- “Deleriously Happy? “
- What are the emotional elements often present in a wedding shoot?
One of the phrases I often use when using chatter while posing family groups is
"Now are we all deleriously happy?" This works quite often to get people smiling and I confess I sometimes overuse it but it has become a bit of a trademake of my wedding style.
Of course I know that not all people present at a wedding are deliriously happy. Some not be even a little bit happy.
That may even apply to me as the photographer and has done on a number of occasions while dealing with issues in my own personal life.
As a wedding photographer I believe it is my job to be particularly sensitive to people during the wedding. Those in the wedding party, family, relatives and friends.
So it is important to find out as much as you can during your consultation with couples ,something of the family dynamics. Who is speaking or not speaking ,and in particular are divorced parents happy to be photographed together in the same group photo.
I have only ever come across about 2 who weren't . Most people are keen to put aside differences on their child's wedding day. At least on the surface anyway.
So what are some of the possibilities?
Someone in the family may be terminally ill.
Someone may have recently died and may be a loved parent of the bride or groom.
Some of the guests present may be going through extreme problems in their own relationships.
So how do you deal with these things on a wedding shoot?
Being a competent enough photographer to work under extreme pressure certainly helps.
Using all your people skills and more.
Being able to not take anything personally when things are really tense and some vitriol may be directed at you.
The old proverb "A calm answer turns away wrath." is worth remembering.
Having a strong Faith in God certainly works and helps for me but I have shot one or two weddings under extreme personal pressure within these last 2 years and I was fortunate to have my wife as my assistant on these occasions. I would have really struggled otherwise.
The idea is to not show that you are stressed at all during a wedding shoot even though you might be stressed on the inside.
I have dealt with photographing a wedding knowing my Dad was at home dying and worked through the day pretty much on auto pilot but still got wonderful results.
I was working for another studio at the time and I cancelled a wedding I had booked on the Sunday and the studio arranged another photographer for that one.
If you are not well enough or confident enough in your abilities to work under the circumstances when a wedding is approaching , you should in my opinion take steps to get someone esle to do the wedding for you. This is where it helps to have a network of wedding photographer friends.A forum like the DWF for American photographers would be useful but I rely on my own personal networks.
In more than 36 years of wedding photography I have only had to pull out of 2 weddings and was extremely grateful for the back up I had. I have also been able to return that favour for others.
I tell this to customers in my consultation.
It is important to cover such situations in your contract with your customer
So deleriously happy? Not always , but try to be so professional in your approach that you have a very positive influence on the day for the wedding party and family and deliver waht you have promised.