As usual I’d love feed back on this one…what do couples want when it comes to weddings?
This has been going round in my head for a while now. It all started when I was designing a couple of layouts for ads I am placing in the Wedding Guide for Scotland and the Best Scottish Weddings Magazine. When I was looking at examples of other ads I often felt a little intimidated. Partly because they were such beautiful images, and as a photographer in competition with these guys, the artistic and technical skill exhibited is often daunting. But the other thing that I found a little intimidating was the brides themselves (don’t get me started on wedding dresses ads)…they were gorgeous and thin, in beautiful dresses at expensive locations and I really struggled to relate to them, if I’m really honest. That got me thinking should my ad be aspirational or inspirational?
When I get married, sure, I want to look great in the pictures, but I want it to show me happy and relaxed with the people I love, not standing on a beach somewhere by myself. The photographer in me loves the beautifully staged magazine style shots, that are easy to control and safer in terms of a guaranteed outcome. However, I sometimes wonder if they speak more to other photographers than to prospective clients, but I suppose that depends on the answer to the question at the beginning. Personally, I don’t aspire to look like someone else, I’d rather be inspired to go my own way and get pictures that I felt represented me (as the person in the picture NOT as the photographer). To that end I decided to ignore the traditional ads and just chose my favourite image…hahaha all that is left to do is wait and see what comes of it.
Coming back on topic, so what do we assume about weddings, the groom isn’t interested in anything to do with having his picture taken and the bride wants lots of pictures of her looking beautiful and stick-like. Does that sound about right? I know it’s true to a certain extent, but listening to clients and the experiences of other photographers I’m pretty sure it isn’t the whole story.
Next weekend will be my first wedding fair at the Sheraton in Edinburgh and I want to get it right. I want to explain how I do things and what I think is important without alienating prospective clients…worst case scenario…I’m pretty sure I won’t 😉
So “what is the whole story?” to answer that I had to go back to my experiences teaching English. This is going to be a leap I hear you say, but no, it’s not really. Because everybody learning English as a foreign language is there for the same reason…they want to improve their level of English…true! Which is exactly like the broad assumptions made about wedding photography. What is also true is that no two people are alike and as a result what they want from any situation, be it learning a language, to the photographs of their wedding, are always going to be different. Kayo from Japan who needs to pass an exam so she can do a masters in the UK is completely different from Jean from France who needs to be able to hold international conference calls. The same is true for every bride and groom. If the bride’s mother has done huge amounts of work to help with the wedding or if the best-man is the groom’s brother and best-friend, these are the things that should be captured in your photos. So I found myself even further away from answering the question I started with…but in another way I also found the answer.
What people need from me as a teacher and now as a photographer is the same thing. You need me to listen to you and act on your needs and wants to help you achieve your goals and get you where you want to go. Be it photography or English!
So to answer my question I have no idea what you want but I promise to sit down with you and listen to your vision for your wedding then ask lots of questions so that I get a clear picture what is important to you, so that you get the experience that you want, not the one I think you should have.
If that sounds good to you give me a call. xXx