5 Mental Reminders for Photographers on Wedding Days

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I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


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Wedding season is upon us! It feels like spring outside and so maybe that’s what inspired this post! I start shooting again at the end of April, and I’m so excited about it! I’ve had a break since November and even though we’ve had some MAJOR life events happen those few months off, I’m ready to get back to work again! Moving, having a baby and being surprised by an emergency surgery have made me so grateful for this season where we committed to slow down! Slowing down does a lot of good for the mind AND the heart. And this is true not only in seasons of life but it’s also true on a day-to-day basis!

Michael and I have found that when we have arguments, the most PRODUCTIVE moments of our fights are at the end when the anger subsides, and we both slow down and really think through what’s going on in our heads and in our hearts! Our life coach recently told us that…..

“We can either investigate our thoughts or suffer from our insecurities!”

Wow. Talk about TRUTH! Every marriage, friendship and relationship in general could benefit from that nugget of wisdom!!

So what does that truth have to do with a photographer on a wedding day?? Well, after almost 9 years of photographing weddings and over 7 years of educating photographers, I have found that because of the STRESS that we undergo on a wedding day, there are several lies and insecurities that can creep up on us and really put a negative spin on the day if we’re not careful!

As wedding photographers, I think we ALL may need to remind ourselves of a few things before each wedding day in order to save ourselves from falling victim to our own insecurities!!! If you’re on our EMAIL LIST you will be receiving a downloadable PDF of these mental reminders so that you can save them on your phone and read over them before you begin capturing someone’s once-in-a-lifetime moments!! Here we go!

  1. Remember : You can let stress TRANSFORM you or you can TRANSMIT it onto others. Instead of letting the stress of the day overtake you, make a conscious decision to rise above it.
  2. Remember : Be RESOURCEFUL instead of RESENTFUL. They aren’t frustrated with YOU. Wedding days are stressful. That’s just a fact of life and that fact is never going to change. Recognize that whether it’s the planner, the florist, the MOB or the bride herself that may be short with you, their actions are more than likely not stemming from something you did. They are a result of the stress of the day. Try to be a resource in the midst of the negativity instead of being resentful.
  3. Remember : Believe the BEST in people. There have been SO many times when Michael has had to remind me of this… especially when we’re working with other vendors that just. don’t. get. it. However, the truth is, being annoyed and frustrated with other vendors is a poor reflection of my character to our couple and to anyone else who is working with us.
  4. Remember : View the PRESSURE as a PRIVILEGE. This only happens once. We’re responsible for capturing such sacred and special moments for this couple and their families. It’s an honor. When you feel the pressure and the weight of this job, remember that a lot of jobs with a whole lot less responsibility also have way less reward at the end of the day.
  5. Remember : It’s not DISTRUST, it’s DESPERATION. I have to work really hard to not get defensive when someone tells me what I should be shooting on a wedding day. Hearing guest and parents say “Oh, I hope you got that!” or “Hey take this picture!” can get on our nerves but the truth is, the urgency and neediness of these people is coming from a place of desperation. They want to remember this day. They want the best for the couple and they don’t realize how offensive those statements are to a professional photographer. Let it go and remember that you know what you’re doing. You know more than the uncle bob with his massive flash that is blinding everyone on the dance floor. You know more than the bridesmaid who re-styled the bridal details and are asking you to take one more shot. You know more than the overbearing dad who has asked you a million times if you “got the shot”. Just have patience with them. Take a deep breath and realize that they are excited to be a part of the day. Uncle Bob is finding a lot of joy as he snaps away on the dance floor. The bridesmaid who is re-styling the details probably has a lifelong dream of being a wedding planner and the dad who keeps asking you if you “got the shot” just adores his baby girl…. and she just got married which means he’s dealing with the reality that she belongs to another man now…. and maybe he doesn’t distrust you… maybe he just really wants to make sure he will have the memories of giving his little girl away to hold onto forever, because he can’t believe she’s grown up and married.

Investigating your thoughts and your response to stress on a wedding day will DRAMATICALLY impact how much JOY you find in your job!! Happy 2017 Wedding season everyone!!!

And because I’m all about those daddy/daughter moments these days, here are a few of my favorites from the last two wedding seasons… and one from my sister’s wedding because my dad’s moment with her was the sweetest! :) ….

Click Here to DOWNLOAD a copy of these reminders!

Ps. If you’re feeling a little RUSTY…. we understand! We’re planning on doing some practice shooting too before our next wedding! CLICK HERE for some resources to help you get back into the swing of things!!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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