When the Photographer gets Married??

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“JARVIE: What about when you get Married?”

Why answer a good question with one good point when I can answer it with a full on discourse of dozens of teaching moments… so prepare yourself… get a cup of hot chocolate and prepare for the epic response to the big question.

The Famous Question

Probably the most frequently asked question I have ever been asked is this one “Who’s going to take your wedding pictures?”
A majority of clients ask me… and a lot of photographers.
Because I get asked so much… I have indeed thought about it.
Since +Sandra Parlow just asked last night on her GooglePlus profile I thought it deserved a good hearty response and not a one liner.

Before I answer the question I thought I’d touch on a similar topic

Shooting for other photographers

First of all I really LOVE shooting weddings for other photographers… I get asked frequently and it’s always fun. In fact often I’ll find myself talking outloud about what I’m doing and why and they love it. (More so on the pre-wedding-day shoots)
I know some photographers are intimidated shooting another photographers wedding… but they have been some of my favorites… I think because we seem to work together like a team combining two great visions for the images.
ALSO because one would assume another photographer can appreciate what I do.

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What would I look for – My Many Parted Answer

(Not organized in order of importance… in case you’re wondering… but you’ll understand which ones are most important to me if you read through it all)

The Style

One of the integrated questions is would I want my own style or another style?
I love other styles and while I think they would be cool (and wish I could have an array) … but if I could only pick one… as braggy as it may sound I really would want the style I shoot.

It makes sense right? I’ve spent 5-6yrs developing my style of wedding photography… one would hope I went in the direction of what I like best.

What is that/my style?

As far as the pictures look at my best of weddings here on G+ there’s the look and it’s expressed over and over again in every single wedding!

With one word PERSONALITY

The shots could be technically amazing but if it lacks personality I’m personally not drawn to it. I want someone to look at that wedding picture and say that is SOOOOO JARVIE … see me and my personality.
Here’s the kicker! There are a lot of “angles” / “Views” of MY personality.

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I want QUANTITY

I shoot lots of pictures because I love to… I give my clients more pictures than they know what to do with perhaps to my detriment but hey it’s what I’m drawn to and the type of clients that like that like me.
I want to show the happy go lucky side of me, the pretend-model (poser) side of me and the soft and sweet hopeless romantic side.
(This goes back to the last point I want someone that ENABLES me to show myself by allowing me to feel comfortable enough to Be Myself (as cliche as that sounds)
So yes I really would prefer lots of pictures… so I do understand the clients that ask for more and more.

Quantity means I’d want them to be Quick!!
Slow might be beneficial to the photographer but as a model it sucks the life out of things.
Quick doesn’t mean they rush… it it demonstrated best when they can capture The Moment before it goes away. They can adapt to changing circumstances without skipping a beat.

At-the-Ready

This is really part of quick… but this is something I’d look for.
Are they spending too much time checking their screen?

Heck I’ll check my screen plenty… but I feel like I do it at the appropriate times and even when I do it I can glance at it so fast that I won’t skip a beat.
But I’ve been in front of a fair share of cameras and my biggest complaint is that they start looking down at their camera when I’m still posing it up.

I admit I’m a poser… I want them to keep shooting and getting all those poses… not checking their screen between each shot… throwing the rythym off terribly.
Get it set and then shoot… then after the set up check it out… and we’ll change to do something else.

Also if you’re gonna do those tests… just do them!! Don’t get my attention and have me bring out my A-Game modeling all for some stupid test shot.
I do crazy amounts of test shots but I do them quickly and even when they’re not looking or not posing it up.
When THE MOMENT is happening the time for testing is OVER!
Can that person switch the dial to READY in miliseconds.

In fact I don’t want them to be ready when the moment is happening… I want them to be ready a millisecond before the moment starts to happen.

