Until a few days ago, I had never photographed a wedding. The idea of it stresses me out. So many expectations are packed into a single day, and unlike photojournalism where you work with the elements to create a story, in wedding pictures people have to look good. So I hadn't shot one, nor had I intended to, until a good friend from California asked me to shoot her wedding in October. In Southern California. In Laguna Beach.
Christina and I met in Turkey while she was teaching English and I was studying sociology and trying my hand at photography. We had the chance to travel extensively in southeastern Turkey, a hotspot for conflict between the Turkish government and Kurdish rebels at the time. Between smugglers and checkpoints, she was even game to take a jaunt down to Northern Iraq on a whim, which earned her impressive street cred. After going our separate ways, she ended up in Washington DC, and met an equally sharp and hilarious guy. One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, she and Michael were getting married. Over Skype, she asked me to shoot the wedding. It took me at least a week to think it over.
Nervous would be the best way to describe my feelings on the day of the ceremony. While I still get terrified when shooting protests, it's a stress I understand and can work within. This was a totally different ballgame. What if I forgot to take my lens cap off? What if I messed up on the exposure and focus?
Much to my surprise, the day went perfectly, with the weather and subjects all co-operating as I snapped away. Below is a sampling of the results.