When Things Go Terribly Wrong

It happens to every photographer at some point. Without fail, everyone has it. It’s a wedding you’ve been looking forward to for well… since you booked it over a year before. It’s on a yacht at sea on a cruise and after being out at sea for three days, the wedding is about to go down! You and your second photographer are ready! It’s game time! You walk out… and there’s no aisle. You’re not even sure HOW the wedding planner decided it was a good idea. The ship ended up not being able to give up enough chairs, so the guys all are standing… with no aisle. And there you are, at the back… and all the guests decided it’s a good time to pull our their cell phones…


Well… now is no time to make plans so you go! You photograph over shoulders and in between knees. You do your absolute best to crop out cell phones. And then when you are tired and ready to just scream at the crowd, you do the “camera pump,” where you hold your camera in the air over the audience, aim as best you can, and HOPE that the composition comes out anywhere CLOSE to correct. The ceremony finally ends, and you rock the reception! You’re on a yacht after all.


WOOH! Okay, you get back to your… cabin [I think that’s what you call a ship room], and you stick the RAW files on your computer, and you just stare. In between your details from before and your reception shots after are some OBNOXIOUSLY bad ceremony images [to you]. After ranting to your second photographer for thirty minutes, you do your first crop and realize you have almost no great images… A thirty minute ceremony, and you have narrowed it down to twenty. Twenty… So you go BACK IN and lower your standards just enough to have sixty images.


Now, after editing, you will most likely be thinking one thing: “You are a photographer!” a little voice in your brain will say. “How could you do so badly?! Sure, there were some CRAZY circumstances, but it’s your job to figure it out!” Defeated, you sit for a moment and consider what wording to use to apologize to the bride. Pinterest lies waiting next to you, reminding you that every other photographer in the world always photographs perfect weddings. You feel alone.


What to do my friend? What to do?


1. I want you to do NOTHING! I have had this wedding [with different circumstances] and someone encouraged me to just wait. Think about it, your bride has not seen the images yet. She has NO idea what your thoughts are and frankly, she’s not a photographer who has spent DAYS worth of hours staring at other photographers’ work. And further, she was at her wedding.


2. So edit your images as best you can! Work your style.


3. Deliver them quickly and with the usual perfection.


4. Wait for the bride to respond.


Because this has happened to me! And you know what I did? I edited and delivered and she loved the photos! She loved them! If I had sent her a message before hand telling her all the things I hated… well… I can’t say for sure because I never did it but it may have cast quite a damper on her experience. And my job isn’t to produce work that I love. Sad to say at times but it really isn’t! My job is to please my clients. And if I work my butt of to please my clients and yet sometimes don’t really like what I’m producing, then I consider that to be worth it.

To God be the glory,

daniel jackson