We hear so many stories of brides who are deeply disappointed in the quality of their photos. The photographer they hired did everything they said they were going to do, but something was off. The photos didn’t seem to capture the true essence of the day and were not composed well.
To capture these perfect moments…when the groom is so excited to see his bride that his eyes are about to tear. Or the emotion of true love when the vows are being read. Or the secret little moments that are stolen when no one is looking. To capture these and a hundred other once in a lifetime moments, a photographer must be completely focused and have no distractions.
Photographing a wedding requires a team because it’s much more than simply taking some pictures. It’s easy to get the planned events, the first kiss, the cutting of the cake, the fitting of the rings, the bouquet toss, etc…but it all takes skill, experience, and a great deal of attention to detail to capture all of the other moments that can be easily lost forever.
An assistant ensures everything else is in place so your photographer can focus on you and your wedding. There are a thousand moving parts to photographing a wedding. Way too many things for one person, and sometimes even too much for two people. A good photography team works in rhythm, each one knowing what the other is doing and are always one step ahead of each other.
This is no different then a great chef having a prep-cook. A waiter having a busboy. A pilot having a co-pilot. A CEO having a personal assistant. A golfer having a caddie. You probably get the picture. Everyone who is great at what they do, has at least one person, if not more, backing them up and taking care of the details. It takes a team to produce exceptional results.
The assistant always has the back up camera body and lens or two on hand, in addition to fresh batteries, a replacement flash, and other equipment of the trade. They will make sure that the bride and groom are staying fed and hydrated which may sound silly, but it does not make for ideal images when the bride or groom have collapsed from heat exhaustion! And yes, it does happen!
The assistant is looking for the next shot to set up and herding folks that need to be in the shot. And most importantly, the assistant is there to make sure everyone in the image is ready for that shot. We don’t want your favorite nephew, the ring bearer, with his finger up his nose; or to see one of the bride’s maids looking into left field checking out the hot dude walking by. And yes, that happens too!
We have actually heard other photographers say that it is not their job to make sure everyone is looking their best and that they are only there to take your photo and that how you look is your responsibility. Really?! Because that is really OUR job as your photographer! We ensure ties are straight, the train of your gown is perfect and your groom has socks on!
Your photographer needs to focus on capturing your image perfectly. She needs to make a dozen adjustments for each pose and fine tune each one on every click of the shutter, while getting the lighting just right and at the perfect angle. She may make take 10 or 15 images of the exact same pose, with a slight adjustments to each one, just to capture one image that is suitable for you and also to make sure you get an image with everyone’s eyes open! She is not able to see if everyone’s ties are straights, shirts are tucked in, no one has food on their face, and hair is perfect. That’s what assistants are for! They are your “fine detail” people…and they are sooooo important!
This is why every photographer needs an assistant. Make sure you choose one that always has an assistant…because assistants always bring extra socks!!!