Why We Do What We Do | Queenstown Wedding Photographer

I'd originally posted this just on Facebook, but I felt really passionately that more couples needed to read this and understand why I do what I do. I feel as though it can be easy to say 'because it's fun', or 'because I just picked up a camera and found out I was good at taking photos' or 'because you get to go up on helicopters'. But that would be too easy. 

The reason I work 80+ hours a week, with no weekends, sit for 8 hours at a time just editing a wedding, or spend all my other time talking/learning or doing things to improve my photos is because of these kinds of stories. Because taking images for people to hold in their heart is my passion. It is my purpose in life, and I am so so so realistic about the fact that creating memories is important, because so day we won't be here to do that that anymore. 

Like this session that I'll speak on in a moment, I've gone into photoshoots knowing these will be the last images the family will have with someone. Its a difficult;t reality to directly face, mortality at it's most raw. Everyone, including the person about to pass, knows why I'm there, and we all know how important it is for us all to be there. 

And even though that sounds horrible, and dark and kind a lot of fucking pressure.. those have been my most life changing sessions. Everyone is joyful, full of love and energy. Those are the photoshoots where everyone wants to be there, no matter their insecurities, not minding their angles or that 'they didn't know what to wear'. All they care about is being connected to the people they love. Period. 

 

 
 By Nils of Petel Creative

By Nils of Petel Creative

So that being said, here is a story about the wedding of Nina and Joey, photographed by Nils of Petel Creative. It's a beautiful yet tragic story, but I believe it is a very important thing to read, especially if you are in midst of the stresses of wedding planning.

Being a part of this group, and being a wedding photographer myself, I see clients on the daily forgetting or perhaps just become distracted by what a wedding should really be. The ring, the dress, the table settings, the photos. There is a lot to do, and by the end of it you can feel like you just want it to be OVER WITH.

 By Nils of Petel Creative

By Nils of Petel Creative

 By Nils of Petel Creative

By Nils of Petel Creative

I totally get that. I help my clients with the planning process, and if you over think it too much, holy shit... it can get crazy. But what I like to tell my couples is- this day is about you, no matter how large or small, how many traditions you are doing and how much your dress was, at the end of the day, your wedding is a celebration of the love you both have found, and how fucking special and cool that is.

By Nils of Petel Creative

 By Nils of Petel Creative

By Nils of Petel Creative

And even though it's an over simplification, that's all that should matter. At the end of it all, this life is about experiences, about connection and about love, and I promise you, your wedding day is something that is consumed in all of it.

 By Nils of Petel Creative

By Nils of Petel Creative

These two knew that. At 19, with only 24 hours left to live, Nina just wishes to pass as a happy wife, surrounded by everyone she loved. Nina and Joey wished to grow old together, but that wasn't something they were granted, so they created the best wedding for them, with the best people around them.

And so, a wedding that was moved forward and planned in a matter of hours, is now one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen. Not because of the amazing backdrop, not because of the table settings, and not because of the dress (although, damn Nina looks gorgeous), but because these two got it. They understood, at fucking 19 years of age, that love is love is love is FREAKIN love, and that's why you get married.

If you've made it this far (did NOT intend for this to be an essay but I'm fine with that), I'll leave you with a quote from Nil's blog post.

"If all you take away is, that whatever is holding you down at this exact moment it's not worth dwelling over. Live your lives for those who can't live for themselves. This young woman is 19. She is living her best life. Don't take your life for granted, if you are reading this, you are blessed. Learn to let go of these petty little things. Now go out and live."

xx lots of love to all the beautiful brides out there. I encourage you to not just read this, feel sad for a few minutes then continue along with your day. Please go read Nils' words, really read them and then use this story to carry on with your life, not just being passive but bringing its lessons into your heart.

Nils, you are a strong and brave man for shooting and sharing this wedding with such passion and honesty. Nina and Joey, you are an inspiration like nothing else. You are what we should all be striving for, in ever moment, in every connection. 

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By Nils of Petel Creative