This is part 3 if a small series on how to be featured on a wedding blog. Part one is here, Part 2 is here. Part for will be about crafting an intro to the editor.
Todays section on how to be featured on a wedding blog is about details. And everyone, details are the agony and ecstasy of wedding photography for me.
The best way to describe the relationship between me and the details of a wedding is love hate. I love looking at them, but sometime find it tedious to photograph. But I realized one day that I didn’t have a philosophy or system to photographing them, and that made it harder than necessary on me. So now my approach is two fold. Shoot for me and my clients, shoot for the editors.
When I shoot for myself and my clients, I’m shooting in the style the hired to me shoot. That means shooting details in context. Either in the brides hands, or on her stationary. I don’t do fancy stacking, or lay flats.
But I’ve discovered that some editors like details to be more styled, more editorial, so that their viewers have a clear look at what they’re interested in. This is the detail stuff got hard. I didn’t know much about styling. So I learned about styling, and about layflats, and then the first thing I did was to isolate various elements. I photographed rings, other jewelry and shoes together, them broke them out to do separately. Then I did paper goods- stationary, invitation suites etc., together and then by themselves, then with the rings. I learned a little bit about patterns and styles. I discovered I like really simple style elements. Leaves Berries, left over flowers from bouquets, center pieces that were flat. This upped my game in terms of the details, and I found that I had 2 to 3 ways to present details. Time wise, I’m not spending more timeon details, I’ve just organized the process better and created a mini workflow out of the details themselves. If my second photographer is there, she helps arrange and photograph. I spend a total of about 10-20 minutes max on bridal details, including the dress. I do the same for the grooms, gifts to the bridal party, and flowers. It helps me to to send a list to the bride or planner and encourage them to put the following things together for me on the day of the wedding: Dress, shoes, rings, stationary (menu, program, invitation suite, thank you card if they have one, grooms details, shoes, watch, 1 sample gift to bridal party members, and anything else they want photographed. Sometimes it’s a huge pile of stuff. And my second and I just go for it. But after 5-6 weddings of huge amounts of details, we got a flow going, one that I can use if I’m shooting by myself as well. Simplicity is always more.
When it comes to details in submissions then, I usually include the styled details, and maybe 1-2 of the details I shot for myself and my client. I submit the max amount of the images the publication suggests. So if the editor says 75-100 images, I submit 100 images. Almost half that is details. Every centerpiece and bouquet by itself, bouts and grooms details, gifts, dresses, shoes- everything. The rest of the images are the 50 best images of the day.
I hope that this helps those of you out there newer to publishing and submitting to feel more emporwered when it comes to how to be featured on a wedding blog. Details are (literally), half the battle. Have fun practicing on whatever you have! Your own jewelry, flowers, left over bouquets you can take home. Shoes, books, etc. The more you practice, the better you’ll get!