5 Outstanding Wedding Photographers on the Skills You Need to Succeed (That Have Nothing to Do with Photography)

5 Outstanding Wedding Photographers on the Skills You Need to Succeed (That Have Nothing to Do with Photography)

Earlier this year we launched The List – a selection of 90 finalists from those who applied in our 80,000+ community of PhotoShelter members, chosen by a panel of independent judges. This week we are highlighting all five of the wedding photographers from The List. There’s no doubt they have the photo skills, but they also know that’s not all you need to succeed in the wedding industry. When you’re photographing one of the most important days of a couple’s life, you have to be ready for anything. See what they had to say about the most crucial but overlooked skills, and check out their beautiful portfolios.

Feature photo by Marian Sterea

 

Miguel Fernandes

Primary location: Lisbon, Portugal
Instagram | Facebook

“I live in the city where I was born, Lisboa, Portugal, and have been working as a photographer since 1999. My style combines photojournalism and portraiture — clean, beautiful, and filled with light, shadow, meaningful gestures, and wide smiles. For me photography is all about life — capturing emotions and unique moments. I photograph weddings in the exact same way I work on stories for newspapers and magazines. I focus on the high tension points and details that together will create the narrative of the day, all with a very candid approach. For me wedding photography is just another way of telling uplifting stories.”

Photo by Miguel Fernandes

Photo by Miguel Fernandes

 

Kara “Kiki” Lamm

Primary location: Colorado and Florida
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

“Mixing my formal fine art training with the natural ways people interact and love is the most important balance in my work. I am someone who is fun and outgoing, and I enjoy bringing out the best in people. This helps me find that balance, while also incorporating my love for finding beautiful light and locations. I hope my images show the connection my clients naturally have while also taking in the beauty around them.”

What is one skill that has helped you as a wedding photographer?
“It seems incredibly simple, but being flexible and patient has always worked the best for me. As the wedding photographer, sometimes you take on the role of coordinator, veil holder, hair adjuster, dress fluffer, and even the bartender to keep everyone happy and things rolling smoothly. You need to be prepared to handle a lot of responsibilities and a lot of different personalities at once. Seeing tough locations, bad weather, or unflattering lighting as challenges to make new and interesting images became a defining change in my work. Having a plan for the day is always best, but staying calm through these changes that are inevitable with every wedding day is key to getting comfortable, happy people in front of the camera.

You are the person that is with the couple throughout most of the day, allowing it to unfold naturally evokes an emotional life-like image while still making your clients comfortable in front of the camera. It allows the viewer to feel as if they are there without ever having to be. And that has always been the root behind the emotion I want to convey in my photographs.”

Photo by Kara Lamm

Photo by Kara Lamm

 

Ryan Learoyd

Primary location: Yorkshire, UK
Instagram

“My style is relaxed, quirky, artistic & alternative. I believe in capturing those fleeting moments of emotion, expression and love. Of course having a few laughs along the way is always a bonus. Weddings for me are about family. They’re about those brief moments of interaction in between the staged portraits of old.”

What is one skill that has helped you as a wedding photographer?
“Something that is perhaps often overlooked within wedding photography is being yourself within your business. Showing your personality doesn’t negate from delivering a professional and successful service. In fact, it tells your clients you are human. It brings true personality, human connection and a natural reflection of them as people to the camera.

By sharing stories and who you are as a person, you’re opening yourself up for another human to reciprocate and perhaps even share their own stories. I’m the dude who wears obscene leopard print shirts, makes too many jokes and falls over too much. But just like you, I am only human. I am proud to be me. I’m proud that what I create is me. You should be too. Being a photographer is about more than just capturing pretty light and megapixels.

Photo by Ryan Learoyd

Photo by Ryan Learoyd

 

Anne Edgar

Primary location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
InstagramFacebook

“Having documented nearly a thousand weddings over the last 2 decades, we know weddings. With this kind of experience, clients can trust that their wedding photos will be in great hands. Our experienced and talented team can handle every request, and deliver sweet, stunning, consistent & reliable results, every single time.”

What is one skill that has helped you as a wedding photographer?
“I think it’s important to have the ability to check your ego at the door. We all like to think that we are hired because the client adores our art. But, the truth is, there are many factors involved when a bride selects a wedding photographer, and the ‘art’ is not always a primary consideration. The bride has a vision for her wedding and the photos that will represent her day, and so a willingness to deliver what the bride wants despite personal feelings of what that might entail is crucial to client satisfaction. I have read countless posts from photographers saying that a client wants a particular pose/look/preset/style, and this request does not fit the photographers’ brand, causing the photographer some sort of artistic crisis. I think it’s easy math — make your client happy. Happy clients = referrals. Referrals = happy photographer. It is totally okay to occasionally deliver images that don’t fit your brand or style. In the end, wedding photos should be a representation of the people for whom they are created, and not a representation of the photographer hired for the day.”

Photo by Anne Edgar Photography & Films

Photo by Anne Edgar Photography & Films

Marian Sterea

Primary location: Bucharest, Romania
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Vimeo

“My life is divided into two chapters: before I discovered my passion for photography and after. I love photography. I love to transform those imperfect moments into perfect emotions, and I love to work with the light and the people around me. I am constantly learning – studying photography, participating in competitions, and organizing workshops. For me, photography is 90% emotion and 10% technique.”

What is one skill that has helped you as a wedding photographer?
“I believe that one of my greatest skills, besides my photography, is my sense of humor. It helps the grooms be more relaxed and feel great in my presence which allows me to capture more natural images.”

Photo by Marian Sterea

Photo by Marian Sterea

 

Check out our Instagram for more beautiful shots from these photographers and the blog for more highlights from other members of The List.

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