Of the many reasons why I feel like wedding photography is important and not just awesome, the most compelling comes from something I learned while getting my BA in Sociology. Science has shown that our memories aren't fixed. When we access them, they can change a little, and when we don't access them, they can also change. Think of a game of telephone, but instead of the message getting garbled by each person reciting their own interpretation of what they hear, our memories get garbled by our interpretation of the memory as we grow into different people than we were when we made it.
This idea has always haunted me. What I think I remember may not be how it happened. One conversation with my mother and my three siblings proves beyond all doubt the truth of this idea in my mind. One seminal childhood event, five different accountings of what happened from five different perspectives. Often there are even arguments. "It happened like this." "NO! It happened like THIS." It's a little ridiculous, but then again, we all are; and that's why dad is outside stealing a moment to himself and having none of it.
Memories are plastic. We've probably all had the experience of a memory becoming less vivid with time. This is all well and good for memories of pop culture, arguments, fashion choices, and other negligible elements of life. The problem is that you don't want to change, loose, or fade the good memories. (if you've seen Inside Out, the core memories might be an apt comparison). Your wedding is this type of memory, and that's why a photographer is considered an essential element at almost any wedding these days.
What's crazy is, photography is plastic and interpretive too. In a society where photos serve as proof of identity and are admissible in court as evidence, it's easy to think of any photograph as as a completely accurate representation of what actually happened. The thing is, all we have to do is look at the photos from any two people's cameras from the same event (easy to do with crowdsourced news stories) and we'll see things in one image that we won't see at all in another and vice versa. Photography isn't about cameras, it's about seeing.
Seeing is different for every person. Colorblindness effects more than 4% of the population. The company Enchroma has invented a new kind of glasses that filter the light in such a way that some people stricken with colorblindness can see colors that they've never seen before. I saw this video today and I got emotional. (Pardon this guy's f-bombs, but he's just SO EXCITED)
When I saw this I thought: that's the difference a good photographer makes! Through our work, we can show you your own memories in true, living color. Yes, photographs are always interpreted, both when they're being created and when they're being viewed. In the same way, color is interpreted uniquely by all people. Memories are interpreted in much the same way. By finding a photographer who sees things like you do, you can ensure that your fixed memories reflect who you really are. When your photographer understands and aligns with your way of seeing, and when you like their way of seeing, the only real, fixed, unchanging evidence of your most important memories won't fade with time.