Being a wedding photographer is not easy at all. You have to work like a dog: walking, running, squatting, rolling, dancing, sweating, thinking, and clicking those shutters for 10-18 hours in order to create magic for that special day… not to mention the engagement session prior and hours or days in front of a monitor afterwards, tanning your face off while editing the images! It is indeed a hard job, but it’s a deeply satisfying one as well. Seeing the happy faces of our clients after they receive their wedding album is one of the best parts for us. We love to see love in every picture that we make.
For us, developing our craft really boils down to improving our skill as storytellers. We’ve noticed that as we’ve increased our capacity for telling the true story of our couples, our business has become better – better clients and even better stories! Here are some tips to help you tell the stories of your own clients as truly and beautifully as possible:
1. Bring this gear with you: This is the most important gear that you will ever need in your camera bag. Never leave home without it. It can shoot any angle and can move you to do things you have never done before. It will help you to think out of the box. It can bring smile to anyone’s face. What is it? Always, always, always bring a positive outlook! You can do anything if you believe in yourself and the people surrounding you.
2. Leave this gear at home: “I have a distinct style… I have won awards… I am a well-known and published photographer… My clients should fit my style…” Please, don’t forget to leave your ego at home! If you accidentally arrived at the wedding venue with it still in your bag, just ditch it in a bin as quickly as possible. We always remind ourselves that this is our clients’ day and not ours, that we’re hired to tell their story, and that it’s not our place to tell them what to do. Forget about finding the style, and concentrate on finding the heart of the shoot.
3. Focus on this: When we go out to a shoot or a wedding, we don’t simply focus on the creation of awesome pictures. We focus on the experience – on making the moment itself awesome, enjoyable, and memorable. The positive outlook that we transmit, and the extra mile we’re willing to go while expecting nothing in return, is a must. On the wedding day we’re not just photographers for the couple, we’re their friend, driver, clown, courier, best man, and maid of honour. It’s all for the sake of our clients. When treated in this way people tend to show their real selves, their real emotions, and their real love for each other.
In summary, just ask yourself: Do you see love in your pictures? Remember that telling true stories is a process that comes not from our head, not from our ego, and not from our obsession with style. It comes from our hearts. So adopt a positive outlook and be with the experience. It will change the way you see and feel things. It will help you find the love.