A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to photograph my friends Benny & Sara in Ohio for their wedding. And I can't help but say. It was perfect.
Growing up pretty traditionally- I saw standard formal weddings. I have been to weddings with no booze, no dancing, eight cakes, no cake, cupcakes, open bar, cash bar six bridesmaids and groomsmen, no bridesmaids and just about everything in-between. It is really kinda wild. As a photographer, just starting out really with weddings I look at other photographers- their work, poses ideas, creep on the venue, other weddings held there, and ask the couple every possible question. Not every family wants 5 lens flares and photo shopped fairies in the backdrop. Not every bride has a wedding gown with a 30foot train, or a daddy daughter dance- and that is okay. Every couple spends months+ planning and arranging details for their special day, and not everyone can pay Maroon 5 to crash it or $20,000 to book a photographer (both of these have happened in real life believe it or not) The photographer should be no different. I actually sat with a couple for a consultation and they went on and on about their flower budget, their cars, tuxes, and location- and not even 10% of the overall budget was set aside for the photographer. It's not that we want you to blow all of your money. But think about it. At the end of the day, you have a dress you might not wear/fit again, your rings, and your photographs. The cake wont taste as good after 5 years in the freezer, the flowers will die by the end of the ceremony- your made of honor will make out with your brother and it'll get weird. BUT your photos will still be around- which is really kinda awesome.
I have photographed a few weddings and not one of them were the same. Locations can change, big bridal party or not, its THEIR DAY. So remember that you can cater your packages and budget for what it is they want. Ask if there is a "first look" or a flower girl. Aside from the obvious questions like date & location- get to know the couple and see if they are interested in a polished fine art style session or a documentary style photographer. Do they have family heirlooms that are important to capture? Is a photo of grandpa fallen on the dance floor funny- or inappropriate? Do they care about 50 shots of them exchanging rings- is the bride an ugly crier?
Don’t over or under estimate your skills- plan for a second shooter, if needed. TAKE. A. BREAK. Know which one is the brides mom, and just the obnoxious neighbor.
Over all this blog is to state to know your audience, see what it is they want. Ask about postproduction, editing and delivery methods. Is that a chunk of chocolate cake on the brides’ lip or a birthmark? And this I promise you, no matter how many you-tube tutorials or books you read, when you show up the day of the wedding... SOMETHING will be different than you expected. Go with it. Remain calm- and do what we are there to do. Capture the one keepsake the couple will have indefinitely the way they want it to be captured.
Here are some of my favorites from Benny & Sara's "Brunchtastic" wedding.