Sunday, November 30, 2008

Looking back for the future...

If you're a regular follower, these photos will look familiar. I've posted them before and they are on my Web site. So why am I posting them again? Well, I will get to that in a bit.
But, it's partly because I've just spent time looking at the fabulous refreshing blog of Anne Ruthmann, based in Massachusetts. Her engagement photos of couples are so capturing and her writing, well, being a writer, I admire her postings. So I started thinking, what is it about her blog that I love ... her work ... I mean there are thousands of photographers and just as many blogs to browse. When I go to post, it's like a roadblock. Maybe because I write for a living so when I actually have the freedom to write what I want, my fingers just STOP!

As I read entry after entry, it finally dawned on me why Anne Ruthmann is such a great photographer specializing in couples. She CONNECTS with them. She finds out WHO they are! Well, that's what I do in journalism, but as a wedding photographer, I think I've not been so good in that respect.

It wasn't for lack of trying, but it seemed like I always connected more with the bride's mother, since she always seemed to be running the show ... in many weddings. I just don't want any one previous client thinking I have singled them out. No, not at all. I'm really going out on a limb here and divulging what I believe are some of the cons I've listed for myself.

Wow, this is going to take a bit of time posting this. I may regret it tomorrow! Hah!

These images I've shared here are those of couples that I did connect with! Christian and Laurie in Florida and Charlie and Ryan in southern Oklahoma. Well, Charlie and Ryan are much, much younger than myself and yes, I'm friends with her mom, but I've known Charlie for sometime and was familiar with Ryan. I didn't shoot their wedding, but did get to shoot their reception and it was fabulous!
As for Christian, he's my nephew and more like a little brother to me since he lived with us for so many years. I'd have to say it was the most fabulous 3 days of wedding photography I've ever experienced!
And he makes a great 'assistant' even when he's in the shot!

Now, the reason for this post is I really wanted to succeed as an engagement/wedding photographer. I had a client once tell me that yes, I took great shots, but throughout the wedding she probably never spoke more than a dozen words to me. And those who know me, know that probably drove me crazy. Yes, it did and to this day, I have pondered greatly over what I could have done different. Well, I should have realized at the consultation that the conversation was more between myself and the bride's mother and the intended groom. That right there was a huge STOPLIGHT that I never acknowledged. Everything seemed fine. But looking back, apparently it wasn't.
I don't ever want something like that to happen again. Oh nothing bad happened, but just having a feeling of discontentment on either side (mine or the bride) is something I don't want to repeat. So, with that, I backed off weddings. That was a couple years ago. I've had a lot to learn in that time and had a chance to review how to 'sell a wedding package' that doesn't have me pulling out my hair six months later. So many wedding photographers claim to sell a complete package, shoot the engagement, then the wedding, edit the images and then hand them over to the couple, and they never have to look back. They create beautiful coffee table style books and don't have to worry about redesign, the couple accepts it as is.
So, how can I accomplish this? Do I even want to?!
Now, with all that out in the open, here's why I posted this. I am seriously considering getting back into the engagement/wedding business for 2009. I've proposed to my youngest son, who will be 22 and is pretty adept with people skills and a camera, at joining in with me. He likes the idea! That means two shooters at each wedding booked.

After the first of the year I will revisit this subject and if interest comes my way to be chosen as someone's photographer, I'll just have to see where it leads. It's not my photographic talents that I'm concerned about. I think my work speaks for itself. It was more the after-the-wedding work that put a damper on things. Mainly my spirit!
But I hope to offer Oklahoma couples a more contemporary approach to their 'wedding photographic memories' than what is being offered these days.
Meanwhile, if you need a solid wedding photographer, visit The Walkers are knowledgeable and likeable!


Anne said...

What a beautiful refection on your journey. All the best to everything that lies ahead!! There will be setbacks, but it is our persistance and determination that make us successful.

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVELY photos!