it’s all in a bobby pin

Lately we have been planning a TON of exciting new changes for Sarah Mac Photography, which we are SO excited to eventually share with you guys. We are totally going to be revamping the types of products we are offering, how client interaction works, and the essence of our brand. This last one is (and will continue to be) the hardest, and it is really making us look at ourselves under a microscope. (FYI looking at yourself under a microscope is VERY exhausting and requires tons of Starbucks and lots of cupcake breaks.)

Today, we were on the topic of “WHY?” Why do we do what we do? And as we sat with our coffee I came up with reasons. “Well, I love weddings. I love photography. When you put those two things together, you get a wedding photographer”. Ben looked at me, and before he said it I already knew what was going to come out of his mouth (partly because I know him so well, and partly because I knew I was copping out). “Yeah. But that sounds like something every other wedding photographer could say as well. What motivates you that makes you DIFFERENT?” Then I thought some more, and eventually told Ben I thought we should go home. Because I needed a snack. And I do my best thinking in sweatpants. And as we got in the car I saw it. My WHY.

About four years ago, in a time before we were wedding photographers, Ben and I were just like a lot of our couples. We were newly engaged, madly in love, and ready to plan a wedding. We didn’t really know much about wedding timelines or table centerpieces, so we started to do our research. We would pour over articles on the internet, have magazine stakeouts in Barnes & Noble (with Starbucks of course. Some things were ALWAYS the same) and eventually, like a lot of couples, we fell in love with our wedding. In our free time we talked place settings and playlists, dreamed about flowers and photo-ops, and just like anyone in love I got butterflies in my stomach every time I thought about the moment I would FINALLY be at our wedding. I, like pretty much every bride, was enamored with our day.

One day we were touring a venue here in Tampa, and had just gotten to that part where the venue coordinator gives you a moment to yourself so you can talk about whether or not you’re smitten with the chandeliers and ballroom layout. The room was still set up from the wedding the night before, and as I stood in the middle of the parquet floor imagining our first dance, Ben came over and put something in my hand. “Just think”, he said, “this was part of the best day of someone’s life”. And as a looked down at my hand, I saw a teeny, sort of bent bobby pin with a pearl on the end. And then, I responded in a way that I doubt anyone in the history of the world has ever EVER done when looking at a bobby pin. I got a little teary. This one teeny little detail that I held in my hand represented so much. It had a story.

Today, four year later as we drove home from Starbucks, I once again found meaning in my small bent up bobby pin.  And in that moment I realized my WHY. Because you see, it isn’t the fact that I love weddings. Or even that I love photography. The real reason I do what I do, is because I am in love with love stories. Epic love stories, where even the smallest gestures or details represent so much of the people involved. Where doing puzzles on a Friday night should be orchestrated by swells of music, and impromptu dances should happen at least once a month. Where a bobby pin isn’t just a bobby pin, but a representation of the happiest moment of a woman’s life. I then got so excited telling Ben my realization that I forgot to have my snack when I got home. (But I did still put on my sweatpants. That’s pretty much ALWAYS a must.)

So, as I sit here tonight, typing away in my bed (which is one of the BEST perks of working from home), I am so very happy to say that today I found my “why”. Why do I do what I do? Because I believe everyone should be given the chance to see their relationship as an epic love story. Because I want to capture the glances a bride may never notice, or the crazy weird faces a couple may make at each other. Because, contrary to what the movies show us, love stories don’t always have to be made of huge grand gestures like dashes through the airport or renting out an entire jewelry store. Sometimes it’s the little things. Like singing horribly off key in the car. Or doing the Sunday morning crossword. Sometimes, it’s all in a bobby pin.


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