. Of course, many brides will ask us many different questions, and one that I was asked several times was how I became a wedding photographer. Whenever I am asked that, I always respond the same way. “By blessed accident.”

I never planned to photograph weddings when was shooting photos for fun all of those years ago. I was being creative and artistic, and that was all I ever intended my skills to be used for. When an acquaintance asked me if I would be willing to photograph his daughter’s wedding, I grudgingly agreed. Honestly, though, I felt like I was selling my artistic soul for doing it. I mean, seriously…how can you trade being an artist for shooting weddings? It seemed like it would be a one-time thing. Well, the day came, and I shot the wedding…and the strangest thing happened. I was captivated.

There was something about it that impacted me so very deeply. I think that part of it was it stirred that desire in me to get married myself, but it was more than just that. I had never met the bride or groom before that day, but in the space of a few hours, I felt this connection with them and a responsibility to honor the wonder of their wedding with the best possible photos that I could produce. During the ceremony, I became emotional and teared up a bit. Why? Because I was moved by their story…not because it was incredible or rare or movie-like, but because I was able to share in a small part of it.

I was hooked. From that day onward, I knew that I wanted to photograph weddings. I knew that I wanted to use the gift that God gave me to help tell the story of two people’s love and their journey towards joy. It is such a wonderful thing to have this opportunity. Many photographers refuse to do weddings because the pressure is too great, but for me, that pressure and responsibility are what help me to remember how important what I do truly is. I guess in many ways, I like knowing that what I do brings so much joy to people and helps them, years later, remember their first day as husband and wife. No one will remember me personally after the years pass on, and that is perfectly fine, but, what I do that day will persist. For me, that’s enough. I love my job.

I say that I made it here by accident, but this was no accident. This is what I was born to do.

I could go on and on (and you probably think that I all ready am), but I think this says enough. If you happened to stop by our booth at the wedding show, let us know when you thought of the show. This was our first time at this show, so it was a new experience for all of us. If you wanted to ask about our availability for 2011 or 2012, drop us an email or give us a call. Let us tell you how we can tell your story through photographs that will last for generations.

Thank you, and good night!

Joel Conner