How to Join the Creative Process Alongside Your Photographer (For Brides)
This is a post for those of you who want more than just photographs documenting a timeline of events from your wedding day. It's for the bride who wants to feel something -- a bigger story, if you will -- when she looks back on her photographs. A story, that when she looks back, doesn't remind her of the miniscule happenings or stress surrounding the wedding, but instead, a story that tells her of her place, maturity, experiences at that moment in life. A feeling that tells of her place with her brand new spouse at that time -- of the ripe, new relationship. It's for the bride who wants to look back on her photographs and feel every inch of the person she has become since then. Because, for me, a beautiful nostalgia or prideful feeling of accomplishment are the greatest gifts photographs can give us...
There is a difference between a photograph taken by someone who's a stranger and someone who knows your style, your personality, and the dynamic within your relationship. What I've found to be the absolute key to getting organic images full of pure emotion and style, is an experience based firmly on communication. This is why I base the planning process with my brides on a system centered on certain specific points of communication that I believe to be essential to a welcoming relationship and great photographs.
Let's talk more about some ideal communication. Good communication breeds a relationship that makes a bride feel like a friend to me. In addition to our frequent emails, perhaps a Skype meeting or two, and maybe even a little dinner double date in my home, I encourage my brides to join me in communication in a few simple ways:
1. BLOGS AND PINTEREST: Let's face it, Pinterest has become a common theme of our generation and what a beautiful tool it is! I encourage you to create Pinterest boards for your own personal inspiration, but I encourage you to invite me to join the process. Even more than Pinterest, I encourage you to find wedding blogs that speak to you. Tell me about them. Tell me of your overall style, vision, and FEELING you're trying to acheive. This gives me such great insight on your personal style and a look you may be trying to achieve, but cannot put into words for me. It allows me to see and interpret your style, see what inspires you, and mesh them together after getting to know you to create the perfect curated story that is all your own.
With that being said, please don't submit to me specific Pinterest photos you'd like replicated. That's a different story and won't create anything authentic for YOU.
2. SOCIAL NETWORKING: Invite me to join your social network. While Pinterest is great for styling and creative direction, this allows me to get to know you on a more personal level. It allows me to interact and learn about your personalty, the things you are passionate about, or maybe a little of your relationship dynamic. Let's make the most of social media. (:
3. ENGAGEMENT SESSION: Engagement sessions are a fabulous way, and in my opinion THE BEST way, to join in on the creative process. During the process of collaborative planning for an engagement session, I truly get to know you as a couple, what you're like when you're not dealing with wedding-esque things, and the you that makes you two who you are. Essentially, engagement sessions allow me to really learn the foundation and dynamic of your relationship. They allow me to learn what the both of you are like behind the camera, your best angles, and how to make you feel most natural on the wedding day. Engagement sessions create the foundation for a beautiful tradition of taking photographs with one another. This is a tradition I feel very strongly about among married couples in the first years of marriage (and well, always) for the many benefits it brings. You can read more about those sentiments here.
I hope this post helps inspire you a little. I can't wait for us to become great friends!