old camera.jpgSeriously! I hired a wedding photographer last week.

To be more precise, my fiancée Nat and I hired a wedding photographer, but being the photographer in the family, I was in charge of finding one. And I really like Erin’s work. (Check it out!) She’s good.

I’m getting married on October 14 this year, and I could not be happier or more in love with the woman I’m marrying. Her name is Natalie (Nat to her friends and everyone else) – she’s intelligent, kind, sarcastic, a great mother to her two beautiful teenage daughters, and she claims to love me back, which is just this side of incredible. We are silly together. If you think of a way a couple can be compatible, we’re compatible that way.

After 56 years, I wouldn’t have expected to be getting married for the first time (I was engaged a lifetime ago in my twenties, but never mind that). It’s a big deal for me, and I need the pictures to be good.

I said in an earlier post about starting to shoot weddings myself that wedding photography is a really big responsibility. When I wrote that, I was feeling it from the side of the photographer: feeling the fear of missing something important, and all the other insecurities that come from being the one who makes images of what is arguably the biggest day in someone else’s life.

But now I’m on the other side of the transaction. Being the groom and all, I couldn’t exactly do it myself, though I was tempted to try.  So I have been thinking a lot about what I want from my own wedding photographer.

And what is that?

Erin is shy in that way that makes you like her. She is personable and friendly; open and warm. She was straightforward with us about what she was offering, but it wasn’t all business. We met up at a nice café in Montréal’s Plateau district, where we had a drink and talked about lots of stuff. It turns out she’s actually a former student at the college where I teach, which of course gave her an “in.” I got the impression she shares our values. We liked her.

Funny that the first thing I’m mentioning isn’t her great photos, but you know what? Lots of people make great photos.


And obviously, we wouldn’t have hired Erin had she not been good with her camera (not at all — I’m kind of picky about that sort of thing). But we also wouldn’t have hired her had we not liked and trusted her.

I think that she’ll be attentive to the emotions of the day. She’ll be ready for sudden changes or unexpected events. I think she’ll fade into the background just enough to be forgotten (allowing for more genuine photos), but not so much that she isn’t where she needs to be, when she needs to be there to get the shot.

In other words, we hired her because we trust her.

And in the end, I think that once you have the basics of skill and artistry in place, it’s the trust that counts.

I think we picked the right photographer for us.