CREATIVE

You might think… a photographer is creative simple because he/she is a photographer… I don’t think so.
When I think “creative” I think of the more complete phrase “CREATIVE SOLUTIONS” they can come upon any scene, any scenario any Problem and have a solution (They Create!).
Basing the solutions on experience alone is something… it’s good… but to have that real Creative mind leads to real solutions… and appropriate unique Art/Creations.
So I’d look at their ability to “think on their feet” (as the expression goes) see how it plays into it all… I think it’s at the heart of so many of the issues.

Experience

While I put more emphasis on that Creative Solutions stuff I know how experience can help.

I think that in the following situations anyone can come up with awesome pictures:

  • Unlimited time
  • Great Models
  • Perfect Lighting
  • No unexpected problems

But what wedding has all of those things? That’s why it’s not about having just anyone.
They don’t and so while a photographer might show off these amazing pictures when everything was hunky dory it doesn’t mean to me that it will be the case for everyone.
So someone with experience.

Consistency

Look I’m not gonna be all humble and I apologize for that in advance… but I’m very proud of my ability to think on my feet and come up with creative solutions no matter what environment I’m in.

Perhaps my pictures aren’t always the best possible pictures that someone could have taken but they are great for the situations I’m in they are great for the time allotment, the models and the lighting.

It’s not something I can really quantify and put in words … but I think one of things that sets me apart isn’t that I can take the best pictures ever… but that I can do it with total consistency. They know with no doubts that their pictures will be great. They could go for a much lower cost option and to me I think that usually means it’s a gamble… which quite honestly might totally work out for them.

Baseball-Analogy – You give the guy the major league contract and the big bucks for being able to hit that ball with the most CONSISTENCY (AVG) and who does it under the most adverse of conditions (The Big Leagues) … it doesn’t go to the guy that can hit the ball the farthest.
They don’t line up a bunch of bulked up muscle freaks and say whoever can hit this ball the farthest this once will get a 10 million dollar contract.

While for some types of photography I can see where consistency doesn’t really matter… but for weddings, events and contracted type stuff I personally think it’s one of those things that means so so much and sadly these first time brides just don’t understand the value.
So I’d look for consistency… it’s probably more important than looking at where their ceiling is (if you understand that expression)

THE SERVICE

I’ve talked about all these areas of photographic skill but Honestly it’s even more about how it all goes down that day… not even all about the end-product. (For Me)

Yes I want the end product to be good… but I’ve learned there are so many great photographers but what I would really look for is how they handle things. When they don’t have a camera against their face.
I want all of my guests to be happy, I don’t want someone who doesn’t respect every person at that reception.
I would want someone who is consientious of people and not getting in their way.
I feel like some photographers say: “the bride says I’m the most important person and that gives me licence to do whatever I want” …

I think a good photographer would be able to handle the percieved contraints of providing service and being nice and working around people and still come up with a stellar product.

Culture/Location Aware

Where I would get married is at an LDS Temple … most likely the one featured in the blog… it is a location that commands reverence and respect.
The type of photographer I would have would know how to approach the different locations and cultures. Doesn’t mean they would have to have already photographed there (though experience helps) but they are just the type of photographer that gets it.
They are aware.

Part of it comes back to being adaptable… so what you could take an amazing picture if you just broke a few rules and climbed up in a tree or a wall you weren’t supposed to be in/on.
Show me what you can do while still being respectful.

I mean, it doesn’t mean I’d want a total prude… but someone that understood the environment and the conditions.
Also how well do they adapt to the small little subculture of my family and friends... do they get along with them? Or do they stick out like a Sore thumb. (Sore emphasized)
I don’t want a stiff suit (that’s not ME nor my family) they have to be like an old friend to me and the whole crew.

Formal isn’t my style nor would it be the style I’d want in my photographer.

Consistency of character

I feel like I talked at length about consistency in their photography skills… then I talked at length about how they interact with me and my friends and family.

I mentioned I’d gravitate more towards a person that helped me have happy memories that accompany those beautiful pictures.
That goes before and after the big day.
I want to like interacting with that person years before and years after… I don’t want to look at the picture and think about how that dang photographer turned out to be a jerk, how he or she treated me badly years down the line.

