One of the most difficult and anxious things for anyone in a creative field to do is to specialise. By planting your flag in a specific genre or style of work and run the risk of narrowing the number of clients that would be seeking their services. It's why you see so many photographers listing about 50 genres on their website(weddings/portraits/animals/corporate/commercial/editorial/newborn/childrens/party/landscape photographer available to shoot anything you could possibly think of) You never know who might be looking at your website right? Hell, I've been guilty of it myself way too many times. You get one enquiry about shooting dogs, and before you know it you're down a rabbit hole of trying to create a pricing structure and a portfolio for future dogs shoots "just in case". But that does you and your clients a disservice.
With my latest rebrand I decided to plant my flag firmly in the documentary approach to wedding photography and hope to transition the other aspects of my business over to this documentary approach in the coming years. By never specialising in anything, you never become a master in anything. But by specialising you become the exact thing somebody is looking for and make it an unquestionably easy decision for someone to hire you. Wouldn't life be much simpler if there was a perfect match for every service we wanted. No cutting on features, no compromises, just exactly what you wanted when you first started looking.
What this has allowed me to do is concentrate solely on one genre of photography and hone my craft into something that will speak volumes to the right couple. The best service I give, and when I'm in my element is when a couple truly believes in my approach to documenting their wedding, and just allows me to get on with how I work, no showy portraits, no massive long shot lists, no stress on the couple being dragged from pillar to post for certain signature shots. I've found this approach frees my couples up on their wedding day (which is stressful enough without a photographer moving you all over the place) to just take it all in as the day goes by. My love of documentary photography goes right back to when I first picked up a camera, so much so my friends would actively get annoyed when I told them to not look directly at me when I was taking photos. I wanted to capture the moments, not just a grip and grin facing the camera.
In my opinion couples should just be able to enjoy their day completely unencumbered by photography. But whether it's external pressures or being unclear on the variety of photography available, they usually end up compromising on what they want because they feel the "have to" do certain things. It's my one frustration with weddings in general, there's a lot of junk and custom that comes with a wedding "just because that's how it is" when it really doesn't have to be that way.
Don't want any formal photos? Then don't! Want to see your husband before the ceremony? Then do! Everyone is so wrapped up in the wedding machine, that it becomes a competition to keep up with the Jones and do everything that's expected of you as opposed to what you want deep down. This mindset comes from my own wedding where I wish we'd had less formal shots and spent more time actually spending time with people. But you have to have formals right?
As I always try to reinforce when I meet prospective couples; there's a photographer out there for everyone, you just have to know what you want from your photography and go out and find them. But don't compromise in what you want, don't go with a Jack of all Trades that's just there for a paycheque. Go for someone that believes in their approach to your wedding and will give you everything you hoped for.
What I can offer is a 100% stress free (from the photographer) experience where you're completely free to enjoy your day without worrying about your photography. Then the finished images will reflect how wrapped up you were enjoying your day, and less how stressed you were as Uncle Jim was nowhere to be seen during your 34th Family Formal.