“Almost like a mountain lion stalking it’s prey… They tap me on the shoulder, almost like a ghost trying to get your attention, and then, just like in 5th grade, from your friend sitting behind you, they whisper”
It’s been a bit since I’ve posted on the site. The year finished up with editing every photo I had to edit before the turn of the new year, and then, well, I needed some time off. Being a photographer, who primarily only shoots weddings, means I go go go from about early April till the end of the year. Working almost each and every day. So once the “season” (I use that word very lightly) comes to a wrap, I almost sink back into a quiet time to get my souls energy levels back up.
You see, photographing weddings is such an awesome way to go thru life, the highs that come during a wedding day are so insanely awesome. And with that, as the photographer, come Monday, I usually hit a pretty good low. After putting myself out there for the weekend and having to be on point can leave me needing a reboot.
Anyway…. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about me, as a photographer, your photographer, wanting only the best for your day. Not just the best photos, but truly, the best day. It’s what you deserve. And as a key vendor in your day, it’s what I aim for. So this post is about how we can work together, at least on the photography side, to make your day as awesome as possible!!!
Before I get into smaller thoughts or details, the first thing I need to touch on is the timing of your day. One of the most important pieces for sure, second only to who you’re marrying on your day. haha… Hang on… I want to rewind. I need to stop. My mind wants you to actually think about something else before the timing of your day.
Really quick like, think about who you’re marrying. Remember why you’re marrying them. And if you’re reading this and are already married, think about all the things you fell in love with. The way he or she would do quirky little things that made you smile and made you know that it’s only the two of you who get it…. The way you laugh together. The way you’re quite together…. Every couple has ups and downs, sometimes you need space only to find out that you really want to come back together and work thru things however only you two know how to, in turn, building something even stronger. What I’m getting at is your partner in crime, your lover, your friend… Look at them, think about them and know that you both deserve each other because together, life is actually better…… Feel their love and allow them to feel yours. And please, if there’s one thing I ask. One thing, as your photographer, as a stranger, as a friend, as someone you may never meet or someone you spend moments and minutes with… Please don’t ever stop doing the things that you do for them now, in 5, 10 or 20 years…. No matter how small. Because it may be those little things they in turn love….
Okay, for now, you have two options, three really…. One, you can take a break and listen to the song below, and if you do that, listen to it. Feel it. And think about your partner in crime. Option two, pass the video and just keep reading… And option three. Close the window and go back to your day. I’m cool with what ever you think you need to do.
Okay, so why is the timing important, outside of the obvious…. It’s important for the best photos possible. For 10 years I’ve been lucky enough to be invited into hundreds of weddings. Each one unique in it’s own ways and to be straight up honest, I just want to capture and create the unique for you. When or if things run late, everything gets jammed up a bit. And if we lose time in the beginning I can promise, we will lose more time. See, when things run late, your ceremony runs late, when your ceremony runs late it ends late. Which means it eats into cocktail hour.
And then… That’s what it happens. That’s when a time-warp happens and the venue, that venue you trust will hold your day up to a certain standard does it. They do the one thing, that I, as your photographer have little control over. They sneak up to me….. Almost like a mountain lion stalking it’s prey… They tap me on the shoulder, almost like a ghost trying to get your attention, and then, just like in 5th grade, from your friend sitting behind you, they whisper…………….. “because things were late, you only have x amount of minutes for photos”……… Now, one of the most important pieces of your day (because it’s what you have to remember the day from) is rushed. Family photos, bridal party photos. Photos of the girls. Photos of the guys. Photos of you, photos of your partner… Photos of you and your partner.
All…… Need…… To…….. Happen……… In……… Minutes………..
So what should have been unique photos for just your day, photos where we have time to create stunning images, relaxed portraits and fun moments turns into a rushed process. That’s not to say you won’t love your photos. You will… For sure you will. That’s part of doing this for 10 years, no matter what, we will make photos happen. But do you want photos, or do you want pieces of art and unique photos that are just your own???
That being said, when it comes to timing of your day, if a first look can be worked in, boom! That creates an awesome segment of your day where we can create and have fun. AS LONG AS YOU’RE AT YOUR FIRST LOOK ON TIME……. Saying “oh we have an hour and a half till our ceremony, so it’s okay if I’m 30 minutes late to the first look…. Don’t forget that we need to get from your first look to your venue. And make a lot of awesome happen….
Really, here’s the thing, work with me, or who ever your photographer is, together on the timeline. If you’re dealing only with your venue on timing, allow us to help. If you are able, and this is a key tip, hire a wedding planner, even if it’s just for day of services. They WILL help your day go smoothly and take any weight off your shoulders. And most planners are pretty awesome at keeping things on time… I could talk about timing of your day, paragraph after paragraph… But I think you’re getting the point….
The next things I’m going to break down are just super helpful from a photographers point of view. And again, I’m just being straight up here. In no particular order….
