10 Lessons I Learned from Shooting 10 Weddings in 2018

Weddings always intimidated me. There's a lot of pressure, emotions, and things that happen on someone's big day! As a wedding photographer it's so much more than taking pretty pictures. It's about making sure the bride (and everyone else) is calm and okay on the wedding day. It's about those intimate moments: the first look, the bride's dad seeing his daughter in her beautiful gown, grandma tearing up at the ceremony, uncle Joe getting down on the dance floor - all those sweet moments. 

I'm naturally drawn to people, maybe it's the extrovert in me. But I really strive to build friendships with the bride and groom. I want to make sure the couples I work with feel loved and cared for, I want to serve them as best as I can and make their wedding day as stress free and as fun as possible! 

So, I thought I would do something a little different and share ten things I've learned this past year since shooting ten weddings.

1. Go with the flow. It seems like weddings never go according to the timeline haha so just adapt to the changes and be okay with it. That being said, don’t show the bride and groom you’re stressed because it will stress them out. Stay calm, cool and collective hehe. You got this!

2. Encouragement is key. My goal is to always be your hype girl. I'll get you excited, no matter how you're feeling on your wedding day.

3. Your shoes make or break you haha. Wear comfy shoes. That's all I have to say.

4. Communicate with the bride and groom ahead of time of what the day of schedule looks like and what photos are the most important to them. I meet with my couples four to six months out to discus my contract, get to know each other, and talk about expectations.

5. Create a list of photos the bride and groom want and also have a “shot list” with the family member’s names for family portraits.

6. Have the wedding timeline on your phone and handy at all times!

7. Be sure to pack extra batteries, SD cards, and that all your gear is working properly. Pack snacks [sometimes you don’t have time to eat dinner] and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated!

8. Make sure the payment is paid in full before the day of! The wedding day is hectic and there’s never a “good” time to ask for the bride to pay you. I once had a bride not pay until a couple days into her honeymoon. Sooo now I make sure to have the full payment four weeks prior to their big day. It’s one less thing for you and the bride and groom to stress about!

9. Hire a second shooter who has experience and someone you mesh well with. This will make the day less stressful on you. I shoot with the same three to five photographers and always have a blast with them because we encourage and help each other out! :)

10. Dance, eat, and be happy! It’s an honor to be able to capture someone’s special day! Don’t overthink it. Don’t stress. They hired you because they believe in you and they admire your craft!

What are some things you have learned from shooting weddings? I’d love to hear!

Julia Mann