As most of you may know, Grant and I work as full-time paramedics along with running our wedding photography business. I’ve debated doing a blog post on this for quite some time, but I honestly felt nervous at first. I worried that sharing this part of us would make us seem not as professional in the wedding world due to the preconceived idea that EMS is a rough job. It’s not elegant at all and they really are polar opposites when it comes to comparing the two. But, it turns out they’re not as different as I originally thought and there are multiple areas of the EMS world that will compliment us well as we trade in that uniform and venture into full-time wedding photography. But you’ll have to stay tuned to the end of the post to learn why. 🙂
So what is it we really do? And why do I think we’ve learned skills that can help us in photography? Glad you asked! I’m about to tell all! Okay, not too much because I don’t want to bore you. 😉
Grant and I work two days a week that consist of 24 and 12 hour shifts. Roughly out of the entire month we only work 8 shifts, which doesn’t seem too bad! Unfortunately, our sleep is greatly interrupted by those types of shifts. On a typical day, we start off by checking out truck and do chores throughout the base. We all eat breakfast together as a family and wait for tones to drop sending us anywhere in the county. Those calls are anywhere from trauma to medical and range between critical to very minor. Every shift is different and we can never truly plan or prepare for the type of day we’ll have or the calls we’ll run. As paramedics, we can perform a wide variety of skills that are as minor as an IV or as invasive as sedating and paralyzing a patient so we can better care for them. We may run difficult calls that require us to use every skill we know, to very minor calls where we simply hold the hand of a lonely elderly lady so she can talk to someone. It’s a job that challenges us and yet also makes us feel like we made a difference in someone’s life no matter how small or big it was. One thing I love is how after every shift, Grant and I will talk through the day and do our own debrief. Funny thing, this is normally done in the truck before we even come into the house! We may be talking for an entire hour before we finally get it all out and leave it all outside before coming into the house. It’s our little way of processing the shift so we can move forward properly.
There is so much that could be said about EMS and the benefits to working as a community servant, but it would require too long of a post and a lot of reading. 😉 I’ll spare you!
Now back to my question as to how this can help us in the wedding photography world because I’m sure your brain is spinning with how on earth this can relate. 🙂
In EMS we check our truck first thing to ensure batteries are charged and we have all the equipment we need for the day. We’re doing these exact same things in our photography business! Usually it’s the day before a wedding, but we charge all of our batteries, make sure cameras, lens and flash are all working properly and timeline is printed. We bring clear umbrellas to every wedding because with Missouri weather you never know when a little shower may pop up. 😉 We want to be prepared as much as possible because we know how much of this can ease our couple’s minds knowing we are prepared and ready to serve them in every way.
EMS is very stressful at times, and wedding photography can be as well, even though from our experience the stress from weddings isn’t anything compared to EMS! And weddings are just full of joy and happiness! Over the years, we have learned to work well under any type of stress and to use it to our advantage. For instance, we create detailed timelines for our couples knowing full well that on the day of the wedding, that timeline may get off due to unforeseen circumstances. We feel that because of our EMS training we’re able to adapt and change plans quickly to get everything back on track and still get everything captured that our couples want!
Which brings me to my last point. Our job as paramedics is to serve our patients and be advocates for them. This same thing relates to weddings and our couples. We are there to serve them on one of the best days of their lives and serve them well! We love hearing our couples’ dreams for their day so we can support those dreams to the best of our ability. While as paramedics we may be serving the sick and injured, as wedding photographers we are serving our couples on the happiest day!
We’re excited to say that our years in EMS (10 to be exact!) are dwindling down as we happily pursue our dream of being full-time wedding photographers. God has indeed blessed us with the ability and desire to work in EMS for those years, but we love this new avenue that He is leading us down as we change directions.
We’ve been asked how we can be okay with leaving a job that can radically make a difference in someone’s life. But for one, Grant and I aren’t the only ones in EMS and there is plenty of others in the field who are passionate and eager to pursue a life in it. Also, we are and can continue to be be radically making a change in the wedding photography industry. While we may no longer be working the trucks, we are capturing moments for our couples on one of the greatest days of their lives! Our main “why” for doing wedding photography is that we want to encourage our couples that marriage is truly a wonderful and great thing! With divorces happening all throughout our nation, we want to pray for and encourage our couples that their marriage will not only thrive but will also flourish as they grow old together. EMS will always have a special place in our hearts as we do love the opportunities is provided us, but we are eager and excited to love and serve in another area that will hopefully have just as much of a lasting impact.