I haven’t been around for that long but one amazing thing that any wedding photographer will know is that you never cease to learn.
This year’s wedding season -which is far from being over- has already thought me so much for any new wedding is a chance to improve myself. I’ve attended one mentoring session with Laura Babb, that taught me how to have fun with my couples whilst shooting their couple portraits and keep the awkwardness at bay (I can get very awkward), I’ve attended a one-day workshop with Adam Bronkhorst that taught me that my flash isn’t an annoying and scary little piece of gear that I must only use if there are no other options whatsoever, but instead to play with it and master it to compliment environment and natural light. I’ve lost count of the amount of things I’ve learnt from the Welcome Home facebook group peeps as well.
But I have to admit, one of the biggest learning curves this year was learning to love my couples.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I have always given my very best and I have always adored to bits every single couple I had the honour to photograph, but this year something has shifted in the way I work with them.
I still can’t exactly put my finger on what exactly has triggered this change, but if I had to take a wild guess I would probably put it down to:
- Meeting with my brides and grooms quite a few times before their wedding day; thanks to adding a complementary engagement shoot as standard to my most requested coverage option and meeting them for a cup before the booking is even made, on the morning of their wedding day I basically feel like I’m going to just meet up with a friend!
- Finally being able to answer the question ‘what do you do?’ with ‘I’m a photographer’ without letting the tiny evil voice on the back of my had whisper ‘now that makes you sound like a total ass, Martina’.
Yes, I would say it’s these two things.
Gaining a bit more confidence has helped loads, but meeting my couples beforehand and spending time photographing them before their wedding day has had a massive impact. By the time their wedding day is near, they already know my face, know how awkward I can get, how I hate posing people but still do if they freeze and don’t know what to do with their arms. They have had me around for a few hours before, so entering their house in the morning is a lot easier and sweeter. I can go to them and hug them and it’s not weird. I can ask them to sit on the grass or run or pick their other half up because we’ve done it already and I know they don’t mind, and I know better than to ask again if I know it makes them uncomfortable.
It has taken away the ‘must not annoy them by taking too much time’ feeling away from me, and they no longer feel like they need to perform. Because we’re just messing around and having fun together.
I feel like I would go all the extra miles for them, I often feel like I should go to them and hug them, just because.
Because I love them.