Photographing an eight-hour wedding seems daunting to many a blossoming photographers who are working to make their dream of full-time photography a reality. And for the photographers who find that their personalities lean more toward introverted tendencies, it can seem excruciatingly exhausting! However, having this type of personality doesn’t mean that you can’t be a successful photographer!
(For those who aren’t introverted–just because someone IS introverted does NOT mean they don’t like people. Okay, proceed!)
Over the years I’ve taken countless personality assessments ranging from Myers-Briggs (INFJ for life!) to Enneagram to Buzzfeed’s “Which Disney Princess Are You?” quiz. Although I don’t find it wise to blame every aspect of your life on your personality type, I believe it IS important to know what your personality tendencies are to help you better navigate life.
Anyway, on to what you’re here for.
Here are four tips on how to photograph weddings as an introvert without completely depleting your energy reserves.
1. Take time to get to know the couple before the wedding
You may be thinking, “Duh, you should be doing that anyway, Megan.” And yes, you’re right. But it’s so important to interact with them more than the first couple meetings. Let’s be honest, you’re likely going to be so nervous the first time you meet them that you’ll likely forget someone’s name (or is that just me?).
I decided recently that regardless of the wedding package the couple chooses, we’re going to do an engagement session. That engagement session is crucial to build rapport with one another, which will make the wedding day significantly more comforable for your couple (and you! #byebyesmalltalk)
2. Give yourself some time to be quiet and calm before the wedding
The morning of the wedding I make sure I take time to get coffee, sit down and be quiet for a while in preparation for the long day ahead. I will take time to sit and pray about the day–specifically for peace for everyone involved and for the day to run smoothly. If you’re not into praying, taking time to think positively about the day ahead and reminding yourself that you can take on anything that comes along helps significantly.
I also show up at least a half hour before my scheduled time to start photographing so I can get a lay of the land and mentally prepare some more.
3. Make friends with the other vendors
It may sound silly, but feeling like you have at least one other person in your corner (other than your 2nd shooter) is extremely helpful to calm my introverted jitters. Knowing your backside is covered if something crazy goes down is so important.
4. Have moments during the day away from people
The wedding day is looooong. You spend a significant amount of time ensuring the schedule is on track and talking to tons of people that you don’t know. Whenever there is a lull in the schedule, take the time to step away to drink water, eat a snack and just be quiet. It will help keep you sane. If you’re concerned the couple will not be thrilled with that, make sure you communicate how you go about the day in the times you meet with them prior to the wedding day and put in your contract that you are allowed to take breaks when there isn’t a huge part of the day going on. Having a second shooter at the wedding is super necessary as well because they can keep tabs on the smaller moments when you do take the break. (Make sure they have time to get away too!)
5. Take the day after the wedding off to recuperate
Wedding hangover is a REAL thing, y’all. (This hangover has nothing to do with alcohol FYI.) Don’t schedule something unless you absolutely have to. Seriously. After an entire day of nonstop interacting with people combined with being on your feet for eight-plus hours is exhausting. Taking the next day off is crucial to recovering quickly and to help you be ready for the next wedding day on your calendar!
I hope these tips help those who cringe at the idea of small talk with strangers and who prefer evenings in than out. Because I know you still LOVE photographing people and capturing intimate moments for them. Good luck on your upcoming wedding season and please don’t hesistate to ask me any questions on other ways I tackle weddings!
What are some ways that you have found help you have a successful and fun wedding day?