Today I’m delighted to get to write about Jillian of Little Bat Photography, who’s located here in San Francisco. In the last few months, I’ve gotten to know Jillian personally, over cocktails and Thai food, and long rambling talks about the APW community, while sitting in a car. Jillian is smart as hell (she works at Twitter during the day, so you know she’s super sharp), stylish, funny, and down to earth. She’s also a damn good photographer and artist, and lucky for you: A) You can hire her to shoot your wedding, B) she’s affordable, and C) she loves you.
But today’s post is less about Jillian, and more about you. It’s about why she loves you, Team Practical, why she’s grateful for you, and why she loves working with you. I’m going to let her tell you in her own words:
Dear APW Community,
If you know me, you know what I think about APW and the community it fosters. You know what I think of Meg and her vision, of my love for the other APW photographers and vendors who support each other fully, and of my feelings on APW readers. If I meet you in person in the future, chances are I’ll gush about this all to you again. It’s a whole thing, my love for APW. It’s kind of like my love for photography, and in many ways, makes me love photography more.
When I planned my wedding five years ago, I don’t think I knew what a blog was. I was living in the most isolated city in the world (for real) and didn’t really have any friends who had been married. I had nothing to compare my planning to—which is good, because I could never have kept up with the WIC. Perfection wasn’t in my budget. Having 10 people with us on the beach and 60 people for dinner was. Fast forward five years in both my marriage and my career as a photographer, and I couldn’t imagine the wedding world without APW. What if all we saw were stylized shoots with perfect everything to compare ourselves to? What if we all expected to look like fairies in fields with perfect friends and no troubles in the world? What if we forgot that life happens and imperfection is ok, and that life still goes on when things fall out of place?
For me, APW takes the sugarcoating out of the wedding world and leaves the tasty treat beneath. And because of this, I’ve spent this year working with the most real, beautiful, perfectly imperfect APW couples. I have embraced each as family, got dirty, made veils and bouquets, cried during your speeches, and had pep talks that were sometimes challenging. I’ve been able to be honest that we’re not going to photoshop you to look thinner because you should embrace who you are and love yourself. You’ve sent me pictures of your dress disasters and your then dress solutions. I’ve told you no when I felt the need to uphold the priorities of my business, and you’ve understood and embraced me back. You’ve realized how much I care about you and want to be involved. You let me be a crazy artist, and I catch you when you’re laughing and crying and being, because that’s what it’s about. I’ve been able to remember with you, each day, that this is about your union and the celebration to commemorate it—not about having a “perfect” wedding.