5 Reasons Teaching Kids Has Made Me A Better Wedding Photographer
From a CT Educator to a CT Photographer
Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher. I may have changed my favorite color, taste in music, palette, but working with kids has never changed. Heck, I have lived in CT, WA, NY, which are very different. Even with all of that caravaning, I have been a teacher in each of those states. I have also done it with a camera in my hand. I have also been obsessed with weddings. To the point, I studied a course to become a certified wedding planner. Becoming a wedding photographer here in CT wasn’t in my plan at all, but looking back it all makes sense.
I find the same joy in capturing memories as I do helping a child learn. Looking back I have realized how being a teacher for over 10 years has made me a better photographer. There are so many things but for the sake of time I would just give five reasons teaching has helped me.
1. The Willingness to Have Fun
If you have worked with kids you know that they need a little fun every now and then. Now I don’t believe everything needs to be fun because life doesn’t work that way. I have been known, by students, to be silly from time to time (even with teenagers). At a wedding, I want the experience to be enjoyable, and sometimes that starts with me. Like with children, it is always appropriately timed. If you Play Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody you will find my hips swings while taking reception photos.
2. Willing to Hold a Hand
Now I don’t literally hold hands with adults, but I will do what holding someone’s hand means. I am there to help, lead in an unknown process, and assure you that everything is going to work out. I answer questions no matter how random they are, recommend vendors, or get a bride or groom a glass of water when its 100 degrees at their August wedding.
3. Organizations and Planning Skills on Fleek
Do people say fleek anymore? Anyway, if you don’t want chaos in a classroom you need to plan and be organized. Now I know that that plans often go out the window (more on that in a bit), but planning prepares you for what could and will happen. Whether it is having backup gear, an umbrella for rainy days, a well-crafted photo timeline, or bringing water on hot summer days so I don’t pass out being prepared has helped couples greatly.
4. Flexible Seating is My Jam
If you have worked in a school in the last five years you know that flexible seating is a teaching strategy to help today’s learner. Now I am not going to show up to a wedding with a yoga ball, but I will show up with my laid-back and flexible approach. My willingness to sit back and relax has helped me photograph the beautiful candid I have become known for. Being flexible helps me be adjustable to whatever moments may happen. I lead without being overly intrusive.
5. There is No “I” in Team … or GEM
I have found it is hard to be a great teacher with a bad team around you. Doing it alone without guidance or support being successful is a hard thing to obtain. It’s the same with being a wedding photographer. Working together not only benefits the teacher but the students as well. Wedding photographers who work well with other vendors not only benefit them but also benefit the couple.
There are so many things that I could mention, but I have also learned to keep it simple.
Did you know that GEM has a program designed just for teachers? You can check it out here.
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