Welcome to Keeping it Candid – Wedding Photography Unfiltered for photographers who want to keep it real. I’m your host, Sandra Henderson, international wedding and family photographer and educator with a Marie Kondo-style approach to running a business – you know, keeping things simple and getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy!
More importantly, I’m a strong enneagram 3w2 who is obsessed with tacos, and my love for travelling plus navigating chronic illness life are just two of the many things that drive my passion for all things systems, workflows, and beating burnout as a business owner.
Join me twice a month for a candid, behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like working as a wedding photographer – where I’ll give you actionable steps to take your business to the next level. Absolutely no fluff here, friends! So grab your favourite notebook and pen, and let’s dive into this week’s episode.
Sandra Henderson 0:56
We’re back again and it’s the second last day of the local vendor series! If you’re just tuning in for the first time, you’re definitely going to want to hit pause on this episode and go back to give the rest of the episodes in this series a listen. On Monday I talked to Dave from the Alpha DJ company. Tuesday I talked with Ally from perfectly designed events, and yesterday I talked with Stephanie from BLUUMBLVD. I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been to connect with each of these vendors to start generating more conversations around community-based thinking and working together to build a stronger wedding industry.
Sandra Henderson 1:28
If you’ve been in the wedding photography or videography side of the industry for any length of time, you know about the tense dynamic that’s pushed on us. While other vendors like florists, for example, are typically on site earlier in the day and finished up their work by the time photography starts, videographers and photographers are two vendors, typically from two different companies, who are vying for the same space at the same time all day long. Everyone needs similar angles and similar shots, and very often there’s just like a small space for us to be able to make that happen.
Sandra Henderson 2:00
Even though I’m a photographer, I came into this conversation completely unbiased because over the last 10 years in the wedding industry, I’ve seen negative behavior from both sides. I’ve had videographers walk into my shot or completely take over a space with cameras on tripods interfering with the photography aspect of the day in every single way possible. But I also have spent a lot of time working as an assistant in the industry when I was just starting out and I’ve seen just as many photographers intentionally blocked video cameras or moved through portraits without any consideration for the video shots that were needed.
Sandra Henderson 2:33
But it’s like I’ve been saying all week, we are all here with the same end goal. Whether we’re capturing photo or video, we’re there to tell the story of the day so our couples can look back on their memories for years to come. There’s absolutely no reason why anyone should be intentionally setting up cameras in the way or intentionally walking through one another shots are not taking two seconds to just check in with each other and say, Do you have everything you need before moving on? Like none whatsoever. And that’s why I was so excited to connect with Carson from Topper Wedding Films for today’s episode. At Topper Wedding Films, Carson offers full-service cinematography services, creating story-driven films for his couples to cherish and pass on through generations. He’s also an absolute dream to work with on a wedding day because he shares that same mentality that I do when it comes to working together and giving one another the creative space we need to do what we’ve been hired to do.
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Sandra Henderson 3:26
Hey, well, thank you so much for joining me. I am super excited to have you on the podcast, especially like with this episode with all the different vendors. I thought that having a videographer on here was going to be super important for the conversation so it’s so nice to have you.
Carson Haight 3:41
Thanks for having me Sandra. Really happy to be here.
Sandra Henderson 3:45
Before we get started, why don’t you tell me who you are, what your business is where we can find you online, and things like that?
Carson Haight 3:52
Oh yeah, my name is Carson Haight, I operate topper wedding films or top productions out of London, Ontario, but really southwestern Ontario, for the most part, anything east of Toronto, really, I shoot. And I’ve been doing wedding filmmaking for, geez… My first wedding was like, I want to say 10-12 years ago, something like that, was my first wedding. But I’ve been operating it full-time out of London, for six years. And you can find me – probably just through my website. I’m not really that, I hate to say, I’m not that active on social media, but I’m really not. It’s like it’s, it’s probably something I should work on.
Sandra Henderson 4:34
You know, I think there are going to be a lot of people who will be refreshed to hear you say that. Because I know that there are so many, like, there’s a lot of pressure to show up on Instagram and social media a lot but when you can do just fine without it and have all of your traffic coming in through your website. I think it just kind of, like, takes so much stress off of your plate.
