I'm not much of a wedding guest. Since I officially started Aperture Lane three years ago, I've been responsible for capturing every wedding I've attended except one! It's at this wedding I learned a lot about my new self. I was restless, not knowing what was happening next on the schedule. I listened to the speeches, saying, "Man, I wish I was shooting this wedding!" And most notably, my attention was glued to the media team, especially the videographer, examining their gear and their technique as they interacted with the moments unfolding. As I wrap up the 2016 event season, I wanted to reflect on why I love capturing weddings:
I love the relationships
I love working with people. I definitely found my calling in this area as a teacher in the past. Also, after nearly gouging my eyes out at my past desk jobs, I promised myself to do my best to never be in such a situation ever again. I guess, in an effort to know my couples better, I definitely invest so much of myself into my relationship with them, not just on the wedding day, but during the planning process and even after delivery. In addition, I really look forward to spending time with my second shooters and photographer allies. Meeting new vendors and sharing knowledge has been very beneficial to us as well.
photo courtesy of Jensen Captures Photography
You can't make this stuff up
I get to almost be a part of a reality show (most times without the drama). The greater part of our event days are filled with raw emotions from nervous grooms and jittery brides. Later all that is accompanied by couples and their families erupting in sentiments and in tears at special moments of the day. With all of this going on, I suppose I get to see the behind-the-scenes of the beautiful ceremonies and heartfelt receptions that the guests and viewers experience from their seats... and don't we all appreciate a good behind-the-scenes video?
I broaden my perspective
I've experienced weddings from different Western and Eastern religious cultures... and even mixes of those! I've see first hand different South Asian cultures, Caribbean cultures, South Americans, etc. All of this experience is especially possible because I work mostly in and around Toronto, which is arguably the most multi-cultural community in the world! In spite of the differences in practices, I've learned that we are all the same. Regardless if you're black, white, brown, pink, yellow, green, blue, the core of the wedding is the same: everybody at the wedding wants the best for the bride and groom; there's always family drama; everybody looks forward to the food; audiences get restless during drawn-out speeches; the day is stressful if it's not planned properly; etc.
photo courtesy of Jensen Captures Photography
Food is a perk
F-O-O-D. I'm a foodie. I'll eat anything as long as there's a community of people somewhere in the world that eats this thing and hasn't died from it yet. To date the most "exotic" thing I've tried is jellyfish (it's kinda chewy with a bit of a crunch to it)! It's nice to try new things or try new takes on old favourites... that is, whether we get a chance to eat (sometimes the schedule is too packed for us nourish ourselves). Did I mention the food?
I can't wait to hear stories
If you've watched any Aperture Lane videos, you may or may not notice there we feature a lot snippets from speeches and vows from the day. If you haven't yet, no one's perfect, but you should actually go watch a few! I digress! I truly believe stories are powerful. So much of history and the way we see the world are influenced by the different narratives throughout time. A good story can make people take time out of their busy schedules to listen, or even silence a large room people and make them second guess their ideas. When I hear a bride tell me that there are no personal vows at their ceremony, my shoulders sink. As I walk around each reception, I grip my monopod (the one-legged tripod that supports my camera) and I hope for well presented speeches to drive the narrative in the video. The story, especially the auditory part, of the couple is so important to how we do things at Aperture Lane.
Talking about all this makes me nostalgic. On that note, I'd like to end this entry with a montage of some of my favourite moments from last wedding and event season. I'm so excited to continue working through the 2016 weddings and unveil more stories that could bring people together!
You have an impactful story waiting to be told
Ryan Walters, the founder and operator of Aperture Lane. Look forward to sharing great stories with you!