Written by William Bichara - Dallas wedding photographer, available for Texas and all other Destinations weddings photography.
On the face of every vendor choice a bride and groom make for their wedding is the appeal of what that vendor offers. To name a few, this applies to the style and quality of the wedding venue and its accompanying amenities, the experience and skills of the make-up artist, the capability and reputation of the wedding planner or the style and photo package of the wedding photographer. To state the obvious, every one of those vendor choices comes with a price tag that, in the eyes of the wedding couple, should befit the quality and scope of what is being offered.
While this might be true on the surface, if we dig a little deeper, the truth behind a couple’s lean toward one vendor over another sometimes lies at the most basic human sentiment. Sometimes, it’s not what the vendor does or offers, but how they make you feel. This is truer for vendors that closely touch your personal experience on your wedding day or in the run up to it like the planner or the makeup artist or the photographer than those whose services are carried out in the background.
Of all the high touch vendors, I would argue that the chemistry between the couple and the photographer is the most delicate. It’s an interaction that sets the tone of what is captured and what will remain from your wedding day after it’s all over. As you’re posing for those all-important wedding pictures, you want to be comfortable and at ease with the person behind the lens. Your wedding day is your time to shine and any presence that makes you feel less than the star you are that day, should not be around, and definitely should not be memorializing the moment and how you feel about it forever.
Discerning brides shopping for their wedding photographers almost invariably have the instinct to recognize the way their potential photographer makes them feel. That, along with an appealing package of quality images would be the ideal catch.
On top of interpersonal chemistry, how a photographer makes you feel is reflected in the full experience during and in the run up to the wedding. Unlike many other wedding vendors that you may not have to meet more than once or who do their work or deliver their product in the background, there is nothing transactional about your interaction with your wedding photographer. To truly understand if your photographer is living up to his or her role as someone who is a positive influence on the vibe of your wedding day, you can ask yourself the following questions.
Are they responsive to your questions, concerns and request in the run up to the wedding day?
Are they accommodating to your unique needs?
Are you happy to see them?
Are you inspired to look and feel your best when posing for them?
Do you and your spouse feel at ease being intimate in their presence as they capture your romantic shots?
Are they a calming presence or a source of stress and added pressure to your day?
Are you comfortable around them to be close enough throughout your wedding day, from getting-ready to your send-off, to capture every meaningful and personal moment?
How do they treat your parents and the people that matter to you who are around you that day?
Do they care about you and your experience or only about capturing their target list of pictures at any cost?
Do they truthfully and discretely document the genuine moments of your wedding or interrupt its natural flow to stage key moments?
Do they respect your rituals and sacred space?
Do they make you feel like the most important person in the room who has earned the spotlight and the attention even if you don’t ask for it?
Finally, do you know that by the end of your big day, you and your family would have inevitably built a lasting connection with them?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you have picked the right photographer for your wedding day. If you are in the process of interviewing your wedding vendors and want all these things from the photographer you pick, your best bet is to know their profile. Ask all the right questions from the beginning. Read the testimonials. Talk to couples who have worked with them in the past and can attest to the experience. Look at their online portfolios to see if their pictures touch you and tell a wedding story the same way you want yours to be told. The truth is – those pictures, if they move you, then they intrinsically carry with them the experience and vibe brought about by the photographer behind the lens.
So, to my potential brides and grooms, know that when I advertise unique wedding photography – what I really mean – is one that is all about you. It’s personal to me as it is to you. It starts with the chemistry, and ends with images that capture genuine moments reflecting your feelings on that day. For my part, I can only promise that I will make sure those feeling are noting but inspired, relaxed, and at ease.