If you didn’t already know, my wedding photography business just sort of fell into my lap five years ago, and I ran with it. It was probably one of the greatest decisions of my life. Along with starting to put sweet potato in my burritos. But let’s get back to the real reason behind this post.
Over the past five years the “why” behind what I do has definitely evolved and changed. In the beginning it was just a fun thing that I really, truly, enjoyed doing. Now it is a lot more than that.
When I was teaching high school students, I knew that on some level I was making a difference in a student’s life. It wasn’t always really obvious, but I knew that in some student’s life I was making an impact. I had all of these opportunities to help these young adults be awesome human beings. Teaching was always so much more than making sure my students knew about chemistry and physical science. Sure, those things are important, but it was always more important to me to show them what it means to be a kind and decent human being.
It can be really easy to look at what I do as a photographer and think I’m not making a difference. This past year or two I’ve really started to realize that I AM making a difference. I am making an impact.
I want to do good in this world. I want to make an impact. I want to leave this world better than I found it.
There are a lot of practical ways to do this – like donating to charity. However, there are a lot of ways I am making an impact on an emotional level.
Back in November, I was chatting with someone about what I do, and she mentioned that she would be so stressed out all the time. It’s true. Being a wedding photographer can be very stressful! In those moments it’s the bigger picture that gets me through.
In the past year and a half, I’ve had three brides lose their father. Two of these brides lost their father within months after their wedding. My heart absolutely broke each time for these brides, but there was comfort in the fact that they had really great and special photos of them and their father from their wedding. These photos were some of the most recent photos they had.
During these times is when I realized why I really do what I do. I’m helping people leave a visual legacy behind. To remember really amazing and incredible moments during the really HARD times. As photographers, we are sometimes providing the only photos families have of members who have passed away. What a special gift to be able to give these families, who don’t know how much they need it at the time!
I want to impact lives. I want to know that what I’m doing matters.
It’s not about the money, or the flexible schedule, or any other reasons you may think of to run a photography business. It’s truly about being able to help so many incredible people document their lives. Someday, all they’re going to have left is those photos, and I got to create them.