At the end of every consultation with an engaged couple who is considering hiring me to photograph their wedding day, I say: “You may not realize it, but the one person you will spend most time with on your wedding day – more time than you will spend with each other – is your photographer. Whoever you choose to photograph your wedding – you better like them, and feel comfortable with them”.
When I shoot weddings my job is not just to capture great photos, but so much more. From explaining to the bride where the bouquet needs to be (right in front of her belly button), to walking the couple through the cake cutting process. And in between I am an advisor, consultant, and a human Goggle (“does the boutonniere on the groom go on the left or the right?). Yes, the couple has to feel comfortable with me. After all, this is a very emotional day, and they want it to go smoothly. As I tell the couple – this is your first wedding (or second, ok) – but I have done many, oh many weddings in my 17 years as a professional photographer –I know what to do, and I am happy to do what I can to ensure your special day goes smoothly.
One of my favorite books of all times “Other People’s Weddings” by Noah Hawley is about a wedding photographer. There are many scenarios the lead character- Laurie – runs into that I can relate. Scenarios similar to the ones I described in this blog post. Two things that happen to Laurie that never happened to me, though. In the book, in one wedding Laurie gets beaten by the groom, and in another wedding she meets the love of her life. One I am very thankful never happened to me and the other could be very nice if it happened – you can guess which is which…anyway, I always think about this book when I work with a couple on the wedding day, and how it depicts so accurately the special relationship that develops between a couple and their trusted wedding photographer.
At the end of the day, when I edit the photos, and see how the bride’s bouquet sits effortlessly in the right spot, and I go through the fun, natural looking cake cutting photos – I know I did my job well. The part of my job that hides so well behind the beautiful wedding day pictures.