6 Surefire Tips to Capturing a Powerful Wedding Day Story
Weddings… sigh… They are a huge deal. There’s no way around it.
Every little girl dreams of her big day and she needs wedding photographers to capture it for decades to come. There is not a single detail that she did not put at least one second of time into. From her dress to her shoes to her earrings, the cake, the ties, the flowers… It is undoubtedly an overwhelming task! How can we, as photographers, possibly capture every single detail of a year’s worth of planning in just a few hours?!!
It can be done. Here are our top tips to telling the perfect story of your adorable Mr. and Mrs. on their wedding:
1. Get to Know Your Mr. & Mrs. (like really really know them)
At Sassyfras Studios we like to think of ourselves as storytellers. We are not just capturing an 8-hour event. We are telling a couple’s love story. This is one of our favorite things about being wedding photographers because we know that by becoming friends with our brides we will be able to tell each and every one of their wedding day stories in a unique way. We will know whether she is a free spirit that will get her dress wet in the ocean or whether she loves ice cream and will up for venturing off to the nearest ice cream truck from some fun pictures. Either way the best compliment we have ever received from a bride after our first meeting was, I feel like I could sit around in my underwear with you girls and talk all day. Success!
By getting to know every facet of our couples’ love story we are able to make their wedding day a genuine experience full of fun, love and honest emotion.
2. Stop and Explore
It is so easy to arrive to your grand location and immediately jump out of the car and run to see your bride. So many times we forget to just stop and take a breath right when we arrive on scene. Arrive a few minutes early and scope out the big picture of the day. See where your light is best, find fun little spots that not every photographer would think to use and simply spend a few minutes exploring.
Once, we shot an adorable wedding at this picture perfect location. The plantation was amazing, BUT… soon after we began taking pictures we happened upon a secret trail into the most amazing woods I have ever seen (well, outside of the Redwoods ;). The pictures in the woods were unlike any that a photographer would take around the plantation and it told a completely different story for their unique day.
3. Do Not Disregard the “Ittie Bitties”
Like I said above, every single detail is important to this bride. From things as tiny as the lace detail on the tie of the dress to the placement of the silverware… every detail helps tells the story. Details are one of my (Lollie) favorite things to capture at weddings. I love the colors of the eye shadow, the sheet music for the violinist bridal entrance, the flower girl’s crown. So many times the little things are forgotten in the big picture (especially because we think the bride will not blow up the image to a 16×24 on her wall). But, it is the “ittie bitties” that tell the story in her album. The small things are what the family overseas were not able to see or maybe what couple’s future daughter will look at for inspiration for her big day. And for me, that is enough to make them a priority.
4. Be Like a Fly
I like to think that my job is important. After all, besides a videographer, I am pretty much the only person documenting the whole picture of the big day. But, just because I feel that way does not mean I should be the spotlight. It is so important to capture those important memories like a first look, the tear coming down the mom’s cheek or the dad’s gift to his baby girl before she walks down the aisle… but doing it in a way that allows them to remember it WITHOUT you being in the picture. Snap your shot, take a step back, and allow them to have their moment. During bride and groom shots, allow them to snuggle and steal kisses (even make out if they need to… ha!) Be there without BEING THERE!
5. Have a Little (or a lotta) Fun
Everyone likes to… you know you want to… just try it… SMILE! So many times we are so wrapped up in being a business that we forget what we are there to capture: LOVE! And yes, contrary to popular opinion, love is a grand thing. Don’t be afraid to have some fun on the big day. Hug your bride, dance with the bridesmaids, cry during the ceremony (we do 99% of the time)… Just remember that yes, you are a business person, but you are also a friend, a confidante and a lover of beautiful things. I love the friendships that I have made because of this business. Some brides just meet up with us after the wedding for lunch or coffee or girls’ dates. I want to not only capture beautiful images, but create lasting relationships. So, the next time you hear that infamous line dance, don’t hesitate to jump in line with your camera in tow!
6. Always Think of the Big-Picture-Story You are Wanting to Tell
From the moment we meet the bride and groom to the moment we give them their images we want their story to be told in a consistent way. We know that we are not everyone’s ideal wedding photographer, but we also know that we are the perfect fit for our brides and grooms. For this very reason we feel freedom to really explore our couple, their love, their story and tell it in a unique and all-inclusive way. From the minute you begin planning their engagement story to the very last image you put in their designed album, be sure you are telling their love story in its entirety.
Lastly, it is important to be consistent in all things including your photography style, your editing and most of all the story that you are telling.
The wedding industry can really pull you down, around, inside out, and to and fro. In the midst of the chaos of it all, don’t forget that there is only one YOU… a beautiful YOU that deserves to be heard. Embrace it, take these simple tips and make your next wedding day an even more meaningful experience (happy tears and dance shoes included!).
Sassyfras Studios is a bubbly sister photography team that loves to capture love through their storytelling lenses. They have been featured on numerous wedding blogs and teach a class at The Define School called Wedding Stories. Their February class opens for registration on January 21st. More info can be found here. Come say “Hey!” on Facebook!