Wedding photography triggers my imposter syndrome.
I’ve been asked once or twice to shoot weddings, and each time an evil little voice inside my head whispers, “Only real photographers do weddings. Don’t try this. You’ll fail — fail miserably, I tell you — and ruin everything. Bwaaaaaahahaha!”
But several months ago Thomas and Guy emailed and asked if I would shoot their wedding. They made it clear they wanted me to do it — despite my total lack of wedding photography experience — because they like my pictures.
Thomas and Guy also love Joburg. I met Thomas in 2011, soon after moving here myself, when he was writing this cool blog called Urban Joburg. Thomas and Guy have been living in the U.S. for the past couple of years and moved back to Joburg two weeks ago — just in time for their wedding. They are the loveliest of people.
So I swallowed my fear and said yes. On 16 December, still wobbly from my own case of jet lag, I shot Thomas and Guy’s wedding. It was the most fun I’ve had taking pictures in a very long time.
Thomas and Guy’s Wedding
I love these pictures so much — probably as much as Thomas and Guy do. Yesterday I uploaded the pictures online and sat gazing at my computer, watching each image load slowly onto the screen and reliving each moment.
As the wedding photographer for Thomas and Guy, I felt like I had this special little window into their souls on what was probably the most important day of their lives. Even though I don’t know them extremely well as a couple, I could see how much they love each other as I watched them get married through my camera lens. That experience was a huge privilege.
Thomas and Guy got married at Wits (the University of the Witwatersand, for those of you not from around here), in a hall with a giant organ in the balcony. I’d never realized what a beautiful campus Wits has; Thomas and Guy and I had so much fun taking photos there, playing with the interesting architecture and public art and landscaping.
At the end of the night, exhausted as I was, I wanted to do it all over again. Anyway let me just show you some of the pictures.
Thomas and Guy’s wedding happened at a pivotal moment, when I was experiencing a lot of emotional turmoil and uncertainty about my life and my future. I’m grateful for the timing.
This wedding reminded me how much I love this city and this country, how fortunate I am to live here, and how determined I am to stay. I’m so lucky to live in a place with such beautiful people and places and things — a place where two wonderful humans can get married regardless of their gender. A place with so many problems but also so much potential. A place that, despite all the obstacles, feels unmistakably like home.
I’m not leaving.
Thanks Thomas and Guy for the reminder. Also congratulations. Your wedding was the best.