Lately I have been overtaken by the constant chatter in the wedding industry about being bigger and better (whatever that means!) There are are tutorials on how to shoot details so that a wedding blog will publish it, conversations about who is making the most money and how many weddings they are photographing. And way to much jabber about how to grow your business to the max so that you can book 45 million weddings a year (ok…I exaggerate here! :) But you get the point.
I do believe that working on your brand and building a successful business that is honest and true is 100% legit. I do believe that understanding your client and how to reach a target market it important too….
But I believe that being a wedding photographer is WAAAY much more. I believe that people are missing the point. Isn’t it about our clients? Isn’t it about making memories and building relationships? Isn’t it about telling stories and bringing moments back to life? And bringing people back to life?
Can it be that simple? I really REALLY think it can!
These are 2 photos that were taken at our wedding. They are BY FAR my most favorite photos of the whole day. Please realize that these aren’t the most wildly creative photos of Aaron and I? They aren’t a high-styilized lighting technique nor a group of perfectly crafted photos? In fact the lighting is only so-so and their is plenty of distractions in the background that easily could have been cropped out if the photographer would have stood at a different angle. These photos could be so much better, but I don’t care! Why?Because they are 2 photos that tell a story of who my parents are. That my parents were easy-going and love each other. That they love to laugh and did’t mind laughing at their bad dancing skills. That they were happy and full of joy. Emotionally I love these photos. Little did I know that just months later my Mom would die of cancer and shortly later my Dad would be gone too. Boy, do these photos mean more to me after that. Don’t they? There isn’t a day that I don’t look at these photos and smile…a big smile. I cherish these photos. I will NEVER, ever not have them framed in my home! :)
These photos are proudly displayed in a place in our home that I walk past daily. They are a piece of art to me. I SEE my parents in them…not just a photo of them, but I see THEM! :) And I love these photos for it. Sure, it could have been crafted more intentionally…but I don’t mind. I really REALLY don’t! :)
And, unfortunately, I know of a few of my clients that have had the same realization. Members of their wedding party, family members, close relatives or friends are now only a memory in their wedding photos.
As AWESOME as it is to be featured on a wedding blog with hundreds of photos of the wedding details. And as sweet as it is to be recognized in the industry for one of the most creative shots of the bride and groom as they do something amazingly wild on their wedding day, that isn’t what will be framed and remembered on the client’s wall in years to come.
I believe that as a photographer is about relationships.
It’s about being trusted with something as important as a wedding day. I am an artist. I am an artist that documents people and makes photographs reflecting their joy! My photos are for people and of people that will far outlive their life on earth. I am here to make artful moments stand out in a lifetime! My goal is to my photos of your memories to stand out as glowing art pieces on a wall that can bring a person’s life back to life! :)
After all, aren’t we all story-tellers in some way?