I have told the beginning part of this story multiple times over the years. All my athletes will remember it cropping up from time to time before graduation day. But now that my sports world and wedding world have overlapped, I suppose it would make sense to explain it here.
This will explain why I had to excuse myself from the room under the pretense of taking photos of the grooms suit momentarily after reading the thank you note from Alex and Anica on the morning of their wedding.
The world of a sports photographer is very different from that of a wedding photographer. And for many years before I spent my summer weekends and weekdays wearing a suit and taking photos of peoples “I Do’s” I was curled up on the side of a court / pitch / field with a monopod and a large telephoto lens, waiting for moments that flashed by at 1/2500th of a second.
As a sports photographer your interaction with your subject is limited to expression and the moments that appear between moments, if that is explainable. You don’t direct your subject, but catch the fractions of a second in which they triumph, or come up short. You see the frustration, the elation, the joy and the heart break that accompanies athletic endeavors. You see the flashes of expression that no one else does, and through that, you come to care about them.
And if you take photos of that athlete for long enough, you find yourself potentially missing photos during a particularly important moment as your breath stops and you watch in anticipation, cheering for them silently. You’re watching a career flash by at 1/1000th of a second. It is an incredible privilege to be witness to these moments, and for many years of my athletic photography career, Anica and Alex were two of those athletes.
When I started work for the TRU Wolfpack in 2009, they were two of the first athletes I took photos of, along with Brad Pape their coach, with whom I share a love of cars, we developed a friendship over the years until 2010 and ’13 respectively when Alex and Anica graduated.
Even then, Anica asked if I could come and take some photos of her at her convocation, and when she stood up to walk across the stage I found myself clapping and cheering as loud as anyone.
These two had been a part of my life for a long time by that point. And it was with a laugh and exchanged hugs over a coffee that I was asked to take pictures at their wedding. I was well over a hundred weddings in my ever changing photographic career, yet on the wedding morning, as I strapped on my camera equipment with a routine so engrained I performed the adjustments by auto pilot, I found myself thinking about all the years of tournaments and practices of taking photos of these two. Watching as they cheered for each other, supported each other, laughed at each other more often than not, and grew from almost rookies to graduates in front of my eyes.
As I often am on these mornings, I was humbled by the trust put in me and my assistants in creating the photos that would document one of the most important days of a couple’s life.
So thank you, you two, for the trust, and for all the years of moments between moments. And I admit, as I watched you two walk back down the aisle towards me, my breath may have caught yet again, and silently, I cheered as much as I had so vocally at any of your tournaments.
All my love.
Photography: Andrew Snucins / Stacey Krolow