There are a lot of keywords floating around the wedding photography industry to describe the type of style the photographer takes on. I’m sure you’ve heard them all: Photojournalism, editorial, documentary, fine art, etc. I find it MUCH easier to just explain here what my style is rather than give it one or two descriptive words. I like to think that my style is a mix of “story telling”, “fine art portraits” and “traditional portraits”(for family shots only) So lets break down what that actually means:
My approach (a typical wedding day):
(keep in mind this is just meant to illustrate my approach to documenting the day, and I love when couples go “off script” and do things completely different, ie: no wedding party, smaller intimate weddings, etc.)
I take a very hands off approach to wedding photography (until it comes to family portraits+couples portraits). I like to cover the full day from just before the dress goes on until just after the first dance. During the getting ready process, I like to just blend in as another one of the girls – so you don’t feel awkward with me sneaking around the room silently or giving you a million cues and directions. Apart from occasionally suggesting you place yourself in a spot in the room that has better light, I really don’t direct much at this point.
Throughout the day I will be taking all sorts of story telling shots including scene setting photos, shots of the outsides of buildings or rooms before the guests have arrived, shots that tell more of the story of what the day felt like, what the weather was like, etc.
At this point couples will either choose to have a first look, and do all of their photos prior to the ceremony – so they can hang out with their guests during cocktail hour, OR wait until after the ceremony to do the photos. I spend roughly 20 min on wedding party photos, I will take two really great group shots, an individual of you with each friend, a shot of the you with your friends, and a shot of your partner with their friends. (ie: bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridesmen, groomsmaids, etc) These shots are similar to the family photos, they are timeless and classic and half will be camera aware (looking at the camera) and I will have you interact for the other half.
I then spend about 30 min on photos of the two of you. We will have one or two shots that are camera aware, and the rest will be more interaction. I encourage my couples to snuggle in close together and really embrace this time as its the only time they have together alone for the entire day. I try to read the vibes from each couple to see what they are comfortable with – sometimes couples are less touchy feely than others or want more direction than others. For the most part this process is a collaboration between you and I, the biggest piece of advice to getting great photos, is to relax and embrace the process.
Moving forward, during the ceremony I am completely hands off, I do not direct a thing. I document everything that happens and try to get as many reactions from your loved ones.
From there, typically I shoot family formals next. These photos are the most traditional that I deliver, I feel that they are timeless, and beautiful and equally as important as the more artistic shots of the day. To be honest – of the 9 wedding photos I have printed and hung on my wall – 4 of them are family formals!
During cocktail hour, I float around looking for moments and emotions. If there are any additional formal photos needed with other groups of friends or family, this is a great time to do them.
During dinner, I would love to be sat with guests, it once again allows me to blend in and be fully part of the event, rather than a stranger lurking around. When you eat, I eat (as I doubt you would want photos of yourselves eating!) If you have speeches during dinner, I quietly move around to get shots of the speaker and your reactions, as well as family reactions.
Then its party time! I love getting right onto the dance floor for some epic dance shots! I typically stay for about 30 minutes of the party and love when the couple stays on the dance floor for at least one fast song after their first dance.
In terms of the actual look of my photos, I deliver both colour and black and white (usually about 30-40% of the delivered wedding images are black and white). The feel of the photos will directly relate to the energy of the day, if your day is full of laughter and silliness – it will totally shine through in the images, just like if the day is quiet, intimate and gentle – the photos will encompass this vibe.
My ideal client:
-Doesn’t fuss about the little things (the colour of the chairs, each individual flower in your bouquet, etc). After witnessing over 200 weddings, I am very aware that things don’t always go as planned. I jive really well with clients who also understand this and can let go of some of these, and get back to being in the moment and enjoying the day with their loved ones.
-Is cool with very little staged”detail shots” (ie: close up of the ring, shoes and dress by themselves, etc) I have found in the past, that when I am spending time creating a perfectly staged photo of a pair of shoes – there are 15+ other things happening behind me that I am missing. It could be a small hand hold or glance to you from your Mom, or your best friend writing her speech and tearing up while finding the right words to describe your friendship. My clients understand that these items look way better documented on their bodies, than on a coffee table.
-Values the relationships in their lives and the people at their wedding. My inspiration on a wedding day comes from the beautiful love between you and your guests.
-Values photography. This sounds like it might be a no brainer, but it’s super important that I am not just hired because you need a wedding photographer, but because you want one, more specifically you want the story of the day and the meaningful relationships in your life captured, from my perspective. I am going to come into your wedding day with my own background, emotions and connections to people in my own life, these have all shaped me and give me a particular lens to watch your day though. I will watch, and document your day as it unfolds. I will take your 5000 images home, and create a story for you, a retelling of your day, using only 600 of those images. The images chosen will provide an emotional narrative of how I perceived your day, which will replace the memories you actually have and 30, 20 maybe even 10 years from now, this narrative will be the memory of your day. You are not just hiring a person to take photos, you are hiring someone to literally create your memory of one of the most important days of your life.
To see some of my favourite images I have shot over the years, check out the video below!
So now what?
If this doesn’t feel like the right fit for you I would be MORE than happy if you email me, tell me what you’re looking for and I can steer you in the direction of a photographer who fits your style preferences! There are so many talented photographers in the industry and we all shoot in our own unique ways – let me know what you’re looking for!
If this feels like a perfect match then hit me up and lets get chatting about your wedding day! I want to know all about your plans and your relationship!