Takeaway from my wedding photography experience

We were looking for something “photojournalistic”.
jigg and I told our photographer that we wanted our wedding photo album to have a “photojournalistic feel” to it – pictures that are unsuspecting and spontaneous, and shots that capture events in mid-action because we felt that those were the type of pictures that told the best stories.

We didn’t care for picture perfect portraits.
Portraits can be very striking and powerful with the proper subject, pose, angle, lighting, etc.  But neither jigg nor I are models – jigg cannot naturally smile in front of a camera and I’m just awkward. We also didn’t have the time to pause and strike a pose during our reception to create this faux picture perfect moment either.  The thought of us standing still with smiles frozen on our faces as guests line up to get a picture with us was also just too dreadful for us to go through with.

Fancy lens effects were not a selling point.
I’m somewhat convinced that the most common ones can be recreated through Photoshop.  Fisheye effect?  Check.  Panoramic effect?  Check.  Bokeh effect?  Check.  [I apologize to my photographer friends who may be aghast by this handling of photography, but honestly, the average person wouldn’t be able tell the difference.]

What cannot be recreated in Photoshop is the raw stuff.  No fancy camera lens or photo editing program can replace a skilled photographer’s eye for awesome pictures.

Of course, these are just our personal preferences.  But there are also a couple of general things anyone can take note from based on our personal experience, advice from our photographer and other married couples, and the knowledge of hindsight.

Even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes.
Most photographers can produce a couple of amazing photos in every shoot. For example, if a photographer took a thousand pictures at a wedding, if he’s any way half-decent, at least one would turn out amazing.  And that’s the picture that you’d see in his portfolio.  It’s a numbers game.  But you’re not looking for 0.1% success rate.  So ask to review the complete album from several completed shoots to see if all the pictures consistently meet your expectations.

Your wedding album isn’t really that big of a deal as you think it will be.
Sure, the pictures document a momentous event and help you relive those moments every time you look at them.  But the truth is, you’re not going to look at these pictures again for a long, long, long time.  You may hang a couple of them around the house, but your wedding album will sit mostly unforgotten along with your baby pictures and high school year book until you chance upon it during a spring cleaning many springs later.  Seriously, I don’t know any couple who looks at their wedding album on a regular basis.

Nobody wants to sit there and look at all 1,000 images from your wedding album.
Except maybe your mother.  No body else cares that much.  People do it either because they’re being polite or because they’re flipping through to see if they’re in any of the pictures. So please don’t entertain your guest with a one hour slideshow of your wedding.  I’ve sat through something like this and I will never wish this upon anyone.

So 10-20 of your favorite  images would do.

Photographs by www.JMitchelPhotography.com.

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