The Reset team has asked a couple of photographers to submit weddings and sessions as our first featured creatives in the “Published by Reset” series. First up is Stephanie from Stephanie Susie Photography out of Harrisburg in southern Illinois. Stephanie has been killing it lately with her work and we love following along on Instagram and Facebook. We asked her to submit a wedding and tell a little about her philosophy on photographing weddings and working with brides, grooms, and wedding parties. She actually submitted images from a few different weddings to help explain her point of view a bit better. Read on!
“Booking a photographer for images beautiful enough to cause Facebook envy and an overflow of Insta-love is the easy part.
A natural feeling of insecurity occurs in many clients when the camera comes out. Maybe it’s the lens on the camera or the flash of the light but something about posing for images makes people question their looks, their size, and maybe their clothing choices. This sudden lack of confidence can change the energy of the entire session and the end result may not necessarily be the expectation.
But… I’ve got the magic.
It is my job as a trained photographer to keep my client’s confidence high. Some situations are more difficult than others, but the reward is worth the effort.
The first step to supreme confidence is to keep the conversation going. A constant flow of words are coming out of my mouth. If I’m not telling them specifically what I want them to do posing wise, I am telling them phrases such as “ohhhh that is gorgeous,” “holy cow that’s awesome,” etc. I get pretty pumped while I am shooting. It is a conscious effort because people need that positive reinforcement. So, even if I am looking at the back of the camera and I’m thinking to myself “ohh…that sucks…why does anyone pay me to do this crap” I am telling my client they are doing awesome…and I immediately change the pose or lighting to make the image better. My blips of insecurity stay hidden. I try to never let my client know that I am on the struggle bus so their confidence in my ability is secured. When you have confidence in yourself, your clients can feel that and will trust your ability.
I always try to keep the conversation light and we laugh. No, we laugh a lot. I talk about personal experiences, I ask them about their jobs, kids, families, hobbies. For example, asking a boudoir girl if her man is a boob or a butt man is always a good question to get a smile and generally lighten the mood. Brides love to talk about how pretty the flowers are, how handsome her man looks, how good the food is going to be etc.
Positive reinforcement isn’t just for a bride or a boudoir client. The whole wedding party needs this treatment too. When I have a huge wedding party in front of me, I am always talking. I do this mainly because it keeps their attention. If you stop talking to groups of 10-20 people, someone is bound to start talking, looking off in the distance, or reverting their smile to resting b**** face. Wedding parties have a job to do and it is my job to reign everyone in while keeping the comfort level high. By saying “Ok guys…everybody right here, keep looking, Just a couple of more, that’s so awesome guys…” It keeps their attention and reminds them of their job.
The dudes…. the groom and groomsmen really need to know they are doing well, but something that I have also learned is that guys respond well to negotiating. I have a pep talk with all of the dudes and I let them know that if they cooperate and give me what I need, then I will try to keep it as short and sweet as possible. It works…They are ready to rock and roll and get back to whatever it is that groomsmen do. Photographer confidence and client comfort go hand in hand. Keep it light, keep smiling, keep laughing, keep it real and your clients will love you for it.”
Thank you, Stephanie!!