Why wedding photographers need to think like bloggers

September 4 |
Photo Credit: whiteshutter.com
Photo Credit: whiteshutter.com
I'm a wedding photographer. I'm also an editor and a blogger. Luckily for me, the two (…three?) jobs combine together to make sweet internet magic for me on the regular: I looooove using my editor tricks when it comes to blogging weddings on my site for my photography business!

First and foremost, I blog every single wedding that I shoot (assuming that my couples are cool with it). I know that this flies in the face of how most wedding blogs work — even Offbeat Bride can't feature every wedding submitted — but it's relevant. Since I'm blogging every single wedding, and I happen to have been lucky enough to work with quite a diverse pool of wedded couples, I have to plan how and when I'll showcase each wedding. When it comes to blogging weddings on my business site, there are three big things I keep in mind:

  • Diversity
  • Storytelling
  • Moments

Does that even make sense to you right now? Maybe not — but soon it will.

Diversity

For me, diversity is HUGE. I love that one Saturday I might be shooting a big outdoors rainbow-adorned lesbian couple wedding, and the next be shooting a super intimiate, multi-racial Catholic ceremony (true story, it happened just like that). I have been so fortunate to get to meet and work with a plethora of couples, and I feel strongly that the diversity of my couples makes my work stronger — and it more accurately represents who I am as a person.

When it comes to blogging these weddings, I want to make sure that diversity is at the forefront. So I might blog a wedding featuring kilts and dogs in the ceremony, and then follow it up with a low-key church wedding. If both of those couples are white, I'll make sure the next post features a racially diverse couple. The same goes for if both couples are heterosexual — I try extra hard to make sure one of my LGBT couples is on the site next.

This can get tricky, especially if you don't have a lot of diversity within your weddings. As someone who shot in Alabama for nearly five years, I get that: there wasn't a lot of obvious diversity (race, ethnicity, sexual preference), but the TYPES of weddings mattered — the colors used, the different details. Basically everything a couple is already pouring into their wedding to make it awesome and look like THEM — that stuff is what you can use to showcase your range.

Telling a story

Obviously the wedding day is a story itself, and it's really important to represent that. A lot of wedding photographers do a great job with this — it's easy to tell a story when you more or less blog the photos in the order that you took them. As obvious as that might seem, I've totally seen photographers blog weddings in a kind of sporadic, random way — the story isn't there. You don't get a sense of what was going on that day, no organic flow — just a bunch of images randomly out of order and looking a little chaotic. The story matters — it matters to you as the photographer, and most importantly it matters to your couple, because it's their story. Pay attention to it.

Moments

This is more applicable to smaller, intimate weddings. I don't always feel like it's appropriate to blog huge sections of very small, or very religious, ceremonies and wedding days. When this happens, I share only a handful of photos from the day — usually of details and the couple — and that's it. That way I'm still blogging the couple's wedding (I can't stress enough how important I think it is to blog every wedding you shoot), but I'm not over-exposing their wedding.

At first it can feel a little strange to be thinking in these terms when it comes to weddings, but just know that most (if not all) wedding bloggers are thinking in exactly these terms. Why do you think blogs are so compelling? You're seeing wedding inspiration from all over the place, different details that combine together to make you feel like each experience is new and different. The truth is they are new and different, but the magic is in the presentation.

  1. What happens with brides that don't want to be featured on the internet?

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    • I was just kind of wondering the same thing. Is that part of the contract you have them sign, allowing for you to blog their photos? Can they opt for different levels of sharing? Just curious.

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      • I can't speak for anyone else but me, but I allllllways make sure it's ok to blog my weddings! In the event that I do forget to ask, if a couple asks me to take their photos down I'm happy to do so. I absolutely consider the privacy of the couple to be waaaaaaay more important than me splashing the photos all over the internet.

        I have had a few couples who have asked me not to share their entire wedding, but are happy for me to share a handful of photos. Most of my couples are excited to have their weddings shared, but again: I totally get it if you don't want your wedding all over the internet. I personally don't put a lot of public photos of my family up, so this is something I really try to be sensitive to.

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        • Thanks! I'm one of those privacy paranoid people that doesn't mind sharing but on my own terms. Obviously anything put on the interwebs is never private!

          Just out of curiosity, have you ever had anyone be upset by what you've blogged about their day? Like emphasis on something small to them but overshadowing something else they poured their heart into? This must be a difficult area!

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    • It's so rare that brides don't want to be on the internet, everyone is always like… WHEN WILL OUR PICTURES BE UP?? But I have had it in contracts beforehand, no publishing anywhere. No worries!! That was only one time. And of course it was a balls out, kick ass wedding – it was a Muslim wedding, the theme looked like Disney princess and she had huge flower henna all over her body and I would love to post it.. You can't win every time!!

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  2. I enjoyed reading your blog and i enjoy reading blogs about weddings in the same way that i enjoy wedding photography. It's nice to see photos on blogs and to read what actually took place. It must be fun to be a wedding photographer and blogger at the same time. I guess couples would love to share their wedding pictures and stories. I wouldn't ming sharing mine.

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  3. Every contract has a standard model release to it. It specifically says I will use all or any images from your event/portrait session to blog, post on facebook, promotional pieces, etc. If the client doesn't wish to to be blogged/shared on facebook I have no issues revising the contract to state what I am and am not allowed to show but it needs to be specified prior to the contract being released.

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