Being a photographer involves a certain amount of salesmanship. Most photographers, however, will tell you that they hate sales. Nobody wants to feel like a pushy used car salesman. When my sister’s best friend called me for photography advice a few years ago, I learned that the best “sales” practice is an honest opinion from a knowledgeable friend. Jeff and I treat all our clients the same way — instead of the hard sell, we give our clients our honest opinions of what would best suit their wedding, or portrait session, or living room wall.
So what photography advice would I give a friend who was getting married? The answer is simple, and wins hands-down: Plan time with your photographer. Before and on the wedding day.
So many of our couples today don’t want traditional photography involving altar pictures and cheesy poses. And yet, so many couples (and wedding planners) still plan the day with a traditional timeline, setting aside only the cocktail hour for photography. If you want more than just your family formals, you need to give your photographer more time than just the cocktail hour to create amazing images. And you need to have an engagement session!
An engagement portrait session allows the two of you to get to know your photographer. And although Jeff already was friends with Colleen and Jim, their e-session allowed us practice photographing them and learning their style, and allowed them practice in front of the camera. This all pays forward to the wedding day, when ease in front of the camera and friendship with the photographer makes a huge impact on making the images look “natural”. Colleen and Jim look like they’re having fun in their photos because they are having fun in their photos! Here are some of our faves from their e-sesh:
And a little hockey fan rivalry, just for fun:
Fast-forward to the wedding day, and Colleen and Jim planned lots of time for great photography. In fact, they structured their wedding day around our favorite timeline format: Time with the bridal party during the getting ready phase (which also gives us time to photograph the rings/dress/shoes/etc.)…
…then a pre-ceremony reveal during which the couple meet privately to see each other for the first time, followed by time for creative photography with the couple and with the whole bridal party…
…Then of course, there’s the ceremony, and then during the cocktail hour, we had enough time left after the family formals to get a few great sunset pictures on the beach. Colleen and Jim even gave us a few precious minutes during dinner for some creative images staged in the hotel.
So the best results, it seems, are not from pushy sales tactics, but rather from being a friend to our clients and offering honest opinions on how to get great photography. And it seems our clients agree with us: At Colleen and Jim’s wedding, we counted no fewer than 10 other couples in attendance whose weddings were also photographed by the studio! When people love their photographer, they tell their friends about the great experience they had. Check out our faves from the reception:
I can’t show Colleen and Jim’s wedding without an excerpt from their cake-cutting. It started off innocently enough…
But once the icing was smeared, the gloves came off, and it was an all-out cupcake fight! Jim looks ready for war, and poor Colleen actually ended up with a bloody nose in the melee! But she wore it with a smile. 🙂
The Wedding of Colleen and Jim, starring…
Bride: Colleen Liscombe
Groom: Jim Mistovich
Gown: David’s Bridal
Hair & Makeup: Kristen Moore
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Holiday Inn SunSpree
Officiant: Chaplain Atwell Brookshire
Florist: Sophia West
Music: DJ Professionals
Rentals: L&L Tent & Party Rentals
Catering: Holiday Inn SunSpree
Bakery: Heather Klimas
…and photography by indigosilver!