How to Become a Professional Wedding Photographer, LISTEN

It recently dawned on me that sometimes hearing and listening to everything people say, are two very different things. There have been a few times in the past where clients have expressed their disinterest with black and white photos. They wanted to see color, detail, etc. To me this meant black and white images would not be in their digital download gallery on PASS, instead they’d get 300-600 color images and were done. Well, this saddened us. We love black and white photographs. LOVE them. To me they inspire and evoke emotion. They call you in deeper and ask you for love. They whisper they have more to tell you and scream about the subject’s beauty. They bring out detail and hide flaws, and finally they bring out timelessness. It made me so sad to see couples not caring about black and whites.

Truth be told, I’m only about 10 % away from asking Dado to only post black and white images on our social media. I would never do it, because it wouldn’t be an accurate representation of what we photograph, but maybe this tell you just how much I love black and whites (just in case you missed paragraph no. 1 I guess…;). I told Dado I wanted my Instagram page to be only black and white and that that is how I’d stand out, although, like our other online posting, I decided it wasn’t accurate to only post black and white. I was a little down and I decided I’d post all of our YouTube videos for 5th Photography in black and white! Ha, I thought, our videos have nothing to do with accuracy in how we process photos. I’m brilliant!

Then it dawned me that I needed to check my ears. I wasn’t listening to our clients. They didn’t say they didn’t want black and whites, they just also wanted the color versions. Why was I so quick to react and assume they hated black and white? Our clients also loved black and white, but they wanted options. I was getting my panties in a bunch unnecessarily, and getting my heart unnecessarily hurt. The minute I had this revelation I was ecstatic! It was as if my editing finger had been re-empowered and the J. Howard Miller “We Can Do It!” image jumped into my head. I opened Lightroom and started converting dozens upon dozens of photos, picking and choosing my favorites to start sharing. In some cases, when images were already provided to couples, I emailed them and told them that whenever they were ready, they were to send my their list of favorites and that I would convert these to black and white. At that moment it was as if this weight had been lifted, as if the hummmmmm of busy happy business was back. It took me a while to peg, but truly nothing really had changed, but I got my mojo back.

Let this be a lesson for us to always listen beyond hearing. When we love something it’s easy to get all crusty about it when things don’t go our way. Step back and reevaluate. Look for your irrational self, hanging out with your sulking self, break them up. Look for your happy and inspired selves, who are half way across town with their backs to you, and invite them back. Remember that your soul wants harmony and your heart wants peace, work to see the best and be optimistic. With your new hearing aid, listen to others and find a way for everyone to be happy…maybe everyone truly wants the same thing.

xx,
Steph.

Some of our favorite black and white images from Ryan and Lynsi’s e-session.

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