“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
We are often asked by newbie photographers wanting to break into the wedding market, “What can I do to set myself apart from the competition?” The answer we often give, is to find what is unique about you and bring that to the forefront of everything you do. I’ll be the first to admit this is a simple response to a complex problem. With there being so many wedding photographers out there now, it has become extremely difficult to stand out from the crowd. Another problem is that we as photographers have such ready access to each others’ photos via websites and blogs – it’s really easy to become overly influenced either subconsciously or not to your competition’s style. Before we know it, everyone’s images start to look quite a bit alike.
So how do create a body of work that is instantly identifiable as your own? For starters, be honest about what your strengths truly are. Are you particularly gifted at posing? If so, showcase that in your albums and website. Leave out the candids, if they are not your strong suit. Resist the urge to be all things to all people.
Larry and I have built a very nice business based on this principal. We have always been able to capture images that elicit laughter or tears from our clients. This ability did not come about from analyzing other photographer’s photos or forcing a photographic impulse that didn’t occur naturally. It is simply what we do best and we make sure to showcase that ability at every opportunity.
I know it can be difficult to be objective about your own strengths and weaknesses but only you know when you are “shooting from your head” instead of “from your heart.” When you catch yourself trying to copy that image you saw on the last website you looked at, make yourself break free and come up with something else, something from the moment in front of you that is uniquely you.
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
I hope you don’t find this too self horn-tooting but this email from Susannah regarding her wedding photos is too adorable to not share.
Here’s an impression of me from today…
(Susannah stares deeply into her computer screen at work, ignoring the phone, the pile of work in her inbox etc… from the corner of her mouth, we see a bit of drool escaping as she repeats over and over)
“…OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG…”
The photographs are INCREDIBLE. I am beyond thrilled. I am bordering on speechless.
And yes, I have spent the greater part of the last 8 hours looking at all of the beautiful pictures.
You guys produced one gorgeous gem after another. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and delight.
Wrapped up in a furry little suit.
Red and teal…with a wonderful color palette like that how could this not be a fantastic wedding? I know what makes an event really special is the warmth of the people and not the pretty “stuff” but trust me, there was plenty of warmth to go around on this day so I am going to draw your attention to all of the whimsical, lovely elements.
First of all, I love a bride who brings props to her wedding. Susannah had a lot of fun collecting charming birdhouses, banners and signs and we had a blast photographing them.
Her super cute red shoes looked so great peeking out from under her gorgeous Pronovias gown and the gentlemen were equally well shod with their snazzy red socks. Even Truman the dog was decked out in a matching leash! We’ve seen our share of dogs at weddings over the years but I’m going on record as saying that Truman was the most well behaved, not to mention handsome of the bunch. He and I bonded during the ceremony. I took one look into those chocolately brown eyes and I was a goner.
Kate Baker did a stellar job with the florals. This color combination was so fresh and unexpected. The teal accents really set off the deep luscious color of the roses and dahlias.
The Skiff’s Bakery cake was really special too. Have you ever seen a cuter topper?
Larry and I had never photographed an event at the North Ranch Country Club before but Rachel Gluckman and her staff made us feel so welcomed, it was like we had been working together for ages. It’s always such a pleasure feeling like you’re a valued member of the team and Rachel couldn’t have been more helpful and accommodating.
Susannah and Mark, from the moment we met you, we knew you would be a wonderful couple to photograph. Your love for one another is so obvious and your sense of humor and fun is positively infectious. Larry and I loved the time we’ve spent with you. We hope you love your photographs and we look forward to the fun part of creating your perfect album!
With summer quickly waning, the herbs in our garden are throwing up one last hurrah by showing off with delicate, colorful blooms. I thought it might be nice to use them in some way and making herb butter came immediately to mind.
Making this tasty treat couldn’t be easier – simply add your favorite chopped herb along with a dash of salt to room temperature butter. I used oregano here but thyme, rosemary or even lavender would be great. It might be interesting to sweeten the butter with honey before adding the herbs. I bet the contrast of sweet and savory would be wonderful.