It's been a crazy few months—safe to say that 2020 definitely didn't go to plan. With so many I do's affected by the virus, couples determined to tie the knot are opting for microweddings and elopements. This might mean saying goodbye to caterers, coordinators, and planners, but the one vendor you can count on to stick around: your photographer.
We had a digital sit-down with one of our favourite camera-wielding couples—Kaylyn and Sean of The McLachlans—to ask them a few Q&As about how they roll as a team. There's everything from funny stories to advice, so keep scrolling for a little insight into what it's like to be on the other side of the camera.
Q: How long have you been working as photographers? Were you always a team?
A: We're going on our 6th year as photographers—4th as videographers—which is crazy to think about!
I (Kaylyn) got into photography first, dipping my toes into family photography and basically every genre under the sun—until I got asked to shoot my first wedding. I was so nervous, and asked Sean to come with me for moral support. I wound up teaching him the photography basics, on the fly, on my old little starter camera, all so he could be my impromptu second shooter! That turned out to be the wedding that started it all, because requests starting coming in from friends and acquaintances asking us to photograph their weddings. It quickly snowballed until we were so busy with photography, Sean was able to quit his day job and jump into our new business, full time!
Q: As anyone who has been in a bridal party can confirm, there are a lot of different moments to capture during the full wedding day! What's your favourite?
A: Ooh, this is a toughie!
I'm always drawn to the most emotional moments, so for me it's a tie between first looks, vows, and speeches. All the emotionally heightened moments when people forget we're even there, and we become flies on the wall. Being able to quietly capture those moments and tell its visual story is the best.
Q: Biggest tear-jerking moment you've ever seen at a wedding?
A: At one wedding, the bride's father had passed away a few years prior. Before his passing, he had written a speech and left a bottle of his favourite scotch with a friend, to be shared on his daughter's wedding day. The bride and her father used to do scotch tastings together, so that was their "thing". During the reception speeches, the dad's best friend poured a shot of the scotch for each guest, and then read out the father's speech to the bride. It was the most beautiful toast to the bride and groom and so emotional for everyone there.
There wasn't a dry eye in the room, us included!
Q: ...and also the funniest?
A: Late into one wedding's reception night, the bridesmaids and groomsmen asked us to take a photo of them mooning the camera, to sneak into the final gallery for the bride and groom. We all were hysterically laughing the whole time (I think our inner 5 year olds came out) and the couple nearly fell over laughing when they had a secret folder in their final gallery of their best friends' "full moons" and the best candid laughing shots!
Q: You've shot big weddings and intimate elopements. Do you have a fave?
A: We definitely prefer intimate weddings and adventurous elopements (although we still totally love to get down and booty-shake with our couples on the dance floor!). We just find we're most inspired + create our best work when we're documenting smaller, intimate days focused on the couple and their closest family and friends, in a location meaningful to the couple. After realizing this a few years ago, we've slowly been scaling back and taking on fewer and fewer large weddings, and referring those couples to other incredible photographers who we know thrive in those settings.
Q: Something that brides should consider when choosing a photographer. What advice would you give them?
A: This is a perfect follow up question to the last one!
Every couple deserves to have a photographer who is experienced, inspired, and fully present on their wedding day. That's why it's so important to choose a photographer whose work reflects your style. Whether it's edgy + urban or adventurous + wildly-in-love (our signature style), find a photographer who visibly creates their best work in that environment.
I think sometimes couples feel conflicted about their style, and unintentionally choose a photographer who maybe wasn't the best fit for them. When you choose a photographer who aligns with you—that's where the magic happens. It will feel way more comfortable, like an old friend showing up on your wedding day, rather than just another vendor there to do a job.
Test the vibe first, if you can—it's a good idea to meet up with the photographer over FaceTime or in person (get outta here COVID, we're missing out on brewery dates with our couples!!) and make sure your personalities are compatible and you leave feeling like heck yes, they're perfect! That's when you know it's the best fit, and you'll have the best experience that will make the investment worth it.
Q: What's the most important thing for wedding guests/the wedding party to do (or not do!) in order for you to be able to do your best work?
A: I think we've all been in bridal parties where it felt like the photos dragged on forever and it wasn't a great experience. Having been on that side of things, and now being the ones directing the photos, we've got a few simple tips:
The biggest one is just to show up ready to have fun, while also ready to follow direction + be respectful. Your photographer wants you guys to have a blast and wants to get you to the party as fast as possible! If you're cooperative and follow their lead, photos won't take long and you'll be able to get to the fun bits of the wedding. After all, remember what these photos are for—a few minutes of discomfort or impatience is all so that you'll have beautiful photos as eternal keepsakes.
And a final tip for photographers: if you find yourselves dreading the portraits, try to find ways to make it fun! Let them bring their drinks along, bring a portable speaker and have a go-to playlist of bootie shaking songs to throw on to get them pumped (mayyybe wait until after grandma is gone to turn those ones on). Flip your mindset, and soon you'll find that capturing the connection between your sweet couple and their loved ones can be one of the most fun parts of the day.
Check out more of Kaylyn & Sean's work:
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