Ever have one of those dumb idiot moments where you feel like you have been caught with your pants down? Like, “Wow man… I really should have known better.” One of those kind? But in front of clients or people you’re supposed to look super duper professional in front of?
Well that’s me – more often than I’d like to admit. I can be kind of an airhead… I’ll admit it. Thankfully, while being a total airhead at times – I can still snag some awesome photos.
Tuesday was one of those days for me. I photograph engagement sessions at Little Corona Beach in Newport / Corona Del Mar… ALL. OF. THE. TIME. Whenever a client wants a beach session, I recommend this one because it’s beautiful and there isn’t a required permit to photograph there.
For beach sessions, and any session really – I always like to try to get the golden hour if it works with everyone’s schedule. That doesn’t always happen, but most of the time it does. Apparently though, I have never photographed in the summer during golden hour at Little Corona Beach becaaaauuuuuse, my dumbass did NOT for one second consider the tide coming in at that hour. Oopsie poopsie! At any other beach that’s not much of an issue… but at this beach you have to walk down a really big hill to get to this little gem, which is a cove. So when you get down to the sand from this hill there are a lot of rocks and the sand leads up to the walls of this cove, if you will. Can you picture what I’m saying? If not, you’ll see it in a moment.
ANYWAY… We all arrived early and decided to go have a cocktail (or in Nikki’s case, a shot of vodka – YAS Queen) and chat. Kyle had me laughing hysterically throughout our cocktail hour and I knew it was going to be a great shoot. At 6:30 it was time to head down to the sand and wouldn’t you know it… the tide was not only high… but it was covering 90% of the beach where I like to shoot. In my head I thought, “Eff You See Kay – what am I going to do?” I was kicking myself for not even THINKING about the tide, but I have LITERALLY never gone down to the beach and seen the tide THIS high. I was in shock.
Thankfully Nikki & Kyle are cool as hell and were game to run around each bend I asked them to, to try to get in some little nooks where the water only hit us when the waves crashed… which at certain times had the water literally up to my hips (good thing I wore shorts!). As the waves receded, we would run for it. I felt reassured that I was not the only photographer out there running with clients to avoid crashing waves. We even saw a pregnant lady running during her maternity shoot… That made me look LESS like an airhead photographer I think 🙂
All in all… we had a blast together. I couldn’t have asked for a cooler couple to be screwed by the tide with. Check out how much fun we had…
Note to self for future beach sessions: check the tide before scheduling.
For more information on how you too can experience my airhead ways and get some super fun engagement or wedding photos… check out my website at http://www.briannacaster.com and drop me a line!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @briannacaster for silly stories, and photo inspiration.
Hi, my name is Brianna and I’ve been a control freak for most of my life… I’m working my way through Control Freaks Anonymous…
Actually I’d say I’m getting better as I get older. My husband and family might disagree… I don’t know. I haven’t asked… but I feel like I’m becoming more of a “go with the flow” kind of person because in my business you have to. There are things I can control about what I do, but there is a LOT that is completely out of my hands. That’s hard for me because I want everyone’s wedding day to be perfect, but it’s the nature of this business.
I do a pretty good job of just embracing all of the chaos and making the most of it. I am not afraid to play in the rain with my couples if they aren’t… I will pull 50 people out of a reception room for a formal photo because a relative arrived late if it’s what my couple really wants… I am game for all of it. I think I find the most sadness at weddings when couples are stressed out or unhappy because certain details aren’t going as planned.
I’m going to keep this blog short and to the point today… News Flash: your wedding will not be perfect if you hold it to impossible standards. It WILL be perfect if you go with the flow, embrace or ignore the crazy, laugh at the chaos, marry the love of your life, and walk out holding hands at the end of the night smiling. I know we all want to control it all and make sure every little detail is perfect… but I encourage you to find the perfection in the imperfection and just enjoy every moment you can. If some details don’t fall together perfectly… in the words of Elsa… LET IT GOOOO, LET IT GOOOO! And enjoy it all anyway… because you put way too much time, effort and money into this to NOT enjoy it regardless of what goes wrong… and if at the end of the day you’re still married to your best friend – that’s all that matters.
