At a photography seminar several years ago, I heard a well-respected and successful photographer tell the room that “we are only as good as our clients”. I watched some photographers around me shake their head as if they didn’t agree. Well, I can see how you could interpret that as blaming any failure on the client and that surely doesn’t sound right. But who is planning on failing or blaming? It is really more about sharing the credit. When you make great wedding images, it is because of the clients. Sure, the photographer has a lot of responsibilities, directing when necessary, applying skill, and so on. And you can be a great photographer and you can pose people for nice portraits, but that is only part of a wedding day. When you have fun, emotional, loving wedding clients, you get great pictures. Great clients just make great pictures. You can get them all day long. When you create exceptional wedding images, you had exceptional clients. I’ve heard people remark that a photographer “must have a great camera” when they see a great wedding photo (and photographers really hate that, ha ha), but when I see great wedding photos I think “what great clients!”
Meredith and Joe are one of those great couples who are obviously crazy in love. Their wedding day was a blast and everyone really enjoyed themselves all day long. We were able to make a lot of great pictures together (and I’ll follow up with a blog post for the wedding in a few days). Joe and his groomsmen also had a lot of fun and silly ideas for pictures. They did more than we could Photoshop, to be sure. They had some James Bond movie poster ideas, Secret Service protecting the President, George Washington Crossing the Delaware, and on and on. The images we worked with below were probably the most fun. And some of the poses were spontaneous. Shortly before the ceremony they were across the street greeting wedding guests by the parking garage and fake punching each other in slow motion, and then they just started doing the concrete punch you see below, so I had to rush over and get the shot.
These definitely aren’t your typical groomsman photos and maybe wouldn’t be appropriate for a lot of clients’ tastes. It’s pretty clear that these guys had fun, though. The majority of our wedding work is focused on moments and creating portraits with a natural feel and that is all a big part of it. And we often do a lot of subtle Photoshop to make images seem closer to perfect, but not quite to this level. Stepping outside of the box for a moment, these are some super fun photos, which definitely illustrate the personalities & interests of Joe and his groomsmen. These are the perfect photos for these clients. And it feels great to deliver on that. It is rewarding knowing you are most likely exceeding someone’s expectations and delivering something one-of-a-kind from their wedding day, too. One day Joe and Meredith’s grandchildren can admire how Grandpa Joe crossed the Delaware with an Evel Knievel lunchbox, braving the ice and sharks (it was Shark Week when I worked that image, fyi). And it had to have really happened because he has the picture to prove it!
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such fun and exciting imagery. And these images wouldn’t have been possible without this great bunch of creative guys, their super attitudes, and the fun they brought. We are only as good as our clients, after all.
Meredith and Joe and these images were featured on WDRB In The Morning: link