This is an important question because a photographers shooting style (ie. how they work) is going to have an influence on your wedding day not only for you but also for your guests.
Generally I’m pretty low-key. I’m not in your face a whole lot because I don’t like to be and I don’t think it’s necessary. I’ve been apart of weddings as a guest or in a wedding party and I observe what I like about the photographer and what I don’t like. Of course I am biased by my own preferences but what especially irritates me is when the photographer operates on this mindset that the day is all about them and their photos. I don’t treat wedding photography that way.
First and foremost the day is about you and ensuring you enjoy YOUR day and I consider it my primary job to capture it. That’s where being a good photojournalist comes in. I enjoy being a ‘fly on the wall’ whenever I can. I move a lot in order to capture the moments from different angles but also strive not to be seen when I can help it. I don’t want to take away from the true focus of the day by my work habits being up in everyone’s face. That goes for almost all parts of your day, but especially the ceremony. I recently shot a friends wedding with lots of friends present who got to see me in rare form — working that is — and one friend praised me for being “very professional and not obtrusive”. She said she barely noticed me and I blended right in. Other people I work with frequently, such as Dj’s or or venue coordinators have told me how easy I am to work with because I’m low maintenance and calm about my work. One colleague continued to share with me the difference between what he often see’s with wedding photographers and what he sees with me. He talked about my demeanor coming from a confidence and professionalism in that I know what I’m doing and so I don’t get bothered by much and don’t need a whole lot. His words meant a lot to me because being a wedding vendor myself, I know how who you hire to be apart of your big day can affect the overall feel and vibe of your wedding. It makes a huge difference for me working alongside experienced professionals as opposed to someone who just calls themself a pro and spreads their stress around like the plague. No one needs that.
On the flipside, I can’t be a fly on the wall the entire time. Parts of the day dictate me dictating ;). When it comes to posed formals alone in the room, or with family or the wedding party, my role changes from photojournalist to portrait photographer and my new role is to foster an environment that is cheerful, fun, and easy going. I want you and everyone in the photo to be comfortable and relaxed and sometimes I employ a little sarcasm or a gentle poke toward someone in order to help everyone laugh for a second to loosen up. It’s not gimmick nor over-the-top cheesy thing; it’s just little tricks here and there that help me either get the shot or help everyone breathe a little deeper for more natural smiles.
When it comes to photos with just the bride and groom my style doesn’t change a whole lot. My goal is to capture you in your element, together. That means my starting point is always you two being alone, together, focused on each other and nothing else. You can talk, you can kiss, you can cuddle, do anything that is YOU. And I know there is an expiration on how long you can do that and some people have a hard time doing it at all. I know from experience that I can only do it for 15 minutes until I start getting really bored and slightly insecure. That’s where incorporating something fun for you to do together and me working to get candid photos comes in to break up some of the ice that starts to freeze over. As a rule it almost always holds true that the more time we have together the more photos and more looks you will get. I love love love when there is ample time to not rush through these moments of your day but that being said, I’m a wedding photographer and I know how to be efficient with my time. I just appreciate the extra time to stay relaxed throughout the day when I have it.