wedding photography for joyful couples

tips: names and non-mirroring





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Hi, I'm Emily.

Say my name, say my name…

Most of my communication is with the bride. Generally, she is the one who contacts me, meets with me, emails me, and plans the day with me, setting up the time template and the location ideas. It’s easy to think that she’s the only one involved in the wedding. But she’s not. There’s a groom and he often gets lost in the shuffle.

Kevin and I had our photos taken one time and the photographers never once said his name. In three hours time, they only said my name. I’ll never forget that. Kevin asked me on our way home from that shoot if I had noticed. I had. It hurt my feelings. After all of my communication with them about us, they hadn’t even remembered his name.

It is something I remind myself of before every single shoot. I’ll even look through the contract to make sure I remember notes I had taken so that when I’m there, I’m 100% there. If I say, “Will you take one step towards me?”, they both will unless I speak to them by name. The larger the group, the more catastrophic this can get. I’m not good with names so this is a tough one for me, but I remember all too well being on the front side of the camera and the frustration that it caused so I try really, really hard to get names down and use them a lot throughout the shoot. I want to feel connected to my clients and using names can help with that.

I’m right. You’re left.

Another thing I try to clarify is movement instructions. I’m a Pilates instructor so I am used to speaking in non-mirrored terms. I thought I had this down perfectly until just recently I was telling a bride to move her right hand down slightly and she kept moving her left. I was thinking, “Why does she keep moving the wrong hand?! Right hand please.” She was thinking that I was crazy.

I was speaking in mirrored terms and actually wanted her to move her left hand but I was facing her so I was saying right instead of left. This is a simple mistake to correct, but unless I’m on my toes, I can cause a lot of confusion.

Clients don’t have a clue what I want them to do and, unless they have previous modeling experience, it’s really important to show them and then talk them through it as well. Usually, they’re self-conscious being in front of the camera–I am too–so it’s important for me to continue talking and keep them moving while I’m shooting so that they look comfortable and feel comfortable.


  1. Great idea!! I always try to remember names but then I get flsutered because I am never sure of myself!

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