I spent this gorgeous Memorial Day weekend in Williamsburg celebrating the marriage of my dear friends Evan and Sarah. It was a beautiful affair not just aesthetically but also in terms of the love that emanated from the happy couple, their family, and the gathered friends. I love weddings. Judging by Facebook (which we all know isn’t actually the most reliable source of information to judge by), I attend fewer weddings than most people my age. Up to this point I haven’t been able to determine if it’s because I’m unpopular or I just know fewer people getting married. For my self-esteem, I’ll hope for the later. But one thing that stays consistent with my wedding-going is my involvement with wedding videography and that’s when things start to get complicated.
Whenever a friend asks if I’d consider doing their wedding video, my initial reaction is excitement. I feel honored to be asked to do their video (although when I think about it, I’m usually one of the few people they know who does video on a professional level). I also experience the “creative burst” of a new project where I have a hundred ideas of how I could most effectively execute everything and try new techniques.
But then reality sinks in. If I’m videoing a wedding, I can’t REALLY be a guest at the wedding. It’s hard to balance the two without feeling like I’m either missing out on the fun of wedding or the parents of the bride/groom are silently judging me for not having a camera attached to my hand at every moment. But I can’t have a camera recording every minute of the wedding. First of all, I don’t have enough battery life or memory for that. Second, there are only so many tender looks and sweet dancing that you can film before it becomes repetitive and boring. And then there’s also the fact that my job doesn’t actually end when the wedding ends. I’ve still got days of sorting through footage and editing to deal with. So if I’m actually invited to the wedding, why not enjoy some of the awesomeness of one of my close friends tying the knot?
If you know anything about me, you know I’m an intense person. If you ask me to do something (like film your wedding), I’m going to do it and do it well. I’ll even forget that I’m supposed to be having fun because you’re my friend not just my client. That’s an unfortunate reality of my profession and well known skill-set. My hope though is that you don’t mind me trying to have fun at a wedding I’m working for a friend. If you see me put down my camera and dance for a bit or eat a slice of cake, I hope you don’t judge me. Or think that I’m a bad videographer. Just because I’m getting paid doesn’t mean I lose my invitation privileges.
The funny thing is though, besides some distant family who don’t actually know that I know the bride and groom, I don’t think anyone actually judges me. I’m the only one judging me! I’m the one that feels guilty for eating cake or dancing a song with my friends or not filming ONE dance because how likely is it that something SPECTACULARLY different is going to happen this one time. And if it does and I miss it, is it really that much of a travesty?
I’m always my biggest critic. But at the end of the day, I just have to tell myself that my work is a wedding gift to them in a way. While I may get paid, I put heart and soul into it. And I do it in lieu of some of the fun and carefree times I could be having. And that’s okay. Because it’s all a celebration of love and happiness in the first place.