Journal

The Importance of a Great Photographer

Strangely enough, when designing weddings and events, flowers are not the first thing on my list when I begin to cultivate ideas for a clients.  Inspiration can come from anywhere, but the first question I always ask new couples about their wedding day is, ‘how do you want to remember your wedding day?’ This always seems to catch people off guard. 

My love/ hate relationship with Pinterest is no big secret around the studio. It is my go to source for gathering inspirational images. I feel in the wedding planning process for non-creatives, it can create a false sense of ideology. I have seen couples so consumed with minute details that they are convinced will make or break their entire day, that they loose focus of what is really important. I hate to disappoint people when I tell them that the specialty cocktail napkins are a thoughtful touch, but much like their programs and monogramed koozies, they are going to end up in the bin eventually. 

What will remain strong is their union and their photographs of the day. With that in mind, so much of my design process is driven by the photography of the wedding. When I set to work with couples, I want to know all about their photographer. I look through their portfolio to learn as much as I can about their style. Does their eye lean more toward portraiture or candids? Do they bring the lens in really close when they photograph still life? Are they capturing small details or the bigger picture? Do they prefer a narrow or wider depth of field? Film or digital? Under or oversaturated? Even though I focus solely on the floral component of the wedding, this information is incredibly helpful to me at every stage of my design process from selecting a final color palette to choosing the flowers I will use. 

WHY? I recently had a wedding that I absolutely loved. When the crew and I set off for a well deserved dinner that day, we felt great about how everything came together. I handed the bouquet to the bride and she loved it! I was feeling good. A few months pass and when the bride and groom received the photos, they reached out to me to say that they were not really happy with the flowers. I was gutted. I wanted to know why, so as I asked questions and dug a little deeper into the situation, the bride tell me that the flowers just didn’t look the same in the photos as the images I have on my Instagram. 

I could identify the problem immediately! I have a strong background in photography and shoot close to 90% of the images on my own social media. My photographic strengths are a keen eye for composition and a tendency to manipulate light according to the season. The photographer this couple choose, works more in desaturated and muted tones. Based on the photographer the couple selected, they were never going to have lasting images of the flowers that were going to look like my designs that the couple were inspired by. 

I was incredibly disappointed especially considering how much the couple loved the flowers on the actual day of their wedding. There wasn’t anything I could do to fix the situation, but it taught me a valuable lesson about how to handle future events. Familiarizing myself with the team in charge of bringing the bride and groom’s vision to life is essential for me when getting started. I now know that if I am working with a photographer who tends to over cover saturate their work, I can work with a darker palette and vice versa. I also feel that the more informed couples are about these types of design nuances, the easier it will be when selecting appropriate vendors to bring their ideas to life.

One local photographer who I enjoy working with a lot is Christine Gosch. Her work is light and ethereal. I love her approach to capturing organic details and preserving the authenticity of your moments. Please check out her work at www.christinegosch.com

Miller Jenkinson