Hunter + Dayna | Engagement | Des Moines, IA Photographer

I had stood firm for a long time.

The answer was No.

Thank you for asking, but No, I do not do weddings.

I had sent numerous emails to various happy couples over the years to that effect, because that was the safest answer I had to give to such a terrifying invitation.

Terrifying, you say?

Oh, yes. With all the bridezilla stories, the Pinterest-crazed fiancees, and the (ultimately horrifying) camera malfunction stories that had been poignantly impressed on my young photographer mind, I knew the only answer I could give to these requests was a firm No.

But, then, one day after church, Hunter came up to me and said, "So, Sadie, Dayna and I were wondering if you would do our wedding pictures for us?"

Oh. I was afraid they might ask.

I wanted to say No (because, as we know, nothing frightening happens if you just always say No); but, instead, I gave some vague answer of, "Well, maybe; I've never shot a wedding solo before, though, so, I want to make sure you guys are comfortable with that ... I want to make sure you get what you want, so, maybe, but ...."

I started to realize I didn't actually want to turn them down, but ... it just wouldn't be safe to say Yes!

For the next few days (or maybe it was weeks ... I don't recall now), I pondered and prayed about it, and knew deep down, this was going to be it. This was going to be the first wedding I'd shoot solo.

And, really, could I ask for any better start? Hunter and Dayna were so laid back, so easy to work with, and (most importantly) so trusting of my ability to do well. The wedding would be small, and casual, and ....

That was it. This was the best first I could ask for, and it was time to do that crazy thing I thought I would never do.

So I said, Yes, I'd love to be your wedding photographer!

And then I thought about having a nervous break down. Or maybe getting counseling.

But, no, I said I would. I knew I should. So the answer was Yes.

So we set up a time for engagement photos (which I LOVE), and went to all sort of places that I'd been dreaming of for backgrounds.

And it was beautiful.

They had a good time. I had a good time. My camera had a good time.

And, suddenly, I thought, Maybe I don't need counseling. Maybe it's courage. Maybe it's more trust in the Good Artist who gave me this skill. Maybe that's what's missing.

So, I plunged in (though still with occasional nervous breakdowns as the wedding grew closer; I can't deny that), and prepared for this Big Thing.

But first, there was that engagement session. And, as I said, it was beautiful.

(^Just have to say, they totally owned this shot.)

(^Their spontaneous, unposed, real interactions ... those were the best.)

(Golden Hour. That's all.)

(^Just stop a minute and appreciate how sweet and romantic that shot is. Okay, you can keep going now.)


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