Wow, exactly 7 years ago today I was in Shannon, Ireland photographing my very first international destination wedding for Wendy & Mark. It was one of the most monumental experiences of my life. Where to begin…hmmm… Well, there was a moment even further back when I was working for a big corporate beast doing computer support work. Yup. Take a moment and imagine that: little Regina in a beige cubicle on the 42nd floor of a huge concrete building in downtown Milwaukee. Anyhow, I was concocting a plan to become a photographer. I told someone in my family that I wanted to fly all over the world shooting people’s weddings. Their response was, “um, why would someone fly YOU across the country to shoot a wedding when they could just hire someone locally??” I was 23 and still brimming over with self-confidence and naivety (the essential characteristics for an entrepreneur) so I was un-phased and plunged forward into the world of wedding photography.
Ok, now fast forward a few years. About 20 weddings under my belt by now and an unbelievable amount of mistakes, mishaps and falling flat on my face. Daily motto is, “come on Regina, just make it to the end of the day.” People continue booking me so I am tottering forward. I remember the day Wendy called me. She was “obsessed with photography, had seen my work and loved it. Wondered if I could photograph her reception in Evergreen.” Sure! Reception…where’s the wedding? “Oh, Mark and I are eloping! Our dream is to get married in a castle in Ireland!” My best friend was in the room with me at the time and I covered up the phone and whispered, “I’m going to shoot a wedding in Ireland!!!!!”
But I didn’t really believe it in my gut until I was on the plane- already missing one of my bags in NY, completely over-packed and headed for my second trip to Europe, first time traveling alone. Would I shoot a destination wedding by myself again? NO WAY. Do I regret this trip? NO WAY. I wish I had known what I was doing a little better. I wish I had had the camera and lenses I have now, but in spite of it all, I think I pulled this one off. It is so amazing to think back on all this. I exist so much in the future- planning, dreaming, scheming. Very rarely do I look back. I’m so glad I’m taking the time to do this and I hope you are all enjoying the ride along with me.
It is also worth noting that I traveled through Ireland for about 9 days before I arrived at the castle to shoot their wedding. In that time I had come to realize/admit to myself that I was in love with Joseph James Mountjoy and wanted to marry him, found the skirt I have worn to almost every single wedding I have photographed these last 7 years in a consignment store in Dublin, lost at least 8 pounds due to a $4 food budget for entire trip and walking a hundred miles lugging 5x more baggage than I should have ever had plus a painting I bought in Galway. I always think Wendy looks just like Judy Garland in this shot!
Wendy & Mark: thank you a billion times over for trusting me to photograph your dream come true. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and has been so fun to reminisce. I wish you the very happiest anniversary!!