I don’t want memories associate with anything negative if I can help it… I want to look at the picture and feel happy, feel love.

I Don’t want to look at the picture and think about anything stupid they’ve done… how they might have turned out to be a rotten person inside and out. (They left their spouse and kids, exploited children, made a profit off of smut, killed a person… ya know… stuff)
I mean I don’t not associate with people if they go bad… I just don’t choose them to be an intimate part of my special day.
I mean we can’t really predict the future… but if we’re aiming for the stars… i can’t deny this is something that becomes part of my thought process.

I want my pictures to not have baggage. Don’t go thinking I wildly judge people. One would hope those that know me can vouch for me on this.

But there are people out there that put on a smiley face for the big day and then I hear from those photographers them talking bad about their clients all while putting on the show on the day.
Let’s just say there are a lot of good photographers… I can be picky.

I feel like this is a touchy subject perhaps because I’m talking about the character of people… so let me just say I’m sure I’m not perfect and have probably said something in the past about a client or something that makes me looks a little hypocritical… I’ll accept that but I feel like I’m getting better and I understand the importance of it all.

Friendship

With that being said here’s something maybe even more touchy… part of the whole consistency of character thing comes down to me preferring to support someone I like.
Someone I get along with and want to make their life better.

Yes every person deserves to be treated well… but if it came down to it and I could only give money to one person I’m going to give it to the person that has got it together.

*Walk the Walk*

Yes it’s true… I’d be picky and I’d have high standards but I feel like it’s something I can ask for because these are all things I give at every single wedding… nothing I wouldn’t want my own clients to demand.

Q&A

Would I want to EDIT the pictures myself?
Heck yes! or in other words… I don’t see why not! (I don’t see a downside to that question)

RIGHTS?
Though I understand and will support a photographer that decides to keep the rights.
I would never ever ever ever hire a photographer for my wedding that I couldn’t somehow get the files and the rights to the pictures. It just wouldn’t work for ME.
(And this is exactly why I will always give the rights to my clients… because I run my weddings as if I were the client)

Are you a romantic?
I know some photographers that do weddings because it’s good money and to them it’s just a job. (Cool… whatever)
I can say with head held high… I am a bit of a hopeless romantic.
I do love weddings, I love real love. I’m in the right job.

Do you like shooting weddings?
Look at this whole post… I would hope it’s apparent :)

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So what’s the verdict!?

It comes down to this: The photographer I would probably pick would be someone I have trained
I really would pick from the group of photographers that I had an intimate and perhaps key role in helping to train including many of my past INTERNS

  • FIRST: I can feel proud that I played a part in their training and this is like a capstone… it comes full circle.
  • SECOND: They know what I like in pictures.
  • THIRD: I’ve been around them soo much that the expectation is that we get along really well.
  • FOURTH: I invested (in most cases) crazy amounts of hours sharing stuff with them at no/little dollar cost to them that hopefully that investment comes back to me at a lower price. ;)
  • FIFTH: They are dang GOOD photographers and by the time I get married I know they’ll be even better… because I trained them to continually grow/progress.

I’ve pushed them to be great!

And like i’ve mentioned many times before what I’d look at are all those qualities that maybe you don’t see in the final product but I they are a known quantity… not a guess… not a gamble
I would know exactly what to expect and I would hope that they pushed themselves to do their best… heaven knows I’ve pushed a bunch of them pretty hard.

Some of them have snapped but the ones with real character and guts knew where my heart was when I probably pushed them too hard, they didn’t take it personally and they became amazing. #winning
Some of them I only had a beginning role in the training… they were probably bound to do amazing things with or without me… but hey I did play a role and my assumption is that the foundations I laid were very important.

SOME NAMES

This will get me in trouble (because I’ll forget people) but you know what I’m not a politician and screw it! I’m gonna spend a moment to say how amazingly proud I am of some people I played a part in helping to teach photography.