Carson Haight 4:52
Yeah, and I’ve been really fortunate because I don’t know if it’s, like, my- the quality of my work, my work ethic, or the relationships I’ve built, but it’s really been word of mouth, for the most part for me, has really driven traffic to my website and not social. I’m not even – so my Facebook page, I’ve never updated since, like, the first, literally probably the first year. And my Instagram, I hate to say is I think the last post was Christmas two years ago. So I don’t do a lot of social media, I don’t prioritize it. But I still get like 15 Plus weddings a year, which is kind of my numbers. In previous years, I was doing 20 Plus, but I have several other things going on so I don’t need that kind of, that goal of 20+ doesn’t need to be there. So I’ve kind of diminished that to about 14-15. And I hit those goals really easily just based off of word of mouth and, and my website so…
Sandra Henderson 5:48
Good! I’m so glad to hear that. Um, well, when it comes to working in the wedding industry, I think photographers and videographers, for lack of a better word, have a lot of tension between our two sides of the industry, because we are both working with cameras and kind of vying for that same space. What has your experience been like working with wedding photographers on a wedding day?
Carson Haight 6:12
Oh, varied, to say the least. You do get like – I feel like that’s like an old school mentality that kind of stuck around. You do get quite a few photographers who’s like, this is my space, get out of my space. And it’s like, well, yeah, our – we have the same client, our overall goal is to make that client remember this day to the best possible and that’s not just through photography, but through filmmaking as well. So knowing that that’s our common goal, it always like, it always kind of drove me nuts when photographers were like that. But I kind of get it too, because old school like filmmakers, they were using, I think this is where it came from – the old school, like filmmakers were using weddings as a stepping stone to get to corporate. And even now a lot of people don’t want to stay in weddings, for some reason. I choose to stay in weddings, and constantly do them. And I think because of that they weren’t as like, concerned about relationship building, which as before, like I just said, is really, really important to me. So they didn’t care. They wanted to get the shot to make sure they had the most beautiful shot possible. But that was destroying the photography side of things. And it doesn’t need- I don’t even think it needs to be a balancing act, I think you really can just work together. I’ve worked with you before, Sandra, it’s, it’s all about communication. If I need a shot, all I have to do is say I need a shot and you’re more than willing to give me my shot. And, and like adapting – I like to adapt to, it’s a challenge for me, like Sandra, you don’t shoot the same way as other photographers that are in town. So when I go with those photographers, it’s like a different challenge. Like I just have to modify the way I shoot slightly. And honestly, it keeps things fresh, and, and, and good. But with all that said, not too many photographers that I’ve worked with, have I had any issues on. I, probably 95% of them, I work really well with. There is like a few and I won’t name any names, to be quite honest, I drop. If their name’s on that – I give out a form, and on that form says ‘who’s your photographer’ unless you pick me before your photographer, then I will give several, several recommendations for photographers. And there’s one photographer who’s name specifically, again, I won’t name them, and if their name’s on there, I give them another reason to not work the wedding. I won’t do it. Because I have a lot of footage of that photographer stepping in front of my cameras to block my shots. So I just say no, it’s not worth the headache, the hassle. And it’s the biggest fear ever of a cinematographer, videographer, or wedding videographer, is to not get the shot because we- there’s no do-overs. So like, when I have a photographer stepping in front of my camera, it’s nerve wracking! So I just refuse to work with a couple photographers, one in particular, that I just- everybody else, I’ll make it work. But one in particular. I just refuse. I just say no.
Sandra Henderson 9:14
That’s totally understandable. I was gonna bring up the, like, issue of walking in front of people’s shots. I’m sure that it happens to you all the time as a videographer. I’ve had it in reverse roles where I’ve been, you know, in a church and all of a sudden the videographer comes in, set his tripod and everything down, like, right in front of where I am. And it’s super easy to get frustrated. But I think the goal, like you said, is what’s most important. We’re all there to show up for the couple and capture the day for their memories. It’s not really about us and it’s so easy to just communicate with one another so that you can both get the shots that you need and work together throughout the day. And it just makes it so much more enjoyable for everybody that’s participating.
Carson Haight 9:55
Absolutely. There’s no reason- I laugh a little every time at this because people, when I explain what I do, I don’t tell people that I like film, I don’t have this like fancy language for like, how I capture a couple. What I tell them is ‘I go party with awesome couples every weekend. And then I also film it.’ Like, it’s- I want to have fun with my couples. And to do that you need to communicate, especially between the photographer and the videographer. So I always make it a point to, one- bring several cameras for, for opportunities I know I can’t miss like ceremony, I have to have two to three angles for that. Because I tell the photographers, if you need to step in front of my camera, no problem at all. I have two other angles, just step away after if you don’t mind. And yeah, it just really comes down to communication and having fun. This is not why I do this, particularly if you’re not having fun doing it. It’s so fun. It’s so easy to have fun with people, one of the best days of their life where they’re like getting drunk and having fun with their friends and their family’s there. So for people to like squander that and get stressed out and worried and ruin each other’s shots because they have something specific that they had in mind. If like, weddings have made me adaptable, that’s for sure.
