When working with my clients, I try my damndest to build trust. I mean, I’ve photographed over 100 weddings and over 400 portrait
sessions…I feel like I’m an expert level wedding gangster at this point honestly. I can lace up a dress in 5 minutes, teach you how to cut the cake, organize 30 family members to accomplish 17 different family poses in 30 minutes, please your angry MIL and after all this, still bang out some rad imagery!
Yet, sometimes clients struggle to trust me. I get it. I would be a total Type-A bride, trust me. I remember in my previous marriage, I was a total bitch on the wedding day, barking orders and crying. I am positive people wanted to smack the crap out of me. In the end, my most important focus was the photography. As I’m sure it is for you. I’m sure you want nothing but the best but here’s a little tip: trying to control your photographer, especially one who specializes in creativity….will backfire. Treating your photographer like an employee instead of a creative friend who wants to just help…will win you no favors.
Now, granted, some photographers ARE a business from the get-go. They don’t know your name, they don’t actually care to get to know you. But if you wanted one of those guys, you wouldn’t be here reading this blog, amiright?
I recently had a client try and make the reception six hours long. Now, this is a totally awesome move if you have a bunch of drinkers and dancers attending your shindig, but if you know your guests will be more subdued, this could be a disaster. The client had literally two hours of nothing going on until 10:30pm, which was when she’d do a first dance and cut the cake. After some coaxing, I explained that people would leave, not knowing that they’d have to wait two hours to see more. She seemed hesitant but trusted me to shuffle the day around. We moved the first dance and cake cutting up two hours and what do you know, people left almost immediately after. I mean, after 9pm, most people who are sober are ready for bed ::coughincludingthephotographercough::
I am also more recently doing weird angles and lighting with my photography. It requires some immense trust in your photographer, when I’m literally saying, “to the left…okay a smidgen to the right…nope, back to that…wait…okay the left…okay turn your head….okay turn it back….crap, okay we’re going to do something different now, I’m not seeing what I want.” You smile, but that happens a lot. In the end, I create unique shots that make you pause and makes your mother go, “wtf?” Because older generations just don’t freakin’ get me, okay???
When you hire a photographer for their “creative style”, do not send a Pinterest board. Do not ask for “something fun” without a clear idea of what you want. Let us pause a moment, look around and trust us to make you look amazing. It’s our job, it’s what we freakin LOVE TO DO. We want you to look as good as possible, because we give you a bit of our soul every time we click the shutter (unless it’s blurry…that isn’t our soul, that’s human error).
A wedding a few weeks ago was jam packed and overwhelming. It was non-stop from the beginning and since they didn’t have a first look, I had to tackle the getting ready, ceremony, family portraits and wedding party portraits before I even got to the couples portraits. My brain was fried by the time the couple was alone with me. These clients trusted me and I knew that. So I made sure they got alcoholic beverages and asked for a couple minutes to step away from a minute. I just need to eat a carrot, take a breath and collect my thoughts. They agreed and in the end, they had rockin’ couples portraits. If they hadn’t trusted me, they might have accused me of slackin’ on the job. They may have thought that I was a fraud. Instead, the bride told me, “Jenna…I’ll never forget you. Because you make us do crazy things and walk far distances for our photos.” I laughed but it’s true. This particular client had hiked MILES in 30mph winds to get the best images. If that isn’t trust, I’m not entirely sure what is.
It also rained on their wedding day, but uhm….wouldn’t you like rain too if these were your photos?
On one of the biggest days of your life and relationship, trust is incredibly vital. Don’t hire a photographer you can’t trust. Period. If you don’t get the feel good heebie jeebies when it comes to who you’ve hired, runnnnnn aaawwwaaaaaaayyyyyyyy. And hire me. Because duh. Check out my website if you’ve decided that you’re ready to rock the hell out of your wedding! Click right Hurr