I don't want you to have any wedding day photo regrets...
I shared a post from another photographer on my facebook page yesterday.
I shed some tears reading the post about how a community had come together to help two women, two daughters have a Daddy/Daughter dance with their father before he passed away. They now have these photos of those special moments with their Dad to treasure forever.
It was apparent the post touched a lot of other people too, from the comments and reactions it attracted, but out of them all one comment stood out to me the most.
Rachael is an old friend who got married when her father was very poorly. She was super lucky to have him be there on the day and walk her down the aisle. Something the girls in the post I am talking about will not be lucky enough to experience.
Rachael has some amazing memories of that day with her Dad but she said in her comment that she didn't have a photo of one particular moment she thought would have been captured as standard. She didn't think she would have needed to ask her photographer to capture that one moment.
This instantly struck a chord with me as I would never ever want my couples to look back at what I have done for them with any regret. The truth is though the way wedding photography has evolved nothing is classed as standard anymore. Rewind 50 years and there was a standard list that wedding photographers worked from. Some wedding photographers still work like that of course and thats fine if it works for them and their couples but for my style of wedding photography a list just wouldn't work.
I personally (and most photographers I know) DON'T shoot from a list.
Thats because wedding photo lists are restrictive and if I'm constantly checking the list then I am possibly missing the moments. I walk into a wedding with the intention of capturing the essence of your day, I want to give you a gallery of everything and everyone that is important to you so if there's something that you don't want missed (because I might just not be there when it happens or I've prioritised another moment to capture) you need to tell me. Don't just presume I'll see it happening. Because if I don't, and you don't notice until you get your wedding gallery then we cant go back and do a retake.
As a wedding photographer my main aim is to capture as much of the day as possible, I cant be everywhere at the same time though and of course there are going to be missed moments because I am capturing moments I feel need prioritising over others in order to tell the story of your wedding day.
Wedding days are fast paced and I run around like a headless chicken looking for the action but still things happen in the location I've just left or are still yet to arrive at.
I always try to capture the most important parts of the day or what I deem to be important. First looks, Teary hugs, The walk down the aisle & so much more.
I find I focus on the older people at your wedding, knowing that these could possibly be their last photos... I focus on the people I know are important to you from getting to know them during your wedding day. Its not always easy, as some people are camera shy and we naturally gravitate towards more animated wedding guests but I do my best to capture as many moments including your most important family & friends as possible.
Racheal said she didn't think there was a need to tell her photographer that they should capture a certain moment and of course to a degree that is true... as I said I ALWAYS aim to get the most important moments BUT at some points of the day, and especially if there is only me (no second photographer) I sometimes have to make the decision to prioritise one moment over another.
If I know whats the most important beforehand I can't make the wrong choice when faced with this dilemma.
In Rachael's case its the moment before she walked down the aisle. There's no photographs of the two of them having that quiet moment together before she meets her future husband during their wedding ceremony.
Looking at it with my photographer head on at that point I'd have had to choose between staying there with Rachael and her Dad to capture that moment or getting into the ceremony room to get into position for her walking down the aisle. Because Rachael had presumed this is a moment that would have been captured she hadn't mentioned to her photographer that it was a photograph that was super important to her. If she had then her wedding photographer would have known that heading into the ceremony room a little later (but potentially missing those nervous moments as her groom waited for her to arrive) could have meant Rachael would have gotten that photo she now longs for.
I always ask before your wedding day if there are any people you must have a photo with or who would want me to concentrate on. (This is in addition to getting a list of your group shots if you're having any).
Everyone on your wedding day apart from the two of you are strangers to me and even though I try to capture everyone and every moment, I can only capture as much as I physically see.
I want to do the absolute best job I can for you on one of the most important days of your life and that starts with me knowing EVERYTHING! So when you get your wedding day questionnaires tell me if there is anything you'd like me to prioritise in addition to all the usual candid stuff because if you don't tell me, I wont know.