This one is for my photographer friends …….
A good wedding photographer isn’t just a good picture taker. You need to have the people skills of a ninja, have an enormous sense of diplomacy, patience, assertiveness and humor. You will need to learn how to deal with different personalities whilst undergoing a huge amount of stress. No one wants to hire a bossy be –yatch and so much of your future business will happen as a result of word of mouth. The way you conduct yourself on a wedding day will sell you as much as your pictures.
How you deal with the wedding guests is as important as how you deal with your bride and groom. Whether you have a wedding of 6 people or 600 people you need to treat everyone with respect. They are an extension of the couple
Today I am going to take a tongue and cheek look at some of the guests you will encounter along the way.
- The oblivious guests who pull out their cell phones right in front of your lens as the bride is coming down the aisle.
- The well meaning bridesmaid who keeps trying to direct your shoot with the words “When I got married my photographer did X Y and Z…….”
- The naive guest who says “You can just Photoshop that?”
- The photography hobby enthusiast guest who pulls out their SLR camera to second shoot the wedding and add a few snaps to their portfolio.
- The over zealous guest who goes up to the alter to photograph the exchange of rings.
- The tipsy guest who thinks it will be really funny to keep photo bombing as many pics as possible
- The determined guest who shoves you out of the way as the bride and groom get showered with confetti so they get a snap with their ipad.
- The over the shoulder picture thief who stands behind you as you try and take the family formals which means that everyone is looking every where except into your lens.
- The super Mom of the flower girl who asks you to just quickly do a few family photos for her as you are leaving the church for your couple portrait session.
- The camera loving guest who grabs you every 20 minutes to ask you to take a picture of them with their aunt, cousin, second cousin, uncle, bride, groom, friend, girlfriend ………candle stick.
- The puzzled guest who grabs you as the couple are doing their first dance to ask you to help them work out a setting on their camera
- The flirty guest who decides that either you or your assistant should go on a date with them
- The helpful guest who taps you on the shoulder in the middle of the speeches to tell you that your flash is pointed backwards.
- The interested guest who asks “Do you only photograph weddings and what do you do with all your time during the week”
- The generous guest who keeps offering you shots of tequila.
- The drunk guest who grabs your camera to take a selfie with you on the dance floor.
If you are an experienced wedding photographer I am sure you would have made contact with most of these guests and a few more!
Guests are general well meaning and no one is out to sabotage your job or make your life difficult, they are just not on your side of the lens and perhaps just don’t get it. Let’s face it us photographers go to more weddings than they do. So take deep breath, put on your assertive pants and learn how to deal with all of it. Educating your client about certain issues will go along way, for example I always try and take the family photos away from the canapé area but there will always be that one drunk guy who insists on grabbing your expensive gear to take a selfie with you!!! These guests are an occupational hazard and are part of the crazy that makes weddings so exciting to shoot. We really do have the least boring job in the world!
The illustrations here are by Ché Dyer of Indieberries fame! Thanks so much Ché.