Every now and then an event comes along that serves to remind me just what it takes to be a great photographer. Yeah, it's about understanding the craft, creating great images, but there's also a very special ingredient, passion. While I write about the importance of passion on a pretty regular basis, I don't get to see it in action very often.
Two nights ago, I had a front row seat. Our son, Michael was getting married and good buddies, Brent and Teri Ann Watkins of Sylvart Studios photographed the wedding in Ohio. We've all been friends since Brent I met in 2009 when we lived in Akron. Over the last four years I've gotten to know their style, love for the industry and so many of their different abilities, but watching them for an entire evening, working, was something totally new.
I know from my own personality, I don't have the patience it takes to handle the chaos of a wedding. A "bull in a china shop" would be the best way to describe what it would be like hiring me to shoot a wedding, but here's what I witnessed first hand the other night.
1) Know your gear! Brent and Teri Ann were a well choreographed machine with back up gear, lighting, everything needed throughout the day and evening. Brent's thought process was simply invisible and he just naturally made the changes he needed to get the shots he wanted. Even a change of batteries never slowed him down in the eyes of his subjects.
2) Be pleasant! Okay, so this is so understated, but Brent and Teri Ann couldn't have been more fun to work with. Whatever anybody wanted they were there and always with a smile. There was no challenge that was too big to tackle.
3) Include the clergy. Right out of the blocks, Brent made it a point to talk with the officiant. "Hi, I'm Brent Watkins. I'll be photographing the ceremony, but I want to make sure I follow whatever rules you have." I've heard so many stories over the years about clergy who were hard to work with, but by being so supportive right in the beginning he made it clear he was there to simply capture the memories, not interfere in the process.
4) Let your images tell the story. We had a chance to look at many of the images, which early on Brent and Teri Ann had set up on a monitor playing during the reception. From details to scene setters to those core standard images, I was blown away by how they never missed a beat. I can't wait to see the finished album, because they truly were the bride and groom's eyes and even hearts for the evening.
But the most impressive thing about the two of them in action is the way they work together as a couple. Obviously this wasn't "their first rodeo", but that doesn't change the fact that working with your spouse is no easy task. They really enjoy working together. There was no question they were a team with one goal, to exceed the client's expectations.
Wayne Dyer is quoted as saying,
"When you dance your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way."
Well, that's what I saw all evening long, watching Brent and Teri Ann in action. They weren't working together just to capture memories and create an album, but enjoying each step of the process and their passion for the craft was simply unstoppable. And that's what makes great photographers!
If you're reading this for the first time then you missed a big typo with the post running twice, one on top of the other. A big thanks to Bob Coates for letting me know that I missed my number one rule - proof read what you write! LOL