A lot of people will tell you how crucial it is to blog a lot and get your links out there and build up your SEO and rank really high in Google. Its an integral part of getting people to find you on the internet to book you to shoot their wedding. While I agree it has its place, I think time is better spent actually meeting and talking to people, doing free work and just being yourself, face to face, with real people. There’s a lot to be said for ‘shaking hands and kissing babies’ and getting away from the computer. Not one of our destination weddings this year was booked from someone actually googling ‘destination wedding photographer’.
Mary Jane and Justin’s wedding came to us from pure shit house luck. Marse works with a friend of ours, Heather, who lives in Newfoundland. Heather has a brother who went to school with Justin. Through the magic of Facebook, Justin saw a photo of Marse and Heather that I took a really long time ago. Its a rather saucy photo with the both of them giving me the finger. Justin sees that photo, one thing leads to another and he finds Applehead Studio. Time passes, Justin and Mary Jane get engaged and plan to get married in New Zealand but come home and have a wedding celebration in New Brunswick, where Mary Jane is from.
When Mary Jane contacted me to shoot for them, it was for the wedding party in New Brunswick and unfortunately I was already booked. She told me they were getting married in New Zealand and I jokingly said, “I’ll shoot for you in New Zealand.” A few phone calls, a Starbucks coffee, and a girly squeal later Marse and I are boarding a plane from LA to Aukland. (side note: when you book a wedding in New Zealand your wife pulls rank and bumps your assistant).
As I look back now I feel terrible…I was more traveller than photographer! While I did manage to take a few photographs here and there, we all spent a lot of time drinking the finest of wines, eating incredible food and jet setting around New Zealand in helicopters and airplanes (and a sketchy van named El Cheapo!). We stayed up late and laughed the entire time. We hiked, we ate some more and Justin and I spent a lot of time talking canon vs nikon and chasing sunsets. It was a trip of a lifetime and Marse and I even looked into ways to move to Queenstown with the girls for a few years. Then we told our family sothey all wanted to come and of course we couldn’t leave Steph behind either but we just couldn’t find a house big enough for all of us…so we’re staying here in Canada. We’ve proposed a reunion tour with MJ and Justin every year and so far they haven’t said no.
Mary Jane and Justin, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for this incredible opportunity and trusting us enough to travel to the other side of the world to photograph your wedding for you. We considered you friends well before the first really, really expensive bottle of red! Marse and I look forward to seeing you again…and not just when we need medical or law advice!