I’ve always felt nervous to say things like I’m a bit hippie or I’m intuitive out loud to couples because I’ve worried that they might see that as too ‘out there’ or weird, but when I sat and thought more about it, this is who I am and if it’s too weird for them, then we probably aren’t a match to begin with.
If you’re a millennial like I am you may remember the book or tv series ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and how she calls Diana and herself kindred spirits. And this is something I find to be so accurate to finding a wedding photographer – because at the end of the day, while you are hiring a photographer for their talent, you are also hiring them for who they are if they’ve done a good enough job portraying that in their content and prescience.
And this is something I find myself regularly hearing from the couples who hire me as well myself saying to my couples, “we loved you immediately for how real you were”, “you weren’t just creating beautiful images but your personality spoke through” and what I say in response is good! I’m so glad because besides a videographer or wedding planner, your photographer is the vendor you work most closely with leading up to and on your wedding day. That is an entire workday (plus all the planning in advance) that you are side by side with someone – it’s absolutely vital that our personalities & spirits align.
I’ve looked at this personality trait (that I’ll detail here in a second) as a negative more times than I can count throughout my life but being completely transparent, I’m learning how to see it as only a positive in my life. I can not do anything half assed. It’s either my whole ass or nothing at all, and that extends into my connections and relationships. If we vibe, we are besties babe. And that may seem a little cliched-Step-Brothers-esque but I truly just don’t know how to do relationships any other way.
Ok Caitlin, we get it, but how does this affect me for my wedding day photography? Shew, I am SO glad you asked!
My photography philosophy (which I’ll expand more in this post here) has always been about clearly & creatively portraying who you are, what your love is about and the emotions of your day. And I do that by using my intuitive nature and energy to hone in on yours and your guests energies. Stick with me here because this is where it may feel like it gets a bit out there…. People tend to feel so nervous and awkward when they are pushed outside of their comfort zones, so my goal is to destruct that wall that goes up when someone has a camera in your face and allow you to see my human side, my awkward nature, my gentle tone, my complete dorkiness, that will in turn allow you to take a deep breath & remember that while yes I am a professional, I am also a human just wanting to connect to get to know you so that the most accurate representation of you, your partner and your guests is present in your images.
Where did this come from? Well, it’s really a 2-parter. As a former (former?) nerd and highly intuitive person, connection has always been so important to me. Being able to feel seen and have others see you, to know you allows an opportunity to be able to really be who you are without fear of judgement. It’s in those moments that we smile with all of our teeth & gums showing, laugh from the deepest parts of our bellies and love more deeply. And the second part comes from my own experience with watching someone capture images of my oldest daughter when she was just 2 years old. My oldest is a Scorpio and has a very big, deep personality. She has one of the best serious faces I’ve ever seen. And when she was 2 I took her to a big-name portrait studio to have her portraits done & I remember watching them pose her and it’s as if time froze for me & all I could think was “that’s not my child” because the pose was so inauthentic. And while the picture is still cute, and I’ve kept it all these years, every time I see it I remember, that’s just not her personality at all and I absolutely never wanted to put anyone else in the space I was in that day. Because anyone can create a beautiful image, composition, lighting, posing and voila – you got it. But to be able to really capture the essence, chefs kiss.
So now you have a peek into the how and why I do what I do – do you have any other questions or thoughts for me, drop them in the comments down below!