Most engaged couples searching for their ideal wedding photographer match would agree there are many choices. Too many. Out of those, not all are ideal for them. For wedding photographers to develop their brand and target client, sometimes it means going against the grain and being different. Each couple must know their identity and what is most important to them.
Without going too in depth about documentary wedding photography I will cover the basics. As well as demonstrate another working preference that some would question, based on what they’ve perceived as normal. My approach in short, as a documentary wedding photographer is to have the gift of finding those real organic moments of raw human emotion. And documenting it. Un-posed and non intrusive throughout the day, with exception of some formal groups that the couples want. I never pose anyone or orchestrate anything besides that. A rare / non existent approach in this market, but that’s what I do best.
I also use off camera lighting with an assistant to be able to control shadow and lighting patterns I want, with no unmanned light stands which can be a hazard and eyesore. My camera platform is Fuji mirrorless, because I love the unique look and character of the photos and lenses, and the more compact size. The main area where I’m going against the grain is not using a second shooter. This goes against how many wedding photographers work and what the mainstream wedding media says you have to do. Seen it, heard it….some work best that way, others like me don’t. The short explanation is for style consistency, non intrusive approach, and the guests won’t feel like they’re in a paparazzi zone.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with others who do things differently. I’ve just developed my own system that works well for what I do. You as a couple should book the wedding photographer whose style and photos speak to you. Also considering their personality, their organization and systems, and overall experience you and your guests will have.
My reputation has been built on MY unique ability to tell the story of each wedding that I photograph. By being the solo photographer, every photo is consistent with the last. The style, the lighting… it all blends fluidly with a singular artist creating each photo. This also affords me the time to focus on detail in post production, album making, custom wooden packaging, etc. All personal touches. I don’t recommend every photographer work this way, but I’ve developed my system which took years. I can work non-intrusively, cover the ground I need to, stay organized and be prepared. No waiting for lighting or flash setups, it’s mobile and done before I walk in. Backup equipment on me, as well as a spare lens. I love what I do and I love the couples I work with. Quality over quantity, but a cohesive complete story. Going against the grain is good if you have a system that works and clients are happy.
By me going against the grain and offering a style that defies a lot of human logic provides me a unique client which is great. If you love an artist’s work, it hardly makes sense to want it any differently. I had a venue coordinator work with me for the first time last year and she asked me about my second shooter. I graciously explained I’m both, and this is my assistant 🙂 She saw the system work and has referred me to other couples which is the best compliment I can receive. One I’ll never take lightly and always be grateful for.