Melanie Mauer is a phenomenal professional photographer with a unique talent for weddings. She was born in Germany, but grew up all over the United States and now lives in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. She has been working professionally since 1999 and her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Southern Weddings, and The Washington Post. We previously profiled Melanie Mauer’s wedding photography.
What are the unique challenges to shooting weddings? So many photographers avoid weddings – there are short moments that can be stressful but I wake up a little bit happier on a wedding day. I’m there to document a union and celebration! I’m an optimist so my heart feels that portion of the day more than anything else.
Weddings require a versatility of photographic skills – portraits, details, low lighting…but it wouldn’t be as satisfying otherwise. And it can be physical – we may move furniture, be outside in 95 degree weather in a southeastern summer for the majority of the day and an assistant looked at her Fitbit recently (not at the end of the day even) and we’d already clocked 7 miles.
It takes a particular temperament perhaps to love them as much as I do but given that I find the most beautiful thing on the planet to be human relationships, it’s a goldmine for me. Oh, and I only work with lovely people!
Give us some more of your favorite wedding stories? Oh goodness! There’s a bride who was in remission and another who was nervous until she got on the golf course in her wedding gown and hit a few balls because she loved the sport so much. There’s one who set her wedding on a mountaintop, and others that changed their wedding dates so ill fathers could be there. There’s a mother who told me she had cancer and her daughter didn’t know but she wanted me to take the right kind of photos “just in case.” My first Indian wedding that had me completely overcome with the entry of the groom and the jubilation of friends and family dancing to the most amazing music. I see a really exquisite slice of life.