In August, I had the pleasure to photograph my niece's wedding in Sonoma, CA. It was quite the experience from both a professional and personal standpoint. The ceremony and reception were held at Ramekins Culinary School; Allison Nygaard of A Savvy Event and Ramekins did an amazing job making this event go smoothly, and helped this jumpy photographer settle down.
For me, the experience was beautiful, nerve-wracking, and emotional all at the same time. On one hand, my professional reputation and obligations drove me to do the best I could, of course. Jessie and Danny are clients after all. I put so much pressure on myself to treat this wedding with the professionalism and dedication any client deserves. Because it's family, doesn't mean I can completely hack it. Not to mention, my portfolio needed some serious lovin'.
But, on the other hand, this was my niece. Let me explain our relationship. We are about seven years apart. I spent weekends at my siblings' houses, going on family vacations, and eating dinner with them. It was parenting by committee. A mom, a dad, two brothers, and a sister makes for five parents. So, I kind of look at Jessie like a little sister more than a niece. Somewhere, my sister has a photo of us as kids in a tub. No, it's not going to be posted on this blog.
So, while I was snapping photos as "the photographer", every now and then I'd remove my eye from the viewfinder, and "the uncle of the bride" emotions would kick in, without warning. All of my old memories came flooding back. Jessie with "Baby" her teddy bear. Jessie trying to get me to let her listen to N.W.A. Jessie going off to law school.
I was honored to be a part of it. I'll never forget it. And, I wish her and Danny all the best. If I keep typing, I'll start weeping right here in the coffee shop. I better stop.