Enjoy this little overcast beach session for Sammy & Alex’s engagement:
Now to turn on the air conditioning because 90+ degree heat requires it.
For more information on engagement and wedding photography in Orange County or around the country… world… whatever… check out our website and drop us a line at http://www.briannacaster.com
This is honestly the best advice I can offer people running their own business. I want to get it on a t-shirt…
I’ve probably ranted about this before, but I’m going to rant about it again. Sure, you can be the worlds greatest at what you do… You can have a service or product that stands apart from everyone else in your industry – something REALLY unique and fantastic… But if you’re a dick… all the talent in the world can’t make you successful. People don’t like assholes.
Where is this stemming from, you ask? Let me tell you…
As you know… I run a business. As you also might know, I am pretty determined to succeed. I work really hard. I am always making friends in my industry, educating myself and learning new things about marketing… You have heard me lament about how hard it is to succeed on Instagram. The world of IG has become so saturated that there are constantly new rules and guidelines that none of us know about, being implemented. When we find out about them, it’s usually after being shadow blocked for unknowingly breaking one of the new rules. Not super fair, right? But it is what it is… I’ve tried many things when it comes to marketing, and one of the things I am trying now is a company that helps you grow your instagram account. No it is NOT buy followers… it’s a company that does what I simply don’t have time to do… which is going around instagram and interacting for me so that my posts are seen more frequently, and people (REAL PEOPLE) begin to follow me because I am more active.
One of the things this company does on my Shy Heart Studios instagram (@shy_heart_studios) is sends a new message to every single follower. The message is created by me, but they send it to all of the new people who come my way welcoming them, thanking them for their follow, and letting them know that they can ask us any questions about our services. Simply, and lovely, right? It’s a GREAT tool because it actually gets people responding and often asking questions. We’ve even booked people thanks to this tool… all because it automatically sends a message, and then we get to start a REAL conversation when they reply.
We still control all of our material, and everything that gets posted. This does not completely automate our instagram accounts.
Anyway… this morning I got a nasty reply from a fellow wedding photographer:
“@shy_heart_studios did you even look at my account? What booking or services do you think I’ll have questions about? I’m just trying to support other vendors with a follow. Seems like you just fired off a generic message you send every new follower.”
I sent this sassy retort:
“Sure did. It’s a marketing program I use… it helps our business grow in the hopes that it can start conversations with potential clients… Saying hello and being friendly, generic or not, is actually quote effective and we’ve booked business from it. You could have simply replied politely… or ignored our message. No need to be rude about it. Photographers often need other photographers since we can’t photograph ourselves… So I don’t see the harm in sending the same message to all of my new followers.”
I doubt the ended up seeing that reply because after some more thought, I chose to block them all together.
Here’s the thing you guys… This person was obviously offended and felt the need to call me out for using a generic message. I did check out their page… and then their website. They have about half of the following that we have on our IG account, and their website is pretty terrible. It looks to me like they are pretty new to the world of professional photography… and they just burned a bridge with someone who is NOT new to this industry, and could have shared a wealth of helpful knowledge with them.
If they had written to me and said, “Hi @shy_heart_studios – I’m also a photographer, and not in need of photography services at this time, but I noticed it seems like you sent a generic message that you probably send to all of your new followers. Is that accurate? If so, how did you do that? Has it been successful in helping you book clients?” they would have instantly gained a friend in the industry and an ally who could help them in this difficult world of navigating social media in order to grow your business. I have been at this a long time and have a lot of knowledge to share with others. Instead, they wrote me a snarky message in an attempt to “call me out” on something I have no shame about… because it’s actually a SMART marketing tool… and I blocked them, and I will not forget the name of their company. I’d also like to point out that they claimed to want to “support other vendors with a follow” – how does following another vendor help them when you send them a message with the intention to shame them? Seems counter productive to me.