SHOW ME YOUR FRIENDS AND I WILL TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE
(How about show me the people you helped/trained and I’ll tell you what kind of photographer you are)

Suzanne Plant and Steph Jorgenson- Good friends that I’m not really sure how much I helped but I remember doing one of my first personalized workshops with them and then doing some LR training and then just having them on shoots and then when they came to one of my weddings and decided they actually did like photographing weddings. In fact a large portion of the pictures of me on this post came from Suzanne.

Whitney & Thomas Lewis – Another set of great friends… heck they lived in the same house (basement) for over a year and we still get along great. I did their wedding years ago and then she became a professional photographer and in the first year I started dabling in having interns she came to do something akin to an internship for a short period of time. (I hope she doesn’t mind me telling this) I still remember when she came and assisted on a wedding (before the semi-internship) with me and how I came back to look through the pictures and how they were all too blurry… It just goes to show the passion and dedication she has to what she does. That means a lot… doesn’t matter where you start but the amount of dedication you have to becoming better every time. Now she’s amazing and with the two of them it’s consistently awesome.

Marco Greis – I still remember when I would get frustrated with Marco more than most interns… and I think it was because he learned and took it so well. Also because I knew he had the passion that he could use the push and turn it into something great. Many times I feel like I’m on broken glass and having to be carefull they get offended (Don’t take this to mean that I don’t try every day to become a better teacher) He put in the hours and even when I had him doing boring work. He inconvienience himself to put so many other things aside to invest in his learning. Even with a big family and probably financial difficulties while he focused on learning even when there were opportunities to put to the side his commitments to me to do paid shoots. That shows so much character.
But in a short period he is progressing so rapidly and now he’s living back in Brazil doing weddings every single weekend.
So to you Marco I just advise to back through your pictures now that I know you’re so much better and take out a lot of the old stuff because some of your stuff your doing now kicks the trash out of the older stuff… I’m talking mainly with the way you do lighting and editing.

Carissa Uribe - She was the first person to have enough confidence in my abilities to ask to do a summer long internship. I did her wedding and she’s an all around great person. I think I probably have more confidence in her abilities than she has in her own … I hope you know that i think your awesome at what you do!

Paola Gautier – Even though I don’t hear from her very often since the internship I know skill when I see it! She has always had skills and she has developed a distinct style from my that I can dig.

The Campbells are awesome at what they do, they were great interns and have progressed sooo much!

Megan Newhouse and Laurel Scott are both incredibly intelligent gals who excelled when they were interns and can kick butt at photography… Though Megan doesn’t do a ton of photography I totally trust her skills because she knows what to do because she’s just that smart. And Laurel is the latest and greatest of the interns who put in the time like no other and has confidence and skill to back it up.

Chuck Liu is a stud and though he wasn’t able to do a lot of the internship with his work schedule he was already a great photographer before he came this way… AND he’s a solid guy and fun to be around! Look at his stuff… he’s totally legit!

And then of course my sister Sara Jarvie has to be a part in some way … she’s consistently been the person I call to talk to about my ideas and projects. We kind of started our websites and lots of things right around the same time. Heck I chose JarvieDigital because she chose JarviePhotography like a couple weeks before me. But I’m happy for this.

While I only really hung out with the next two and answered questions here and there I figure either would be awesome people to film the wedding (even though they could both rock the photography) Devin Graham or Garret Gibbons … It’s been so many years I can’t even what all I did teach… but I’m great friends with them and I did Garretts wedding and Devin keeps saying I’ll be at his some day. So I’m hoping we trade or something… If Devin’s head doesn’t get so big that he forgets all us little guys ;) While I myself have always helped and supported no matter how busy I was. haha (Yes I’m giving you a hard time)

A DOZEN OPTIONS???

