I recently photographed my last wedding for the season. As I was finishing up my “good-byes” with the groom, he grasped my hands, looked into my eyes, and said, “Suzy, thank you so much. Everything was wonderful, and we are so glad that we hired the right person to photograph our wedding. We love everything you did, and we appreciate it so much.”
So great, right? I was grinning from ear to ear, ecstatic that my clients were so very happy with my work… without having seen a single image. This groom responded so strongly to my manner – how I interacted with him, his fiancee, their families and guests. How I kindly-yet-firmly took charge of day at key moments (family portraits!) and allowed things to simply flow organically the rest of the time. How I created a sense of intimacy during the portrait session with the couple, which allowed them to overcome their inherent being-photographed-anxiety and actually enjoy that time together.
This stuck with me over the next several days, and it really illustrates one of the main points I make in my book: that the experience created for the couple on the actual wedding day is important – just as important as the resulting images. As a wedding photographer, I am committed to applying my skills, preparation, and knowledge toward the creation of this type of experience for my clients. I think of it as giving them a gift – one they may not even fully realize they need, but will certainly appreciate once they’ve received it.