Sandra Henderson 11:12
Oh, yeah, I can imagine. So speaking of those kinds of scenarios that we were just talking about- walking in front of someone’s camera probably being close to the top of the list. Do you have any other like, please do or please don’t scenarios from previous interactions with wedding videographer, sorry, wedding photographers that you can think of?
Carson Haight 11:33
One thing I really love when working with wedding photographers, and it’s not a requirement, but it really does help. And a lot of photographers do this naturally, too, is when they incorporate a lot of movement into their shots, it looks a lot better for film, like for their wedding film, because having them just stand still might as well be a photo but like having them like hold hands and walk towards the camera or do something or walk a few steps and then do their action can like, really amp up what the video looks like. And honestly, it gets them in the moment for photography sometimes as well, depending on the couple, as you would know. So that’s like one of my like, Yes, please do more of that. That’s fantastic. When you incorporate a lot of movement, and even if there’s subtle things. Another thing that is like, oh, and maybe a don’t would be like, sometimes photographers like to sit on like, let’s say a 35 and, or a 20 or something really, really wide. And they sit there the whole day. And it’s like, and it’s like, Hey, I know that your shots are looking good, but it’s making it really hard for me to incorporate movement into mine. Because I can’t sit on a 35 necessarily. And if I do, I need to move in and move out. So I refuse to slow down a couple’s day, I don’t want them ever waiting on me. So, which I think kind of brings me to the like do nots is, is when photographers are, I don’t know if unsure is the right word. But when they’re slowing down the process, it’s like… And I feel like I might need to jump in there, which rarely happens for me, I’m pretty good at going with the flow and just adding to things. But once in a while I have photographers who aren’t understanding, kind of, the pacing of the day, and the speed that needs to be done. And, and I don’t like when I have, when I feel like I’m stepping on the photographer’s photo in order to get the job done. If that makes sense. That normally only happens with like amateur photographers, people who are in their first year or two. And generally speaking, they can be appreciative of it because, again, I mean, I’ve done this for a decade. So I’ve seen good photographers and bad photographers.
Sandra Henderson 13:38
Carson Haight 13:40
And the good ones really like, they control the situation. They understand the pacing of the day, their shots are all great, the movements are great. But yeah, I think lens choice would be one that I think a lot of photographers would be surprised, maybe surprised to hear or not think of, because when you’re sitting on a thirty- like and if you’re swapping between like, a 35 and 85 or 100 or whatever you like to shoot with, something wide and then telephoto, that’s great, because then I can vary too. But when you’re just sitting there on the 35 the whole time, it can make it a little bit hard for me to get the shots that I’d like to get.
Sandra Henderson 14:12
Yeah, that makes so much sense. I’ve had that with videographers that I’ve worked with in churches and things like that, that they’re just working on a wide and I’m usually, like my favorite lens is 70-200, so it’s not usually an issue for me to kind of like, work around and get closer up shots. But if one person is exclusively working on a wide angle all day and not really giving consideration to the space that they are having between them and the couple, it can definitely take a little bit of navigating around.
Sandra Henderson 14:12
Yeah, I find- I don’t know if this is like, sometimes I like to challenge myself and I will try to stay on one lens as much as possible, especially if I’m moving with a couple and we need to be shooting quick, like, it’s just like that hour we have with a couple and I know it’s gonna be cut in half because they want to like go have cocktails. Then I put on a zoom lens. There’s nothing wrong with the good- have a good zoom and you’re probably- like, why do people want to shoot only primes all the time? For videographers. I speak for videographers. Not necessarily photographers.
Sandra Henderson 15:06
it’s the same with photographers, too. I actually just saw a Reel a couple of weeks ago that another photographer made that was like you’re not superior because you’re only using prime lenses. Whatever you want to use to make work, is what you should be using!