Nope try dozens of options because I have become good friends with some pretty amazingly LEGIT photographers on GOOGLE PLUS

I mean I didn’t train them or anything but how hard would it be to not select some of them!!? (I’m not naming names this time haha)

A SMALL DETAIL

You must remember this is all very hypothetical because I am not engaged, nor have I ever been, in fact I haven’t even been close to getting married, I do recognize my faults like my pickyness, I’ve been really wanting to get married for the last 10 years it’s been by #1 goal to have a family but I also am not the type of person that would get married just cuz.
So don’t hold your breath on this one.
People have tried (And I’m not gonna say it’s not my fault) but it hasn’t happened yet even if I’ve bribed people saying they’d get free pictures for life if they found the one. haha

So yes my pity party is that I’ve achieved a ton of goals in life… all expect the most important one. haha

HOW I’D DECIDE

Back to the important question at hand!! -> Who would end up as my photographer?
Difficult even having options.

Well the good thing about being creative is that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
I don’t have to do my wedding photography like everyone else does it.
And so what will I do in the end??

Well I got to keep something for people to look forward to and that remains a Jarvie Trade Secret… because my wedding is gonna be one of a kind.

WHERE

I actually will have more problems finding a location for the after wedding Event (reception isn’t a proper term)
The spot for the wedding itself is pretty easy an LDS temple… most likely the temple pictured here.
So most likely you all need to grab a plain ticket and fly on over when it happens. Who’s coming to the party?
What other friends want to come take pictures?

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BTW this is a picture I took THIS MORNING :) Yay

8 Comments

  1. Sandra Parlow says

    Scott- this was a very enjoyable read!

    I really love how you love your work – and you can see that coming through in your photos!

    I found all of your points very interesting and I love your openness in the way you talk about yourself. I feel like I’ve known you for a long time after reading this. I can relate to the desire to have someone there who you can feel comfortable with. Someone who likes to have some fun – because so often weddings start off so tense and it’s the photographer who can really set the tone at the start that carries through the day. You seem like a fun guy who could definitely set people at ease and lighten the mood!

    Thank you for such a well though out, in depth answer. And I really enjoyed all the photos of you spread through out. Especially the last one on the first row. You look like a sad little puppy. I just wanna scratch you behind your ears! ;)

  2. Steph says

    I am honored to be on the list! I would definitely say the reason, I’m a Lightroom user is because you started me out on the right foot. I also remember things YOU taught me and still look for things in camera because you showed me how to do it. I will always give you credit for giving me the support I needed at the beginning to push through and become better than I ever really thought I would be. You have answered many questions and stood by my side helping me through a lot that I couldn’t have done on my own! I hope there is a “big day” for you and I hope to be there, shooting or not! You’re a great friend.

  3. Kaylynne Hatch says

    That is an AMAZING shot of the SLC temple (I love all your temple photos, I’m so happy that you’ve gone through and photographed more in all your travels!)

    I’ve had friends ask me what I plan to do photography-wise for whenever I wind up getting married (since I obviously couldn’t shoot it myself. …Although probably not for lack of trying! haha :p ). I’ve never actually, personally thought about it though (usually I just tell my friends that, maybe that’s why I’m still single – Because I can’t even imagine how I would ever decide on a photographer :p) However, I have often wondered how professional photographers make such a decision, so this is a wonderfully informative and interesting blog post! :)

  4. Jeff Hill says

    Scott, great read, you really do a great job and serve as an inspiration :) Good luck finding your future bride!

  5. Melissa Papaj says

    Very interesting read…thanks for sharing!

  6. Carissa says

    Aw Scott this made my day! You’re the best : )

  7. Compliments From A Great Teacher says

    [...] Scott recently posted on his blog about what he would do as a photographer picking out a photographer to photograph his own wedding: http://jarviestudios.com/blog/2011/10/when-the-photographer-gets-married/ [...]

  8. Lorie says

    Scott you are amazingly talented!! I love your work!! and I am so glad you are doing my son and daughter-in-laws wedding!! Yay!

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