It’s been a few weeks since Becky & Sean’s wedding, and I’ve had some time to reflect on the event. Out of the gate I’ve got to say it was a lot of fun, and a lot of work.
There’s more to photographing a wedding than just a camera, lens, and shutter button. There’s assistants, lights, softboxes, umbrellas, family, friends, harsh sun, extreme heat, extreme cold (not for this one), unique personalities, and any of the other elements you can think of. A whole mix of things come into play. And you have to control all the elements (people and external factors), all the while projecting a cool calm exterior and helping your subjects feel comfortable.
Fortunately for me, Beck & Sean are the types of people that radiate their enjoyment, and everyone else is affected by their joy. Plus they can’t help but crack each other up and those around them.
Even with a great group of folks to work with though, there is pressure for you the photographer. Well, that is if you care about what you do and take pride in it. I’ve been wringing my hands since the wedding over whether or not the couple and family will enjoy the scenes I captured for them. And I’ve gotten great feedback from everyone who has seen the images. But the people who really count were out of town on a honeymoon. They’re back now, and the hand wringing is over. 🙂
Becky stopped in this morning. She’d picked up her proofs the other day when I was out of the office. 120 4×6″ proof prints (unedited) to look through. Any touch ups or improvements will be selected by the happy couple, and then they’ll let me know what we want to do from here. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that the couple is happy with the images. That’s my goal every time.
Gonna shoot a wedding? I’ve got some thoughts for you
Do you know your gear? I mean, really know it? Be honest. Because point number one in my mind is that you’d really better know what you’re working with. It’s one thing to setup your gear on a tripod and wait for the magic hour to get that one super cool sunset shot you’ve been wanting. You’ve got time. But at a wedding you’re running and gunning. It’s fast paced and I promise you the bride and groom aren’t going to hold that kiss while you adjust aperture and shutter speed and work out your ISO. The event is moving, and you’d better be able to make adjustments on the fly without missing a beat.
Two days before the wedding I had a nightmare. I was sitting back in a chair when I was told that the bride was walking down with her dad, now. My shoe laces weren’t tied, so I had to get them tied. And I totally missed the bride and her father. This is why I prefer sandals.
Okay, comfy with the gear? Good. You should be if you’re offering professional services. Now, how do you feel about shooting indoors? Now outdoors? Harsh sun? Now mix some clouds in. Dappled light? What if it downpours? You’d better be ready for all those conditions.
I’d hoped for some nice puffy AZ clouds for the wedding. I got a flat blue sky that was super washed out by harsh sun. Fortunately the haze from the dust storm in Phoenix two days before blew out. Imagine what the images would have looked like on Friday? Dust and clouds everywhere in the sky. Yeah, that would have been purdy.
Finally, you’ve got your technical stuff worked out. Good. Here’s a big one……..
How are you with people? Like em? Hate em? Well, you’re going to meet a ton of new people at a wedding. Uncles and aunts, siblings, parents, grandparents, the crazy neighbor, etc. Some are going to want to get in your shot. Some just don’t want to be happy in front of the camera. The bride’s ex boyfriend or the groom’s ex wife? Yeah, they’ll be fun to shoot.
I can tell you, I enjoy meeting new people and interacting. Especially with folks who enjoy themselves. They make things easy. Personalities will affect your final product, I promise. So yours better be accommodating the day of the shoot. All through the wedding the other week I heard from folks that they enjoyed working with myself and my assistants. And that went into our final product I promise. One of the brides maids left a review over at Google on our service for the day.
Rich is friendly, complimentary and engaging. I was part of Rich’s first wedding shoot, and it was fun, fun, fun!! AND this was in 95* full-on sunshine in Arizona heat, and the few photos I’ve had the opportunity to see so far are EXQUISITE! Rich is talented with an excellent support staff, and should I need portrait sessions ever in the future, he will be the first person I will contact! Very professional!
Her first thoughts? Complimentary & engaging. I’m glad that’s what she remembered first. So, when you do a wedding, or any other portrait work for that matter, strive to be remembered well beyond the shots. It’s important.
Where I go from here
I’ve already gotten 3 inquiries about doing weddings since Becky & Sean’s. And I’ll continue to improve my skillset. With luck, no harsh high noon AZ sun weddings. And with planning I’ll always book with folks who really like each other.
On my main website I’ve officially put up a wedding photography page. You can view it by clicking this link. I’ll look forward to scheduling a time with any potential client who wants to talk about any type of shoot they’d like to do.
And before you make decisions on whoever you get to shoot your special event, pop on over to Takeoffyourmommygoggles.com and read the section for consumers. Educate yourself and you’ll do well.