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Wedding Photographer vs Chef

What I'v learned being a wedding photographer is great cameras don’t take great photos any more than great ovens create great food.

I’ve learned shooting is about 25% of the work. The other part is finding clients, creating packages and prices, editing, organizing, copywriting, uploading, emailing, texting, social media and smiling – smiling all the time.

Everyone is a wedding photographer

I’ve learned everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is a photographer.

I’ve learned being a professional photographer means I earn a living by capturing very illusive moments.

I’ve learned outlining the day in writing is really helpful – for everyone involved.

I’ve learned there are a lot of folks who make a wedding much more than an event.

Wedding Miracles Happen

I’ve learned critical help often comes from a stranger who miraculously happens to be at the right spot at the right time.

I’ve learned disasters can make the best memories. The worse the disaster, the better the memory.

I’ve learned to be polite to the rudest people.

I’ve learned alcohol is a terrible demon for some folks.

I’ve learned time moves differently for everyone.

I’ve learned to discover the couples’ priorities. Then make sure I capture those moments.

Pinterest is Fake

I’ve learned Pinterest is a double-edged blade. Tons of great ideas but every Pinterest moment can’t happen. It’s not possible.

I’ve learned brides-to-be have so much to think about. The pressure is real.

I’ve learned brides-to-be should talk to a photographer about the style of dress they like before they purchase it. Side boob is real.

I’ve learned grooms are interested to a point. They need to be rewarded often to keep them moving.

I’ve learned grooms need their boys on wedding day.

I’ve learned brides often wish their girls would take a step back on wedding day. This includes moms.

Turn Off Cell Phones

I’ve learned that brides and grooms both should give their cell phones to someone else on wedding day – or turn them off.

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I’ve learned children are rarely on cue or cute – but we still keep putting them in the ceremony.

I’ve learned when children do hit their mark, either on purpose or more often by accident, it’s all anyone talks about.

Perfect Wedding Weather

I’ve learned weather is a bitch or perfect – no in between.

I’ve learned someone will be late, someone will be drunk and someone will leave too early.

I’ve learned who controls the money controls the most. And money isn’t the only the thing, just the main thing.

I’ve learned real compromise is real hard.

I’ve learned there are 3 people who show up uninvited to weddings – someone who wants more attention, someone with hurt feelings & someone who wishes they were NOT included.

I’ve learned there will be someone not wanted in photos.

I’ve learned on wedding day 15 minutes out of every hour is spent putting out a fire.

I’ve learned the father of the bride is often the most nervous & the best at hiding it.

Don’t Point Out Mistakes

I’ve learned guests probably won’t notice what you don’t point out. Don’t point out mistakes.

I’ve learned most often two families (maybe three or four) are being joined. Get on board and join the fun.

I’ve learned great couples come from great families – not perfect families. Great families are often divorced and remarried. Great families come together an honor the couple. And perfect families don’t really exist.

I’ve learned football matters – especially in the SEC. Don’t believe me? Ask all the couples with guests that vanished at half time of a close SEC game.

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Backup Systems

I’ve learned to have multiple back up systems – back ups for back ups.

I’ve learned wedding planners are magicians, miracle workers, politicians & MacGyver all at the same time.

I’ve learned DJs are so much more than music. They control the flow and vibe of every moment after the ceremony.

I’ve learned great receptions can cover up botched ceremonies - but not the other way around.  We remember what happened last.

I’ve learned there a few really good dancers. Then there’s everyone else. And most of us don’t much care for dancing.

I’ve learned a photo booth or Polaroid station is more fun than dancing – especially if there’s a Viking helmet.

I’ve learned couples need to have a send off. Folks need to know when the show is over.

I’ve learned set up takes a while. And the tear down happens in minutes.

I’ve learned after parties are for Hollywood.

I’ve learned great preparation helps – but being able to solve problems quickly & calmly is more important.

I’ve learned the first kiss is such a relief for more folks than just the couple.

I’ve learned “first look” might be the only 15 minutes the couple gets to be alone.

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I’ve learned how to bustle every type of wedding gown.

I’ve learned love wrapped in light is magical.

Love is Everywhere

I’ve learned love shows up all around us – if you are looking for it.

I’ve learned having my wife as second shooter is my best choice. When she is near, all is better.

This is just a bit of what I've learned being a wedding photographer.