Years ago before I became I wedding photographer, I knew that I’d have to have certain skills in order to be successful. First there were the obvious skills – how to properly expose a photo, creative composition, consistent editing. Without these skills, I wouldn’t even be a photographer! I spent countless hours, day, weeks, and years learning as much as I could about these. Some would say you’re never done learning these skills, but that’s a whole other post!
I knew there would be some secondary skills too that I’d have to master. Things like developing good client relations, understanding how to diffuse stressful situations, and coming up with an efficient workflow. More of the business side of things in a large part, but also things that I had to learn on-the-job a lot of the times and adjust as I saw what worked and what didn’t. Again, these things are always being improved too as long as you’re running a business!
Then, of course, there are the skills I never knew I needed to have. But, wow, have they come in handy! I mean, like, need-to-use-them-at-nearly-every-wedding kind of handy! So I present the Top Four Unexpected Skills I’ve Learned as a Wedding Photographer:
1. How to expertly tie a bow
I can tie a bow on a dress sash, for instance, that is even, fluffy, and doesn’t sag down. I’ve found that it’s how you hold the ribbons and wrap them around each other. Hard to explain without just doing it, but bows come out looking great every time!
2. How to securely pin a boutonniere
Let’s face it, guys usually aren’t well versed in flowers and accessorizing like women are. And it’s not like anyone wears a boutonniere on a regular basis. Having been asked to lend a hand on more than one occasion though, pinning on a boutonniere is like second nature to me. Here’s a secret, having two pins is always better, but florists don’t always provide that many. Usually I’ll let a mother or groomsman attempt to put it on first so I can still get photos of that moment. But more often than you might think, I step in to do the final pinning.
3. How to run in heels
First of all, yes I wear heels on wedding days. Not super high ones, but it’s just something I’m used to. I’ve tried wearing flats, but the heels I have with Nike Air are more comfortable than anything else I’ve tried wearing. Because of that, I’m able to move around quickly and however I want without wincing in pain, tripping, or anything else super embarrassing. I’ve just worn heels for so many years that it’s like a second nature to me. And I think they’re just more flattering!
4. How to quickly and nicely “fluff” the train of a bride’s dress
Again, this is a little hard to describe without just showing someone how to do it, but in reality it’s super easy. I see many bridesmaids trying to make everything so perfect one little section at a time. A tug here, a straighten there. My trick though is to let gravity do its thing. All you have to do is lift up the train enough so that when you release it, it just floats down to the ground. The air underneath makes everything smooth and gets you about 95% of the way to a nice evenly laid out train. I show this to bridesmaids and they quickly start doing it this way too!
I’m sure there are other funny little tricks and skills I’ve picked up along the way, but like I said, these are things I would have never known that a wedding photographer would need to know how to do. I just like to think that it makes me well rounded, right? Right!
If you’re a wedding vendor reading this, let me know what unexpected skills you’re picked up over the years! Or really any odd skill for any job out there, I’d love to hear it!
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