My First Wedding Photo As A Professional Wedding Photographer

My first wedding as a professional wedding photographer took place yesterday in Portland, Indiana. As I was just starting my photography business in Dayton, I listed my services on Craigslist. Julie was the first person to take a chance on me, and I am grateful for that. Portland is a northeast Indiana farm town, the kind with one long road through it. The two-hour drive from my home was not at all filled with nerves. For most photographers, it might have been. My wife came to the first few weddings with me including this one.

My First Wedding As A Professional Wedding Photographer

We gathered my very limited gear and made our way into the old church. Looking back, I cringe because I didn’t have a backup camera, the most basic must-have. We didn’t see anyone anywhere, so we entered the sanctuary to set up. It was an octagonal sanctuary with white walls and a bright red carpet. Little did I know, I’d be photographing many more weddings in churches with bright red carpets. I clearly remember thinking “What the hell am I doing?”

The childcare center doubled as a makeshift wedding suite. I walked in, introduced myself to the bride and bridesmaids, and took my very first wedding picture. This was June 2007. From that very first photo, I have never once been nervous or anxious before or during a wedding. It made me feel like “I can do this” and “I am meant to do this.” The photo below, my first, is of Julie sitting behind a door, looking in the mirror, and putting her makeup on.

When I look at this photo today, I am still about 90% proud of it. The bride is mostly in focus and appropriately lit. What I don’t like about this photo is the harsh shadow falling off of her right hand. It isn’t a big deal and wasn’t the best photo from the day. All that matters is I captured the moments before the wedding ceremony.

My First Wedding Photo As A Professional Wedding Photographer

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