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A Wedding Photographer Reminds Us Why The Big Picture Is The Most Important One

Published Wednesday, Dec. 2nd, 2020

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Small mistakes and accidents don't have to ruin your wedding photos... or your wedding day. 

“The only thing [a wedding photographer] can’t change in Photoshop is a couple’s expression.” 


This insightful gem was shared during a recent AMM interview with wedding and portrait photographer and local NW legend Jenny GG. And as soon as she said it, it seemed obvious. Of course! These wise words are a reminder that for all of our efforts, the only thing we can really control at a wedding is our own reaction. Mishaps will happen, which is why our response to them is so important. (Jenny also recently won Best Photographer in Seattle Bride’s Best of 2020. Congratulations!) 


As Jenny puts it, she can edit most mishaps out of a wedding photo. The wine and sauce stains, the spinach lodged between teeth, ]the photo-bombing strangers, the dark circles, the sunburns, the rogue spray tans, and the angry pimples... those things will never see the inside of a wedding album thanks to the editing wizardry of a photo pro.


But grimaces, scowls, smirks and furrowed brows? The pained expressions of panicked grooms or disappointed brides that result from those wedding-day wine spills or sunburns?


Unfortunately, you’ll be stuck with those. 



image cartoon illustration of spilled wine on wedding dress, wedding ceremony accidents, wedding officiants, artist jessica levey


Wedding mishaps will happen... Don't let them get you down.



There’s no way to turn frowns upside down in Photoshop.


Ok, maybe there is, but you get the idea... If you’re flustered or weeping during most of your wedding, you’ll be flustered or weeping in most of your photos, too. Photographers can’t change your emotions to fix a photo. They’re image wizards, not actual magicians.


So, as Jenny reminds the couples and families she photographs, it's important to focus on the positive. To keep smiling. To keep those accidents and dissappointments in perspective when they happen. Because after all, most of them can be fixed in photoshop!


And while this is great advice for couples freaking out about the fate of their wedding photos, it's easy to see that it really applies to every part of the ceremony.


For most couples, at the end of the day, a wedding ceremony isn't about the decor, or the fancy clothes, or the big dinner that follows (although those things are pretty dang great, too). For most couples, the ceremony is about one thing -- the celebration of a commitment made with love. 


(For wedding officiants looking to keep a positive expression on their faces, read Did I Just Say That? 3 Ways to Handle Wedding Ceremony Mistakes and Wedding Ceremony Disasters and How to Avoid Them.)


Consider following these wise words of advice. Instead of getting flustered or upset over the small stuff, grab a napkin, wipe off the metaphorical barbeque sauce, and focus on the big picture. All those joyful feelings of hope and love that you and your partner feel about your future together will shine through in every photo you take, and every memory you make. 


Reflect on all the hilarious, tender, and passionate times you and your partner have ahead of you. Think about how grateful you are for finding them.


Or as Jenny sums it up, remember that you’re hanging out with the person you love all day, and that’s pretty cool.  



illustration cartoon, happy couple at wedding ceremony, common mistakes, wedding photographer advice for wedding photos, how to officiate a wedding with mishaps


Focus on the big picture... You're hanging out with the person you love all day!



If you’re a wedding officiant looking for ways to work best with a photographer read Making it Click: 4 Ways An Officiant Can Make the Wedding Photographer’s Life Easier. And check out Asked to Officiate to learn how to plan, write, and perform the perfect ceremony, and avoid some common mistakes from the start. 



This is the second in a small collection of articles written following an insightful conversation with Seattle-based wedding and portrait photographer Jenny GG. For more, read Want Great Wedding Photos? Get Centered… For the KISS, that is! We are grateful for having had the opportunity to chat with her about all things wedding! Find her on Instagram @jennygg for endless visual inspiration.


Dare to show us your wedding day mishaps? Tag us on IG @americanmarriageministries and tell us how you kept a smile on your face.

Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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