My - Unofficial - First Wedding | What I Experienced & Learned in 2014

Disclaimer: I was not a wedding photographer. In fact, Red Lemon was not even a thought at this stage of life.

It was a few weeks before May 3rd 2014. My friend approached me and said, “You have a camera! My parents are getting married in our backyard and it would be nice to have some photos of the day. Would you mind?”

My instant response was “Will you fed me and give me a ride?” I’m not kidding, money was not a topic. I just needed a way to get there and if I could ALSO get some home cooking out of it - I was living the dream. I mean that is the dream of any 22 year old, right?

It was settled, I was now the photographer.

My friend arrived to pick me up and my Nikon D60 with kit lens was ready to go! I felt VERY prepared to take on this task. (I was actually terrified! WHY did I agree? I wasn’t a professional!)

We arrived, and Melissa was still in her pajamas! She welcomed me into her home with open arms, reminded me that they are very easy going people and honestly didn’t expect to even have a photographer! I felt a weight lift. At this point, she was happy with anything as she planned for nothing. What a beautiful way to ring in your marriage.

Here’s the thing - my friend’s parents had been together for YEARS, but in this stage of life wanted to get legally married. How beautiful is their story? It honestly was my first experience with big love that didn’t need a formal label to flourish. But in the end? Togetherness is what they choose. I was so lucky to be able to (poorly!) capture their day.

As we said our goodbyes, thank yous and congratulations - They said one more thing. I was handed a cheque for $75.00. My jaw dropped. I had transportation, a meal, lessons on love and now they still wanted to PAY for my service. This officially was the first time anyone had paid me for my photography work. Without knowing it, this was the start of my career, and I will forever be grateful for Melissa and Jeff.

Of course if you got this far, you want to see the outcome of the images. Well, here you go my friends. In all their glory.

Ps. These were shot in JPEG and edited with a free online program called PicMonkey. As I mentioned, I was NOT a professional!