Ben & Camrianne | Destination Wedding Photographer
There are normal wedding photographers, and there are people called “destination wedding photographer”, whose job is to travel to a different country every weekend, to a so-called “destination wedding” – a wedding abroad, in a particularly beautiful place. For many smaller wedding photographers this is an absolute dream and they are working towards being booked for these type of weddings. I wouldn’t say no to that either, but in my situation it’s not realistic to do it regularly, because my main job is not wedding photography and I can’t afford to travel every weekend. Nevertheless, it is of course incredibly attractive, and besides a wedding in Tuscany, photographing a wedding in the US has long been a little dream of mine. Different landscapes, different traditions, different traditions – this results in a different aesthetic that Swiss wedding photographers usually don’t encounter. Although I haven’t been in business for 30 years and haven’t photographed 100 weddings yet, I’m always happy when a couple dares to make their day a little different from all the others. Routine reliably destroys creativity; variety and new situations, on the other hand, encourage it, and so I was incredibly happy when, due to fortunate circumstances, this opportunity arose for me. We planned the whole thing at relatively short notice, and due to a lot of good and bad stress in the weeks before, I couldn’t think too much about it. At some point the big day suddenly arrived and I packed my suitcases – half full of cameras, lenses and flashes – and set off. After an 11 hour flight I landed in Denver late in the evening and was warmly welcomed at the airport by the future bride and 2 of her 11 nieces and nephews. Less than 30 minutes later I found myself in a drive-through of an American fast food chain for the first time – the children who had waited so patiently for me should be rewarded! 😀 Typically American – and equally typically Swiss I abstained from the sugar bomb for the time being. Shortly afterwards we arrived at the farm of the very big family – in the middle of Colorado’s nowhere. I couldn’t see much in the darkness, but I was greeted very warmly and fell into bed a few minutes later. Unfortunately being tired didn’t last long, thanks to jetlag. After I had stayed awake in bed for another 6 hours, life came to the big house and I gradually got to know all the family members. To this day I am not yet sure who is whose brother or cousin, but the warmth with which they welcomed me is common to all of them. So a week full of preparations for the one big day began: baking muffins (roughly speaking: a layer of chocolate, a layer of peanut butter and another layer of chocolate), unpacking and preparing decorations, packing presents, the bachelorette party… We were busy and the days flew by. One day before the wedding, the rehearsal dinner took place – something we usually don’t have in Switzerland. Loved to watch it, and the big family dinner afterwards was delicious!
Perfectly prepared, the big day was finally there, and although the wedding ceremony took place at 5:30 p.m., the preparations (hair & make-up) already started at noon. I think you can vividly imagine the chaos when a bride, 6 brides maids and 6 little girls have to get ready in a single room. In between I sometimes rushed into the house across the street, where the “boys” prepared themselves: they played cards or video games. An oasis of peace compared to the house next door! 🙂 It was 37 °C warm, and just at the very moment when we wanted to go outside for the photos of the bridal party, it started to rain. “The weather in Colorado is safe in July” Camrianne originally told me – well, not that day! Fortunately it stopped soon, and afterwards we were very happy about it, because the temperatures cooled down a bit. After we had taken the group shots, everything was ready for the ceremony to start. A short, but beautiful and very funny cermony later the whole thing was already over and the reception could start. A long cherished dream of mine came true: the dinner took place outside, decorated with these beautiful chains of light bulbs! Thanks to a perfect sunset we had the chance to do a short, but incredibly beautiful couple shoot after dinner, just next to the house and the wedding party. Big advantage of living in the nowhere! After a few speeches, the “first dance” of the couple as well as the father-daughter dance took place under a sea of lights – a photographically demanding situation, but still one of my absolute highlights. The “sparkler exit” at the end fulfilled another photographic dream of mine (not so much a tradition in Switzerland), and a very exhausting but absolutely unforgettable day came to an end. Two days and a short visit to the Rocky Mountain National Park later I flew back to Switzerland with a head full of new experiences and priceless memories. Thanks to everyone who made this possible – it was an incredible week. Could get used to being a destination wedding photographer! 😉
The big day …