You might be wondering, “What if my clients aren’t as calm and friendly as I hope? What if unexpected challenges push me out of my comfort zone?” Fear not, we’ve got you covered with some helpful insights on how to stay calm under pressure straight from our amazing ShootDotEdit customers. Cold sweats, sleepless nights, and headaches might be all too familiar to you! As a wedding photographer, the pressure is on to capture precious memories flawlessly and deliver the final results on time. To help you out, we have these amazing tips that’ll guide you in managing tasks and maintaining impulse control. So, grab a beverage of choice and discover wedding photography tips on how you can respond to any situation with professionalism and keep calm under pressure.
What’s Photography Anxiety?
Wedding photography anxiety can sneak up on even the most seasoned professionals in the industry. From meticulous planning to the unpredictable nature of weddings, it’s no wonder anxiety can creep in. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of uncontrollable factors, channel that energy to prepare and keep everything set in advance. A calm photographer can navigate through different work environments and respond to situations with ease. The key is to stay present, delegate tasks when possible, and find moments to breathe amid the chaos. If you remain calm, you can conquer the challenges that come your way and ensure that every picture reflects the beauty and joy of the occasion.
How To Stay Calm Under Pressure: Insights From Wedding Photographers
1. Overcome Self-Doubt & Embrace Imperfection
In the competitive industry of wedding photography, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of comparing oneself to others. Kristen Lenox, the owner of K. Lenox Photography, understands this struggle all too well. She candidly reveals, “You are always comparing yourself to everyone else. Like, ‘Oh s%!#, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, damn. That was really good. Why did I get that angle?’ It’s so easy to feel like you’re not a legit photographer.” However, Kristen’s wisdom lies in her ability to embrace imperfections and overcome self-doubt.
Her secret on how to stay calm under pressure as a photographer lies in her genuine love for what she does. She radiates joy and passion, earning her numerous compliments from clients who notice her infectious smile and the fun she exudes during a wedding. “It’s work; don’t get me wrong. But you have to love it if you want to be asked back.”
In an industry obsessed with achieving perfection, Kristen chooses to tell real stories through her lens. She seeks out imperfections, recognizing that they hold a certain charm and authenticity. She’s a shining example of a “girl boss,” reminding us of the value of embracing our individuality and imperfections. Kristen’s words of wisdom on staying calm under pressure as a wedding photographer begins with accepting ourselves, finding beauty in imperfections, and wholeheartedly embracing our passion. So, the next time self-doubt, anxiety, or anger tries to creep in, try to remember your genuine love for photography and let it guide you.
2. Recall Learnings From Past Experiences
As wedding photographers, learning how to stay calm under pressure is a skill that can make all the difference, and Brandi Salerno of Brandi Allyse Photo has honed this ability. Understanding the inherent stress that comes with wedding planning, Brandi strives to be the calming and enjoyable element of her clients’ big day. Brandi’s own journey as a wedding photographer has been shaped by her experience as a second shooter. Watching her mentor in action, she learned invaluable lessons about directing clients, adhering to tight timelines, and capturing stunning portraits.
Passionate about second shooting, she encourages others, “Shoot weddings and learn! Whether you’re second shooting weddings, reaching out to people for second shoots, or even assisting photographers, just watching somebody and getting the learning experience is incredibly useful!” By learning from your own experiences and gaining insights through second shooting, you can navigate high-pressure situations with calm and confidence.
3. Divide & Conquer
For husband and wife team Dana and Nate of Lovers of Love, their secret on how to stay calm under pressure includes dividing and conquering their workload. This dynamic duo has built a successful photography brand by implementing smart business practices and maintaining a positive mindset. Their mantra, “Focus On The Good,” is not only a reflection of their approach to life but also their thriving business.
With communication as their cornerstone, they ensure to remain on the same page and work seamlessly as a team. Dana excels in tasks like culling, client communications, bookkeeping, maintaining shot lists and timelines, marketing, and crafting captivating image captions. On the other hand, Nate’s attention to detail and business acumen make him perfect for handling pricing, networking, vendor relationships, logistics, sales, lead generation, office supplies, equipment management, and business evaluation.
While finding a partner who complements your skills is an ideal scenario, there’s still a solution to lighten the load. Hiring a second shooter or an assistant can still alleviate a lot of stress and help evenly distribute the workload, preventing burnout. The key is to delegate tasks and trust in the abilities of your teammates.
4. Nervousness Is Not A Sign Of Weakness
Flavio Debarros, the owner of Flavio D Photography, emphasizes that it’s perfectly okay to feel nervous, regardless of experience or success. In fact, he sees nervousness as a normal part of the process and advises newcomers not to view it as a weakness. He says, “I try to approach every wedding as art. It’s a high-stress environment. I’m sweating, my heart’s pounding, but I’m in the game.”
The professional photographer also believes that relying too much on platforms like Pinterest can stifle your creativity and prevent you from embracing your own vision. He adds, “I love it when I shoot at a new venue. The challenge! I love to not look at their website. People say all the time that you ‘go to that spot and shoot your couple over there’ because they saw it that way online. I’m like, I don’t even want to hear that. I don’t want to shoot what everyone else is shooting in the same way. That’s not my goal.” Flavio’s words serve as a reminder that being original is not only a strength but also a key ingredient in creating exceptional and authentic wedding photographs.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Pro wedding photographer Robb McCormick, the creative force behind Robb McCormick Photography, understands the value of practice and honing one’s craft to perfection. With hundreds of weddings under his belt, Robb’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. He has faced confusion and uncertainty on numerous occasions, but he firmly believes that it is through dedicated practice that he has reached where he is today.
As Robb puts it, “It’s not just talent but hard work that makes a truly great photographer.” He encourages aspiring photographers to develop their own ‘bag of tricks’ through consistent and deliberate practice. Robb’s advice on how to stay calm under pressure is clear: practice, practice, practice. By dedicating time and effort to perfecting their skills, photographers can build a repertoire of techniques and approaches that work for them. This self-discovered bag of tricks becomes their go-to resource in challenging situations, allowing them to navigate the pressures of a wedding day with confidence and ease.
When it comes to navigating challenging situations as a photographer, there are plenty of strategies and insights that can guide you through. Our ShootDotEdit customers have generously shared their expert tips, and they serve as a roadmap for maintaining composure in the face of stress. It’s important to embrace imperfections, overcome self-doubt, recall learnings from past experiences, divide the workload, and practice and hone your art on a daily basis. Remember, even if you’re dealing with a situation that you’re unfamiliar with, chances are that you’ll come up with a solution. Lastly, remember to always believe in yourself because you’ve got this!
At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you hone your craft! And we help with that by taking editing off your plate with our professional photo editing services, giving you more time to learn new skills. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.