At -30°C I’m a cheerleader, during portraits I’m a dispenser of snacks, and at the end of the night, and I’m the one who will find a plate just moments before the newly weds cut the cake. Let’s be real here, I wear many hats as a wedding photographer.
As a young girl I obsessed over my parents wedding photos. On their wedding day in 1991 they booked a portrait session with a studio photographer. They were in and out within the span of two hours, coming away with a set of classic, polished 80’s wedding day portraits. My Mom and I recently dug out the album and took a trip down her memory lane. My Mom knows what my life is like as a wedding photographer. She’s worried about me burning out. By recalling her own experience she concludes that I do too much.
Her concern made me stop and think about my own experience as a wedding photographer. Wedding photography has transformed into an all day service and experience. When I book a couple, I know that I will spend the majority of their wedding day with them.
It’s so important to me that I get to know my couples personally. They have a vision of their day. The last thing they need is a stranger railroading their first day of marriage. While this list is in no way exhausted, I hope you enjoy my list of the Many Hats of the Modern Wedding Photographer.
Hat Number One: Unofficial Planner
I love meeting with couples in person to go over all their wedding day plans. I have a set list of questions I use to help me understand the vision of their day. Keeping to their vision is so important! The list also helps me figure out where they still need help. I prepare a list of other local vendors and time recommendations in advance, based on a questionnaire that clients fill out on my client software portal 17 Hats.
Melissa & Barry’s Romantic October wedding
Hat Number Two: Backup Driver
Surprises happen. Sometimes they happen at inopportune moments. I’m always prepared to transport either the wedding couple or a handful of their friends and family between photo locations.
Hat Number Three: Champion Against Hanger
When I can, I encourage my couples to consider building in time for snacks or an extra meal on their wedding day. It’s a long day, and nerves can be at their height. When is the best time to schedule snack time? During portraits. It’s a great way to get your group to relax and have a little fun while keeping hanger at bay.
Hat Number Four: Ring Transport
This could be transport for anything, but a few times, the bride or groom has asked me to make sure the rings get to where they need to be on the wedding day. Talk about responsibility! Other fun items I’ve been responsible for transporting include the groom’s belt, signs from the ceremony to the reception and forgotten jackets!
Hat Number Six: Secret Keeper
One of my favourite roles as a wedding photographer: the secret keeper. Often my couples plan little surprise moments for each other on their wedding day. In order to capture every moment, I am in on EVERY secret. Sometimes this is a heartfelt note right before the ceremony, at other times, it’s a full-blown flash mob mid reception. Nothing is off the table.
Hi, my name is Janelle, I’m an photographer hailing from Edmonton Alberta. Life is good if I can spend my time traveling to breathtaking destinations that inspire and make my heart feel lighter. If I can go there with an adventurous couple, that’s the making of an awesome story and touching images. I LOVE to travel and write photography travel tips for other photographers. I value authenticity and touching moments over a big production.