A short little story about a squirrel…. and a preview of Joel and Amanda on film

So I guess we’ve got a bit of a squirrel problem…

There’s this bit of soffit above our front door, and whenever anyone knocks on our door, they are immediately greeted by the hurried sound of scampering little feet overhead. It’s kind of alarming. And just a little smidge creepy too.

So we hired a guy to come over and check it out.  We didn’t want to kill the squirrel or anything… just evict it from our overhang before it did any real damage (or scared our guests half to death). The wildlife specialist came over one morning, climbed up on our roof, took some pictures, and showed me the huge bite marks in the roof that had no doubt been caused by what he called “…a squirrel.  Or something.”

I didn’t so much like the mystery of the “or something.”

The wildlife specialist was nice as can be, and I made smalltalk for a bit while he gathered some “resources” for me.  He asked what I did for a living, and I told him I was a photographer.  That immediately peaked his interest.  He went on for a bit about how he had always wanted to be a photojournalist but it was just too hard to break into because of all the competition and uncertainty. He asked me what type of photography I did, and when I told him that wedding photography was my area of specialization, he replied with “oh, but that’s probably not what you REALLY want to do, right?  You’re just shooting weddings until you can shoot what you REALLY want to shoot, right?”

And I stopped for a minute.

I had forgotten that so many people think that way.

For me, wedding photography has always been it.  It’s always been what I wanted to shoot. It’s not some in-the-meantime job, or what I’m doing until the next big thing comes along.  I don’t have aspirations of shooting movie posters or working in a hollywood studio (although I wouldn’t mind dabbling in some food photography, ya know… but mostly just so I can sample the subject matter).  Being present for the biggest decision two people can make, with love exploding from every corner…. and documenting that moment so they can relive it over and over again … that’s what I want to do.

So when that well-meaning wildlife specialist nodded his head and assumed I was half-hearted slinging my camera around at weddings until my big break,  I just smiled and said,

“Nah. What I REALLY want to do… is just what I’m doing.”

The perfect example of why wedding photography is IT for me is Amanda and Joel. I had just gotten back from their wedding when I had that little conversation with the squirrel man, and I couldn’t help but think back on all the times my heart swelled during their wedding day.  Joel could NOT stop crying when Amanda walked down the aisle (and neither could I). And, it makes me feel so old to say this but I’ll say it anyway… when I was shooting the bridesmaids praying for the bride, I stopped in my tracks.  I found MYSELF praying that MY kids would have friends like this.  That my boys would find a woman of character and faith and be absolutely smitten with her, the way that Joel is with Amanda.  That the toasts at their wedding would be more like a church service…

The day was lovely, in every sense of the word.  And it absolutely strengthened my resolve that I have the best job on the planet (tied with food photographers.  Ya know, because of all the samples….).

I have so so many favorites to share from this lovely day, but for now, here are just a few film scans that I can’t help but share right this minute.

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Amanda and Joel :: Missouri Farm Wedding » Lisa Hessel Photography Blog - […] already obvious that I adore Amanda and Joel, so I won’t even apologize for the insane amount of images […]

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