If you shoot weddings, than you understand the stress and pressure that comes with shooting them. Its not like you can tell the Maid of Honor to go back and come down the aisle again because she was walking too fast and missed the shot. Nor tell the bride and groom to do the first kiss again because you didn't have the right angle.
What happens if your equipment fails and you miss everything?? What happens if the SD cards fail and you lose all the pictures? OMG! What happens if I get the flu and can't even make it to the wedding?!?!?!
Have I scared you away yet? I don't mean to! But these are honest questions and issues that can come up when taking on weddings. Do you have a contract to cover yourself IF any of these things happen? If you don't, STOP reading this and go get one NOW right here!! You can take an extra 30% off with code CONTRACT30 at the checkout! I don't care if you are only shooting for free right now just to build your portfolio. Issues can escalate too quickly these days and you need to make sure you cover your ass. If you need any help with them, I will be more than happy to help you!
So, here is what happened to me.
The bride to be and I were in contact most of the week before the wedding because we were watching the weather and sadly it didn't look good at all. And it wasn't good. The entire day was crap for weather. It rained steadily throughout the morning. That wasn't too big of a deal because the ceremony was inside a church, as well as her formal images.
As soon as we got to the town where their reception and fun pictures were to be taken, the clouds were darker, and the wind was blowing so hard. My second shooter and I stopped at one of the locations we had planned to shoot at. At this park, there is a beautiful stone bridge, and a gorgeous water fountain. While we were checking out the location to see how wet it was, the wind was blowing so hard that it blew the water from the fountain on my second shooter and I. We called it. Nope. Not going to happen. Prior to the wedding, I had discussed this with the bride, that we may have to reschedule her bridal images for a different day. Now, this only worked out because the groom purchased his suit instead of renting. She was completely cool with it. She understood.
We moved on to the second location up the road a bit and we decided it wasn't that bad. The wedding party would be blocked from wind by this gorgeous Victorian home that we were shooting at. It hadn't started raining, but you could tell the clouds were going to break lose at any second. So we rushed through it, shaking from being so wet and cold, but we got it done. Just in the nick of time because when we arrived at the reception location, it poured. And poured! It was basically a monsoon.
Fast forward to editing the images. Well shit. Everything turned out fantastic, except for the images at the Victorian house. Because I was shaking from being wet and cold from the wind blowing the fountain water on us, my images were blurry. Like horribly blurry. Beyond repair blurry. Yes, I had my second shooter there, and I did have him shoot a few images of the couple, but not of the wedding party. And yes, they do have images of the wedding party form the church, but this was special to her. She is actually one of my clients that values my work and understands the importance of having printed images.
I beat myself up over it so many times. I dreaded having to explain to her that they just did not turn out! I kept going over it and over it in my mind.
"Oh she is going to be so pissed! What if she asks for a refund? What if she takes me to court? What am I going to do?"
Deep down I knew she would understand that I simply can not control the weather. I just can't. Plus, I am covered in my contract as far as weather related issues.
But still, I felt beyond horrible. There was no way to get the wedding party together again to re shoot. None. I failed.
So I contacted her. I explained it all. I did not give excuses. I simply told her why the images didn't come out, I took responsibility for it, I offered a complete extended family session for in the fall, and she was OK with it all. I mean yes, she was disappointed. But she was fine. I mean, I guess I beat myself up over it enough for the both of us? I couldn't believe how cool she was about the whole thing!
Why did I tell you all of this? Because things happen!! Especially at weddings! There are SO MANY variations coming together for one day, something is bound to happen. 1st thing is get a contract! There is no excuse with the 30% off (code CONTRACT30) Cover yourself.
2nd, listen to other photographers and their experiences and learn form their mistakes. In this tell all book "My Epic Mistakes On Shooting Weddings" dives in deeper with more details about wedding mistakes, how to recover from them if something happens, as well as, the details you should be paying attention to capturing. There is also some hilarious photographer outtake stories in there!!
Have you had something embarrassing happen while shooting a wedding? If your brave enough to share, tell me in the comments below!!!