Thursday, September 29, 2011

7 Days 7 Photographer {A Day in the Life of a Wedding Photographer}

Whew...what a week!  Not only was this a busy week for photo sessions, prepping for this great project, three trips to Sedona, meeting with lots of couples getting married in 2012, but on top of all the normal activity one of our computers decided to die.  When someone says the motherboard is fried, well, that's kind of like someone telling you you've ran out of oil in your car and the engine has seized.  Not good.  So, we had to weigh out the choices, did it make more sense to buy new, or repair an already old system?  In the end, the new system won and the last two days have been spent on the phone with various tech supports trying to get programs reloaded and re-licensed.  Yes, very good times indeed! :)

For this project, I choose to document  "A Day in the Life as a Wedding Photographer", which, hopefully shows what my  days are like before I get to the job and while working a wedding. 

When I get up, this is literally the first thing that I see.  I like to call it "Animal Parade" which is really just tripping over our hungry pets.

After I stumble through the house, I go outside and water my garden.  This year, I choose to grow little tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli.  I also grew some wildflowers to attract bees so that the vegetables would be pollinated.  I would say, this year, it was pretty successful.  For those of you that are familiar with Flagstaff gardening, you know we have about a 60-90 day growing season, which makes it tough for growing much of anything.  In the past, I've planted in my front and back yard (North and South facing) and I've never had a great crop.  But, with my new raised bed garden, on the east side of my house, it seems a bit easier.  I've had lots of tomatoes (much to the dismay of my husband, who is actually afraid of tomatoes), about a dozen cucumbers, but no broccoli yet.  I'm hopeful though!

When I finish that, it's off to medicate JoJo.  He's our senior kitty that is diabetic and blind and gets insulin injections twice a day.  He's been on insulin for about 3 years now and is doing great.  And, because the needle is SO small, he doesn't even notice the injection.  If any of you ever find yourself faced with having to do injections on an animal, don't sweat it.  It's so, so easy and with treats, they don't mind at all!

Here's a little blog board of our four legged family members :)  Yes, Banjo loves to dress up and I find myself throwing all sorts of articles of clothing and accessories on his randomly.  Although my husband argues with me, I do think he loves the attention!  They are all rescues and each add their own kind of sweetness to our lives.  I do love them so much!

I can't do anything without delicious coffee.  This is from Late from the Train in Flagstaff.   And yes, I do know how ridiculously shiny my coffee mug is, but hey, sometimes you need a little sparkle to your morning!  I also have the biggest sweet tooth you've ever known, so these delicious cinnimon rolls were perfect to get me going!

I think around 10:30am is when I logged onto the computer and generally started getting ready for my work day.

The only bad thing about being a wedding photographer, is that you have to generally miss out on a lot of things going on in your friends' lives.  On this particular day, I was missing my dear friends, Zsuzsi and John's, wedding. All I could do is write them a note telling them how much I wished I could be there for them.  Our friends, Molly and John, pictured below, were in town from Florida and staying with us to go to the wedding and it was really, really hard to go my separate way.

These are items needed and packed away for my work day; charged batteries, about 30 pounds of camera gear, my favorite Dansko shoes for working ( This photo taken before I cleaned them off, we had a forest photo session the day before!), enough memory cards for 8,000 photos (yes, I'm paranoid about running out)  and a lint brush for all of my pet hair that always ends up on my black pants :)

Timelines are critical for our day, Kristen and I spend a lot of time and communication with the couple to make sure everything runs seamlessly, the second photo is of our snacks packed, and on the right is my lovely assistant, Kristen, greeting me with her sparkling smile for the day!.  I really can't say enough kind and wonderful things about this woman; she's dedicated, a wildly talented photographer, patient with my stress and just a wonderful human being.  She's been with me for almost a year and I count my blessings to have found her!

Our wedding was at Hart Prairie, north of the San Francisco Peaks and it was nothing short of a perfect day!  It was overcast, never rained one drop and mid-70s.  Yes, perfect!  Then, add in a super sweet couple, Caitlin and Ryan, and the wedding becomes things that photographers dream of.   These photos are were taken right before the ceremony.

After the ceremony, we headed to the High Country Conference Center.  We spotted a great kid's section that Kim of KD Event Designs had prepared and got a couple of cute photos with the kid's masks.  OK, we're dorkly, but why not?

During dinner, no one really wants photos taken of them eating, so it's a great time for us to take 20 minutes to recharge batteries, get our gear together and grab some food for ourselves.  We were lucky to share dinner with Kim and her assistants.  This is about the time in the day when I start looking a bit tired, don't you think?

This photo was literally the last photo on the card, Kristen and I with Caitlin and Ryan.  Kristen and I really are so fortunate to be able to do what we love. Sometimes I have to pinch myself!

Tune in tomorrow for a sneak peak of this beautiful wedding!

Be sure to check out the past and future posts from the other photographers below!  If you're on Twitter, follow us here by searching for #7Days7Photographers or #TWIPS.  Here's a list of the photographers involved and their dates:

Sunday:  Casie of
Monday:  Ashley of
Tuesday:  Orly of
Wednesday:  Ariana of

Friday:  Shannon of
Saturday:  Steph of

Thanks for reading! ~ Melissa


  1. How fun!! I loved seeing all the steps to know what you two really go through! So glad you got involved with this project!

  2. This turned out so great! I love love love it!!! GREAT JOB!! :)

  3. What a busy day... and I love your cats... Jojo seems to be such sweet old man :)

  4. Love the pet photos and I want a cinnamon roll. Thanks!