Like a wedding photographer working for few years already with couples in San Francisco Bay Area, you can say I have seen it all.
From relatives who cannot stand each other but have to play it “nice” on their favorite niece’s wedding, to divorced or in divorce parents who barely can crack a smile when around each other, to friends for whom there is only one thing to do on a wedding: consume as much alcohol as possible. The wedding formals are challenging for most of the wedding photographers.
So no wonder that many wedding photographers dread the notion of taking formals (or group) portraits during a wedding. Imagine a single photographer having to chase down and pose guests who not only do not like to pose but also do not like each other.
And, yet each wedding season many brides who during the pre-wedding consultation would bring a print outs or shots list with favorite wedding images. The list is supposed to be a “must have” gospel of what a photographer should capture. Good idea, but not always possible to achieve.
To have a list of formal photos is usually a good idea, except for the cases when it is so hard to pose everyone because of whatever reasons. Being of not willing to cooperate or eager to hit the cocktail bar for drinks. Still this could be managed somehow. The more troublesome trend which I have seen lately is also with bride’s list for bridal portraits, bridal portraits and all other sorts of photos as details: wedding dress, ring, shoes, etc.
Why is troublesome you might ask. Here are four reasons in my view:
1. Creativity Cannot Be Created With a Recipe:
Imagine walking to a restaurant to taste the chef’s master piece and special, but instead of trusting chef’s creativity and talent, you are handing him over an ingredients list and step by step recipe on how to cook the meal. So don’t be a that type of bride. Hire the right photographer and allocate enough budget for a wedding photographer who will create amazing images and let him do just that.
Related: Wedding Photography Styles Explained
2. Weddings and Couples Are Unique:
What brides do not realize is that all the images they collect might have worked and looked good for the couple they were created for. Each client is unique and all wedding images capture the special moments and the personality of the couple photographed. Like clothes do not always look to their best on everyone, so the poses and looks heavily depend on the people involved.
3. Photographs Are Created With a Vision:
Wedding photographers are creative bunch. By forcing them into a cookie cutting pattern, their creativity and talent are severely constrained. Instead, of trusting their years of experience and judgement to create and capture the best look and feel of a wedding, they are asked to reproduce something which someone already created. Imagine how Leonardo Da Vinci would have felt if a client brought a drawing and asked him to carve a sculpture just like that.
4. Because Life Happens:
Weddings are non-choreographed events and many of the moments are spontaneous and sincere. To capture the true feelings and moments, requires concentration from the photographer and anticipation of the moments. Having to think about the client’s list of images while capturing the real moments can be exhausting. The photographer’s brain will get tired even before he or she started the wedding.
So here is the bottom line from a wedding photographer point of view. Brides: spend a good amount of time to find, interview, and hire the best photographer you can afford.
By best, I mean, someone who has the experience and the style you are looking for. Someone who you can trust and not having to micromanage. Let this photographer’s creativity and talent, create a unique and amazing images. Trust him and he will delight you greatly. Even if you try to micromanage the whole photo taking process, this could do more harm than good.
I hope this article helps brides not to fall into the trap of constraining their wedding photographers into a long list of images he or she should take. I hope is educational and bring awareness why photographers cannot be canned and framed easily and why photography is a creative process. For more on the topic, make sure to read this Wedding Photography FAQ Guide.
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About the Author:
Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere wedding and events photography business based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area, CA. You can review his current Weddings Portfolio and Book an Online Appointment for one of his services.