- Remember why you invited your professional vendors into your day. It’s because you trusted them and enjoyed what they do. From a photographers standpoint. Remember that you liked our work, hopefully loved. So when you’re tempted to send a list of “25 must have photos for your wedding day” you found on pinterest, theknot.com or the likes, remind yourself that you trust your photographer. That’s not to say you shouldn’t tell thing certain things. Like “oh, hey, my grandmother who is no longer with us, I’m wearing one of her rings and it’s really important to me” etc….. Those you should share. One time, a bride sent me a list of “must have” photos from a website. Photo 17 or something, was two young girls, like 5 & 7 running thru a field of flowers backlit by the sun. It was a great photo, no doubt. I did have to ask her though, because of where her venue was and stuff… “Hi (brides name), thank you so much for wanting the best from your day and sharing the list. There were lots of photos on there that are great, but may not work for your day. Like photo 17… Will you have two young girls at your wedding, and also, will you be bringing the field of wild flowers, or???”… She got the point and replied “omg, I’m going crazy, I know… You do your thing, I know they will be awesome. A list such as that pigeon holes us, and can kill the creative reasons you hired us…
- If you like a photographer and their photos, contact them. Most will travel and help make your day perfect!!!
- Creative needs, know that some places and scenes that may seem awkward can generally create some of the best photos…. Again, unique to you… We want to create and if you allow us the time and that freedom, we got you! Be willing to get adventurous with your locations. Like the photo at the top of this post. Walking into the woods, beyond the poison ivy and there’s magic waiting to happen.
- Grooms, it’s your day too. If you will allow, let’s create some awesome portraits of you. We can have you dancing thru the flowers and peaking out from behind trees… haha… Okay, maybe not like that, but let’s create images that you as well, can look back on and admire.
- If you’re game, split your portrait time up, be okay with having a portrait session and creation time after the ceremony, and then again later at night. Note, if you get drunk and are all hot and sweaty and crosseyed, I will probably not bring this up… So maybe hold off on the drunkenness till post even portraits. Then get wasted all you need. (just don’t pass out, your partner in crime wants you to stay up later)… haha
- Practice your first kiss. Really, it sounds crazy. But practice it. There are some that are on the verge of making babies when they have their first kiss, or those that give such a quick peck that even my camera shooting at 4000ths of a second can have a hard time capturing. Think sweet, romantic, hold it for a second, and make it a moment for the two of you…..
- Getting ready photos, the make up is being done, the hair is being pinned… Those shots can be so much fun, capturing those moments between you and your girls or guys. Here’s the note, tidy up the room. And if you’re getting ready in your home, you can even stage it up a little. But a tidy room will make for much better photos.
- Work with your photographer for a back up plan on photos if the weather is looking rough. I’ll create some magic in the rain, but full bridal party shots and family shots are a piece of your day that matter. Let’s make sure we’re ready for everything so we can make awesome happen, no matter what.
- Unplug it… I would say about 30% of weddings go unplugged…. Let’s get that up to about 90%…. Yes, I know everyone wants that special hashtag for their day. Totally get it. Maybe just for the ceremony, ask your guests to be in the moment. To watch and feel and love your ceremony for the two of you. By doing this, a couple things will happen. More people will feel your true love and emotion, and your photos won’t have your aunts iPad or all your cousins phones being held up in the air for a photo that will have bad exposure and composition just because they want to post on your Facebook page first. And will you ever actually get those photos, probably not. Allow us to create stunning images from your ceremony. We got you!
- Meals… Most of the time I bring cliff bard and red bull… LOTS OF RED BULL. haha… But really, the venue wants you, as it’s client, to pay for all your meals. They ask what your vendor wants to have and they charge you for those meals. What you don’t see are two things… One, rarely does your vendor actually get what they order (and because I live with a certain diet, many times I don’t eat), and two, by the time they serve your vendors, everyone has eaten or is almost done which means we have to get back into the game and keep working on the awesome of your day. Ask that your vendors be fed before your guests….
- While I did mention a wedding planner. Don’t allow the planner, the venue, your DJ, your mother, or anyone else tell you what your day should consist of or what you need to do… This…. Is…… Your….. Day…….
- Lighting is everything. That spot over by the garden may look pretty to the eye, but may not always make for the best photos.
- Your dress is probably going to get dirty… And that’s okay…….
- One more on timing, again, because timing is key…… EVERYTHING takes longer than you think, plan for that. And two, stunning photos take time. Do you want 10 okay photos or one stunning????
- And last but surely not least, THIS IS YOUR DAY!!! HAVE FUN!!!!!!
Okay…. That’s enough for now. I need to get back into work mode and editing and shooting and blogging and instagram’ing (by the way, that’s @tabphotographic )….
Enjoy your day, your wedding, your year…. You deserve it!!!!