As I posted my Thanksgiving day blog about what I am thankful for this year, I realized that most, if not all of the things I was writing about as being grateful for were personal. This felt particularly interesting because a few weeks ago I had a reader question if I should combine my personal and my professional work onto one blog. I’ve always done so, since I started Emily Alt Photography in 2011, I have blogged personally and professionally from the same platform—honestly, that was partly due to the fact that I didn’t really have the energy or capacity to maintain 2 blogs, but also because I strong believe in combining personal and professional.
The way I see it, as a wedding photographer, I am working with my clients on what is most likely the MOST personal day of their lives—the day when it all comes together—all the planning and organizing and evaluating turns into this awesome wedding vision that has been so long in the making.
But more than that, as a wedding photographer, I see it all—the personal moments being a huge part of the day. There are numerous occasions where it’s just me and the bride right as she gets ready to see her groom for the first time…or it’s just me and the groom as he gets ready to finalize his vows…or I’m privy to the last minute tears between the bride and her sister as she puts on her veil—these moments I end up feeling sort of like a fly on the wall—I am witnessing the most intimate and the most special times of the wedding (those moments that I truly love to capture as a photographer, they are my absolute favorite) and it is such a privilege.
So then, when I think about my own blog, I think it would feel a little weird to not combine personal and professional. I know some photographers who do—they just keep their blog only about weddings and engagements and family sessions, but that doesn’t work for me. Honestly, for anyone who knows me, I'm kind of a personal gal--I tell you EVERYTHING right from the get go. Never met me before? Well, be prepared to hear all about Pat Conroy and my obession with horses. Hanging out with me for a few minutes at the reception? I'll probably ask you to quiz me on 90210 trivia. Debating between jewelry? I'll give you my opinion. At the end of the day, I put it all out there--both on my blog and in my business.
I love reading other photographer’s blogs who write about their own lives—the struggles of balancing this career with the rest of their life, the lenses they used mixed in with posts about their favorite tea or the best date they’ve been on lately. This business is SO personal that I believe my clients are owed a small part of me—they should know who they are hiring to spend 8+ hours documenting them on their day.
If you feel like I’m a total stranger when I show up, then that will show up in your photos. If you feel comfortable with me, and we’re able to laugh and joke around and slam a shot of tequila when you’re getting ready, then that will show up too in the photos. My style is so personal and so candid, that if I were not to share parts of who I am and what makes me happy or sad or struggle or excited on a daily basis, then you wouldn’t really know me..and, as a result, you wouldn’t really know Emily Alt Photography. My business is personal—it’s about creating amazing relationships with clients that will last well beyond the wedding day.
My goal at the end of each wedding I shoot (in addition to delivery fabulous pictures), is for my clients to feel as though we are friends and that we can hang out and spend time together in the future—that is personal. That is a relationship and that is what my business is all about.