I have a lot of friends who are photographers. Sure, one could look at them as my competition, but I do not. I look at them as friends who I can help, and who can help me. When we learn new things about marketing or industry and networking events, we share it with each other. We help each other grow. I have learned time and time again in this industry that being an asshole might help you for a while… You might get to the top more quickly than others by stepping on people on your way up… But when no one is left that wants to support you because you’ve stepped on all of them, when you begin to fall – no one will reach out to grab your hand… and the rest of us… we’ll still get to the top.
So succeed by being kind and helpful. Don’t be an asshole. That’s my PSA for today.
Onto some lovely photos of a lovely couple… Andrea & James are the sweetest. Check out their engagement session at Oak Canyon Nature Center:
Be kind to others you guys… Make friends… don’t burn bridges.
For more information on how NOT to be an asshole, or for information on photography services, please feel free to visit http://www.briannacaster.com or http://www.shyheartstudios.com and send us a message! Follow both of my photography brands on Instagram @briannacaster for my BC & Co. Photographers brand and @shy_heart_studios for my wonderful team of talented photographers.
With love and kindness,
I almost went three weeks in a row without posting a blog. I’m kind of disappointed in myself to be honest… For an entire year I blogged every week! Then I fell off the wagon… but I’m getting back on!! See? Here I am! Hi.
In my defense, I was out of the country for an entire week – so that week doesn’t count. The second week, I just plain forgot. No excuse there… today I was in the middle of working on an edit, and stopped to write this post… Maybe I shouldn’t admit that. Oh well.
Anyway – here we are… already creeping up on the end of June. Today is the official FIRST DAY OF SUMMER and the weather is fantastic! At least here in Southern California it is… wherever you’re reading from, if your weather sucks… come visit 🙂 We’re killing it over here in SoCal.
I love this time of year! The mornings are crisp, the afternoons are warm, and the evenings are cool. I get to play in the pool with my niece and nephew again, enjoy concerts in the park with friends and family, BBQ and just be out doors. It is a real struggle to stay inside and buckle down for work when the weather is so perfect. I want to play hooky every day right now. But I don’t, because I’m a good girl, and I got shit to do! But I will sneak away for an afternoon stroll with my pup when I’m done with this post… I have to enjoy it before we creep back up into the 90’s and triple digits…
So I’m going to keep it short this week guys. Can you believe it? Partly because I don’t have anything fun to talk about… but also partly because the sooner I’m done the sooner I can scoot on outside and walk in the beautiful sunshine.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer! And I hope you enjoy this gorgeous wedding at The Retreat in Corona from last month! Kimberly & Alejandro had a beautiful intimate wedding. I loved working with them… they were sweet, funny and oh so relaxed all day. How could I ask for more? Enjoy! And do yourselves a favor… get out and enjoy the sunshine as much as possible. If you’re stuck in an office, I am sorry… but take a walk anyway – enjoy it. Smile at the sun, and forget your worries for a moment today! Even if you can only sneak away for 10 minutes – do it!
Happy Summer everyone!
For more information on wedding photography in orange county – please visit my website and say hello! Also – don’t forget to follow me on the gram @briannacaster
Love you bye!
I love to travel. Sometimes I find it funny that the older I get, the more I want to capture every little moment. When I first started out doing photography, I’d leave my camera at home unless I was working… I wanted a break. I didn’t want to see everything through a lens. Now, I never want to put it down. I want to photograph the earth in all of it’s earthly beauty as much as I want to capture the moments of people I love laughing and enjoying life… and as much as I want to capture my clients on their biggest day.
I’m leaving the country next week and am debating on bringing my camera. I want to bring it SO badly but I also hesitate because of safety… but I know the entire time I’m there I will wish I had my camera if I DON’T bring it. So we shall see what I decide… the debate will continue in my head until the day I leave… Those are the inner struggles of a travel loving, adventure seeking, beauty capturing photographer.
