Weddings are overflowing with a riot of emotions. Nerves and joy collide creating such an overwhelming deluge of feeling that you cease to remember and instead just feel. That saturation of happiness is a gift. It is living fully in the moment and experiencing at it’s most beautiful. It is every little interaction, the friends & family and sense of delight that we desire to have captured in photos to be enjoyed for years to come by your wedding photographer. And ideally, we want all of this magic of memory making to happen fluidly and without any fanfare.
This is where every wedding photographer worth his/her salt has mastered the art of amiable wedding guest/proficient planner meets stealthy ninja all in one charming package. So here are three of my from-the-trenches-learned lessons on capturing a wedding brilliantly that has nothing whatsoever to do with taking a photo.
- Genuine Engaging Wedding Guest
Yes, you are a paid professional but more than that you are someone the couple has entrusted with one of the most important elements of their day. In order to do this in a way that is both beneficial and a pleasing part of the day it is important that your presence is felt more like a genuine friend or guest who has come to celebrate alongside the couple while also taking lovely photos. The reality is, the photographer typically spends more time with the couple on their day than anyone else. The impression you leave from the day will be less about the actual photos (they won’t see those for weeks) and more about how you made them feel.
- Nickname: Helpful Henry
Not every wedding is fortunate enough to have a wedding planner and even those that do are not above a helping hand. Although the title for the day may read Wedding Photographer, the subtitles are endless. There are so many details that play out throughout a wedding day that need a little finessing and love. Most people do not spend their ever -loving weekend at weddings so the ebb and flow of the day is not something that comes naturally to them. That is where the photographer can be invaluable. You’ve done this before and often. Be quick to lend aid, no task too small. At every turn if you are able, be part of the solution and not the problem. A frazzled bride who is trying to problem solve is less likely to be ready to shine for your fantastic portraits so take a minute and troubleshoot. Delegate, be creative, wrangle the troops back on track, and do it all with a smile.
- Weddings lead to Marriage
I realize that this sounds completely ridiculous because it is overly obvious. But it is important to not forget that this enchanting day that we have the honor of being a part of is the union of two lives blending in marriage. It’s a BIG DEAL. Not only that, the couple has invited their favorite people to join them in this celebration, and you are among them. The photos are incredibly important, they will be the visual story for generations of this grand event. That said; make sure to let that story be told as seamlessly as possible. Be sensitive to the couple’s limited time to revel and bask in the love of their friends & family. It is their opportunity to dance and be in the limelight. This joyous day is merely the beginning of a long journey. Document it, participate in it, enjoy it, but do not dominate it. Gift them with your talent to retell their splendid story while masquerading as the endearing guest who just happens to be their fantastic wedding photographer.