Upload & Sell: On
I know you guys are probably wondering why we could not shoot outside. Here is what happened. First, the venue is in a town two hours from me. That means that I did not see the venue until the day of the wedding. I exchanged several emails with the bride, discussing plans to shoot the bridal party shots in a cotton field. Her dad use to be a big time cotton farmer, hence the theme of the wedding. We talked about how much time we would need and what time everyone would need to be ready.
The day before the wedding, I get an email from the bride saying that the "cotton field they had chosen had just been harvested". The groom drove around and found another field about 25 minutes away. We discussed how we could still shoot in this new field, but the bridal party would have to be ready to go at a certain time.
The day of the wedding, I show up at the hotel, I shoot the bride and her girls getting ready, dress and shoe shots, etc. I then shoot the guys getting ready before I head over the venue to set my lights and meet the guys for their shots at the venue. The guys show up on time, we get their shots done and wait for the girls to show up. An hour and half later, the girls are still a no-show. The bride had hired one girl to do all the hair and makeup. It took them nearly two hours longer than expected. By the time the girls arrived, it was too late to drive to the new field and shoot. We had to do all the shots at the venue. No big deal. I can deal with changes. But why did we not shoot outside the venue you ask? Just outside the venue there is nothing but a massive parking lot, other buildings, power lines, bleachers, etc. There was not a single exterior location that would work. Plus it was a bit chilly and the girls really did not want to go outside. Additionally, some guests were starting to show up and the start of the ceremony was only about 20 minutes away. We all agreed that shooting inside was the best option.
One of the reasons I get hired is that I can usually make the couple / venue look their best with my lighting and staging. That's what I do. My failing in this instance was that, in hindsight, I should have done more to make the wedding party shots really stand out. I know now what I would have done differently. But the time pressure to get the shots done prior to the wedding led me to take some shortcuts with my staging of the bridal party. I'm sure that the couple will be quite happy with their photos, but I see room for improvement. I'm using this "pouring out my failure" as a way to keep me from making the same mistake in the future and hopefully to encourage others to push themselves farther as well.