“It’s easy to shoot people who are happy. Brides feel beautiful, the parents are happy—it’s a joyous occasion.”
Brooke Fitts, Owner of Brookelyn Photography
Do you ever tear up on the job?
I’ve never cried, I don’t think. I’ve definitely had moments where I was like, Man, this is why people have weddings. You’re in a room filled with so much love and emotion.
How do you deal with the pressure of immortalizing such an important day?
I mostly feel under pressure if things are running behind schedule and if photography time gets cut. Otherwise, I’ve been doing it long enough that you have a mental checklist of what you need to get: the bride with her dad, the dress, the shoes …
What’s your favorite kind of couple to shoot?
My perfect couple is game for anything. This past year I shot a couple who got engaged on the Brooklyn Bridge, and so they wanted wedding photos with it in the background. It snowed the morning we were supposed to do it, but they were still game. It ended up being amazing: There was no one there, and what they got was very them.
The Brooklyn Bridge again! How do you deal with the repetition?
I try to have the clients make a shoot creatively theirs. For example, I shot an engagement on the Brooklyn Bridge in the pouring rain, and I shot another couple there holding a sign that said NO SLEEP TILL BROOKLYN. The bridge may be in the background, but it’s the couple that makes the photos stand out.
How does a couple pick the right photographer?
Meet with them to see if there’s chemistry. You should feel comfortable hanging out together, because your photos will reflect that. Couples should also look at an entire wedding that the photographer has shot, so they’re not just seeing the best of the best on a blog.
How do you get stiff posers to loosen up?
My number-one trick is to have them look at each other. It sounds cheesy, but the moment two people who know each other make eye contact, their faces relax. The other trick is to do things that don’t feel forced, like crossing a street.
What kind of wedding photos irk you?
Using props is a huge thing lately. It’s a fine line: I love it if it’s a reflection of you and it makes the photos more unique. But they can also be overused, like balloons. People love their balloons. And empty photo frames. And cutout letters.
What about all those trendy Hipstamatic vintage effects? Will those age well?
I love them and they’re fun, but I try to stay with something a little more timeless; creamy yellow overtones are beautiful and popular right now, but in five years, I doubt they’ll still be relevant.
Can you tell if a couple is going to stay together based on how they act during the shoot?
Yeah, I feel like I can. Like 10 or 15 percent of the time, I’m like, Why are you getting married?
Ever tempted to say that out loud?
Once or twice, but I’ve never said it because that’s not what I’m paid to do.
From the Summer 2012 New York Wedding Guide