CourtneyCo Photography


Becoming a Wedding Photographer.

Shots from my very first bridal session with my friend Anya, which ultimately led me to become a wedding photographer.

A wedding photographer was never something I had planned on becoming. It just kind of happened. Just like how I found myself in a photography class, I happened to find myself becoming a wedding photographer and much of that is due to my best friend from college, Anya.

The semester I was taking my photography class Anya got engaged to a Russian businessman living in New York City that she had known since her childhood. We were both so excited and we spent so much time finding the perfect dress, picking out the decor, and finding a venue. She knew I was studying photography at the time, so when her dress came in she asked if I would take her bridals. I had never taken bridals before. Until this point, I mainly photographed experimental, artsy sort of shoots, but I was excited to try something new.

We spent the day getting her ready—doing her hair and make-up. I also know how to arrange flowers, so I made her a bouquet. Then we went to spot near where we lived that my photography teacher had suggested and I took her bridals. It was my first time ever posing a bride and I had no clue what I was doing, but I loved shooting the bridal session and I was so proud of my work, more importantly though Anya loved the photographs. (See a few of the images from the shoot above.)

Anya hired a photographer to take her engagements when her fiancé came into town; however, she also asked me to shoot her engagements to give her a few more options. When she got the images back, she was a little disappointed with the images the hired photographer took, but she loved the photographs I took. (You can view this engagement session on my website under the "Engagement" tab; it's the Anya+Vadim album.)

Months later, after she had moved to New York City to be with her fiancé, she called to tell me she had not found a wedding photographer she had liked. She liked the photographs I had taken of her thus far and wanted me to be her wedding photographer, even though I had never shot a wedding. She said that if I agreed to be her photographer, she would fly me out to shoot her wedding. I was so excited by the offer, and immediately accepted. In anticipation of my debut as a wedding photographer, I spent the next couple of months researching wedding photography and watching courses online. 

I was so nervous and stressed about shooting her wedding. What if my images didn't turn out? My images were going to be the only images she would have of her wedding. I would be so sad for her to not have beautiful photographs if I was unable to deliver. I prepped the best I could and gave it the all I had. By the end of the wedding, I was content with the job I had performed and the images I had been able to capture, but mostly I had fallen in love with shooting wedding photography. I loved everything about it. The high stress level, the constant change and uncertainty, how beautiful everything was, how happy everyone was, and me there trying to capture the whole story in the most elegant way possible—curating the day. I came home from the wedding and decided that I needed to become a wedding photographer. Ever since that day, wedding photography has been the most present thing on my mind, and it is something I strive to become better at and a business I am constantly trying to grow.