Carson Haight 15:19
Yes! There’s an obsession with shooting wide open too, like, Oh, my lens opens to 1.8. I’m like, did you realize= I do a ridiculous amount of research in the lenses, and I’m like, you realize your Canon lens at a 1.8 is not as sharp as it is at a 2.8. Like, I know, it’s sharper at 2.8 because I used to shoot Canon. I had the superior lens to that and your lens is soft as shit. Oh sorry!
Sandra Henderson 15:40
No, that’s totally fine!
Carson Haight 15:43
Super soft at 1.8 and it doesn’t look as good as a two- at a 2.8. And a 2.8, you can get a 24-70 or a 16-35 that is at 2.8 the whole time. So why, why. Those lenses are beautiful lenses. And then you can do some post sharpening if you really want to. But honestly, lenses and cameras these days are so ridiculous. They’re so clean, the sensors on them are so good. The image processing, like we used to deal with fringing and crap like that. Now, these cameras are so good. So like, I don’t understand, I have five or six prime lenses. And honestly, I bring my 70-200 a 24-70. I bring a 35 Prime and an 85 prime. And those four lenses, I can shoot a whole wedding with those four easily. I don’t bring my macro. Like, I don’t need that for that one ring shot, I get photographers do this, if you have this space in your gear, but I don’t have that kind of gear space. So I eliminated that. Why, for one shot?I’m good.
Sandra Henderson 16:42
It’s so true. So true. Um, so speaking of different lens choices and things like that, one thing that I know a lot of other wedding vendors are kind of looking for on the wedding day is things like behind the scenes and detail photos, because a lot of the vendors that we’re working with are not really able to have their work represented any other way, especially when it comes to like planners and florists and things like that. And so with that in mind, what are some things that photographers can do for videographers to kind of serve that vendor team and have you included as well?
Carson Haight 17:18
You know, I- It’s funny, because whenever you see a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff I always see. And I myself, like sometimes included in this and not always because I’ve pretty good relationship with the photographers in town is like sometimes I’ll see the vendors get together for photo, or like, even me, I’ll be in the photo, and I’ll have to be like, ‘Hey, why don’t you, why don’t you come? Why don’t you come get into, you’re vendor get over here!’ right? So like, including the vendors in those moments, because especially, like, in our area, it’s such a like- we have such a strong community of of like… There’s kind of a foundational set of photographers, cinematographers, etc. Like DJs, you know, we have the, there’s two… There’s really two or three DJs in this town that do weddings so, so yeah, just getting involved in that stuff. And it’s something that I’ve been like toying with for a while I’ve been wanting to buy just like a walk around camera for photography, just for my own personal photography. And I’ve been looking for and I’m part of the reason why I want to do is I want to just like, have it on me on a wedding day to take photos of the photographer, not of the none of the bride or groom. But like behind the scenes for the, for the not for the couple for the photographer, just like how you interact with people maybe filming them, as well. And not like I want to sell it to them, like I want to give it to you. But it can be a little bit stressful because like when you’re on your A game, I also have to be on a game. So it’s like, yeah, it’s a little bit hard. And then I have to search through my footage to find what I’ve been filming, but like that behind the scenes stuff is really, really helpful. And then also throwing out shoutouts to each other on social media is is massive. I have more shoutouts on my social media than I do posts for sure. It’s like a vendors you’d like to work with and that are worth mentioning, right?
Sandra Henderson 19:04
Yeah, for sure.
Carson Haight 19:05
Work and you don’t give it to the people who don’t deserve the work. I’ll put it that way maybe.
Sandra Henderson 19:11
Yeah, absolutely. I think it really speaks so much to like, not just our enjoyment of the wedding day as vendors but also the experience that our clients are getting, when we are working with people that we regularly work with that we’re able to refer over and over again. Not just because we know that the client is gonna get experience, er, a good experience also, but also because we know we can trust them to do their job and kind of take a little bit of the stress out of the day.
