Capturing the big day without much disruption is the photojournalistic way. Doing it with a smile and an easygoing attitude is the Vickers way. Matt Vickers, of Matt Vickers Photography in Haubstadt, Indiana, interacts with his clients as if he were a longtime friend.
“I get to know them well before the event, talking for about an hour at the initial meeting about how they met and what they do for a living,” Vickers says.
The engagement session is where they really get to know one another. Lasting about two hours, the session starts off with formal portraits, such as the bride standing behind the groom with her arms around him.
“I usually show the bride how I want her to stand by standing behind the groom, putting my arms around him and saying something along the lines of, ‘Don’t get nervous—you’re not my type.’ We all laugh and have fun from that point on.”
Not only couples are attracted to his fun-loving personality—his relaxed manner is appreciated by vendors, as well. “I did a wedding about a year and a half ago, and the coordinator said she had never seen a photographer as laid-back as me. All day she was saying, ‘We have to do this because you need to get going, don’t you?’ And I would say, ‘No, whenever the couple is ready, we’ll do it.’”
A month or two before the wedding, Vickers meets with the couple again to finalize the wedding day arrangements. Once all the details are taken care of, the couple can relax and have fun.
“I always tell them to enjoy themselves,” says Vickers. “This is their big day, and they’ve waited a year or more to get to this point. The last thing I want to do is rush them.”
By letting clients express themselves, Vickers can capture those special moments and reactions. He shot a wedding last October where the bride cried every time she saw a family member. “As a photographer, I was eating it up.”
Besides his casual attitude and relaxed shooting methods, Vickers also attracts clients by offering muliple album choices and a hassle-free workflow.
“One week after the wedding, I post the images to my website and create a viewing DVD for the couple, which is theirs to keep. When the couple comes in to pick up the DVD, we take some time to talk about the honeymoon and what they have coming up next. I try to keep a personal connection throughout my relationship with my clients.”
Then Vickers and his clients discuss how many images they need to pick out for the album they have chosen. Vickers offers many different albums in the hopes of having something for everyone that fits every budget.
“I carry Zookbinders, Albums Australia, GraphiStudio, and Legend and Destiny Albums. Once the bride has her list ready, we set up a meeting and go through her selections. I offer some suggestions. Then we do additional artwork and cropping to the images, and I design the album or send the images off, depending upon the type of album chosen. When the design is ready, the bride returns to view it and make changes or approve the album for printing.”
The main trend Vickers sees in southwest Indiana is brides who want the digital composite albums instead of the slip-in matted albums. “These albums are relatively new to this area, and brides are going nuts over them. I always hear comments like, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before.’ Most of the photographers in the area are more traditional, so brides really like the photojournalistic approach that I offer.”
Vickers uses two Nikon D2Hs, one with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and the other with a 28-70mm f/2.8, with a Nikon SB-800 Speedlight. “These cameras have exceptional speed, which allows me to shoot very fast to capture those split-second moments. With the long, fast lenses, I can shoot without drawing the attention of my subjects.