I photographed my last wedding of 2013 last week, and I’ve been thinking about what an incredible year of growth it’s been for me as a person and as a business. I’ve learned an incredible amount, I’ve fallen on my face a few times, but it only makes the successes that much sweeter. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way, my floral assistants, second shooters, friends, family….you helped me survive my busiest season so far!
So here’s my list of 13 things I’ve learned after a very full wedding season…What a ride it’s been.
1. Wedding flowers vs Wedding photography–there truly is no comparison. People ask me regularly which one I like better and it’s hard to say. I love them both. But they are also equally challenging and back breaking and different in their stress.
2. Always make friends with the DJ. They will make sure you are always with your camera ready for the first dance, the toasts, the surprise wedding party flash mob. Not only will they let you know when these moments are about to occur, but they will also make sure you’re not in the bathroom, or finally sitting down to your vendor meal.
3. Speaking of vendor meals……If you are future bride/groom, please feed your vendors! They are working their asses off to make your wedding day as perfect as you dreamed, and it burns a lot of calories to do that! We work anywhere from 8-14 hour days (sometimes longer) and usually never sit down. That blessed 20 minutes where you get to sit and eat is really quite amazing. So thank you to everyone who fed me this year!
4. My camera bag has updated from carrying just lenses and batteries, to carrying bobbypins, vasoline, band-aids, a comb, tampons (seriously, I know brides worst nightmare but it’s happened!), safety-pins, q-tips, tweezers, glitter (don’t ask), super glue, floral wire and scissors. You truly never know what’s going to happen and as the photographer, you spend the most time with the bride and groom. It’s been a lifesaver when a boutonniere breaks or a crystal falls off a shoe.
5. Never EVER decide to break in new shoes on a wedding day. I did this on my first photography wedding of the season and I came home with bloody feet. I could barely walk for the next few days. They were so blistered and awful and this was before carrying band-aids in my camera bag. Ouch.
6. Always make sure you carve out enough time with the bride and groom for portraits, and make sure they understand how important this is. I feel pretty confident in that I don’t need a ton of time to capture some special moments between the bride and groom, but allowing for some extra time to go slow, enjoy each other, and explore the property that you have spent so much money on as a venue, is really beneficial to capturing some really exquisite portraits of the two of you.
7. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I promise you, when you look back on your wedding day, you won’t think about the color of the napkins and whether or not they truly matched the palette of the DIY table numbers. You won’t brag to your grandkids that you were featured on Style me Pretty. Instead, I hope that you’ll show the photos of you and your partner and brag about how in love you were. The most meaningful weddings I have been to have sometimes been the simplest, because they based on pure love.
8. I tear up at father daughter dances. Every single one.
9. The wedding day is the easiest part. The post processing for 50+ hours is what you’re really paying me for. Don’t be daunted by wedding photography prices, you really do get what you pay for.
10. I’ve fallen in love with making bridal bouquets. And I’ve learned so much about how to do them, and they are tough! But working with such natural elements and highlighting their beauty is something that’s truly magical to me.
11. “You’re the artist. We trust you.” BEST WORDS EVER.
12. I love when my clients become friends. We spend over a year working on a wedding and planning it to the very last detail, and by the time the wedding day rolls around, it feels like I’m photographing or delivering flowers to an old friend. Building business relationships like this is so important to me, and I choose clients based on who I truly connect with. I want to be able to feel passionately about the couple that I’m working with, and never take a job just because I need income. Photography, flowers— it’s not just a job, it’s my world….and I want it to be shared with special, wonderful people.
13. I truly put my entire heart and soul into your wedding day. Whether it’s flowers or photography (or both), I am pouring myself into making it perfect and beautiful for you. And I hope it shows.
Thanks to all my beautiful clients of 2013, you have made this year quite an amazing one for me. Wishing you the best for the years to come, and bring it on 2014!