Carson Haight 19:37
Yeah, yeah, no, exactly. Those relationships are like, they’re super, I again, I have a list of photographers and I’m like, you should go with one of these people and like and I always tell couples, a few things. One of them is on your wedding day, other than your significant other the person you’re going to see more than anybody is going to be your photographer and me, so make sure- if you don’t think we’re gonna get along then you don’t need to pick me, that’s okay. I’m okay with that. Because I’m a different personality than the next person, same with your photographer might be a different personality than then you want. So like, pick people that you get along with. Because it’s important to have that relationship. Almost more important than how much you liked their photos, to be honest with you. It’s a really important and you’re gonna get better photos because you’ll be laughing more enjoying the moment, right? Or video, video as well. So I don’t remember what your question was, I was going…
Sandra Henderson 20:29
Oh, that’s okay. You pretty much answered. Okay, awesome. So very last question I have for you is, you know, we’ve kind of talked a lot about like, everybody coming together as a dream team on the wedding day having the same goal to serve our couples in the best way. What kind of impact does it have on you and your business? When you do have everyone coming together? Do you think it affects the work that you do, or the experience you’re able to give or anything like that,
Carson Haight 20:56
you know, it’s really a snowball effect, where like, everything tends to come together when everybody is coming together. And what I mean by that is like, I’m getting great shots, the couple’s having fun. I go to the editing room, it’s an easy edit because everything’s beautiful. And then I get a final product, and everybody wants to push it out there because they remember how much fun we had together. And they’re like, Hey, you should work with Carson, or you should work with Sandra or you should work… because we had a great time together. So it, and I think it’s a big reason why I don’t need to push myself social media-wise, marketing-wise. And it’s because I try to have the most fun I can. And if, if that sometimes that includes like me having to step back and not say as much or me being a little bit quieter, or maybe it means like, this couple feels like they need a laugh and I might just throw in a random joke or whatever. But like having a good time doing it. And when we all clicked together, there’s like kind of a thing of magic. And then it just really just elevates us all. It’s it… What was that Michelle Obama quote, when… when you… when you rise, like… Oh I’m not gonna butcher that! When you rise, rise with like, bring up the people with you kind of thing. Yeah, so when it all just clicks it just, you know, it has that snowball effect that keeps getting bigger and bigger. And it has like, positive after-effects to it. Like it’s just I don’t know, and you go in there. Here’s the thing is the day after when you’re burnt out, is a little bit easier to deal with, because you’re not complaining about how horrible yesterday was.
Sandra Henderson 22:28
It’s so true. When you came home from the wedding, you are talking about all the funny memories instead of having to like blow off steam and vent about the day.
Carson Haight 22:35
Do you believe what just happened?!
Sandra Henderson 22:38
Carson Haight 22:38
And like sometimes we’re dealing with some heavy stuff. I had a wedding where… Ooh, and like, COVID weddings, right? I had a wedding where it got pushed two years and the first time we got pushed by a year. And then they wanted to push another year because the father of the bride got Alzheimer’s. So by the time we got to her actual wedding, he was forgetting her face. So it was already, like, it already brought the mood just down, obviously. So, and in sometimes in those situations it’s not appropriate for you to be over the top fun and funny unless, unless that’s the bride and that’s what she seems to want. But then when we were kind of getting back up there, because we knew we were going through the day, the mom just like had a freak-out and just left and wouldn’t do up her daughters like, dress, and wouldn’t do… and it was just like…. so that was bad. So we’re trying to you know, make her feel good about herself and stuff. And then she just decided to get too drunk. So it was like, Yeah, I’m just one of those days that you couldn’t, it was hard to recoup from. And you have to shoot around that stuff, right? Oh, yeah. So you have those weddings to where like, if they’re… just, as much as you try to make it one of those cohesive things that just works well, is you’re fighting against a whole community of people who might not be on the same page as you.
Sandra Henderson 24:08
Yeah, exactly. That’s so so true. I know when I come home from a wedding, especially weddings like that one where it’s kind of like it’s a spiral effect of like one thing after another eventually, my husband – he’ll hear me come through the door and then he just like, turns the TV off because he knows that I’m going to start venting, regardless of whatever he’s watching. I’m going to talk over top of it because I’ve got to blow off some steam before I can go to bed.
Carson Haight 24:30
Yeah, I do. Sometimes. I do. I’ve done a fair amount of weddings in like Niagara Falls area. And like on the vineyards and stuff which are gorgeous. So like that’s like two, two and a half hour drive sometimes. So I drove like two and a half hours home and I was home by like, one, and my, and so I showered and I went downstairs and yeah, I opened the Scotch up. I had a little pour of scotch. My wife comes downstairs. She’s like, What are you doing? Like why aren’t you sleeping? We have kids. You need to wake up. And I’m like, No, I need to decompress like, I need that time. It’s not the drive time. It’s like, I’m home. I’m safe. I need a little bit of liquor.
Sandra Henderson 25:12
It’s so true because you still have to keep the mental energy going to get yourself home on a long drive. And then once you get home, then it’s game over, then you can just turn it all off.
