When I began transitioning into wedding and portrait photography I did some studying. I looked at what others in my market were offering, and what seemed to work for them. And I went to more than a couple of classes and seminars.

The reason for my research was twofold: I didn’t exactly know where to place myself in the pricing spectrum (and that range is incredibly wide), and I wanted to see how I could differentiate myself from the rest of the pack. What I stumbled on while poking around made obvious what I needed to do to be different for my clients.

Where some will say “I don’t,” or “I won’t,” I instead will say “I do!”

I’ve never believed that one should elevate themselves through the criticism of others, so I’ll skip detailing the kinds of things I witnessed said or done. Instead, I guess I’d prefer to say what it is…I do.

  • I do dedicate my entire day to your wedding. I plan nothing else that day, so I can be available to shoot anything you might want preserved.
  • I do arrive early. I’ve shot weddings where I am there for over 12 hours. I like to be there while you are getting ready, while people are finishing decorations, and before things get rushed. I like to progress through the day with you. I enjoy feeling like I am a part of the whole process happening before the ceremony and party. There is a slim chance I might have helped finish decorations for a couple of weddings.
  • I do stay for your entire reception. All your friends and family are there, and it is a celebration. I stay to get images of you having fun with all of those people special to you. I stay to get table shots and candids of people who came to celebrate your day with you. I stay to shoot the couple exiting, or relaxing after the gala. All of these are things you will later be glad I stayed to shoot. Also…I just plain enjoy receptions. I might be a little strange that way.
  • I do treat your wedding as an event, as opposed to a time slot. When you hire me as your wedding photographer, my fees are not based on hours of coverage. I’m yours, all day.
  • I do hope you will be more than a client. If you are willing to trust me with the photography of one of your most important days, I will value that trust and want to know you on a personal level. Besides, knowing you personally is only going to help you and I create more stunning and unique images of your wedding. It will also add to the experience for both of us.
  • I do stay in touch. At least once a month leading up to your wedding I like to give you a call. I want you to know I have not shelved you or your wedding until it comes up again later on my schedule. I like to know how your planning is progressing and if anything has changed. I like to visit with you. I like to see if there is anything I can do for you, or if you have any questions. Even if we don’t have any of the other sessions left to shoot before your wedding day (the dress fittings, the shower, the engagement, the boudoir), I still call.
  • I do stay accessible. Call me. Any time. Or text me. Or email me. Something. Anything.
  • I do work very hard to exceed your expectations. I want you to have a great experience working with me, and I want you to feel that my service is exceptional and value added. If I think I am meeting your expectations…that’s the moment where I usually try to find something more to do which will exceed them.
  • I do my best to be the last thing you need to worry about on your wedding day.
  • I do my work professionally, but I try to not take myself too seriously. Sure, I like to think of myself as an artist, but my images are not going to end up on the auction block at Sotheby’s after I am gone. I am going to create great images for you, but I am not going to protect them as if they are the Mona Lisa. And I will gladly listen to feedback and suggestions from you. After all, these will end up being your images, not mine.
  • I do turn your images around to you in three week’s time. Because you want to see them that soon. Because you want to share them with family and friends who want to see them that soon. Because I usually can’t wait to start editing them after I get home. Because I am just as excited to see them, edit them, and show them to you—as excited as I hope you will be when you see them.
  • I do plan meticulously. When we meet for the first time, I’ll take time to explain all of the preparation and time I put into a wedding. I talk about being at the rehearsal in order to preview your ceremony process. I speak with your officiant to make sure they and I are on the same page about my movement during the ceremony. I speak with your DJ to know exactly how and when things like the First Dance will happen. I examine any technical and lighting challenges there might be while you rehearse. I preview your venue so that I can understand my positioning and angles, and envision unique and special shots. I review a shot list with you so I understand your exact priorities, so you know what I will be certain to capture, and to add anything you specifically want. Meticulous planning makes my work for you easier, and gives you less to worry about.
  • And lastly…I do enjoy the heck out of what I do.
The reason I say “I do” to so many things: because I want the day you finally walk the aisle and say “I do” to be one of your best days ever.
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