Every good wedding photographer has a list of things that he or she does with the perspective bride and groom. One of the most important, of course, is talking to the bride and groom to find out what sort of shots they want taken before, during and after the wedding ceremony and reception. You define the style they are trying to achieve, how much time they want spent with each group or individual and whether they want candid or more formal shots. These are all excellent ideas that appear in virtually every bridal guide and are surely employed by nearly every wedding photographer in the country.

What is missing from this equation? Taking a retrospective glance at the coverage that was provided. My theory goes beyond hours of pouring over negatives; photo shopping out the maid of honor’s skin imperfections and trying to select the best shots of each group to present the bride and groom in an attempt to get them to buy bigger, buy more. This has nothing to do with the hours that the bride will spend with her girlfriends and her family, trying to decide which pictures to enlarge and hang over the mantle. While these are all important steps in the process, they are still lacking something vital.

After the bride and groom have put away the new Lennox china and the mail has started coming to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, contact the bride. Find out what her thoughts are, not on the shots that were taken, but on the ones that weren’t. Meet with the new Mrs. or ask her to make a list of the people, places, moods that were not captured at her wedding and reception. Find out why there are no photos of this event or moment. Perhaps it was a sporadic event, or perhaps timing was wrong. Many times, the pictures that weren’t taken were of little things that just weren’t thought of. This information can prove invaluable to your next client and every one there after.

Make sure that you keep an organized list or journal of these ideas. Share these ideas with your new clients and categorize them as best you can. The variety of options and shots you offer to your wedding parties will quickly expand and perhaps make you the most creative wedding photographer in town. Present what was a missed opportunity to one couple as your gift to the next.