Why I Don’t Want Your Shot List or Pinterest Board – Ontario Wedding Photography
We can all thank The Knot for helpfully creating a detailed shot list that brides should ask their photographer. But here’s why you shouldn’t look at that link: it’s garbage.
Weddings are, at their basic core, actually quite predictable and scripted (assuming that you’re opting for a more traditional type of ceremony and not an elopement). If you want to know how dull the actual premise of a wedding day is, look at that list. There’s no room for creativity. Despite some implied attempts at capturing “feeling” shots, it’s so scripted that there’s no human interest, honest emotion, or room for interpretation.
One thing I’ve learned in my time spent doing both international and Ontario wedding photography is that what makes a wedding unique isn’t the dress or the location. You can have gorgeous people wearing beautiful clothing in a stunning location and still have an incredibly dull wedding. The uniqueness comes from the personalities, emotion, and moments on display that day. It comes from the honesty, laughter and tears that you share with your family and friends that day.
Which would you prefer: a photographer who goes through the checklist, diligently checking each shot off to make sure that she hasn’t missed one (potentially causing her to miss a genuine moment) OR a photographer who is going to get in amongst the chaos and be present through the whole day, trusting her emotional connection with your family and her powers of observation to allow her to capture moments that aren’t on the checklist? Not a single one of the shots at the start of this post were on that checklist, but if I’d had to follow a checklist, I would’ve likely missed each of them. The only list I need is the names of who you want in your family photos. This helps me learn their names quickly so that they can feel like I’m part of the family – and then feel comfortable laughing at me when I make a complete fool of myself. :) Find a photographer you trust. Then get rid of that freakin’ checklist.
Ohhhhhh…… and Pinterest. It’s almost every bride’s best friend when it comes time to plan a wedding. It’s also a complete nightmare for many photographers. Here’s the thing: once it hits Pinterest, it’s no longer an original thought. Pinterest is great for inspiration. See something, let it lead you to a new idea, and discuss that new idea. Don’t just replicate something that someone else did. That last part is why so many photographers struggle with Pinterest boards. We aren’t here to duplicate someone else’s posing or idea. My poses are inspired by my couples; your body language in your images should say something about the two of you – not two other people.
You’re welcome to show me your pinned photos during your consultation so that we can make sure that my style matches what you’re looking for or you can do a similar exercise in your research phase by going through photos in my gallery or blog posts. But please don’t be offended if I tell you that I’m not going to recreate photos from your Pinterest board. It’s one thing to love a photographer’s work. It’s another thing completely to know they’re the right photographer for you, and if you feel the need to ask your photographer to recreate images you’ve seen elsewhere, then that might be a sign that you haven’t got the right photographer for you just yet.
Hire a photographer you can trust, whose work inspires you. Hire someone you don’t feel the need to micromanage. Hire someone whose ability leaves you free to get caught up in the moment; to laugh openly; to ugly cry without reservation. They’ll find unique ways to capture you genuinely loving one another and having fun together so that YOU are on the Pinterest boards of other brides, rather than the other way around.
I am SOOOOOO grateful to my Ontario wedding photography clients – you haven’t given me a checklist or Pinterest board yet, and here’s hoping you don’t ever feel the need to do so. Thank you for your trust and for giving me the freedom to explore the details and emotions of your day so that I can tell your story the way that I saw it.
I’m Ang – a Cornwall, Ontario-based photographer with a passion for capturing light and photographing natural moments in life as they happen. I love working with couples from Cornwall and around the world on their wedding day so that I can capture the little details and emotions that are shared during the day. Please explore more of www.momentusstudio.com to see more examples of Cornwall, Ontario wedding photography.