Sometimes I’m super extra lucky and I get paid to travel with my camera! The beautiful bride pictured below is Whitney. She and I met when she worked at a venue that my team is a preferred vendor for. She was a wedding coordinator there. Shortly after I met, she told me she had a friend who had just moved from Tulsa and was looking for a photography job. She sent me her phone number and I asked her to join me for coffee to talk photography. Laci and I became fast friends and she worked for me for about a year until moving back home to Tulsa. I was beyond sad to see her go because I adored her, loved working with her, and she had proven to be an integral part of my team… AND one of the first photographers I hired (after my darling Elaine) when I began growing my team.
After Laci broke my heart and left me… we stayed in touch. She traveled with me to New York for a wedding, she traveled out to my wedding in South Carolina, and every time she comes back to California we pick up where we left off. All the while, I continued of course, to build my relationship with Whitney. Whitney told me from very early on, long before she met Ryan – that she would want me to photograph her wedding one day. It always made me warm and fuzzy inside. When she finally met the love of her life (about 3 years after she and I met) she started talking about me photographing her wedding again and I was thrilled. Whitney & Ryan got engaged just before the holidays last year and married last weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma where Whitney is from.
I have said it before and I will say it again… when people in the wedding industry ask ME to capture THEIR wedding… the compliment is ten fold. They work with so many photographers and have so many options, and when they choose little ‘ol me… my heart explodes. It was a true honor to capture Whitney & Ryan’s wedding at Spain Ranch in Oklahoma. Take a look (and see if you spot me & Laci):
The amazing team for this wedding included:
Venue: Spain Ranch
Coordination: Marissa Pascarella (fun fact, I also photographed her wedding!)
Floral: Crooked Roots Design
Catering: Catering by Orr
Bakery: Laurannae Baking Co.
Photo Booth: Oh Snaps
Video: ByDesign Films
Arbor: J & L Tables
DJ: Lions Road
Lighting: Integrity Lighting
For more information on booking YOUR destination wedding photography (TAKE ME ANYWHERE!) please reach out via http://www.briannacaster.com
It is not lost on me that running my own business has some serious perks. One of my favorite perks is that I get to sit in my home office with two of my best friends jamming out to Michael Jackson, Kesha, or whatever other random stuff we feel like listening to…. while drinking coffee in yoga pants / workout clothes post workout, pre-shower as gross as can be without being judged… AND edit or write blog posts. And yes that’s an exact description of what’s happening right now. Shylo is here too… laying on the floor looking at us like she’s bored. But hey – as long as she doesn’t randomly decide to pee on my living room floor today, it’s a win (yes – she did that yesterday).
It is also not lost on me that I get to work with some of the coolest people ever. My team is full of incredible women (and MEN! We love you Antonio!), and our clients are THE. BEST. I wont lie to you – I don’t connect and become BFF’s with every client… as much as I want to because I’m a believer that you can never have too many friends. I do always have a great repore with my clients – but they don’t ALL follow me on IG or friend me FB and that’s ok. But when our personalities mesh harmoniously and we giggle together through our engagement session I leave on cloud 9 totally in love with my couples. Not only do I become even more thrilled to capture their wedding, but I get all the warm fuzzies inside and love being able to stay connected and watch their beautiful lives unfold together through social media. The best compliment is when they come back to me for their friends weddings, or their next life milestone. NOTHING feels better than being asked to capture their milestones time and time again.
Yes, this is all a segway into telling you how much I freaking LOVE Shyia & Alex!!!!! Guess where they found me you guys… INSTAGRAM! They saw my styled shoot at Rancho Las Lomas which took the cover and a four page spread in Ceremony Magazine which then got shared by Rancho Las Lomas – and reached out…. and the rest is history. I sincerely loved every moment with them. Shyia literally had sunshine shooting out of her from every angle when I showed up at Rancho Las Lomas to begin capturing their day. That’s the best way to describe her… she is the kind of girl that literally lights up every single room she walks into with her beautiful smile and warm, bubbly personality. Alex is the same – his bright smile and calm friendly demeanor will make you feel welcome from the moment he greets you. If I did my job right (and I think I did…) you can see their personalities in every image. We were absolutely oozing with love and uncontrollable googely eyes all day over these two and their families. Take a look:
I know – it’s a lot of images… but I couldn’t help myself. I rarely can if you haven’t noticed.
