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August 11, 2017

Respect- Personal

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Let me start off by saying that this post is not about anyone or any wedding in particular. This is a culmination of things both I and others in the wedding photography industry have experienced personally.

Imagine the following scenario. You’ve hired a photographer to capture the most important day of your life. You’ve planned every second of what the day is going to be like. You’ve invited everyone you love to be there with you to celebrate. You go through the wedding day in a whirlwind. Everywhere you turn, someone needs your attention: your mom, your maid of honor, your nephew, your DJ, your coordinator, your photographer. Everyone has a hundred questions or ideas or opinions. You try hard to say hello to all the guests at your wedding, but you’re pulled in every direction. You end the day exhausted, but anxious to go lay on a beach with your new husband. You wait with intense anticipation for the photographer to post their sneak peek blog post full of the most amazing photos of your day.

But then when she posts it, you realize there’s some you wish you would have seen right away. No worries, they’ll be included in your final gallery.

Then the final gallery comes and you’re disappointed. There aren’t as many as you wished there was from your first dance together. All of the photos of your vows and your first kiss are at this weird angle or not perfectly centered down the aisle. Some of the family shots have a few people not even looking at the camera. And those photos of you and your friends doing the coordinated dance moves from your college days? The lighting is off and there’s always guests in the way.

Now, you love your photographer. LOVE. That’s why you hired her, right?! You trusted her to capture every moment from your day, and you trusted to do it well. So what the heck happened????

Disrespect. Sometimes people forget that the photographer is there to do their job. They’ve been hired. They’ve proven their skills and their professionalism. But sometimes we’re tested on the actual wedding day. We have to deal with bridesmaids who have their own photography shot list. We have to deal with family members who ask you to take 14 additional family photo combinations when you only have time to do nine. We have to deal with groomsmen who don’t want to have their photos taken so they don’t listen to your direction or can’t just smile for ten minutes to get some nice images. We have to deal with guests wanting to take photos so they shove us, bump into us (or our cameras) to get a better angle, step right in front of us at the exact moment you feed each other cake, or won’t move when we ask them to.

On top of that, everyone at your wedding wanted their own photos of your first dance. So every three seconds, somebody’s flash was going off, which caused the side of your face to be as bright as the sun in about half of your photographer’s images. Plus, they were all taking up two sides of the dance floor. One side of the floor had the DJ and all of his bulky equipment in the background, so there was really only ONE spot for her to stand to get the shots.

When you and your husband said your vows and shared your first kiss, the majority of the guests had their phones out to take photos and were leaning into the aisles to get their shots. So your photographer had to move all the way to the right side of the aisle, just so she could try to avoid having all those phones in your one and only first kiss photo.

During family photo time, your Uncle Bob, cousin, both grandmas, and an old family friend also wanted to take pictures. So when your photographer got everyone positioned and situated and made sure she could see every family member’s face, no one knew where to look because there were at least four other cameras behind her trying to get photos.

And then your photographer was taken by surprise when she saw you and your girls doing your dance moves. Between the DJ’s lights and all the cell phone flashes, it was impossible to get consistent lighting. She had to shove her way onto the dance floor because no one would move aside to let her get some shots.

Of course, most of these things are not the bride and groom’s fault. And I’m sure if they knew what their photographer had to deal with on their wedding day, they’d feel horrible. But let me just say that the next time you think being a wedding photographer is all fun and games, remember what we deal with. Some weddings are not as hard as others. And a few rare weddings are full of the nicest and most respectful people. Please remember that we are doing the best we can with what we’re given. We try our hardest to make magic in your photos. Sometimes out of dirt. We will always show your day in the best and most flattering way we can. And sometimes that might mean sacrificing the amount of images you get or the angles we know are more technically correct. Please remember that we’re also human, and that we don’t deserve to be disrespected by people who feel entitled. Be an example to your guests, bridal party, and family members by showing them that you trust us, love us, and want us to be able to what you hired us for.

All content and images in this post are copyright of Alayna Parker Photography and can not be used or reproduced without exclusive permission.

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