Imagine walking into the morning mailbox. A tiny envelope containing a folded handwritten note comes out of between the utility bills and the nail salon coupons. On it he reads: because of you and your abilities, our day was truly magical. Whenever we look at our wedding photos, we are taken back to the moment immediately; laughing and crying again. Thank you for the precious gift.
Through feelings like these it's obvious that wedding photography is more than just images, or even telling a story. At the heart of what wedding photography do is hit the heart— capture those moments that will resonate intensely with the wedding couple, their families, and their friends forever.
ESTABLISHING PERSONAL CONNECTIONS
Thank you notes from weddings not only benefit from your natural talent as a visual storyteller, but often also derive from some form of personal link with the clients. Individuals who believe they know you better are more likely to compose certain letters. It's not unusual for wedding photographers to do the wedding of a client, and then get asked to do the wedding of the client's wife, then one of the wedding of the bridesmaids etc. They are more like relatives, and are more likely to receive personal thanksgiving memories.
Some wedding photojgraphers may even be desirous of this kind of recognition. Especially when it comes from a journalistic or editorial context where recognition is a resource limited to. To a news journalist, distant relationships and long lonely hours are of rigour. Weddings allow the photographer to create personal relations, and the resulting appreciation for their work is the fondant on the cake.
Several leaders would also reciprocate, writing back, the thank you notes. Yet be vigilant. It can turn into strong relationships based on trust and respect, so make sure you're on the lookout for new loyal mates who think you're pretty amazing.
One of the most beautiful compliments any wedding photographer can receive is an acknowledgment of their overall wedding commitment (while it appears easy). It indicates the customer appreciates the relationship, but at the same time indicating to the photographer that he was not just punching one clock.
GOING EVEN DEEPER
Not always ends the importance of getting thanks with professional satisfaction. Sometimes, it goes straight to your humanity's heart, and what importance you offer to the world around you.
If you're long enough in this game, then you'll run into situations that test your fiber as a human being. At a wedding at which the mother of the bride was terminally ill and she died after the service, weeks later. After the inevitable end, the photographer made sure to catch some moments between the bride and her mother that day, realizing the importance of such a series. At the introduction of these photographs the bride was overwhelmed, resulting in a profoundly emotional bond that included a series of heart-wrenching letters of thanks.
We all have witnessed glorious wedding boughs that spring from bittersweet roots: the missing father; the strangled sibling; the fragile grandma... these things bear a heavy weight that demands a delicate but assured heart. There will be moments in those photos which weigh far heavier than the excitement of a new love storybook.
In such instances a deeper sense is always found in one's work. To reconcile heavenly joy with earthly struggles is hard not to empathize with a client's struggle. You are looking deeper into what's going to be relevant for the couple in your approach that day. At some point you are transcending the work and communicating on a more personal level with each other; helping people find meaning in life, and living with meaning.
Nevertheless, customer expressions of appreciation will affirm and extend your position not only as a photographer but across the globe. The reviews are what feeds the computer but what feeds the spirit is the thank you notes. And the ones are the most nourishing by far.
Location: Melville NY.