I am so honored when a potential client writes me an email inquiry asking about wedding photography and says something like "I just LOVE your work and the emotions you capture!" That's amazing--I am blown away by compliments of my work, but it also puts a lot of pressure on me right from the start--Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the influence of Pinterest on the wedding business. I recently did a post with A Practical Wedding where I wrote about how I shoot the emotions and excitement of the day, rather than the details.
I definitely don’t “shoot for blogs”—meaning I don’t just work on capturing little stuff or staging photos of all the bridesmaid and the bride having a huge laugh together (I had a client send me an email earlier this week saying she hates those pictures and that there is something creepy about all of them laughing at the same time, and I have to admit, I completely and totally agree with her!) But shooting amazing wedding photographs isn’t always a given—there are lots of factors that go into making sure your wedding gets you the very best pictures and these are just a few of my ideas:
1) Make sure you are comfortable….with it ALL: This is hands down the most important factor in getting great wedding photography. Seriously, it sounds so simple, but it sometimes happens where the bride or the couple is just not up for a lot of the details of the day. Maybe they didn’t have a big say in some of the planning or maybe there was a family issue that caused them to have to go back on some of their ideas. Maybe mom picked out the dress and the bride hates it or maybe the groom has reservations about the ceremony—if there is anything about your wedding day that you are uncomfortable with, it’s going to show in your pictures. It might not be totally possible to fix it all before the actual event, but as much as possible, it’s important you feel excited and comfortable about as many of the events and details as possible.
2) Have FUN—my favorite photos of all time are the one’s where the bride and groom are laughing really hard, or the wedding party is going crazy on the dance floor, or the mom is so excited to see her daughter in her dress—whatever, FUN is critical. It’s your wedding. You must be willing to let loose, laugh super hard, have a great time and just be yourself as much as possible. Yes, you’re the center of attention, but let that attention come from the total HAPPINESS you are exuding.
3) Don’t worry about cheese—meaning, don’t worry if something you’re doing “feels cheesy”—I’ll pose you and suggest ideas of ways to stand, but trust me, if it looks totally stupid, I’m not going to send you that picture. If I pose you in a way that feels “prom-y”, just go with it. If I want to take a picture of your shoes, let me. Let there be a little cheese—sometimes those pictures look fabulous.
4) Don’t try to create moments—A huge part of getting amazing photos is letting me capture the moments that you don’t see happening. Trust me that I’m fast and I’ll move quickly. If I see something awesome about to happen, I’ll do my darndest to get it—but you don’t need to pose or try to create that moment, let it arrive naturally.
5) Ask your guests for a “no devices” wedding—This is AMAZING. I had a client do this recently and have another wedding coming up where the couple has asked that the guests turn off their cell phones and cameras during the wedding and let the photographer do the job. It is one of the BEST things I can imagine a couple doing, from a photographer’s perspective. It eliminates me trying to shoot around 13 iphones in the air during the ceremony and makes sure that my shot of the couple coming down the aisle won’t be light-bombed by a flash from a guest’s camera. PLUS, and way more importantly, it allows your guests to be present for YOU on YOUR day and let’s me do the job—they get to relax and hang out, you get to have fun with them, I get to shoot the pictures—it’s a win, win all around. I love this.
6) Boss us around (just be nice about it)—For sure! If you know that there is a certain thing you want us to capture or you want to make sure we don’t’ miss, TELL US. Don’t worry about bossing us around—we love getting direction and would much rather have you be specific about a shot than to miss us. If you see a cool moment happening, tell me and I’ll get it!
7) You’re the center of attention—Rock it!—I’m going to follow you around. A lot. It’s YOUR day. You should be joyful, happy, laughing, over the moon giddy. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re TOO happy—that’s never the case. Be the center of attention, rock it, let yourself go—you only get to do this one time and where that dress one time and kiss that guy ONE time as your first moment as husband and wife—be crazy, be passionate, be excited!!
Bottom line, most people like my work because it demonstrates the total joy and happiness of the day. I love working with really happy and vibrant couples and I love when couples are just over the moon for one another—if that’s you, then we’ll be a great fit because I’ll be able to easily get all those amazing moments of love and bliss. But again, the MOST important thing is #1—make sure you’re comfortable with as much of your day as possible. It will make all the difference in the world!