When the Wedding Photographer Becomes the Client

January 24, 2019

By Jacqueline Tobin

© People Truelove Tellers

When two wedding photographers get married, who do they hire? What is it like sitting in the client’s seat? How does the day go down when you know too much about the role? And afterward, how are you seeing your own wedding photos versus those you’ve provided for others?

Katja & Simon, destination wedding photographers based in Slovenia, told us about their experience tying the knot and having Daniel Alonso of People Truelove Tellers, based in Spain, shoot their big day. Here’s what happened, in their words.

Katja & Simon: When Simon proposed and we started planning our wedding, we quickly realized which were the most important priorities for us—we recognized them with all of the experience we had shooting hundreds of weddings in the past years—and one was the photographer, obviously. “Who is going to photograph your wedding?” was the most asked question in the months before the wedding. We consider ourselves really lucky to have found Daniel Alonso from People Truelove Tellers to travel to Croatia for the weekend. We now have amazing photos from the day and a new friend who we admire very much.

Daniel Alonso: Working with a client who is a wedding photographer is a more stimulating and motivating job than usual—and scary at the same time. In this case, Katja and Simon are two photographers of enormous talent, and being chosen from among the hundreds of relevant photographers in the community is something overwhelming. Their vision of weddings is similar to mine and that is why, from the very first time, I sent myself messages to calm me down: “These people know what they do, they have criteria, if they have chosen you it is for something, do what you know and, above all, enjoy.”

And that is the key once the initial panic has been overcome. Enjoy. To be able to cover a wedding for a photographer is enjoyed more because you have more creative freedom, there is more space to take risks, because they can understand that there is a creative restlessness that wants to go outside.


K&S: We trusted Daniel 100 percent and we didn’t want to interfere with any of his ideas or dictate where we should take photos. We told him he is in charge and we wanted to let go and let him do the magic.

The day before the wedding, after he went around the venue to find some cool spots for our photo shoot, he said he had a slightly weird idea—he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to ask us. He was hoping we would want to climb the watch tower to take a photo up there. Now, this tower was not really pretty or anything, but since Simon and I are quite adventurous people, we said, “Sure, if you think it would make for a great photo, let’s do it.” What he ended up creating is out of this world, and that photo is one of our favorite of the day.


DA: Focusing your work on emotions gives you a great advantage when it comes to exceeding customer expectations. Audio is the trick up my sleeve. I’ve been recording the wedding audio for three years—the speeches, the vows, the first look—and the couple does not know that I’m doing it. They only realize when I send them the slideshow with the photos that tell the story of their wedding day, with their voices vowing eternal love, listening to their families and friends saying how much they love and mean to them. Audio is emotion. That is my key to thrill the client, even when the expectations and demands are as high as those of wedding photographers like Katja and Simon.

K&S: We were drawn to Daniel’s work after we had seen a couple of his beautiful slideshows from other weddings. When you see his slideshows, it makes you feel like a part of the wedding, even if you don’t know the people. When we first saw ours, we cried—a lot—and had to watch it over and over again because it made us feel like we are in that moment again.


K&S: Both we and Daniel separately picked our favorite photos of the day, and we could see a difference in the selection. He chose more portrait photos of us, with beautiful views, composition and movement; we chose more photos showing emotions and photos with other people that are clearly important in our lives.

The Photographer’s Favorites

The Couple’s Favorites


K&S: Even though we are wedding photographers, and we know how things are done, we weren’t really sure if we would be able to fully relax in front of the camera. We are very much used to being behind it, but Daniel made us feel comfortable right away. After experiencing both sides of the situation, we now understand how our couples feel and know how important making your client feel relaxed really is.

Being in the role of clients made us realize which things are really important and made us rethink where our focus as photographers should be. The wedding business today mainly focuses on making everything pretty, having a bunch of detail shots of decoration and flowers. Those images are great for publishing, magazines and social media. But they aren’t the reason people get married; they get married because they love each other, and that should be the focus. In the end, we are creating something for the client, not for ourselves and for our social media portfolio. In the past year, we’ve been focusing more on building better relationships with our clients, to capture more emotional moments in between, and also taking more photos of the people surrounding the couple.


DA: There is something that transcends the technique or the fact of being colleagues of a profession. And when a wedding photographer marries, he or she does not do it as a photographer. All the emotions we see in regular clients are the same in them. You do not live the wedding looking for light, composition, moments; you live it as a groom, bride, family member, friend. Photography goes into the background.

This I say from personal experience. When I got married, I had the luck and honor to have my favorite photographer, Fer Juaristi. He is my main reference and idol within this sector. At my wedding, I forgot he was there. And even more, I did not care if he was or not, really. You are immersed in an ocean of emotions with all of your people. You only think about what you’re living, not how you think it will be documented. When I felt this, I realized that in my work, I had to focus on people, on their emotions. Because it is what transports the couple to that day. And that is my goal at weddings: searching for beauty through people.

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Flipped Perspective: Being in My Brother’s Wedding As An Off-Duty Wedding Photographer

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