As my maid of honor tried to put my great grandmother’s pearls on me, someone called from across the room, “Wait, can you do that again?”. The peaceful, relaxing wedding prep afternoon I had envisioned had been stessful because were were running behind and I was on my last nerve. “No!”, I angrily told my officiant, who was for some reason wanting to photograph my getting ready. It was my bridezilla moment. I just couldn’t be gracious any more and had no patience left for posing moments, which I personally abhor.
Having now photographed well over 100 weddings, I’ve been on the other side of the lens many times but I never forget to try and place myself in my bride or groom’s shoes. Is my presence making the bride uncomfortable for any reason? Might I suggest that everyone start getting ready now so they aren’t rushing later? What kind of day is she having? How can I shoot and not annoy him/her? I know how stressful wedding days can be and how my role can help or add stress. Often things are great and I just snap away and the bride is totally content, but what if she isn’t?
Sometimes I’ll put down my camera, even leave the room if the bride needs a few minutes alone. Maybe she just needs to have a chat about something other than the wedding to get centered again. Maybe her veil is annoying, so we take it off for now. I approach taking photos with a do not harm attitude, my clients well being and experience come first.
It is my job (and dare I say special talent?) to get the moments without having to ask the bride to “do it again”. I’m present as a quiet observer, but if needed, I’ll support the bride or groom in any way I can- even if that means putting down the camera.