The Musings of a Wedding Photographer

Turning the love of romantic imagery into a passion for capturing romance

I’ve always been drawn to the fashion photography in magazines.

I loved the makeup, the drama, the fashion, the whole nine yards. But what really drew me in was the play of light on the bodies of the models. In my eyes, photography was a romantic art form that I would only have the privilege of enjoying as a spectator. I didn’t understand its rules, but I knew I loved the imagery and its effect on me.

Fast forward to me as a college grad with a liberal arts degree, my head full of dreams. I took the first job that landed in my lap and ran with it. Luckily for me, it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skillset and meet some extraordinary people. Somehow by magic, I had stumbled upon the world of portrait photography. What I used to idolize so much in magazines, I was now creating myself!

Up to that point in my life, I had never loved doing anything as profoundly as I did seeing the world through the lens of a camera. There was this incredible bond I felt with my subjects from the very beginning, and it was that bond that stoked my desire to do more. When you’re truly passionate about something, you want to eat, sleep and breathe it. And that’s absolutely how I feel about photography.

Several years ago, I was fortunate to meet another kindred soul whose love for photography rivaled my own. This girl, Chelsey Schnell of Chelsey Photography, was someone who understood me and encouraged my development. She took me under her wing as her second shooter (meaning I shot alongside her at weddings and captured moments while she directed the photography of the wedding day.)  While I’d worked with other area photographers over the years, by and large I’d primarily shot with Chelsey.

Being the photographer at a couple’s wedding? It’s an honor, to say the least. What I loved about being a portrait photographer was witnessing a shy senior girl open up to me over the course of a session by way of posing her, reassuring her, and allowing her to see her beauty through my eyes. All of that would prove only a sample of what my experience as a photographer would eventually become. A wedding is just like that senior session, except the fulfillment is tenfold.

I’ve been a creative person since I was just a child, so of course photography is something that naturally appeals to me. But putting the camera aside, what I really love is the connection photography allows between another human being and myself. I’ll say this time and again: I’m deeply moved by romance, beauty, and love, so when I have the opportunity to interact with a couple in love and with their families, that’s all I need in life.

While I still admire the photos in fashion magazines, what truly moves me now is wedding photography and documenting real emotions experienced by real people. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to capturing your big day soon and sharing my passion with you and yours. :)

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emily@emilyswanphotography.comSioux Falls, South Dakota