After several years in the wedding photography industry, I was thrilled to be photographing my first same-sex engagement session. When Robert and Alan showed up, I began with my usual speech.
“I know it can be strange to have a camera in your face, but more than anything else, I want you two to enjoy each other’s company tonight. Think of this as a date. You’re all dressed up! Be yourselves. Focus on having fun and being together, and I’ll take care of the rest.”
I set up my first shot, lifted my camera to my face, and quickly realized that we needed to pause. Robert was crying.
“Hey Robert, talk to me. What’s going on?” I asked him.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to stop. I’m just so happy.”
His reply was every reason why I do what I do. As a photographer, I believe in presence. I believe in living in the moment. I believe that the images I capture are reminders, not the memories themselves. The memories are your job. The memories require that you are fully present as the story actually unfolds. Yes, I’ll be there to document it. But you have to be there, in the moment, soaking it in in the first place. And then, when you see the images down the road, they will serve as reminders not just of the details, but of how you FELT in that very moment.
From the photographer, Weston Bennett Photography
Photography: Weston Bennett Photography
Venue: San Diego Waterfront Park