Defining your style can be a difficult thing for some photographers. I think in the beginning we had a very large idea of what we wanted our company to be, but we couldn’t exactly pinpoint anything. We spent a lot of time that first year photographing engagements, a few weddings here and there (for friends and as second shooters) and lots of couples, but our first official wedding as ‘Daphne and Dean’ was at a cute little farm in Guilford on a beautiful October day. The bride, Cali, is the sister of Peter’s best friend and holy cow is she amazing – she put all of her trust in us when we had a very minimal portfolio (we will always love you for that Cali!).
We knew we loved working together, we knew we loved spending time with other couples, and we knew we loved documenting those couple’s love for future generations, but thats about as far as we got.
We had seen enough photographers in action to know that what we ‘should’ be saying to the couple is ‘stand here facing this direction, put your hand here, turn your head this way, and smile,’ but we didn’t want to do that. Why? Because it didn’t make us excited to see a super posed couple standing there smiling at us until their faces start twitching. We realized that what we really loved were those in-between moments – the moments that they didn’t think we were looking or when they thought we had put our cameras down for a minute. At this particular moment of Cali & Josiah’s wedding, all we said was ‘get close!’ and this is what they did.
It’s peaceful and intimate and everything we didn’t know we loved photographing until this moment. I guess you could say this was a defining moment for us – we saw this and immediately loved it and we knew then that we didn’t have to be the photographers that made you pose and be uncomfortable, we could be the photographers who laughed with you and made you feel relaxed and actually enjoy having your picture taken.
WHAT?! Enjoy having a camera in my face, you ask?!
Yes. That’s what I said.
Two of the biggest compliments that we receive on a regular basis are that people actually enjoyed having their picture taken, and also that they didn’t even notice we were around most of the time. As someone who was recently married and is incredibly awkward in front of the camera, I know that this is a big compliment.
But back to the point of this post:
You don’t have to follow a set of rules. You don’t have to do something just because Pinterest says you should. You don’t have to photograph a certain way just because the photographer down the street or the photographer in Martha Stewart Weddings does it that way. You’re in charge, it’s your business, and you started doing this for a reason. Think back (or pay attention as you go along if you’re just starting out!) to what makes you happy and what makes your heart jump for joy and do that. Seriously, do that! If it’s different than what you’re doing now, that’s okay! It make take a while until your ideal client finds you and you may have to say no to some clients on the way but I promise you, your clients will find you and it will be amazing.
That’s all of my thoughts for the day. Happy Thursday, make it amazing!