Megan & Ben’s Wedding in Stamford, United Kingdom
We did not photograph this wedding. But…
Megan & Ben’s wedding is uniquely special to us for more than one reason. First of all, Megan is Erika’s baby sister! I still remember the first time I met her. She was probably 10 years old. I was picking Erika up from her parent’s home, for one of our very first dates (an overnight backpacking adventure in the mountains). Her first words to me were, “you guys aren’t going to be sleeping in the same tent, are you?”
20 years later, in the midst of a global pandemic, we met Ben. He had flown all the way over to Canada to meet Megan’s family. Then Covid hit, and “Meet the Parents” turned into “Lock down with the Parents.” Talk about trial by fire! Not only did he survive, he won us all over—including Madelyn & Timmy (he and Megan have become our go-to babysitters for whenever we have to fly away for work).
But this isn’t the only reason that this wedding is uniquely special for us. It’s special because we did not have to photograph it. We got to kick back and enjoy ourselves—be actual guests at a wedding for once! And the reason that was possible, is because we were able to leave the photography in the trusted hands of a couple Two Mann prodigies.
We are so lucky to have world class alumni all around the world. So when we learned that Megan & Ben’s wedding would be happening at Sisson’s Barn in the UK, we immediately reached out to UK-based wedding photographers, Raj & Sharul (two-time 2MU Metanoia graduates). They not only agreed to shoot it with us, but offered to shoot it without us—so that we could just let loose and celebrate with our family. And that’s exactly what we did.
Raj & Sharul made us so proud. They did exactly what we hoped they’d do—capture the essence of this wedding for Megan & Ben, and our family. Erika took it from there with all the culling. And then I handled the post production.
If it wasn’t enough for Raj & Sharul to shoot the wedding for us, they also wrote about it. Here’s what they had to say about their experience…
Imagine you’ve been listening to your favourite artist’s music for years. They are rockstars and can fill an auditorium with fans from around the world. You play music too, but they inspire you to play better music. You show up to all the education they have to offer, you are mentored by them over a couple of years, and you keep striving to better your craft.
Then one day the same mentors ask if you’re available to play alongside them, as they’d like to perform for their family. You are honoured and horrified at the same time. You say yes, knowing it will be terrifying.
As it gets closer to the main event, you go further by asking your mentors to put their instruments down, while you do the performing, and they simply enjoy their family event.
You can probably tell where we’re going with this. Not only were we photographing in front of our mentors, for their family wedding, but we were also going to hand over all our RAW files. We willingly volunteered to expose all our failed compositions, our missed moments… our insecurities! They would not only see our RAW files, but they’d also have the knowledge of being at the wedding in person. They’d know what happened, what we missed, where we were, what lighting we used or didn’t use.
I’m a pretty confident shooter (in part, thanks to 2MU Metanoia). But I vividly remember a moment during bridal prep when I kept second guessing myself. Am I where I should be? Is this what I was taught to do? Is this what THEY would do? What would I do? But most importantly, what would Megan & Ben value as a photograph?
Erika, Lanny, Madelyn and Timmy are literally in the freaking room. Getting ready. Helping their sister get ready. Making drinks. Eating lunch. Chilling out. And here I am bumbling about with 5 different voices in my head. This is not practice. This is not my opportunity to develop. This is a live moment happening in Megan & Ben’s life and I can’t screw this up.
At one point, Erika’s mom remarked on how much attention I was paying to each nuanced moment as it unfolded. Erika added that photography was like a meditation where you can simply just get lost in documentary mode. The voice inside my head said I was simply… lost!
As the day went on, we put our fears and insecurities to one side, and purely focussed on delivering for Megan & Ben. We took Erika & Lanny off the pedestal for a moment, and simply saw them as loving relatives who were happy to witness their sister getting married. Erika took a selfie in the car with her sisters. Lanny danced to Billy Jean. And we were simply there to document the day for Megan & Ben.
Seeing the full gallery now, even our harshest inner voice has allowed us to feel proud of the photographs we’ve made. We’re incredibly thankful to Erika & Lanny for trusting us with such a big moment in their family’s lives.Raj & Sharul
Megan & Ben, you are so lucky to have had Raj & Sharul work their magic at your wedding! And we are so lucky to have you both in our lives. We love you so much!