by Charles Zammit Published 01/12/2010
Let the bridesmaids be included and make them feel important - they could be your next new clients and, if you see a good situation for something different, go for it, because that will be the photo that brings you more sales. For example see the photo of the brothers of the bride who were twins. They were wearing glasses, at that moment I got an idea from the film Man in Black and I asked for a cigarette and did the photograph. Once I had a bride who told me, "Charles, I want something different which no other bride has". I told her to go onto the bed and jump, and that's what she did; she loved that picture.
At the church I want to be there 30 minutes before the ceremony starts, especially if it is a church that I have not previously worked in. I will also meet the priest to show him I am on time; if the bride comes late it is not because of the photographer!
Also, when I meet the priest, I ask him if there are any restrictions or rules in the church. Doing so is both polite and courteous and, if there are any restrictions which will interfere with my shooting I will tell the groom, so that I will be covered. As at the pre-meeting with the couple I would have explained how I work in the church; there will be no direct communication with them during the actual service, I will be trying to capture the important parts of the proceedings.
So what is my attitude in the reception hall?
The most important thing is that you let the bride and groom enjoy their wedding, don't let them get bored with the photography.
As I arrive at the hall I want to show the bride and groom that I am in control and I know what I am doing. Try to keep things flowing and if there is a need to give some advice or help, do so; that little help for you is nothing, for them is very much appreciated. From the pre-meeting I know what the couple have planned in regard to catering, but I ask to meet the head waiter along with them, so as to discuss the timing of the event. I want to show them that I am trying to do my best to keep everything well organised.
I strive to settle all the family shots and poses so that they will have enough time with friends, without being interrupted by me. At the hall I try to chat with the bride, groom, families and friends. Try to look for people you know. I try to look for ex clients and chat with them; I do that for two reasons: by talking to ex clients you are showing them that you still remember them and that they were important to you. Try to have a drink with them, if they are with friends they will introduce you as their photographer; if you did a good job for them and had fun, they are sure to mention it. Secondly, people will be reassured by the fact that you already know some of their friends and have worked with them.
Before I leave the wedding I will meet the parents again, thank them and tell them that the wedding was beautiful and perfect. If the parents are surrounded by their family and friends, thank them too. If you have delivered a good professional service, with a relaxed and friendly attitude they will praise you and thank you in front of their friends.
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