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A bit of wedding day advice!

Are you ready for some tea time? I’m going to air some dirty laundry here.

OK! Before I do, you must know that this story was not from a recent client interaction and that regardless of what happened, I stand by the gorgeousness of these clients photos and I’ll still post them every once in a while. It’s obviously not the couple in the photo above or below. The identity of these clients will always be 100% protected. The conclusion of this post will be important for anyone on the hunt for a wedding photographer so if you’re not into tea time, just skip to the bottom.

Many moons ago I photographed a wedding with clients who I adored right off the bat. They had great charisma and were easy to work with. I was so excited about their wedding photos that on the day I posted their sneak peek, I texted the bride photos at the same time. I could not wait for her to see them. She responded with exclamation points on some of the photos. I interpreted this as a good thing and pictured her screaming in delight. My dopamine levels were probably sky rocketing at this point and I was so grateful that I could make this other person’s day. At the peak of my exhilaration and on my way out of my office to make a celebratory cup of tea for a job well done, I received a response back.

My stomach dropped. Into my butt.

I was suddenly very aware of my heartbeat and my face flushed as I realized those exclamation points were of disappointing shock.

The list of complaints are not direct quotes but quick summaries of the barrage of texts I received in novel form. I sat down on the floor to read…

“I don’t like how my body looks in that dress.”

“All of these photos are bright and airy and I wanted dark and moody.”

“I don’t like that it was a fall wedding and the leaves were still green.”

“I don’t like that I kept smiling like that. All of of these photos, I have the same smile.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you have worked so hard at something and you’re so excited to share it and then when you do, someone just takes a giant shit on all of the hard work you’ve done? And even though you know in your heart you did a good job and there’s nothing you could have done to change the perceived negativity directed at your work, you still feel like your very soul has been attacked? And then your stomach drops…into your butt. Do you know that feeling?

This is just part of being an artist but the reaction of this particular client was one of the most disappointing experiences I’ve ever had. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bride hate her photos. AND! The complaints were things I had little to no control over.

So here’s my takeaway and advice to any consumer who is on the hunt for a wedding photographer…

Wedding photographers cannot change the weather. They cannot make it fall when mother nature has decided it’s not quite time for fall yet. We cannot make the sun shine in your photos if there is no sun. We cannot ask the rain gods to take a day off. If you wanted sunshine in your photos, but you get torrential downpours on your wedding day, that is NOT your photographers fault. (Isn’t it wild that I even have to write that?)

When you are hiring a wedding photographer, you’re hiring them to shoot in their particular style. We each have our own artistic and creative way of viewing the world and capturing that. My style is bright and airy with pops of color. I will never be dark and moody, even on a rainy day. I might be more contrasty to accommodate those rain clouds, but my style will always be my style. If you’re hiring a photographer and want dark and moody, you had better check out their full portfolio to ensure that is what you’re getting. Per copyright laws, you are not allowed to change your final photos in any shape or form. You can always touch base with your photographer and let them know your thoughts and that photographer can make changes, but no one else can do that. If your photographer is willing to give you RAW photos and allows you to make edits, I would certainly question the validity of their “business”. #redflags

If you don’t like your body or your face, that’s not your photographers fault. For the record, I thought this bride was stunning. My hope is that someday she’ll look back on her wedding photos and see the beautiful woman that I saw when I captured her wedding day. Her smile and every face she made was gorgeous. She couldn’t not be gorgeous if she tried. It made me super sad to realize that she was so self critical to the point she couldn’t even see herself fully or enjoy her wedding photos.

She made me a list of the photos she wanted touched up and I did the best that I could for her without deviating from my style. I will always do that for my clients. Because I LOVE you and I want you to be HAPPY. This is your wedding day and you deserve that. Any photographer who isn’t fully invested in your satisfaction, sucks. They suck. I can’t even be eloquent about it. Don’t hire a photographer that doesn’t care about your happiness.

I never heard from her again. She didn’t leave me a negative review. Maybe part of her knew that if she did, she would be publicly outing her deep insecurities and it was just easier to blame me for them. With that said, don’t take your insecurities out on your photographer or anyone else. That’s on you cupcake. We’ve all been there and until you learn to love yourself as you are, you’re never going to be fully happy. Life is too damn short to not like yourself.

Love love love,


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