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What I wish all of my brides knew (but I've never told them)

5.13.15 - News

I was recently asked by The Overwhelmed Bride to write an article on the following topic: What I wish all of my brides knew but I've never told them. I spent some time thinking about what to write on this topic, challenged by the fact that I already share a lot of wedding day pointers with my clients therefore leaving little left to say, but then it came to me clear as day. The following is Part One of my article:

I can't speak for all photographers, but in my 12+ years of photographing weddings, and in my many talks with my numerous wedding photographer friends, I know I am not alone when I say the following: The more that I feel a positive connection with a bride and groom, and genuinely appreciated by them, the better their photos will be.

This isn't intentional, it's totally subconscious, and it can't really be faked. Photography is an art, and art comes from the soul. When my soul is into it, I am much more "on" that day... and that's when more than just good photos happen, that's when the magic happens. That's when I click the shutter at the exact right fraction of a second as the tear drops from the bride's mom's eye, when I immediately put the bride into the exact right degree from the light so that the whole shot has a glow, and when I am able to see and create new and amazing ways to compose the same shots I take every week. Since cameras are very mechanical, and because the technical side of photography involves fractions and math, it might lead some to believe that there is a formula to being a good photographer. There is a formula to being a good camera operator, but the art of photography, the part that matters and makes all of the difference, comes from the soul.

Of course a good, dedicated, and experienced photographer will work just as hard and can still get all of the photos needed in a quality way, even when they aren't feeling very connected to the couple. I have photographed so many weddings that I know exactly where to be to capture the action and the emotion, how to position people to look amazing, when to step in and when to step back, how to use light, background, texture, etc. The things that used to cause me an immense amount of stress when I first started shooting weddings I now do without even thinking because they've become so easy for me. There is definitely something to be said for experience.

However no amount of technical knowledge or experience can compare to the higher level of visual quality, stunning beauty, and heartfelt emotion that is achievable when the photographer is shooting from their soul. It's the difference between admiring a photo for being a really nice shot and being unable to look away from it because you feel mesmerized by it. It's when it's not just pretty, but when it means something. It's when it is clear that the taker of the photo was not just at the wedding, but was actually included as a part of the wedding.

So what establishes a good connection between clients and their photographer? This too doesn't have a formula, and it's not as simple as a list of check boxes. However I have definitely been doing this long enough to identify things that contribute to, or detract from, the relationship. Stay tuned next week for Part Two of this article, in which I will elaborate on the answer to this question.

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