We had a team of amazing vendors including one of the best bands I’ve ever heard at a wedding! Everyone worked seamlessly together to pull of the perfect day for Shyia & Alex.
Venue: Rancho Las Lomas
Planning: Jenna at Engaged Events
Photography: Brianna Caster & Co. Photographers
Floral: Parker & Posies
Beauty: Vanity Belle
Band: de Bois Entertainment
Catering: 24 Carrots
Deserts: Paper Street Cake
For more information on Orange County Wedding Photography or anywhere around the globe – please visit http://www.BriannaCaster.com
We’re about 5 months into 2018 incase you didn’t know… and for our team – it’s been a super weird year for bookings, but we have had some AMAAAAZZZING clients and it’s only MAY!!!!
I always think I have the “busy season” pegged in the wedding industry. Historically, March through October is the busiest time for us. With the months of March and October specifically being the absolute busiest – but having very consistent work throughout the months in between. This year, we started out with a HUGE February with 12 weddings (opposed to last years TWO weddings in February)… consistently busy through June, and then BAM… huge drop off in July and August, picking back up in September. JULY you guys. JULY is slow. It’s banana’s. Probably not nearly as fascinating and mind blowing to all of you as it is to me… but I’ve actually heard from several others in the industry that the summer months this year are just not as busy. So it’s not just me…. which is encouraging.
I have already photographed SEVERAL amazing couples this year that I can’t WAIT to get published anywhere and everywhere, and have several more coming my way. I have a legitimate first world problem… WHICH weddings do I submit to print, and which weddings do I submit to blogs? There have just been so many stunners who have stolen my heart with their sweetness and had me tearing up at their weddings that I just want to share all of them with the whole world!!! AND I’M NOT EVEN DONE YET!!! I have three weddings in a row this weekend alone, starting today…
This couple is no exception…. they will tie the knot in October at Mission Viejo Country Club and I absolutely adore them. Just look how photogenic they are and how cute they are together – I mean COME ON!!!
So here’s to 2018 in all of it’s booking weirdness, and killer couple glory! For more information on wedding photography in orange county and around the globe (I’m off to Tulsa next week!) – please visit http://www.BriannaCaster.com and don’t forget to follow me on IG @briannacaster
Off to start my triple header weekend… by Sunday I’ll be a zombie. Worth it.
I for sure forgot to post a blog last week. Oopsie! In my defense… I’m actually impressed that I got a post up the week before because for the last two weeks I’ve had construction going on in my kitchen… My office shares a wall with my kitchen, so there was absolutely no getting any work done at home for almost two solid weeks. I was anywhere but here avoiding the noise and dust. The good news is, I now have a gorgeous new kitchen… And I love it so much I want to move my desk out of the office and into the middle of the kitchen floor just so I can look up and see my pretty new space. That’s unrealistic so instead I just keep finding excuses to go in there and look around or use something. It makes me forget how much it all cost us for about 30 seconds each time… Worth it. But I digress… Moving on!
I know this will come as a shock to most of you (note the sarcasm), but I don’t book every client that emails, DM’s, texts or calls me. 9 times out of 10, if they are willing to come and meet me in person, I almost always book them. Why is that? I like to think it’s because I’m so lovable… but the truth is – if someone likes my work enough to have more than an email exchange, or chat on the phone… they’ve probably mostly already made up their mind by the time they meet me. My stellar personality just helps solidify their decision. Just kidding… mostly. Obviously personality is important, but it’s about the way I make them feel when they are in my studio, how confident I am in what I do, and how safe they feel putting their biggest day in my hands. I don’t always know why people choose not to book me – sometimes they just ghost me completely which is super duper irritating. How can I know if I’m doing something wrong if people don’t tell me? When I do get the feedback it’s typically because they found someone “cheaper”. That hurts, but it doesn’t hurt NEARLY as much as when I get passed up because this other photographer “has shot at my venue before.”
