By giving the Bride a chance to go over the list you save stress on yourself by ensuring that you will get the shots the Bride and you want.  Get these in the bag and then go PJ or the hunter mode.  In these lists we combined traditional and PJ and a few off the wall scenarios and the most important ticket is…

Traditions change, we know people are different. Doves might be the thing to do at a very traditional wedding but Bats might be the right thing at a “Goth” ceremony.  Personally, I have a very liberal approach to styles of weddings, I have shot what I thought were variables in human nature and preferences. 

Most were fun, some strange, some over the top, some under the bottom.  But never did I refuse because of religion, ethnicity, life style, age, or beliefs if their beliefs did not pain others. 

One I did bow out of very quickly was in the couple’s home.  A door was wide open to another room and as I went by a large “Nazi Flag”, helmets, daggers, pics of Adolf and a lot of other paraphernalia was hanging on the wall.  
Exit, stage right with haste.  No place for a Jew like me, I had no idea who these jerks were and didn’t want to know.

Expect anything.  Pets are also being invited more and more to Weddings with some startling interludes. One was recently shown on Americas Funniest Videos.  

Nine weeks later they were happy and announced all seven pups on Craig's list.  Twenty years after the Wedding is long forgotten they’ll still be talking about what the pooches were doing.  

Ethnicities may warrant a change in plans. Same sex Weddings, or diverse companionship vows may warrant a few changes, but are do-able. You just work through it.  You are doing a job; personal issues don’t count, it’s just business like the Godfather movies taught us. 

Guides and checklists help keep things on track… Learn to use them.  A wedding is like that train ride I spoke about.   If you stay on track things go well but a train that jumps track is called an accident.   The wedding photographs you take may have to reflect a diversification of interests and taste. 

The entire wedding market has not totally embraced Photo Journalistic efforts and there are still many out there who are traditionalists.   A great wedding may incorporate both styles which covers all bases.  Just gander at an old time Mint Julep Outdoor Old Southern Wedding.  

They are like a trip back in time, very romantic and they find staircases at some of the mansions that cater to the scenario from “Gone with the Wind”.   Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara might just show up.  

But 90% of the great wedding stuff I see from pro friends knew the secret of a successful picture, using specific technique and location, adapting the locale and lighting and seeking the action of the moment.  This is all explained in a technique I teach which I call  CLASP, more on that later.

Many are very traditional or they go off the wall, sometimes unintentionally.  Because every couple is different, just as their family profiles are different, there is a chance without some form of list you might be shooting out in the cold. 

The initial interview with the Bride and advisors is vital to the clarification of the entire process and that’s where you create the list and processes. You become part of the total process so they follow the same script you are on.  Not doing the prep and planning is called free lancing.   Bad term, in some circles free lancing means being stabbed for no apparent reason.

In merry old England, home of great Irish whiskey and warm beer, (yuck) sometimes the dry sense of humor they are known for went really wet as in thunderstorm.  It seems when shooting the grooms gang, our heroes decided that because the wedding photographer was a woman, the six groomsmen decided to do some quite obscene pranks.

The moon out that night was nothing compared to the full “Mooning” and full genital exposure in one shot.  As we all know it made it to one of the forum websites on the web.  How did we ever live without the cellphone?   The gal photographer was mortified and embarrassed, she was not the poster, someone else, posted the occasion.  In one of my more compassionate moments, after she wrote me as to what to do...I made her a suggestion and helped her in Photoshop.


•  Crop the shot to exactly 5x7 or 8x10 to run in a Sam’s or other self-printing establishment.  (8x10 are $1.15)
•  Open it up in Photo Shop about 1/3 stop since most Nikons and Canons expose slightly under about a third of a stop.
•  Make sure the hues and balance are correct.
•  Enlarge in view the working penile area.  Using the magnetic lasso, carefully take the bad boys member out of the shot.
•  Next, fill the same area with his pants pattern using the clone tool.  
•  Make the image size tool on the lassoed member shrink it to 50%-60% 
•  Place it in the appropriate position on the new layer and merge the layers
•  Have a dozen 5x7’s or 8x10’s made.  Send the Ladies Bridal party, or the whole Bridal Party the finished shots.
•  It really offsets the prank and made the guy look like an idiot. 
•  He’s the talk of the town now with the nickname”John Littledick”   But no ones coming forth with “penile envy”.    Another version of the mooning pasted a few of the boys together, with the comment they were all members of the ”Smallish Member Club” the SMC with dubious habits.