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What Does It Take to Be a New York Wedding Photographer? | Behind the Scenes 2013 NYC

I’d like to propose that wedding photographers have one of the simultaneously toughest and most fun jobs there is.   You have to be a photojournalist, artist, fashion photographer, bridesmaid, and product photographer all wrapped into one, with negative amounts of time to get it all done.   And just like pretty much anything, New York City makes it 10 times harder and 10 times more fun.   Here are ten tips on what it takes to be a New York wedding photographer with behind the scenes pics of me and my team this year.  Some of these tips are New York specific and many of them apply to any wedding photographer!

1. It’s possible that 50+ tourists may gather around you at any point during the day and want to take the same picture you are.   It feels like being on stage, but stay calm, ignore them and do what you have to do.  Have your second shooter or assistant ask people to stand back if necessary.  Can you even find me in this picture?

new york wedding photographer
2. Pay Attention to detail:  What angle of their face is the most flattering,  is their hair perfectly in place, is the dress laid out perfectly? Oh yes and ask your clients before you touch their faces.  :)

nyc wedding photographer
3. Never stop smiling, no matter what happens!

nyc wedding photographer
new york wedding photographer
4. You’re there to serve your clients on one of the most special but also possibly the most stressful day of their life -don’t forget that and just photograph.  If your bride needs help tying a bow, fixing hair, pinning something, or a hug- offer yourself as a stand in bridesmaid. 
new york wedding photographer
5. There is no shame in contorting yourself into all sorts of weird positions including laying flat on the ground, standing on a chair or doing whatever weird yoga move this between a chair and couch to get the perfect shot.   Some yoga training beforehand might help keep you from making the pained expressions I am in these pictures.

nyc wedding photographer
nyc wedding photographer
6. Dress cute, but practical. NYC wedding days are usually 9 hours plus and since there is rarely driving on the wedding day you will be on your feet for all of it.  My hair is always up so it stays out of the pictures and doesn’t get tangled in my camera straps.   My Holdfast strap allows me to carry two camera and comes in a gorgeous Chestnut leather that matches my favorite pair of boots!  Plus it makes me feel like Indiana Jones. 
new york wedding photographer

nyc wedding photographer
7. Be memorable by being personable- no one will forget the photographer that busted a move at their wedding!

nyc wedding photographer
8. Don’t be offended if someone wants you to take a picture for them on their iphone or point and shoot camera -Also, look like you know how to use it even if you don’t, which I clearly failed at in this case.


9. Hire an awesome team who knows how to blend work and play at the same time.



Why should testing your lights be boring?


10. Don’t forget an assistant – you have too much to worry about already traipsing through the city doing portraits surrounded by masses of people.  Hire someone to carry your bags, sweaters, extra cameras to make sure they are safe at all times.  This is an absolute must for me for city weddings – otherwise I’d leave “a trail of Caroline” everywhere I go – as my husband calls it.   Kristy (pictured here) and Julieanne were lifesavers this year, time and time again!


Overwhelmed yet?  Don’t worry, your clients gratitude and reactions to seeing their images makes it all worth it!




If you enjoyed this post, you can see more pictures of me and my team behind the scenes HERE

Many thanks to Kristy, Mekina, Sidney, Angela, Julienne, Calvin, Melissa, Jonathan, Jess and my husband Alex all of whom helped me enormously this year and who captured some of these amazing behind the scenes moments.

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Mary Veterano - January 9, 2014 - 12:48 pm

Hahaha, so true!!!! This is best post ever. And your black and gold dress is so fabulous! :)

mike larson - January 9, 2014 - 2:36 pm

love your heart and smile here, great work & content for photogs!

Sidney Morgan - January 9, 2014 - 6:19 pm

Oh my gosh. Love you, Caroline!!! This post is perfect. <3

Elizabeth Fox - January 9, 2014 - 7:15 pm

Love it!

Mikkel Paige Mihlrad - January 10, 2014 - 9:18 pm

Haha – I’m giggling because I find myself in mostly all of these situations too. Great post! It’s all so true! Happy new year!

Candi Clark - January 11, 2014 - 5:26 am

Love it !

Lorin - January 11, 2014 - 5:25 pm

Such great tips. Love that Holdfast camera strap! I’m going to have to look into that. Thanks, Caroline!!

Lily Frost - January 13, 2014 - 12:37 am

Great story telling. Full of love and admiration for you!

Allison Mannella - January 15, 2014 - 8:55 am

Love this post so much! Very impressed with your yoga skills!

Angela Newton Roy - January 17, 2014 - 3:54 pm

Super cute post, Caroline! So glad we got to join one another this past year (and already once in 2014, yay!!) and I look forward to more of it in the future. Great job!

[…] Feel free to check out more of her amazing behind the scenes here. […]

Jamie - February 11, 2014 - 6:20 pm

I also moved from CA to NYC and I really love your work and blog, especially this behind the scenes post! How lucky that you have such a great team and network of photographer friends.

Oksana Harris - March 21, 2014 - 9:37 pm

Hey Caroline! I absolutely love how even these second shooter bts images are still totally in your style! Super fun and helpful post!! :)

Chris - May 2, 2014 - 5:23 am

Haha that first picture! Fun bts post! :)

Jessa - June 2, 2014 - 5:08 pm

I just saw this! Love it! :)

Erin Douglas - June 15, 2016 - 2:44 am

Hi Caroline!! great advice. You actually photographed my best friends wedding in 2012 at the highland country club. We still talk abou the wedding and i always look for the photos. I do have a quick question for you, equipment wise. I see in this post you are using pretty much the same lens. What lenses do you most normally use and how many? Would love to hear about your must have/use..

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