On this side of the camera it can be difficult to see what kind of value you provide to people. Is it simply about delivering pretty pictures, from flattering angles and in the best lighting? What exactly are we as wedding photographers contributing to our clients' wedding days and lives?
Of all the major purchases that an engaged couple incurs for their wedding day only one of them lasts beyond it (except for maybe leftover cake and a freeze dried bouquet,) and that's the photography and videography. It is a second order good whose function is to capture, in imagery, all the other goods.
Those other things--the first order goods: the dresses and tuxedos, table centerpieces, DJ, champagne, officiant, and venue are consumed and enjoyed in a symbolic ritual that never lasts more than a few hours. We walk down an aisle toward the love of our lives, and we profess that love and make vows and commitments all in a few fleeting, but important, moments.
And in the years to follow, when the challenges of life and marriage come knocking, it can be easy to lose sight of the good and perfect moments that started it all, and we can start to forget why it is that we ever made those commitments in the first place.
And that is what wedding photography is really and truly for: to make it that much harder to forget those perfect little moments; to turn "day one" into "day after day." So that the way you felt when you walked down that aisle and saw your future spouse standing there waiting for you becomes...unforgettable.