When a bride and groom choose me to shoot their wedding, they do so because they’re excited that I’ll be there to capture those special moments and all the details they painstakingly hand-picked. But oftentimes the mother and father or grandmother’s idea of “wedding photography” is a photographer who shows up to shoot a few staged moments, the ceremony and group portraits. Their expectations need to be taken into consideration.
The mother of the bride arrived and was clearly uncomfortable having us there. She made comments about not wanting any photos taken before getting her make-up on. We did our best to focus on the bride but it was also a small space. Finally, the mother of the bride ordered us out of the bridal suite because she became so flustered. The bride was visibly upset about this, but at this point there was nothing she could do about it. I felt AWFUL. The last thing I ever want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable.
Some of them even made comments. But then at the reception, when they saw the slideshow of some of my favorite images of the day, they would say something to the effect of, “Ohhhh, THAT’s what you were doing.” Seeing the images helped them to understand my purpose for being there all day and shooting the things that I did.
Both of these experiences made me wish that I could show everyone a slideshow of the wedding photos BEFORE the actual wedding so that they would be put at ease, knowing I ONLY keep and show flattering photos and that they would understand and respect the style of photography that the bride and groom has chosen and paid a lot of money for.
Prepare your family and friends for the style of photography you have chosen.
I encourage my clients to communicate their excitement about their choice for photography to their family and friends. I suggest that they write them an email and include my website, encouraging them to take a look. My hope is that when they see examples of my work, they will better understand and be prepared for what I am doing on the wedding day. They will hopefully feel more comfortable around the camera. It’s also helpful when my client encourages their family and friends to ignore me as much as possible. I strive to be unobtrusive and my super-power IS invisibility (it comes and goes on the wedding day but a lot of times people don’t even see me) but it still helps if people ignore me. If the people who are most intimately involved in the wedding do these things, I get much more natural shots.
But, for all you photographers who are reading this, there is another bonus. if your client follows this tip, you get free marketing. The bride and groom send their family and the whole bridal party to your website months before the wedding. Oftentimes I show up at a wedding and the mother of the bride instantly gushes over my work. Everyone is THRILLED that I am there. I have their vote of confidence and in their eyes, can basically do no wrong. This isn’t a reason in itself to give the tip, but it is a nice added bonus. Everybody likes a little love .
So brides who are reading this – get out there and educate your family and friends on your choice of a photographer. And photographers, encourage your brides to do so as well. It will make a world of difference on the wedding day for everyone involved!
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If you’re planning a wedding in Fort Lauderdale, FL, then you’ve landed at the right place! Now that you’ve said YES! to spending your life together, you have some exciting decisions ahead. At Complete Weddings + Events planning, wedding events are what we do best. Complete Weddings + Events, Fort Lauderdale’s leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, DJ services & photo booth rental.