Charlene Trickey felt like she truly saw the world for the first time when she looked through a camera lens during a mission trip to Nicaragua in 2008. She is legally blind in her left eye, and using a camera was like gaining her sight back.
Photographing that trip had a profound impact on Trickey, and she eventually began her own business, Trickey Photography, which specializes in wedding, family and lifestyle photography. She particularly loves wedding photography because it allows her to meet couples and capture their love stories.
In November, Charlene ended up on the other side of the lens as the bride. We sat down with Charlene to learn about why she loves wedding photography and what it was like being on the other side of the wedding industry.
Why do you love wedding photography?
It’s emotional and a challenge. It draws out a side of everyone that you don’t feel in other sessions. I enjoy the challenge that comes with telling each couple’s individual love story.
What do you enjoy most about working with couples?
I get to see the underlying side of people you wouldn’t normally see. People who you think might be focused on the small details, they care more about friends and family. Others that have been low-key their whole life take chances and go big on their big day. I love that couples dig into a side of themselves that we aren’t normally allowed to have. They take this chance to do what they want to do. I’m honored to see the different personalities of my couples.
What was it like planning a wedding after being so involved in the industry?
It was definitely an advantage because we knew the best in town, who to trust and who to hire. I have always valued these industry relationships, but it was even better to work together on a more intimate and personal level as their client. We actually decided we wanted a wedding planner, that way it would just be myself, Travis and the planner. My family typically puts it on themselves to be the planners, but I wanted them to just show up and enjoy the wedding. I shoot over 40 weddings a year, so I knew what worked and what didn’t, what we wanted and didn’t want.
Tell us about some of the special details of your wedding.
I hid the color of my dress from Travis. He was convinced that I bought a purple dress. On the wedding day, when he turned around and saw me in a white dress, his face was priceless. Other really special moments were with my sons. Carter, my oldest son, wanted to photograph the wedding because that’s what I do. We got him a Polaroid camera, and he took a picture of me coming down the aisle. My younger son, Myles was the ring-bearer. Travis, their step-dad, and I gave them both cross necklaces so they would have gifts on that day to outwardly show everyone. My stepfather cooked for the whole wedding because I have celiac disease and can’t eat at restaurants or have catered food. He sanitized his kitchen and allowed no gluten in it for two weeks before the wedding. He made the most amazing meal that I was actually able to enjoy.
What moments are you most excited to have captured and look back on?
Terri Smith photographed the wedding. She took photos of my sibling’s wedding and was one of the reasons I attempted wedding photography. She’s got this energy that’s infectious. She handles weddings like it’s fun because it should be. She helped me dive into weddings. She has a way of finding a shot that you wouldn’t think would be there. I’m thinking particularly of a picture of Travis and I that she took by the pool house. She was on the backside shooting through gate. I could see how she was composing it and I feel it will be one of the best from the wedding. I know the depths she put in will speak volumes. Also, pictures of my children being there on my special day — I can’t wait to see how the photographs capture their excitement.
Why is wedding photography such an important investment?
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but they do so much more. Pictures present not just words but feelings. When you look back at wedding photos, whether it’s months, a year, or 50 years later, it brings back a moment, a feeling of bliss. You won’t think of the hard times, you will be reminded of all of the good. That’s such a special feeling because these photos will always be a part of you.