Brandon and Katrina Wong are an award-winning husband and wife photography team who approach each wedding with an infectious joy that shines through in each moment and every beautiful photograph. Their work has been recognized by renowned associations such as the Wedding Photojournalist Association, Fearless Photographers and the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers, and we are more than pleased to partner with Brandon and Katrina in their guest blog post on how to communicate effectively with clients to create excellent relationships.
Many budding wedding photographers believe that the key to a great photo is having the right lighting, pose, focus, and other little camera details. While these are all important, of course, there is one tool that is practically essential in the field of wedding photography. Even better, it’s free, and you probably already have it.
What is it? Communication.
This may seem like an incredibly simple thing, but it’s something that’s absolutely required whenever you’re shooting for anyone else besides yourself. Talking to your couple and figuring out exactly what they want will make the process smoother for everyone and also immensely improve the quality of your shots.
So, we’re not going to go over camera or lighting tips in this article. Instead, here’s some tips on how to use communication to become the wedding photographer everyone’s talking about!
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Cindy Brown is an Atlanta-based wedding photographer who combines the skills of a photojournalist, the honesty of a documentary photographer and the quirkiness of a street photographer to significant life events. She photographs weddings of all styles, but chose to create a separate photography business focused on same-sex wedding photography to increase her online presence, branding and client base. We’re pleased to partner with Cindy for her guest blog post on why she decided to create a separate photography brand.
Three years ago I attended a photography business presentation led by a husband and wife wedding photographer team who described themselves as “wedding photographers in love.” They discussed in great detail the way they had built their wedding photography business based on their love for each other. I knew of at least 20 other high-profile wedding photography couples also marketing themselves as head over heels in love, as a way to connect with their clients.
That would never work for me, I thought … but then a light went off in my head. I might not be able to build a business around the hetero-normative concept of love … after all, the love of my life was, as I am, a woman. However, my partner and I could take the heed over heals in love idea and run in different direction, as same-sex wedding photographers in love.
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Kim J. Martin is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Sacramento, California. She is inspired by couples who allow her to capture them as they really are: ridiculously in love. This inspiration is what drives her to capture authentic moments at each photo shoot. We’re excited to partner with Kim for this week’s guest blog post on how to capture genuine expressions.
My favorite thing about photographing couples is capturing their natural interaction and to have them look like themselves. I always knew I wanted to photograph people this way, but it took me years to really develop my style and figure out how to get what I wanted. There’s lots of things I think of while shooting, but these are my top 5 tips for getting genuine expressions during an engagement session, couple’s session, or wedding day portraits.
First things first, your clients should be people you would become friends with if you met any other way. The more you have in common, both in personality and interests, the easier it will be to get to know them and then be able to capture that in images. This isn’t to say you have to be besties with every single client, but having a good baseline of similarities will set the stage for awesome images. It will also make it easier to warm them up and get them comfortable in front of the camera if you understand their humor and have a good idea of things that would make them smile.
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Teresa Klostermann founded Teresa K Photography in 2008 after realizing her passion for photography and true love. She broke into the saturated wedding photography market with relative ease and has won multiple awards for her work. We’re pleased to partner with Teresa for this week’s guest blog post on how to become a wedding photographer.
You’ve had a digital camera for a while and you have a deep passion for photography. All your friends think your work is amazing and now you’re thinking about getting into wedding photography. Here is a list of items to consider before jumping into weddings. Please keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive, but it touches on all the major things you should consider before you take the journey of turning your passion into a profession.
Know Your Craft
I’m not saying you have to be the best photographer in the world in order to be a wedding photographer (that comes with time and experience). However, you should know the ins and outs of your camera before taking on someone’s big day. Do you know the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO? Can you shoot in low-light conditions, can you shoot action, and do you know how to adjust your settings for bright conditions? A wedding day can move very fast and there are no do-overs if you miss a shot because you didn’t know how to operate your camera in tricky conditions. Having the technical aspect of your job down pat is something you should have a handle on before you jump into the business.
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Megan Vaughan is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Forest, Virginia. She is a strong proponent of hosting “unplugged” weddings to ensure that couples receive only the best, highest quality images of their wedding day without any distractions. We’re pleased to partner with Megan for this week’s guest blog post.
To my current and future brides: You hired a professional photographer to capture all the precious moments of your day, and it makes us, as photographers, so happy to give you those memories. Wedding days are crazy… I mean, you’re finally getting married!! You want everything to be perfect. Your guests are so happy for you and they want to capture those memories for themselves. I truly understand that… I really do. However, some guests can get a bit carried away and can interfere with the professional that’s there for the sole purpose of preserving those memories.
For this wedding, my bride requested that I get her groom’s reaction as she walked down the aisle… a very common request and one of my favorite moments to capture. This gentlemen, a family member, stood up in the middle of the aisle as the bride was walking down, blocking my shot, the groom’s view of his bride and the bride’s view of her groom. His elbow is covering the groom’s face. I was unable to capture the groom’s initial reaction. That’s something I can never give back to my bride. This practically brings me to tears and breaks my heart for my bride. That moment is so special and this circumstance could have easily been avoided.
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