Jennifer Dery on Taking Photos
Photographers are the voyeurs of our society, invited to capture some of life’s most precious moments, often by people who were otherwise complete strangers before. I can’t tell you how many times I have been working away at a wedding and have realized how lucky I am, to be there and sharing in these memories with clients who almost always turn into friends. There is something truly special about what I get to do, but it also requires a high level of trust.
For most of you, the person you select to photograph your wedding (and the moments and memories which follow throughout the years) is a person who gains a more intimate view than even your guests. You are also often taking a risk and selecting that person based only on a gut feeling, hoping that they can create what you envision. For my part, I always want to give you just that, but along the way I find I regularly learn more about my clients than they may ever know about me. So in an effort to decrease that divide, I want to start a new series here at Jennifer Dery Photography:
Getting to Know Your Photographer
Once a week over the next several months, I am going to post a little bit about me. I want to share my thoughts and views on a variety of topics and even give you all some insight into my personal history. To kick things off, I thought it would be perfect to start with my views on photography and how I came to call this my career.
I’ve always had a camera. For as long as I can remember, it has just always been a part of me. My dad and each of my grandfathers were photographers, so growing up I always knew that this medium was in my blood. As I neared adulthood, it quickly became clear that I was a little too artsy and ADD to be able to pull off a 9-5 job in a cubicle. I would never have been fully happy in that life, so eventually I took the plunge and decided to pursue the one profession I already knew – taking photographs of people. That was over 10 years ago, and I can honestly say that I have never looked back.
There is so much I love about what I get to do. If you get a few drinks in me, I will admit that a big part of why I adore this job is the fact that I am able to lead a life without alarm clocks 80 percent of the time. But of course, there is more to it than that. I love the people and relationships I am able to form as I pursue my passion, and it actually means something to me that I get to spend my days making art. If I weren’t a photographer, I don’t think I would be me. I could possibly see myself pursuing a career in event coordination or as a chef, anything creative with wine and food really, but even then – I know I would not be nearly as fulfilled as I am now.
I’ve photographed a lot of weddings, but the events I did in Japan and Jamaica always stick out as two of my most memorable. Actually, I dream more about where I want to shoot next than where I’ve already been. A wedding in the Italian countryside, or in one of those ruined churches in Guatemala or even Thailand would be incredible. There are just so many places to go, and my dream is to get to them all. Perhaps you have a wedding somewhere special you would like to bring me along for?
I’m still going strong after all this time photographing weddings. The trick is to stay fresh and relevant. What was trendy 5 years ago is unacceptable today. I am a photographer of people yes. A trend-watcher, yes. A trend-setter?? Well, since I really hate following the crowd, I definitely try to be.