I’ve shot hundreds of weddings at this stage in my carreer… and at the start, I thought it was mostly to do with my work and to be fair that’s still obviously super important. My edit style and tone are indicative to why couples book me. But, with the majority of my couples come through are from recommendations. What it really takes to be a wedding photographer is more than just asking clicking and editing the images you take. This is the real truth of what it takes to be a wedding photographer.

  1. The ability to manage personalities. 

As we go through life, no matter what job we do, we will always have to manage peoples characters, even in family life we do the same. As a wedding photographer you come across a lot of different types of people. Not just the couples who book you… but also their guests. Being versatile in the way manage people is a big key to being able to ensure that everyone at a wedding feels important. Believe me when I say this… there are lots of people at weddings that that think they are the most important person there and it’s not always the couple.  Luckily if you are extroverted like me. This will help a lot when it comes to being able to let people just be the people they want to be, as well as having the ability to ensure those characters actual contribute to what you are doing and doesn’t effect the job that you are ultimately there to do.

Bath Wedding Photographer

2. Letting people be vulnerable.

Thing is, and in I would say… 90% of weddings i’ve shot, people are nervous, stressed and have anxiety. It’s perfectly normal to feel like this. The investment emotionally and financially as well as the importance of the day, can sometimes get to folks, especially at the crescendo and the moments before the key events of the day. A wedding day is a positive uplifting day, but doesn't come easy to plan. However the job as a photographer is not to try and change how people are offsetting their emotional.. If couples are people who have these attributes on the day - then so be it. The job of someone capturing a wedding day, if that's through photography or videography is to have the ability to let the day unfold, while at the same time being able to reassure an anxious bride or stressed out groom is absolute key. Being unobtrusive to the emotional value of what is unfolding, but at the same time being human and understanding the pressures some may feel. 

Bath Wedding Photographer

3. Reading the day.

You have to be a good judge of common human behaviours. It fairly easy from a photographers point of view to have a birds eye view of what’s going on during a wedding. Remember as a photographer you are observing a lot. Even before you raise etc camera to your eye. That could be, heightened emotions of parents, alcohol infused discussions, joyful & emotionally intense moments, and even arguments! Judging your next move with what to photograph through observing what’s going away from the view finder is crucial. Taking note of the characters that are around you are creating sub plot lines for the day. Being able to judge the day will give you the ability to be able to know how you need to shoot the next part of the day. If Bride and groom have come through the ceremony after a stressful morning of preparation - you might not want to go into group shots straight away. You may want to give them time, If the speeches have been super emotional or not gone as planned, you may choose to lay off evening portrait shots and concentrate on other aspects of documenting the reception. Reading the day and the people around is key to ensuing that you are capturing the real story and not obsessing on getting out for 12 mins during golden hour, when there is real tangible emotional content to be captured. 

Bath Wedding Photographer

4. Being able to say no to uninvolved people. 

While all guest are involved at a wedding. The majority of them are just that - Guests. They have no real input in the day they are invited to watch and to celebrate. However you will find that some people will quiet happily micro manage you throughout the day. Having the ability to say to these people no to these people ( “sorry i’m capturing something more important here” ) is key to not getting distracted from your documentary approach. Remember these guest do not know why you have been booked, so don’t be distracted when someone asks you to take a photo of set up shot they think will be a good idea, when only behind you mum is having an intimate moment with her daughter.  You see… you know when it’s time to capture details and you know when it’s time to capture everything else, again this goes back to being able to read the day and remember guest may see things differently, but you are the one booked for your approach not them.

I have a super laid back app arch to weddings and the booking process, the reason for this is that I don't want to be conflicted too much by false narrative. What I mean by this is that the more you know about people, the more bias you become to how you shoot the day. As a photographer it's an observation process, capturing real life moments for 95% of what you are shooting. If you are focusing too much of aesthetics then ultimately you are the one creating the story and not the one truly capturing it.

If you are a photographer or videographer reading this and it's been help, then please let me know. If you are a couple looking for a photographer who will provide you with the honest documentation of your wedding day, paired with beautiful detailed shots as well as something for the wall, In a way that lets you actally be you... my contact link is below.