Today I wanted to share a valuable piece of information I learned as a wedding photographer. While I believe it’s a simple and maybe even an obvious truth, it’s something I needed to understand to ultimately become a better photographer and serve my clients even better than I did before.
Anyone who's even a little educated in the field can tell you what it means to be a good wedding photographer. Understanding lighting and capturing emotion is just the beginning and as I’ve grown as a photographer so have my skills and understanding of this career.
Anyway, I started noticing early in my work that my favorite photos weren’t always the ones my couples were sharing. That could be explained for various reasons and every photo, client, and situation differs obviously... but what it simply came down to was my clients shared photos that they believed they look good in. Maybe it shouldn’t have - but realizing this fact hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew that no matter how much effort or love went into creating an image, if my client didn’t like how they looked in it, the image will most likely sit in their gallery without ever being shared or printed. Even worse, my clients may not like their photos at all. At this moment I learned that no matter how technically good I was at capturing images if I wasn’t doing what I could to showcase how beautiful my couples were then I ultimately was not doing a good job or serving my clients well.
Now I know that a good wedding photographer can understand great lighting, get creative angles and composition but an even better wedding photographer understands how to pose their clients and take beautiful photos of them looking stunning. I believe, just like art students practice drawing the human form, that photographers should understand how to pose people so they look their best. This doesn’t mean that I take full control over how my couples are positioned before I snap the shutter. I still fully believe there is beauty in the natural, effortless, unplanned, moments during portraits. I’m also not saying I have my clients stop and pose for every photo but I do listen to my clients about their concerns and remember to not only look out for these concerns but highlight how beautiful and happy my couples are before I start snapping away.
When my clients make favorites lists in their galleries, I take a second to think about why that image was their favorite and how I can use that information to better serve my future clients. Learning from this information has been absolutely invaluable. These days, I focus on being a photographer that highlights my clients instead of only highlighting my skills.