Sometimes while working on some more mindless tasks (cleaning the office or filing) I'll watch an easy to listen to show. Today I was listening to and half watching the Voice* (see below for a brief description if you aren't familiar with the show) and I realized something.
Christina, Pharrell, Adam, and Blake each have such a different approach at persuading the talented vocalists on stage to join their teams. Adam has started the completion without anyone on his team and a piece of that might be that his pitch involves what the vocalist can do for him - help him win it. Christina and Blake both have their louder moments too. Blake, with his country charm, is a little more laid back about it, exuding a confidence with an excited energy. Christina is enthusiastic and mixes up her approach with the idea that she wants to be on that contestant's team, on their side. That she wants to support them.
Last is Pharrell. I've watched him get out of his chair and get a bit louder but overall he is much more mellow than the other team leaders. More importantly, I think, he is the first one to ask the contestants about themselves, past the basics of where they're from. He asks thoughtful questions that attempt to get to the route of the artist. On more than one four-chair-turn the contestant has picked him.. despite all of the other captains being louder and more outwardly enthusiastic and competitive. And Pharrell sometimes looks a little surprised, since he is sitting quietly there as the others vie for the attention.
The way the team captains each approach the contestants really sets the tone for their experience. That interaction is telling the contestant what to expect in that relationship, right?
So, what does it have to do with wedding photography? Or anything really?
In general, everyone has a different style. A different approach in communication. And, as experience has shown me, a difference in the type of relationships we want with the various people we come into contact with. What appeals to you? What type of coach on the Voice would you be attracted to? There is no wrong answer. Maybe some combination of those personalities with a lean toward one?
Your wedding is such an intimate moment in your life and your photographer is there for each part of it. Finding a photographer that will be a good match for you, who will blend into the day while you're celebrating or sneaking a quiet moment together, is a real consideration. Of course, you want to like their photography and know it'll work with your budget, but that relationship, in my experience, can be pretty personal. It could also be mostly business. I know photographers who haven't met a couple in person or over the phone until their wedding day.. and that works for them.
To answer my own question (it's only fair!), I want it all, the confidence and the enthusiasm, but mostly I want that thoughtful connection. To feel like someone I'm working with cares. That they care about me as an individual and about the outcome and the process. This holds true whether it's in remodeling a room in the house, meeting with an accountant, or taking my photo.
One of the reasons I'm drawn to this, to photographing weddings and other intimate moments, is that I appreciate the connection there. The connection that I get to witness and capture between you, which is really about trust. And the connection I get to have with you. I want to know about you, your life together, and all of the details of the day you're planning. To help you wherever possible and be a resource for you. Some of my favorite moments with couples are when we're chatting over coffee (tea in my case) or wine, going over the details of your upcoming day, and it just feels like catching up with a friend instead of a business meeting.
So, it's good to get an idea of the type of relationship you might appreciate most with your wedding photographer. After scoping out work online, meet a of couple contenders, three is usually a solid number without becoming overwhelming. If I'm one of those contenders (yay!), you've already looked at my work and know that stylistically we're a good match. And if you get in touch with me and check out some pricing information, you'll have an idea of whether I'm a good fit for your budget. The last piece is meeting and figuring out if we have a good connection! Can you envision me as a part of your planning process and ultimately part of such an important day in your lives together?
*Brief Description of the Voice: For those of you who aren't familiar with the Voice. You have four amazing musical artists (Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton) as team leaders. The show starts with their chairs turned away from the stage so that they can hear an artist and their musical talents without the distraction of the visual. If the team leader likes the contestants voice, they push a button to turn their chair. If more than one button is pushed the contestant gets to choose their team. After the teams are filled their are battle rounds and ongoing competitions until just one artist is left.. the winner.