Carson Haight 25:20
Yes, yeah. So you need that, like some for some weddings more than others. You need that like decompressing time. Yeah, absolutely. It feels like I don’t want to make that I hate when people say like, like, we’re in the trenches, like you’re in a war. Like, it’s ridiculous to compare what we do to that. But like it, it does have that kind of mental, strenuous kind of thing, where you just like, it’s, there’s 14-16 plus hour days sometimes, then, and driving. So yeah, it’s, it can be very exhausting and exhausting on your body. And yeah, I got to come home and I just need a moment to myself that, whatever that might be, whether it’s like 20 minutes of a TV show, or a little bit of wine or beer, or if my wife’s, if I’m privileged enough that my wife wasn’t asleep or is awake past nine o’clock, then a conversation? So yeah, I don’t know. It’s it. It’s deceptive. It can be a very, like, draining career choice to be a wedding photographer or cinematographer.
Sandra Henderson 26:26
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. Just like even outside of the actual, like physical task of taking the photos and videos, the mental capacity that it takes to just be on all day for like you said, like sometimes, you know, 14-16 hour days where you’re not just having to take your photos or take the video, but you’re having to think ahead 10 steps to what’s coming next and also communicate with your staff and your couple and like, there’s just so much going on, on Sundays, like I don’t even really like to talk. Just… I need to be quiet for the day.
Carson Haight 26:57
My voice is done on Sundays. People don’t recognize me on a Sunday versus a Saturday. Saturday, I’m bubbly. I, well, I can be depends on the photographer again, because I don’t like I like to adapt my style to them. So, if they’re a bigger personality, then I might step back or maybe add to it a bit. But like, yeah, specifically on weddings where I need to, like be big and bubbly and fun, and then laughing a lot and like yelling at a group of 20-25 people to get their shit together. Right? They wouldn’t recognize me on Sunday, because on Sunday, I got my hat on, my hood up, and I’m like, just like sipping my coffee and I don’t want to talk and my throat hurts. I don’t want it. My back definitely hurts at that point. Like yeah, yeah. And like my wife will be like, what’s wrong is Are you okay? I’m like, Yeah, I’m just like, I just need a mental break from yesterday, which was a great day. But like, it’s still exhausting, like, wedding parties. Get it like herding cats all the time. Yeah, it’s exhausting. It’s, and I, if you see me, I run around all the time with all with a Gimbels and blah, blah. So it’s an exercise. I bring deodorant and extra shirts with me. So yeah, the next day, mentally and physically, I’m just like, drained. And I, after I did it for COVID, where I was like, I made sure to accommodate all My Brides. And I’m really proud that I was able to accommodate every single one. But I will never do another like, I had a week where I did a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Sandra Henderson 28:34
Oh my god.
Carson Haight 28:35
Yeah, I did four in one week, I will never get all I won’t even do two and a weekend anymore. It’s just like, I don’t need to.
Sandra Henderson 28:42
I had to stop doing that as well. I I just accidentally had a double weekend in May where I had a wedding one day and then spring mini sessions the next day. Thankfully, the wedding was super low key easygoing. I don’t know how I managed to get through it. But those double wedding weekends, props to the people who can do them because I cannot. I’ve been building my team so that we can still do two weddings a day or three weddings a day or a weekend and they can have the other ones and I’m gonna stick to one at a time.
Carson Haight 29:09
Yeah, yeah, I’m not interested in like, inundated with just destroying myself to pick up another couple grand or another wedding. It was in you know, a part of it was that like I and I don’t know what this is just a mental thing. Because when I’m in front of a group of people, or a bride and groom or a classroom or wherever I’m at. I do like it just turns on in me, I get some type of energy. And I tried to pull it out of other people where they’re having fun too. But it just there was something in my head that kind of kept saying like, are you able to give this Sunday couple, the same experience that you gave the Saturday couple? I do. I try my darndest and I’m pretty sure I did. I but I’m not sure if I mean I might not that old but like, but like now I’m feeling like I don’t have the energy to do that. So I’m not not going out. I can’t give the Sunday couple the exact same experiences Saturday couple that I should be offering my services. Because I’m a one man show too. If I had like, a team behind me, then that’s a different story. If I was 22 again and could like, go to the bars after I wake up and do it all over again, then that’s a different experience. But like, I got two kids, I’m a little bit older now. I don’t think it’s fair to the couple to pretend like I can do the same thing on Sunday that I did on Saturday.
