Human first, wedding photographer second.
A couple of weeks away from work is enough to get me in to my ‘philosophy pants'. 2015 was such a wonderful year for me, connecting and strengthening relationships with so many wonderful people that I’ve lost count. The more time I spend in this industry, the more I carve out my own niche and the more I learn about weddings in general.
I never considered making a career out of being a “wedding photographer” because I never wanted to think of myself as a product. The last thing I wanted to make with my photography was a transaction based upon what someone told someone they needed for their wedding.
Of course, transactions are a core tenet of any business.
Increasingly, I find my best experiences in retail, service and other types of business have nothing to do with the product I’m purchasing. Discussing the finer points of Steve Smith’s batting technique with my barista, current happenings in politics with drivers (mostly Uber these days) or even just asking the woman at Telstra how her day is going and actually meaning it.
Clearly, I have a small stake I have in the cafe I frequent as I call them “my” barista. You can see the trend.
These things end up positively affecting my mood, and quite possibly theirs, without having anything to do with the product. Just the simple process of having a genuine, human connection. With my business, things get a little more muddled, but to tie this together I’d like to share some feedback I received recently from a bride:
“Morgan has the smoothest, coolest, humorous yet professional characteristics that just seem to bring a sense of calm to the day – he made people feel great, and suddenly everyone loves being photographed - which has never happened before.”
After wedding planners and celebrants, photographers are amongst the best “wedding consultants” you can talk to, because not only have we been to a lot of weddings, we see how the sausage is made. I could call 5 of my friends in the industry and we could have the raw material for a NYT Bestseller “How to Fuck Up a Wedding”.
Well, maybe a BuzzFeed top 11 list.
The most important thing for me is to keep getting feedback like the one I just shared. I would hate to just be “the guy that did the photos” next to “the person that stacked the chairs”. I know plenty of wonderful humans in a variety of professions in this industry who feel the same, and some of them I work with regularly.
So, Too Long, Don’t Read: I love being human, and it’s wonderful to be recognised as one first, and a photographer second.
Happy 2016 smile emoticon
These two photos by Best Bridesmaid Ever Keyna Roberts wink emoticon