Wedding Wrap-Up 2015
I can stand at the end of the driveway and see all the way to the nearest town now. Farmers have harvested the corn that used to stand between that view, and the world has opened up a bit. Here I am buffeted by a wind that carries everything that is fall. Leaves, a damp chill, and a brisk air that I can breathe in and be nostalgic about. Fall for me has always been a start of something new, during my school years it was the excitement of a new semester with friends. These days it marks the end of a somewhat seasonal role I play, that of the wedding photographer. While I look forward to some time away from editing on the computer and pointing my car west for adventure, I can’t help but reflect on what has been quite possibly the best year for me as a photographer. This is the Wedding Wrap-Up 2015.
Long story short, I was moved in a very dramatic fashion to start this year. Baptized by the waters of Lake Michigan on New Years (basically we started off with a midnight polar plunge), I was taken aback by the realization of just how many things are actually possible if you commit to it. So I made the decision to do photography full time, instead of adding in work for a temp agency as I had been doing in the past. Almost immediately the phone started to ring. Serendipity, an old friend, had struck again and people were interested in 2015 weddings. Old friends, friends of friends, referrals, family members, there were inquiries that inquired. Because I had just redesigned my website and refined my package system I was able to showcase my work and abilities much better.
This coupled with a willingness to travel lead to some amazing opportunities this spring/summer/fall. In January 2013 I had traveled up to Grand Marais to sing in my first ever wedding for a friend. It was fantastic for a variety of reasons, which I think will interest you. 1) My duet partner and myself sang Usher songs very loudly all the way up from the Twin Cities. 2) The wedding dance alternated between a great DJ and a live funk band…whoa that was good dancing. 3) It was the last time I’ve been to a wedding socially. I took a picture of one of the bridesmaids (North Shore in January is too cool to not have a camera on you) and her boyfriend at the time that would become a favorite of theirs and when their wedding came around this year I was asked to be the photographer. For one weekend I drove out to Milwaukee, met their friends and family, joined a crazy expensive cab to a late night casino adventure (in the name of getting to know the bridal party), photographed a beautiful wedding on a golf course, enjoyed a wonderful dance and really felt like a part of their day as I watched them open presents the next morning over homemade brunch.
That was the start to a wedding season that never slowed down. The rest of the year was spent with more and more wonderful people and I was fortunate enough to continue traveling for much of it. If you know me, then you might know I love a good adventure from time to time. This year found me in Milwaukee, Des Moines, Ames, Rochester, Plymouth, Kasson, and Grey Eagle for Hanson Photography weddings. Every day I’m more and more glad I went with the fuel-efficient Mazda 3 two years ago instead of the fun-inspiring Challenger I had been pining for forever. Who am I kidding, I still wish I’d chosen something a little flashier and harder to street park in Uptown. At least the scratches don’t bother me as much on this car.
Highlights from the season would include such things as: Staying around late into the reception of a family wedding to entertain with karaoke. Catching up with old friends over full wedding weekends out of state. Both photographing and DJ’ing a wedding in a new city and continuing to realize that Iowa is cooler than I thought growing up. Photographing on a campus where the buildings used to be the veterinary school and housed live horses where we photographed. Saving the bride and her mother from bees with my trusty handkerchief! Laying down in the sand to get the bridal party on a lakeside beach. Seeing a family losing loved ones, enjoy their day when they thought it might not have come together at all. Fall colors in northern MN at a remote retreat center. Hugs at the end of the night and bittersweet goodbyes knowing it was a good day and it’s time to go home. To edit the pictures!
The wind has not let up but continues to fill me with excitement for the future and reverence for the past. With a bike on the back and camera in the seat next to me I will now head west. Looking forward I can see 2016 around the corner and the wind whispers promisingly of another great year. I have no doubt about it, for this year was a great indication of what is to come. Continue watching the blog as I hope to update adventures through this medium and my Instagram @nomadichanson. Thank you to all who have chosen Hanson Photography this year, we have lived the dream. And will continue to do so.