David and I have been photographing weddings for 6 years now - isn't that crazy?! We've been a part of so many wedding days including those of some of our closest friends and family.
I think there's been a few times where our friends weren't sure if they should invite us to their wedding or ask us to photograph it. They want us to be able to have a good time and enjoy the day. What they don't realize is that we enjoy what we do so much, that whether we are working or not, we are 100% going to have a great time at the wedding.
But in all honesty, when given the choice by a a close friend as to "would you rather come to the wedding as a guest or photograph it?" - David and I always choose to photograph, and here's why!
Being hired to photograph a friend's wedding gives us the opportunity to help them plan a little. I can refer them to the best of the best wedding vendors in town, help them tweak their timeline so the day runs smoothly, and make sure they have photos they are going to love.
As a guest at a wedding you really only get to spend a small amount of time with the bride and groom because they have so many people to greet and are usually pulled in a thousand directions.
BUT when we photograph a wedding, we get to spend the entire day with them. I get to watch them get dressed and see their groom for the first time. We see them cry happy tears as they do their father-daughter first look and burst with excitement once they walk up the aisle officially as husband and wife.
We get to be such a bigger part of the day when we photograph a friend's wedding, and it fills my heart with so much happiness.
Photographing someone you know well is honestly a piece of cake simply because YOU KNOW THEM! You know how they like to look, what makes them laugh, what drives them crazy, and when to push and when to step back. And if you are a good enough friend, you also know their insecurities, which helps you pose them in the most flattering ways to help them look and feel their absolute best.
When photographing for a close friend, we usually know their family and friends as well. This is so helpful when photographing a wedding because you know which photos will be the most meaningful to them and who to pay extra attention to during the reception.
I would never agree to photograph a friend's wedding without being 150% confident that we can deliver photos that they will love. There is more pressure when it's for a friend because you really really want them to like the photos, so you have to know in your gut that you can produce.
I also always make sure to have a crystal clear contract that outlines what they will receive and addresses expectations. Making sure everyone is on the same page is SO important especially when working with close friends and family.