Just last week I had an MOB (mother of the bride) call me to discuss my services. I LOVE talking to Mom’s helping their daughters plan weddings – I really really do. I don’t know what it is, maybe it reminds me of my connection with MY Mom… but I just love Mom’s. Anyway – we spoke on Thursday afternoon and scheduled a meeting for Monday evening. On Saturday, Mom called me to tell me they already decided to go with another photographer because that photographer had worked at their venue before… I was devastated, truly. I immediately began throwing myself a pity party for one. It nearly ruined my entire day because I was SO pumped to meet this family after having such a great chat with Mom over the phone. They had a solid, realistic photography budget, and I felt like I really connected with Mama when we spoke. I didn’t even get a chance to dazzle them with my charm because they made a decision based on something that DOES NOT MATTER. What’s worse, is that it was a venue I’ve been to many times in my life, and actually have not ever photographed a ceremony or reception at, but I have photographed all of the formal wedding portraits there for a client at before. I am incredibly familiar with the property… but even if I wasn’t it wouldn’t matter.
So my Public Service Announcement for Wedding Photography today is this: When looking for someone to photograph your wedding, it does NOT matter if they have been to your property before. You are hiring an artist! You are hiring someone who can walk into a space and understand the light and see all of the photographic potential instantly. Please – tell all of your friends this. Choose your photographer because you love their work, you love their personality, and trust that as an artist and a professional – they will crush it. I don’t know who put the idea in people’s heads that you need to hire someone who has been to your property before… but I’m making it my life goal to undo that misconception.
Take it from this lovely couple! The amazing Mother of this bride hired me, and I fell in love with every person at this wedding! The Mom’s, the Dad’s, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen and of course, the couple. Now, I HAD photographed a wedding at Ponte Winery prior to Cara & Christiaan’s wedding, however, Ponte Winery has multiple ceremony sites and multiple reception sites, and I had not yet photographed at their specific ceremony and reception sites. Mom trusted me anyway… For that I am very grateful because the experience I had with all of them was wonderful and their day was perfect. I literally can’t do anything but smile looking at this work and thinking about this perfect wedding day with all of these incredible people. Take a look:
In case my rant isn’t enough to convince people that having previously photographed at a venue before doesn’t matter…I’d also like to note that the first time I photographed at Rancho Las Lomas, and the Richard Nixon Library… both weddings got published in a magazine. So there 😛 Tell your friends 🙂
Cara & Christiaan’s Vendors:
Venue: Ponte Winery
Coordination: Samantha Rizzo
Beauty: Sandra Michelle Artistry
Videography: Amber Exposure
Floral: Flowers by Coley
DJ: Sterling Productions
Dessert: Laura Maries Cakes
Gown: Lazaro Bridal
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Invitation Suite: Hoover Printing
Photography: Yours Truly… obviously 😉
For more information on wedding photography, please check out my website and drop me a line! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @briannacaster
Peace, Love & Photographing at Venues for the First time,
You guys! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself…. Just ask Alex – I was blowing her up for about 20 minutes straight today via text telling her about my new SleekLens actions and brushes from Lightroom. The Portrait Essentials kit comes with a plethora of options for presets – but I will be honest, I have a modified a preset I had previously that I LOVE so my focus when trying out this kit was much more on the brushes than it was on the presets. However I did scroll through a lot of them and the variety is on point! There is a lot to choose from and I feel like they can fit many many photography styles – so choose your favorite, and have fun!
THE BRUSHES THOUGH!!! I am literally obsessed with them. YOU CAN LITERALLY PUT MAKE UP ON YOUR CLIENT WITH THESE BRUSHES! There’s an eyeliner brush, a skin color tone brush, a CONTOUR brush…. And one of my favorite features – they don’t lump the “eye enhancement” into one tool… there is an enhancement for blue eyes, green eyes, and brown eyes. I LOVE that. You can enhance brown hair, blond hair, eyebrows, add blush, make the lips shiney, lighten under the eyes… FORGET JUMPING TO PHOTOSHOP ever again with these amazing brushes. What’s more is that none of these brushes are so over the top that they make your client look fake. It looks natural, it’s beautiful – and it’s quick and easy because you don’t need two different programs to create the perfect image anymore…. Or, if you already didn’t do that – now you don’t have to create a customized brush for each and every detail. They have been created for you and they are MONEY. Also – if you do feel the brush is a little too strong for a certain point in your image – you just reduce the flow. Easy peasy.
