Ok so Pinterest and I have a love hate relationship. I love it because I truly believe it’s helped elevate the amount of creative decor at a wedding. I also love it because I get lots of inspiration from it. BUT as a creative photographer who loves to capture the true, genuine emotions of my subjects I see pinterest at it’s lowest when it hinders that. When people do things, make things, and create “moments” built from pinterest for pinterest rather than using pinterest as a place for ideas to create moments for loved ones that’s where it goes wrong, very wrong. Some things I see are straight from Pinterest but had no practicality or no real actual connection personally. So when it’s delivered it’s done just for the photo and there is no emotion…..=( Other times its amazing, it helps give someone an inspiration to build off the idea they saw and they do their own version of it that is special for them. That is when a creative idea, executed well actually creates an emotional REAL moment between the couple and their loved ones. That’s when I as their photographer am internally screaming “nailed it!!!!”
The first “touch” is one of those things (not a first look but a first touch-pinterest search it and you will see what I mean). I’ve seen it done a few times and it’s non eventful in most cases. It’s done strictly for a photo with zero emotion. It could almost just be faked later to be honest. Its usually (not always) a big hassle just for a photo that is just like the twelve hundred on pinterest and not as great because there is no emotion in it. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen it where it’s been really sweet and filled with emotion. But that is when they didn’t do it for the photo they did it so they could talk to each other and hold hands (back to back) before the ceremony. Again, a time when they take the photo they saw on pinterest and used it to make it their own.
The first look with the Father at first I thought was going to be one of those same things. This year I’ve probably done more of those than anything else. Again, it really depends on your relationship with your Dad, it depends on your personality types whether its going to be like you picture it so you have to take those things into consideration before choosing to do it.
But….. now lets bring us to the real reason I wrote this post. Like I said, I’ve done several of these daddy first looks this year and most of them are really touching, more so than even the first look with the couples. It got me to thinking. I hear often times from couples that they don’t understand why their Parents get all “crazy” over the wedding stuff. I never really say anything but I know exactly why. Because as parents, the second our babies were born they became the center of our world. There is absolutely nothing like the love you have for your children. You think you understand that even when you don’t have kids. You think you can compare it to how much you love your niece or your cat or your dog or whatever people always tell me lol but there is NOTHING like the love you have for your children. You won’t truly get that until you are standing in that hospital room, then when you take them home, then when they start kindergarten, when they write their first letter to you, when they start junior high…….(you get the idea) but with each milestone in their life your heart swells with love and emotion. So the wedding is one of those that almost signifies the end in a weird way. It’s the end of the constant, daily milestones shared with you as the parent. It’s the beginning of you as the child beginning your life with your Husband making your daily memories with your Husband not your Parents. The relationship with your Parents shifts a bit. Now yes I know it’s not the END lol but as a Parent of a little one I see us now and I see their wedding. That’s as far as I can see and the road ahead of us is leading us to that day. That’s why that walk down the aisle where your Dad walks you to your Husband and hands you to him. It’s a tradition for a reason. It has great significance. It symbolizes him handing her over to the real next stage of her life where she creates a family like the one she came from. For a Parent it’s joyous and painful and emotional all at the same time. ok ok ok I know I need to circle this back to the point… the father’s first look. When I do the first look with couples or even the traditional walk down the aisle and the Groom’s first glance at his wife. Often times there are slight tears but it’s usually being held back by a proud Man not wanting to cry in front of his friends and family. When you do a first look with (some) Fathers more often than not they simply can’t hold back. Like I said there is NOTHING in this world like the love you have for your children. Husband, you think you love that Woman coming down that aisle towards you? I’m sure you do but that Man walking her there has loved her with everything he has and didn’t know he had for the 20 something years she has been alive. He changed his life and who he was to make her into who she was when she met you, so you could meet her and fall in love with her. So the first time he sets eyes on his daughter in that dress, that moment is priceless. There is no holding back for Dad. The feeling is the same for Mom but unfortunately for me she gets that moment in the dress shop.
Now this, like Pinterest isn’t a moment that needs to be quickly added to every timeline in American Weddings. It’s still very unique to the relationship you have with your Father, with your personalities, etc. But I just had to share this touching moment between these two from yesterdays wedding.