Sandra Henderson 30:30
Yeah, I totally, totally agree. All right. Well, before we wrap things up, is there anything any do you have any, like Final thoughts or anything that you want to add in?
Carson Haight 30:38
Oh, geez, no, not off the top my head, but I’m sure I’m full of great bangers. I have some great. I do like normally have some, like, a bunch of things that I like to like, tell couples and, and, and certainly, in regards to like, working with photographers, because I know, I had a couple of horror stories there. But I really do like 90% of photographers that I’ve worked with in the past. We have great relationships. And I do think it’s that old school mentality that kind of brought that like, butting heads thing to photographers in film in wedding filmmakers. I think I just touch on what I said earlier. I think part of that is because for filmmaking, a lot of people were trying to use it for years as a stepping stone, which like forever wedding photography has been a full lifelong career did like you can make a whole you can make a great career out of wedding photography. But filmmaking wise, for a very long time, it was kind of viewed as a stepping stone. I never viewed it that way. And I think that that might be why, like, there might be some animosity there is because yeah, it’s a full time career for a lot of photographers is a great career. And you’re and a lot of cinematographer filmmakers, wedding filmmakers, wedding videographers are treating it like it’s just one step. Or it’s just, and so I’m going to get my shot and get out of there. And I’m not going to care about what you’ve worked on for 1015 20 years or whatever. And it’s just disrespectful. But I see a lot less of that now. I see people coming up and the creativity that they’re coming out with is really fantastic. Yeah, and like I see some people who just lack experience doing a wedding, but a really good cinematographers. And I guess if I was gonna leave, like, I don’t know if this is director of couples, but one of the last things that I tell couples whenever I talk to them, because I certainly don’t price myself on the affordable side of things. And what I tell couples is you, you get what you pay for it you really do, especially with this is like, you’re you’re not getting a wedding film from me, you’re getting 10 years of experience, both like I mean, I teach filmmaking full time, I, I’ve shot TV shows movies, and I’ve been doing weddings for 10 years. So like, it’s not just one film or one photo you’re getting from somebody, it’s the 10 years of experience behind that photo that you’re paying for as well. And because of that, I can confidently say that if I am at your wedding, that I’m going to make sure that you’re going to have a great wedding film. Because I’ve not I’ve not given away anything to a client yet that they’ve not been happy with. And, and that you’re gonna have a good experience with me. Because I’m professional, and I’m fun. And I know how to like, gauge a relationship with me and a photographer. So yeah, you that experience and that experience is worth something. And that’s why you, that’s what you get, that’s why you pay a little bit more is because you get what it’s worth, the value is there, there’s a reason why we price yourselves a little bit higher. And that’s because that’s where you’re gonna get like a lot of value. So I guess if you’re gonna I guess that’s my closing thought.
Sandra Henderson 34:14
I love that. That was such good advice. Thank you so much for that.
Sandra Henderson 34:18
At the end of the interview, Carson and I veered off topic a little bit, but he shared some insight into what he tells couples to sell them on his services. And it was so good. I had to leave it in this episode. No matter what side of the wedding industry you’re in, that was gold, and I hope that you can implement it into your business as we head into engagement season. I’ll be back again tomorrow for the last day of the local vendor series and this time I’m focusing on the photographer’s perspective. I’m going to share my thoughts on some of the common points that I noticed through every interview that I had this week and I’m going to dive into the somewhat controversial topic of whether or not we as photographers should be freely sharing our photos with other vendors.
Sandra Henderson 34:57
And as always, if you’re listening to this episode during Black Friday week, don’t forget to pop over to the show notes for today’s episode for some exclusive savings on all my favourites from my business toolkit. You’re going to find contracts from The Legal Paige, Tonic Site Shop’s brand new Canva templates, my favourite AI editing apps and so much more!
Thanks so much for listening to Keeping It Candid: Wedding Photography Unfiltered with Sandra Henderson! You can find full show notes from today’s episode at simplysandrayvonne.ca/keepingitcandid. In the meantime – let’s connect! You can find me on Instagram @simplysandrayvonne, and on Facebook in the Wedding Photography Unfiltered community! If you’re loving this podcast, I’d be so honoured if you’d go ahead and hit that subscribe button and leave me a review!
Until next time!
Carson Haight from Topper Wedding Films
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November 24, 2022