I love them and I have barely scratched the surface. Sleeklens – I’m obsessed with you, and I will be telling EVERYONE I know about this incredible bundle. I’m also positive I’ll be shopping with you again soon for your Landscape Essentials! Take a look at some before and after edits! In the first two, the image on the left is completely unedited. In the third screen shot the image on the left is edited with my custom preset, and the image on the right has the SleekLens skin softening brush, lighten under eye brush, eye enhancement for brown eyes, eyebrow enhancement, dark hair enhancement, contour, blush AND rosey lips. The image on the right in all four screen shots have all of those brush enhancements! These brush adjustments were done at the standard flow that defaults on the SleekLens brushes, I did not make any changes to the brushes.
For those of you dying to dive in and try these – you can get them here: https://sleeklens.com/product-category/lightroom-presets/
And just for extra fun – here are more from Dustin & Michelle’s adorable engagement session at Irvine Regional Park:
I hope some of you enjoyed my technical rant today… 😀 With love, Brianna (If you’re looking for me, I’ll be at my computer with my face glued to it playing with SleekLens brushes… If I’m not back in a week, send help.)
If you’re a business owner, you know there are many things to stress about. I think that’s par for the course in most careers. Fortunately, I am not one to stress out easily. But there are a couple of things that make me stress out heavily and unfortunately stress for me leads to depression. Not the kind of depression I can’t get out of, or the kind that makes me sink into a hole and hide… but the kind that makes me feel like my spirit is broken and I hang my head low until I can emotionally work my way out of that stress. I start questioning everything I do and wondering – is it me? That happens to us because the Photography world is intensely personal. It’s our artistic expression.
So what is it that causes this kind of stress for photographers? It’s not a 2 hour delayed timeline the day of; it’s not the request of 15 organized large group photos that we have to squeeze in along with wedding party and couple portraits in a 40 minute window; it’s not a late bride; it’s not a disorganized timeline; and it’s not 75 guests standing next to us with their cell phones trying to get pictures along side us. It’s that we put our heart and soul into what we do, and sometimes there are people that we can’t please… and we don’t get do-overs. I can tell myself and my team repeatedly that we can’t please 100% of the clients 100% of the time… but that doesn’t make it any easier when we have worked our tails off to organize the day, choose the best locations, get every single possible photograph that could be desired… we edit and re-edit the work to perfection before delivering it… and still the client finds something to be upset about. The 700 beautiful images aren’t mentioned – but the 50 they dislike are. The countless perfect moments captured aren’t acknowledged, but great Aunt Susie wasn’t photographed even though no one ever told us who she was or that she was important to be photographed… and tears have been shed over the fact that there isn’t a photo of her. There are 75 stunning images of the couple, but there are 4 where they don’t look super flattering and how could we possibly think those were good photos?
These are the things that cause deep stress and heavy hearts. All we ever want is to make our clients beyond happy, to exceed their expectations and give them images that perfectly emulate the beauty of their day; images they will cherish. When we are met with incredible reviews and emails that our clients cried tears of joy looking at their images – it puts us on cloud 9 and we are reminded of why what we do is so important. And 98% of the time those are the responses that we get! The other 2% of the time it’s the polar opposite… and while those odds are greatly in our favor, that 2% feels like 100% when it hits us square in the nose.
My hope with this blog is that photographers out there, and business owners know that you aren’t alone. Although it’s rare, we all get complaints… and they hurt our hearts! It is also my hope that couples out there understand that you are not going to be madly in love with every single image from your wedding – it’s not possible. So try to see all the beauty you received – and know that your photographer did everything they could to get you everything you could have possibly wanted, and they put their most artistic and talented foot forward for you.