Real talk: more than 90% of the weddings and sessions I photograph are far from “feature worthy.”

And by feature worthy, I mean weddings that (usually) have tons of unique details, take place at stunning venues + locations and feature beautiful + stylish couples.

Quick disclaimer: I’m not at all knocking the wedding publication industry. The majority of publications are doing AMAZING things for the wedding industry including properly educating spouses-to-be on wedding planning, placing importance on what should be important and pushing the aesthetic boundaries of weddings for the better in a way that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Special shoutout to Junebug Weddings for being one of these amazing publications!

However, not every wedding we photograph is going to push that ever higher aesthetic boundary, take place at a fabulous venue or mountaintop (because let’s face it.. grandpa can’t hike like he used to), or involve two humans with perfect style who likely have never enjoyed a plate of french fries and wine for dinner (me, y’all). Some of these weddings, while beautiful, are quite honestly unattainable or realistic for most couples.

The vast majority of weddings taking place in this country don’t live up to the feature worthy status, AND THAT’S OKAY. While I love me some mountaintop elopements and destination weddings, a simple backyard affair with a couple’s closest friends and family that lacks unique details is JUST as important.

Whether the bride is in a dress size 4 or 14, she is still a beautiful bride celebrating one of the happiest of days with her person. And I’ve had many couples who chose seemingly mundane locations to say their I dos, but the sentimental meaning behind the places they chose made those spots far more beautiful than any jaw-dropping landscape ever could.

I’m definitely not anti-submitting weddings. Being published is still an important part of your ever-growing business. However, I’d encourage you not to get caught up in it. Don’t measure your value or the value of someone’s sacred wedding day based on a single editor’s subjective opinion. If you submit a wedding you’re dang proud of only to see that “Unfortunately..” sentence at the top of your email preview, don’t be bummed out. Because published or not, that wedding was still amazing. It was something you were proud of and SHOULD be proud of. The emotions you captured were real and so was the love between two souls united forever.

So submit like crazy, friends. But never forget that each and every wedding is a beautifully sacred day that deserves to be celebrated with the best of them.

Cheers! XX

Kristen

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2 COMMENTS
katelyn swanson

YES! this is such an important call-out. i think it’s also super important that photographers realize that their own persuit of shooting “perfect” or feature worthy weddings can end up leaving a bride-to-be feeling like crap for not being able to have that wedding. why is it more important for us to have every image we take be amazingly aesthetically pleasing than it is for us to be really excited about the fact that we get the honor of photographing someone’s wedding day? i’m typing this on my phone while stuffing my face with a fried chicken sandwich so hopefully that all made sense. thanks for writing this, kristen. keep on being awesome 👌🏻

Shannon

Your hustle inspires me and I loveeeeee this

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