When ever Brandon and I tell someone that we are wedding photographers their first response is, “Wow that must be such a stress full career. Its one of the biggest days of someones life and their wedding day only happens once… you have to get it perfect!” But our answer is always this, “My biggest stress is making sure we are there for the wedding well in advance. Traffic can be so unpredictable so I always stress Brandon beforehand to make sure we leave in more then enough time to get there about 45min before we are scheduled to even begin. Once we are at the wedding venue, have all our gear set up our stress melts away and we are ready to enter into the day.”
I think wedding photography is the closest thing you can get to surfing, in my opinion. It requires you to be in the now and in the moment. You must be ready for anything to happen. It’s a new adventure every time filled with creativity, love and freedom. The rest of the world fades away and you are left with nothing but beauty.
So how do we stay so calm?
1. Trust and Prayer
On any given wedding day Brandon and I have been wonderfully blessed with the ability to enjoy the day completely stress free, I have to give all the credit to our amazing glorious creator, God. It is seriously a gift from Him. We pray before every wedding and for every couples love story we shoot. We pray for their marriage and ask for God to let us see with his eyes, speak with his words and capture the genuine moments that make up each couples unique love story.
2. Effectively + clearly communicate with your clients during their consultation
One of the key topics we touch on durring our couples initial consultation is the basic outline of their wedding day. During this time we work up a mock timeline that outlines how much time we will need to shoot each aspect of their day. It is also at this, time we ask our couples if they will be doing a first look. We then review the benefits of a first look + a work around if a first look is not an option.
3. Review the timeline
Approximately two weeks before the wedding day we contact our couple to review the wedding timeline. This helps to make sure we are all on the same page and we are able to capture exactly what our couple has in mind for their big day.
4. Visually connected
Some people say we are crazy for doing this, however it has worked amazingly for us for the last 6 years. We encourage our brides to pin photos of her favorite weddings. This helps us to see what she is visually thinking in her mind of their beautiful wedding day. I look beyond the pose in the photos and look for the emotion, vibe and over all feel of the photos she is pinning. If you look closely you will begin to see a pattern and discover what her mind and heart are picturing.
5. Learn to respond vs react
Much of our lives is spent in reaction to others and to events around us. However, reactions might not always be the best course of action. It’s typically a gut reaction, often based on fear and insecurities, and it’s not the most rational or appropriate way to act. Responding, on the other hand, is taking the situation in, and deciding the best course of action based on values such as reason, compassion, cooperation, etc.
The brides hair is not staying in place due to humidity + clement, this puts the hair dresser in a position where they need to start the process all over again. Cutting into a full hour of shooting time with the bride on her wedding day.
Reaction: The gut reaction may be to panic, get frustrated with the hair dresser or wast valuable time just sitting round waiting.
Response: The better response would be:
1. Comfort your bride. Let her know you are going to take care of her and that you will work it all out. Realistically review what needs to be moved around or left out to accommodate the photos that are most important to her.
2. Layout a new plan with her as her hair is getting worked on. My new plan would be:
• make sure the bridesmaids are ready to go with their hair, makeup and dresses… so they can help get the bride
dressed as soon as she is ready. Capture about 10 min of this to include into the getting ready photos.
• use 30 min to shoot wedding and reception details in advance
• take 5 min to review your detail shots of the dress, invitations, vows, shoes etc – if you need additional shots you have
the time so use it.
• Go back and comfort your bride again. She is your biggest priority of the day.
We hope this helps you stay calm and have a stress free wedding day. If other readers have tips to help, feel free to share them in the comment box.