Not too long ago, a photographer friend of mine was sitting down having a beer and struck up a conversation with someone who was asking him about shooting weddings. This person – it turns out – wanted to break into the business. They just bought a Rebel and a flash and were ready to roll. That’s certainly not a new concept. The cheaper price of cameras and equipment allow people to get some great images. It’s only natural to think, “Hey I can make a little money on the side shooting some weddings.” Well, you can. Obviously, it’s not something we recommend because we absolutely believe in the power of lighting and understanding your equipment, composition, posing, timing and all the things that go into making a great image.
But there’s another thing that seems to elude so many people. It’s much more than showing up with your camera and shooting. It’s a level of interest in the people you are shooting. We’ve talked about this before and I know you’re probably thinking, “Here goes Chad with another rant.” Well, maybe. It’s a point I really want to make because in the end, I’m convinced it’s what makes for great wedding photos. And it’s very simple. Talk to the people who trust you with their photography. Listen to what they are saying and understand why things are important to them. Know what they love. Know why they’re in love. Ask questions. Get involved. And listen, listen, listen. You’ll be amazed by the people you are shooting if you just take the time to know them.
With that said, I wanted to post some reception photos from Jessica and Mark’s wedding. We shot it not too long ago, and I really love these photos for reasons that might not be immediately clear. Jessica and Mark are an amazing couple with wonderful stories about the time they have spent together. I remember sitting at the farm where they got married and talking to Jessica about her engagement and what Mark was like and why family and friends were so important to them. The entire day just had this warm feeling of community and the closeness of family. So, in my mind, these few shots from the reception are the culmination of the time getting to know a remarkable couple and the feeling we get as photographers when we can take everything we’ve learned about our new friends and unleash it in images for them.