Dressing appropriately for the situation is part of having good manners.
During every wedding consultation I ask the potential clients what the dress code is for their wedding. They usually respond with a weird look. I explain to them that I try to blend in during the wedding and want to dress like a guest. This allows me to get better candids during their big day.
When it comes to how you should dress for a wedding the first thing to keep in mind is the formality of the wedding. Most weddings I go to the dress ranges from khakis and polo shirts to suits for the men. On occasion I’ve been to very informal weddings where dressing down was appropriate. It is important not to outdress the groom. Their wedding is all about them and not you. Also keep in mind the time of year. Browns and other earth tones are more fitting for fall whereas lighter colors are more appropriate for spring and summer. I usually wear dress pants, dress shoes, dress shirt, blazer, tie, and pocket square to most weddings I photograph. Black oxford or brown derbies are safe options shoe wise. Grey or khaki dress pants are a reliable choice. A navy blazer is a versatile standard. Staying with light blue or white dress shirts is always a safe bet. A white pocket square with a simple presidential fold is always classy. Sticking with simple classic ties instead of gimmicky novelty ties is good choice. Feel free to go crazy with socks as long as they aren’t white.
Dressing well doesn’t require a large budget but it can require patience. Most of the dress cloth I own come from eBay or second hand stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army. I would highly recommend Real Men Real Style and the Gentleman’s Gazette as resources for learning about classic men’s style.
When I first got started in photography in high school, I was one of the cheapest photographers around. The prices made sense back then. I didn’t need to make a living from photography. I was also very green. This was prior to my formal photographic training at the Hallmark Institute of Photography.
After graduating from the Hallmark Institute of Photography in 2013 I moved back to Clare. I completely changed my pricing and offerings. I was one of the most expensive photographers in the area. I only sold prints. I prided myself on these things. I stuck with this pricing and structure from 2013-2016. During these years I took on far less clients but every client I did take on paid very well and I was able to live off of the income from that one shoot for some time.
I also had some very problematic clients at this time. Right after finding out about the death of my grandmother, I was screamed at by a client because the area of her home she wanted to put her print was poorly lit. Another client called to scream me out while I was trying to celebrate Christmas with my family because she wanted hundreds of dollars of reprints. No reason why she wanted the reprints was ever given.
Despite being way out of the price range for most people in my local area between 2013-2016, I would still get accused by fellow photographers in other states of being to cheap and a high volume photographer. Also during this time I’d regularly get inquiries about shoots from potential clients who only wanted digital files and many others who couldn’t afford me.
In 2017 I decided to make a change. I quit shooting to meet the approval of other photographers and started putting my clients first. I changed to far more reasonable prices. I got rid of collections and products that no one was buying. I started offering digital files and completely updated my session process.
Since my pricing changes I’ve had nothing but amazing clients. I don’t make as much off of each individual shoot. I would much rather have two great clients over three problematic ones. I do not care at all about meeting the approval of others in my industry. I just care about making my clients happy.
After graduating from the Hallmark Institute of Photography in 2013 I had a two week turnaround time. Like clockwork a little over a week after the session or wedding I’d get an email from the client asking how the photos were coming. Usually they’d request a preview or sample as well. During my slow season, where I have less client work, in 2016 I decided to experiment with speeding up my turnaround time to one week. As I got into my busy season I decided to stick with the one week turnaround time. This is admittedly difficult to maintain during my busy season especially with weddings.
As soon as people find out I’m a photographer they usually feel obliged to tell me all of their photographer horror stories. These usually deal with one of two scenarios. The photographer does to much retouching and removes something like a birthmark or the turnaround time took forever especially in the case of weddings. As someone who tries to learn from his own mistakes and the mistakes of others, I don’t want to fall into this error. Since 2016 I’ve had a one week turnaround time and plan on sticking with it until further notice.
It has been a standard in the photography industry for wedding photographers to wear black to weddings. I only do this if the bride and groom request it. I typically only wear black to funerals.
Weddings are a happy occasion and I like to dress accordingly.
During every wedding consultation I always ask the bride and groom what the dress code will be for the wedding. During the wedding day I want to blend in and look like a fellow guest. This allows me to get better candids. I usually wear a blazer or sport coat with dress pants, tie, and pocket square. For more casual weddings I’ll dress down.
Here at Ryan Watkins Photography I offer a wide variety of prints and products which can be displayed in a variety of different ways. Here are some recommendations for different ways to display your final prints.
One of the easiest ways to display your photographs is by ordering either my Luxury Metal or Luxury Wood prints. These speciality prints (printed on either wood or metal) come with backings which make them ready to hang. No frame is necessary. Metal prints are very popular with seniors where as wood prints tent to be popular with clients who’s home have more of a log cabin-esque decor.
If you prefer the more traditional route my Luxury Canvas prints give a timeless quality that is loved by my family portrait clients. These prints will require framing (here are some places that I recommend for getting picture frames). A more affordable alternative to Canvas are my Standard Prints. Unlike if you print your images from your session yourself, I will replace any print or product that is purchased thru Ryan Watkins Photography free of charge if it is damaged or broken. Standard prints can also be ordered from the private online gallery I send all clients within a week of their session and shipped to the client’s home.
If you have several images you’d like printed from your session Portrait Books can be a great alternative to prints. These are also portable so you can carry them with you and show them to friends and family.
For the full list of prints and products I offer visit this page.
Wardrobe wise I advise against really loud colors, logos, or anything that will draw attention to your clothing instead of your face. Ultimately a good portrait draws the viewer’s attention to the subjects face not their clothing, body, etc. It is always best to bring a variety of clothing as well. Bringing a combination of lights and darks as well as formal and casual is recommended as well. For children (or potentially even pets) doing less clothing changes is optimum because they have a shorter attention span. For couples, engagements, or families having the clothing be similar in color (but not exactly the same) looks best. For example wearing all cooler colored clothing (blues, purples, etc) or all warm colored clothing (yellows, oranges, reds, etc) will look great. Bringing clothing (or other props) related to your interests can be a great way to make your portrait session more personal. Also make sure the clothing is clean, matches, and fits well. If you are dressing formally make sure your shoes match the rest of your attire. Bringing something you don’t mind getting dirty is also recommended so we can do shots on the ground, in water, etc. Also make sure you bring a wardrobe that is fitting for the location you want to be photographed in. For example casual clothing looks better in rural country locations and formal attire looks better in urban. The specifics of the wardrobe are something we will discuss more in depth during the pre-session consultation.
I keep multiple backups of all my clients photos. If you want to order prints or products in the future I will still have the images and will be able to get prints and products to you. My price list may change overtime and depending on what updates the print labs I use make I can’t guarantee the exact products I currently offer will be available in the future, but I should be able to get similar things made.
I have shot several portrait sessions and weddings in the rain. Usually for portrait sessions the clients choose to reschedule which I recommend when possible. There is not extra fee for rescheduling. I have also had clients who didn’t mind being out in the rain and we have continued the shoot. If it rains we can either reschedule the session or continue shooting. It is up to the client.
I will replace any print or product ordered thru Ryan Watkins Photography that gets damaged free of charge . Because the print labs I use update their products periodically I can’t guarantee that some specialty products will be exactly the same. For example the backing on the metal prints I offer has changed over time. These updates have actually made hanging the prints easier. If a client had ordered one of these prints from me in 2013 and then ordered a replacement in 2018 there would be slight changes made to the backing. So far none of my clients have had their prints get damaged or broken and had to order reprints.
Yes. All images I give to clients will have retouching applied. If additional retouching is desired on specific photos after the session, this can be done for no additional fee.