To say I was (and still am!) ecstatic about my brother’s wedding and marriage was likely the understatement of the century. I still don’t know how to aptly convey my joy for him and his bride. She’s wonderful, they’re wonderful, and I love everything about the two of them, but I wouldn’t photograph my brother’s wedding.

Why I Wouldn’t Photograph My Brother’s Wedding

This is actually something I told my brother a long time ago – I’ll happily photograph your engagement session, but I will not photograph your wedding. It’s a hard line for me. I wanted to be present, engaged rather than worrying about documenting his wedding authentically.

It really boils down to this. Photographing a wedding or any event is work. While I might pull out my camera to catch a few special moments, if I’m there hired for an event, it’s work. It’s not enjoying getting ready with my sister, the bridesmaids, and my brother’s bride. It is not cuddling my nephew as he naps, and the joy that fills this auntie’s heart watching him on the dance floor. It’s not enjoying dinner and dancing with my love. It’s work, and I didn’t want to work at my brother’s wedding.

I’m the little sister, not the hired professional. I wanted to be in on the laughter, not setting a self-timer to run into the wedding party portraits. I wouldn’t photograph my brother’s wedding because on his wedding day, I wanted to be family, not his photographer.

Being present at his wedding was important to me, and that is a sentiment that is rapidly losing value in our society. I wanted another gifted photographer to be hired for the event, so I could do what I tell my clients to do in every one of my sessions – you do your thing, be a family, be a couple, dance together, laugh together, and I’ll just document it all.

Being Present

It somewhat saddens me that there were people surprised I wouldn’t photograph my brother’s wedding. Wouldn’t I want it documented just so? Wouldn’t I want to create the images to remember in my own way? Well, yea, kinda. But, it matters more to me that my family remembers my face rather than my camera stuck to my face all day.

It matters more to me that I got to celebrate without thinking about light, composition, moment, SD cards, flash, and reminding guests to put their phones away (‘cause they’re present just to celebrate, too). Plus, I didn’t need to document my brother’s wedding my way, because my dear sister-in-law hired a talented professional to do just that.