Rachael Houser Photography » Wedding Photographer based in Western Kentucky

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s Friday afternoon, December 19th, 2014. It’s the last time I’ll write a blog post on here this year. When you hear from me again, it’ll be 2015. Twenty Fifteen! Every year I take the week of Christmas and the week of New Years off from blogging AND of photography. I have a couple sessions but I won’t be editing. This in fact will be the first time EVER that I go any extended period of time without editing. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself! But wait, actually, I do!

During this blogging and editing break, I’ll be working on a few personal projects as well as a paid design project or two. I’ll still be productive but it’ll be a vacation from my normal crazy days! I know that when I return to blogging and editing, January 5th, 2015, I’ll be SO ready to get back to work!

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This has been the year for babies in our church – three babies just in our Sunday School Class alone! I am absolutely honored to have had the opportunity to photograph every one of them! Little Isaac, first born of Kyle & Emily, arrived right before Thanksgiving – now THAT is something to be thankful for!

I hopped over to their house just 7 days after his birth to find that they have prepared for me exactly as I asked them to – house was way warmer than comfortable for adults, they were showered and dressed (Emily had her hair fixed and make up on – BIG deal for new momma!), and Baby Isaac was fed and happy! Gotta love it when things go according to plan! What we didn’t plan for was the fact that Isaac wasn’t sleepy but that he still didn’t mind being posed! It’s pretty much unheard of and I had no complaints as long as he didn’t!

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Pinterest. There are SO many great things about it! Half of the renovations in our home have been Pinterest inspired and I know plenty of creatives using it to benefit their businesses. I absolutely love Pinterest for those reasons – oh, and recipes galore! And when it comes to weddings, it can be a great place for brides to gather wedding ideas, color schemes, flowers they love, ect. But there a several things about Pinterest that I do not care for… and I’m about to tell you right now:

Pinterest can discourage the creative process.

As a photographer, the images I create are like one-of-a-kind art. There are so many aspects that go into composing a photograph, most importantly the lighting, environment and the subjects. Sometimes, the most amazing photographs happen by chance and can’t be re-created. Unpredictability is one of the things I find most inspiring and exciting about photography. I love when I am able to blow my couples away, and give them images that are better than anything they could have ever dreamed up or expected. I am able to create these images when I am given time, complete trust and artistic freedom.

A few times this past year, I’ve had brides send me Pinterest boards of photo inspiration for their wedding day. I whole-heartedly believe that it comes from a place of sheer excitement for their big day…and that they are just trying to be proactive in sharing what they like. Even though I know that they have the best intentions, as I scroll through the photos, I can’t help but initially feel discouraged. Brides are pinning the BEST of the BEST photos (from an already curated body of work) from hundreds of different weddings. I think it leaves me wondering… Did they hire me because they like my style? How am I going to be able to meet/exceed their expectations?

When my focus is on re-creating, I’m not able to truly create. Knowing how important all of the elements are that go into a photograph are what make me feel discouraged when presented with a Pinterest board of inspiration. I jump into problem solving mode…how am I going to create that wind swept beach photo in a hotel garden setting? How am I going to shoot that epic bridal portrait in a messy and chaotic bridal suite? How am I going to serve my couples, but still do my best work? Re-creating someone else’s photo takes a lot of time to stage correctly. When time is something I am always working against, that time that could be better spent creating something unique. I photographed a wedding this past year – where I spent so much time trying to please the bride, and fulfill her Pinterest “must haves,” that I never had the opportunity to really shine and do my best work. In the end, the photos were beautiful – but I didn’t feel like they represented my style, or who I am as an artist. I want to feel proud of the photos I create for brides and grooms – I wanted them for me but also for them. I always strive to give my couples my best.

So, if you want to get the most out of your wedding photos, here are a few tips for brides:

1. Use Pinterest early on in your planning process to pin photos that you like & are attracted to. Then, use your board to help determine what style you are drawn to and find a photographer consistent with that style. Once you’ve chosen your photographer – give them your trust & support to capture your big day.

2. Remember your wedding is about you and your day. You want to look back at your photos and feel like they are the best representations of who you are….not just an okay rendition of a photo you saw on Pinterest. Give your photographer the green light to choose poses and locations that flatter you and your wedding aesthetic.

3. Be realistic about how you will be feeling on your wedding day. In the past, I’ve had brides come to us with lofty photo ideas. Once they are all dressed up, reality sets in. Their dress is heavy and stiff, the tulle is itchy, their shoes aren’t comfortable, and the humidity is ruining their hair. Somehow this seemed like a much better idea their mind. If you want to be comfortable and portable on your big day – wear a dress and shoes that allow you to do that. If it’s more important for you to wear a tradition wedding dress with fabulous heels, realize that we may not be able to shoot out in the middle of a field to grab that one shot you saw on Pinterest.

As a photographer, I would rather be spending the precious time we have on a wedding day experimenting with a couple and figuring out how they work together in poses that feel really natural. I also want to be inspired by the surroundings I’m in and be able create new one-of-a-kind shots. In no way is this post meant to offend any brides out there, it’s really just to share a photographer’s perspective and thoughts on the topic. As much as you want to have incredible photos and memories… I want to take an active part in creating them.

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What a way to end the season! Kristie & Derwin’s December 13th wedding was a whole lot of friends and family, black dresses and white tuxedos, and purple lighting! They even took a horse drawn carriage from the church to the reception hall! Kristie & Derwin are off on their honeymoon right now but if the amount of images I’ve already seen on social media from that night is any indication that their guests are ready for images from their wedding day, I’d say I’d better not sleep on this one any longer!

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