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How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer: Embracing the Unexpected

Posted By Sean Cayton On March 19, 2009 @ 8:05 am In Advice for Clients | 1 Comment

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Fourth in a series.

The bride’s dress won’t zip up. The brother of the groom had a little too much to drink before the toast. The flower girl’s hair catches on fire. The maid of honor loses the groom’s ring. You name it — it’s happened.

But if you’ve developed a game plan for your wedding, including with your wedding photographer, you can enjoy the day and embrace the unexpected.

<i>Part of my job as a wedding photographer is to be enthusiastic. One way to create excitement is to photograph all of the guests in one picture. Photography by Kent Meireis</i>No wedding day is ever perfect. Some are awfully close, but never perfect. I can remember my own wedding day, and as much as I’d like to believe it went off without a hitch, it didn’t. Nevertheless, my wife and I were married, and our friends and family shared in the moment with us.

Fruits of the Photographer-Client Relationship

<i>My wife Cathy photographs Rachel on her wedding day. Photo by Kent Meireis</i>I’ve written in previous posts about the importance of the wedding couple developing a relationship with their photographer in advance of the big event. On the wedding day, the couple truly understands how important this is.

A good photographer doesn’t just bring a camera to the wedding. He or she brings a smile and a positive, engaging attitude. At any large gathering, there is nothing more contagious than enthusiasm. 

If you and your photographer have built a relationship of trust before your wedding day, seeing your photographer at work will make you smile, too. Your time with your photographer will be one of the day’s joys. And the end result will be something you won’t forget. 

<i>Gina and Ajay stop to pose for a photograph. I loved their wedding because of the couple's energy and enthusiasm. Photo by John Heisel</i>Tackling the Unexpected Together

By projecting energy and confidence at the wedding, a good photographer also gives couples someone to lean on when something goes wrong. This helps to ensure that they’ll be celebrating the moment, rather than worrying about the details, when the unexpected happens.

Sometimes those unexpected moments make for great pictures, too. 

At Alison and Nicholas’ wedding in 2005, the couple had scheduled a ceremony on top of a mountain pass, followed by an outdoor reception. But it snowed that day. So their ceremony was held in the local church and the reception was held outside underneath a tent. Alison and Nicholas embraced the unexpected and stepped outside the reception tent and into the falling snow (below) to enjoy their first dance together.


On Shannon’s wedding day last summer, I arrived to photograph her getting ready at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. As we neared ceremony time, the hook on the back of Shannon’s dress broke. With her bridesmaids holding her dress together, Shannon made her way to the chapel and found some thread and string.


Despite the dress mishap — which made for a wonderful picture (above) and an unforgettable memory — Shannon and Peter had a fantastic wedding day that was recently featured in The Knot Colorado [2].

Next: Seeing your wedding photographs

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1 Comment To "How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer: Embracing the Unexpected"

#1 Comment By Andrea Kennedy On March 25, 2009 @ 11:52 am

The first line of this caught me! We actually had to SEW on a bride's wedding dress last summer! She was such a good sport about it!

As always, GREAT tips Sean!

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[2] The Knot Colorado: http://weddings.theknot.com/Real-Weddings/COLORADO_Spring_Military_Colorado-Springs_36701/view.aspx?id=36701&type=1&location=020&MsdVisit=1

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