By Marianne Weaver
The music stops. Guests go home. The tux is returned, and the dress preserved. Months – maybe years – of planning become merely a memory. Most photographers shoot the day’s highlights, but a special few capture the emotions of the day, those images that transport the couple back to their wedding day.
“There are several images that take me back to the exact moment they were taken,” recalled Caitlin Clapp of Manassas, who was married April 6, 2018, at Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket, Virginia. “From the photos of my bridesmaids and me singing and joking around while getting all dolled up; to the ending of the night where we had the whole dance floor rocking out to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, you can practically feel the energy and hear the music just from looking at those photos.”
Her wedding was photographed by Rob Jinks, who said his job is to do more than just take pictures.
“I am there to capture their story,” he said. “There isn’t one moment that I’m looking for. There are the obvious shots, but I also want to find something unique to the couple. My favorite moments are the emotion-filled shots, like when the father sees his daughter for the first time, or when the groom and bride lock eyes as she comes down the aisle.”
Jinks, based in Dumfries, Virginia, started shooting weddings in 2012. But, he said his love of photography dates back much earlier.
“I grew up enjoying cameras and shooting with my dad,” he said, noting that he got his first DSL when he was 16. Although he said he knew he wanted to do “something” with photography, he went to Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and majored in music and business. While there, he took a photography internship with the school’s public relations department.
“I learned from their photographer,” he said. “I took any assignment I could get: football games, band concerts. And then a friend asked me to do their wedding.”
And he was hooked.
“I do events and portraits, but weddings are 90 percent of my business,” he said. “I love the creative freedom. The stories are always different.”
Sometimes, he said, he’s inspired by a beautiful venue, such as the Mill at Fine Creek in Richmond that was built circa 1730.
“I love mountains,” he said, adding that he has returned to shoot many weddings in the Shenandoah Mountains, where as a child he hiked with his father and first fell in love with photography. “There are some amazing vistas.”
But, he added, no matter how amazing the location, his goal is to capture the couple’s story.
“The reason I love wedding photography is the people,” he said. “Every couple, every story is unique. It is literally history in the making.”
Marianne Weaver is a freelance writer based in Prince William County, Virginia.