One of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer is that each day is different… Literally no two days are the same. Weddings aren’t one size fits all. While the big ideas of love and community are typically the same, no wedding runs exactly according to plan. Whether it’s a $1 million wedding or a $500 wedding, each day come with its own set of problems.
I’ve learned that the best way to be a great wedding photographer is to be a great problem solver. To read a room, act accordingly and solve whatever problem, big or small, has been a point of pride for me. I’m blessed to be able to diffuse almost any situation, mostly by making people laugh when there’s tension. I love that a giggle turns into a laugh and ripples throughout the room. It’s hard to be upset when you’re laughing.
But there are also moments when laughing doesn’t do anything to help a situation. And if laughing doesn’t do the trick, having the ability to simply sit in a quiet place also is a plus. Sometimes people just need a moment to sit, without distractions, and take a moment to breathe.
IT’S JUST A MOMENT
Once, I had a bride who was so flustered that she locked herself in a closet. She wouldn’t let anyone in and she wasn’t coming out. Everyone in the room was panicked after a few minutes. As a professional, I took the reins and asked everyone to step out of the room. Within seconds of the door closing, she emerged from the closet. We sat in complete silence for several minutes, just deep breathing and clearing our minds. She just needed someone to sit with her, someone who wasn’t emotionally invested in the day like her family and friends were. Honestly, after that brief interlude, the day went off without a hitch. Like most things, it was just a passing moment and once it was over, she was ready to enjoy her day.
Sometimes couples get worried over smaller things, like running behind schedule. I can comfort them, because I know that I built in some time in case we were running late. But even if we’re not doing well on time, it’s my job to take that worry from the bride and groom. They can rest assured that I will figure out how to take the best photos I can. Honestly, there’s nothing worse than trying to photograph upset, stressed-out people.
IT’S ALL OK
In the grand scheme of things, wedding day stressors are just that — confined to the wedding day. There’s so much time, energy and emotion poured into the day, that it’s easy to stress when something doesn’t go exactly according to plan. My job is to help the couple by diffusing situations, getting over any bumps in the road and helping them relax and enjoy the day they’ve worked so hard to create. Problem solving is definitely one of the differences between a good photographer and a great one. While solving problems has nothing to do with creating an image, it has everything to do with the day.