I view my job description, when photographing a wedding, pure and simple as “people pleaser…whenever possible”. If anyone at the wedding wants a photo…say of a group taken, I will do everything in my power to see that photo gets taken….and with digital coverage, I’ll usually do two or three exposures to make sure I get a good one of it for them, too.
So often, the needs and wishes of the father or the bride or father of the groom are totally overlooked at a wedding when it comes to picture taking. I let the parents on both sides know up front when photographing them early on with their son or daughter, “if there are any special group photos you want taken, …like you, Mom or Dad, with all his brothers and sisters that are here today..just me know and I’ll get them taken for you”.
I also tell them that the real trick to getting it done is to make sure it gets it done as early on as possible, before any of these people sneak off and leave. (By the way, the reception is usually not the best place or time for group photos, as groups are thoroughly scattered and hard to round up at a reception….seems like someone is always missing when you go to pull a group together for a photo.)
Quite often people seem totally and pleasantly surprised that I am so willing to go out of my way to do this for them….that’s when I tell them about how I view my job description as “people pleaser…whenever possible”. It also gets them thinking about what groups they would like to get done with aunts and uncles, close life-long friends and multi-generational group photos.
I probably have as much fun at a wedding I am photographing, as anyone there! I thoroughly enjoy myself and love what I do for a living. I’m in my element when photographing a wedding. I really seem to come to alive there and crave the challenges of getting the best photos possible under all the varying circumstances I encounter at weddings.
I am like an old fire horse going to a fire when I’m on my way to photograph a wedding.) I guess I am lucky that I enjoy my chosen profession so much, as most photographers seem to burn out on weddings after a few years and grow grumpy on the job, because they hate what they are doing…but have to continue doing it anyway, just to earn their living.
My wife has even said that she can see a personality change as I perk up when putting my suit on to get ready to leave out for a wedding. She says it’s like I’m putting on a different persona….as she so often describes it with a wink as, there’s “Mr. Professional Wedding Photographer!”
Ask yourself, which would you rather have doing your wedding photos….a grumpy photographer that hates what he is forced to do for a living, or one who lives for the opportunity to enjoy pleasing others with his abilities? Oh, by the way, don’t expect those photographers who hate what they have to continue doing for a living to give you even the slightest clue before the wedding about how they view what they do for a living. Most will do everything possible to hide their feelings, as they know it would adversely affect their bottom line to do so with a potential client.
(The grumpy ones often charge the highest prices, too, because they don’t want to be forced to photograph any more weddings than they have to….and, if you are going to force them to do something they don’t really like to do in the first place, then you are going to at least have to pay them top dollar for their trouble! I learned all of this first hand, from the horses’ mouths, at wedding photography discussion groups of seasoned professional photographers at evening informal gatherings at portrait photography seminars where they hone their craft under the guidance of the worlds’ best photographic teachers. This is where they really let their hair down, among their peers, and say what they really think and feel. Until experiencing these encounters several years ago, I had no idea that so many full time professional photographers absolutely hate photographing weddings! I had no clue, as I certainly did not feel that way myself and therefore presumed that everyone else felt like I did about it. What an eye opener.
If you are lucky, I might be available on your wedding date. Just check the link immediate below to find out for yourself if I am available to photograph your wedding for you.