Most people think wedding photography is about taking photos at a wedding… which would be correct, but it’s also not that simple. Despite all the planning and good intentions that go into this a wedding, sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes they’re minor, sometimes they’re major. And truth be told, solving problems is a huge part of wedding photography.
Besides documenting a couple’s life, one of my main goals is to be there for them, now and in the future. I don’t want the type of relationship where I provide a service, you pay me and then we never see each other again. I want to grow with my couples, but even if that doesn’t happen, I want them to feel comfortable coming to me to ask for anything. . . ever.
Solving a Problem
Not long ago, I had a former bride (now happily married) whose grandmother passed away. It was horribly sad, because she really is a grandma’s girl. A lot of families don’t get updated family photos. As older people in their family pass away and they begin to search for photos of their loved ones, they turn to their wedding photographer. Distraught, my bride couldn’t even bring herself to look through her wedding photos for a nice photo of her grandmother. She just knew I had some.
One problem is that she lives in Chicago. I’m headquartered in St. Louis. The other difficulty is that she needed them for the wake, which was happening in days. Time was not on our side here. I was able to lean on my photo lab to get a print quickly. Then, I personally drove it to her home to deliver it before the visitation at the funeral home. That’s the level of relationship I want to have with my clients.
Above and Beyond
I could have just taken a few group family photos at the wedding and called it a day. But I knew how important grandma was and how close my bride and her grandmother were. I knew that the portraits of grandma would be so valued and important. Did I take a few extra minutes taking portraits of grandma? You bet, but it was all worth it when I could see the appreciation this family had for the photos. Side note: Family photos are really important. I had no idea that these photos would be the last nice portraits of this special person. What matters most is that despite a sad situation, I was able to help during a difficult time.
Of course wedding photography is about tangible photos of your day. But it’s also about going out of your way to make sure clients have a good experience. It’s about being able to be counted on. Sometimes it’s about bringing light to a dark situation and helping someone get through a hard time, even if it’s just a small gesture to show that you understand and care. If I can be there for people through my photography, that’s great, but if it’s through service, then that’s a role I’m happy to be in too.