Happy 4th of July!
After checking my Twitter feed this morning, it looks like you guys are gearing up for a super duper big ‘ol American red, white and blue weekend! Many of you are in the heat of the season with weddings, portraits and other adventures.
I’ll be honest: I never liked shooting weddings on July 4th weekend. This is one of those weekends that always presented big challenges for me in the Tri-state area. Traffic, heat, thunderstorms and the pigeon-sized mosquitoes.
So for those of you working this weekend, here’s my top ten list for surviving as a wedding photographer on July 4th weekend:
1. Patience. Leave earlier than you ever would and plan to have something go wrong. I’m not looking to jinx anyone, but I tell ‘ya, this was always one of those weekends for the books for me.
2. Extra clothing. It’s hot, and it’s going to be a LONG day. Chances are it’s going to thunderstorm at some point, and there’s nothing sexy about a man (well, not this man) in a wet button-down shirt. Oh, and for you men out there that think it’s OK to NOT wear a t-shirt underneath, I’m telling you, no one wants to see how well you man-scape.
3. Something to read. Yep, I know; you’re supposed to be working. But you’ll thank me later!
4. A wish list to challenge you. This one contradicts #3, but do some homework and look through your portfolio. Look for shots where you think your website needs some help. For me it was detail shots; I always needed better details.
5. Get your engine checked. When was your last oil change? What about tire pressure or windshield wiper fluid? For the love of Pete, PLEASE check your windshield wiper fluid! There’s nothing worse than driving home on the L.I.E. from the Hamptons and running out of wiper fluid. Did I mention those mosquitoes are the size of pigeons?
6. Snacks. I would bring a whole bag of them. Starting with healthy ones, and then later nothing will make you feel better than a big ‘ol box of Cheez-Its.
7. Sunglasses. TWO PAIRS. One of them is going to break, I’m telling you!
8. Flask. OK maybe you don’t need this one, but I had a strict rule to NEVER drink with the guests or clients. Yes, they will offer you all day long, but it’s just not good business. You don’t want to be remembered as “That awesome photographer who was doing shots with us all night.”
9. Extra cell phone battery.
10. Buy yourself a present. Seriously, you deserve it! This year I treated myself to this sweet bow tie to celebrate. I almost wish I had a wedding to wear it to this weekend.
Have a great 4th, you guys—and be safe!