One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about how I work. And I talked about it a little bit last week when I wrote about trust, but I thought I’d go into a little more detail today. Do I just follow you around all day, without interacting? Am I merely a fly on the wall of your wedding? Will I help with poses and give direction? Do I move around during the ceremony? All good questions, and I thought it was time for me to address them on the blog, for all to see.
I don’t shoot your wedding any one way. At various times during the day, I will do different things… depending on the situation, the lighting, the vibe. I generally start the day while you and your partner are getting ready. The first thing I do is grab the details – shoes, suit, dress, rings… whatever details are important to you, I want to get stunning pictures of them. But I don’t want to trouble you – you have enough going on – so I usually ask a member of the wedding party to help me gather everything up. I’ll find a spot with some yummy light, and get the details while everyone gets used to having me around for the day.
Once I shoot the details, I like to get lots of candids as everyone gets ready – hair/make up, ties being tied, the dress being buttoned up, family gathered around… anticipation, laughter… this is probably the only time during the day that I am truly a “fly on the wall” at your wedding.
When we do portraits, whether that’s before or after the ceremony, I will give you a certain amount of direction, but not so much direction that you don’t feel like “you” anymore. I’ll find the good light, the good spots, and I’ll help you find the poses that feel most natural for you, that bring out the absolute best in you and your partner. I’ll direct family portraits, so everyone is in the perfect place. I am a pretty low-key person overall, so if you have a couple of ideas you’d like to try, let’s do it. I’m definitely not bossy, and instead of ordering you to stand here or there, I’ll just help guide you into photographic poses that look good and feel right to you.
At the ceremony, I like to move around. A lot. To get all the angles, all the important moments. But I try to be incredibly respectful and as quiet as possible. I don’t want to disrupt the moment, I just want to capture it as best I can. Sometimes ceremony locations (especially churches) have certain guidelines I have to follow, and in those cases, I always do what the officiant asks. So if they request I stay in the back… unfortunately, I have to stay in the back. (Make sure you let me know if your officiant has any rules like this before the big day!) But as long as I can move around – I will. And I’ll do my best to be subtle in my movements.
When it’s time for the reception, I am once again a photojournalist, but no longer the “fly on the wall” variety. I move around, I find where the action is, and I get right in the middle of it. Everyone is dancing, but you don’t see me? I’m probably right in the middle with all your friends, capturing the craziness. Toast time? That’s me, right down front, making sure I get a photo of you and your partner doubled over in laughter after the best man’s speech. Making a grand exit, with bubbles or sparklers? I am right in front of you as you explode out of the door and into the night. Sometimes you’ll see me, sometimes you won’t… but I can guarantee I’m right in the middle of the action, photographing the event as it unfolds, as naturally as possible.
I want you to feel comfortable on your wedding day, and comfortable around me, which is why I always encourage doing an engagement session before the wedding. You can get to know me, the way I work, and that way you’ll know what to expect when I show up on your wedding day.