Are you tired of seeing the same repetitive posed wedding pictures from all of your friends’ weddings? Are you desiring to have pictures that look genuine and show off your personality? If so, then buckle up because today we’re interviewing Rich Smith to learn all about getting authentic photos on your wedding day!

The Quick Run Down with Rich

1. Choose a photographer you vibe with & let them get to know you!
2. Schedule special emotional moments into your day
3. Tell your photographer about all the cool/special parts of your wedding.
4. Make sure to take pics right after all the big events like the ceremony when emotions are already high. 

Picture Perfect Start

Have you ever been in Coolidge Park and seen a man walking around with a speaker playing music attached to a belt loop and a camera strapped around his neck? If so you’ve already seen Rich Smith in action!

Bride and groom run through opposite team shakers as they leave their wedding.

Before becoming a photographer, Rich was a regular wedding guest just like anyone else. At one particular wedding though, his entire life changed. He met a wedding photographer couple and was drawn to how they captured the couples unique personalities. He was so drawn to that idea that he picked up a camera and learned how to do the same thing. Since then, he’s photographed weddings all over the world and has easily become one of the area’s most beloved photographers!

Authentic Connection

One of the biggest things to consider when choosing a photographer is personality! Do you connect well with that person? Are you going to be able to be yourself in front of them while they take your picture?

Bride and groom embrace under a pink neon sign that shows off their new shared last name.

For Rich, he builds relationships with his clients from the very start. But the biggest game changer is his engagement sessions! It’s so crucial to his process and capturing authentic photos that it’s included for free in all of his full wedding packages (those who get 8+ hours of coverage). Why? Because it’s so important to him that his clients become comfortable in front of his camera!

To help them get used to being photographed, he adds prompts, games, and sometimes even music! So, by the time their wedding rolls around, they’re already friends and the couple already knows they’ve already had a great time! So it just continues on their wedding day. They’re more relaxed and they trust Rich! 

Pre-Wedding Study

To get those raw emotional moments that turn into authentic pictures, Rich does his homework! He has an entire wedding questionnaire that really hones in on specifics to get into the minds of his clients. This helps Rich figure out what’s important to them, why they chose certain things, learn about all the sentimental items in their wedding, family dynamics and so much more. He says the more he can learn about a bride and groom, the more he can accurately capture their personalities!

Groom looks adoringly at bride with raised hands as they exit their wedding through sparklers.

Getting Authentic Photos

Okay, okay, we get that there’s some work that goes into getting to know one another, but how does he actually do it? According to Rich, his ADD is his secret weapon. It works in his favor when movement and noise distracts him easily! Think about it, awesome moments rarely happen quietly. Emotions are normally fun and loud! They make themselves known! And since his brain is wired to be “triggered” by those things, he’s always prepared to document them!

Groom cradles bride up in the air to show off their excitement about getting married in this authentic photo.

One of the best perks about working with Rich is his flexibility! He understands that every single wedding is unique, just like the couple so every wedding day is tailored specifically to them. He follows a loose timeline that he has crafted over the years to make sure that none of those sweet, authentic moments are missed!

But for most of the day he’s like a fly on the wall! Capturing the day as it happens. He’s also interacts with the bridal party and jokes around with them, so they’re more comfortable too. It’s all of the small interactions that help him understand the people he’s working with them and help put them at ease to get the authentic photos.

An authentic photo showing a bride and grooms reaction during a toast.

Final Tips & Tricks for Getting Authentic Photos

For his last two tips, Rich suggests scheduling time and places in a wedding for genuine moments to happen and giving the couple something to react to! This might look different for every couple, but here are some of the tricks up his sleeve.

If the bride just walked up and taps the groom on the shoulder during a first look, he gets fewer emotional photos than if she walks up behind him and hands him a boudoir album that he gets to look at right before he turns around to see her for the first time. So, it’s really all about knowing human psychology and building up the emotional moments before they happen!

Groom looks lovingly at his bride as they cheers for a toast.

Another trick Rich likes to use is to photograph the bridge and groom immediately after the ceremony! The emotions are super high. They were just married! So, instead of telling them to just hug (boring), he may ask the groom to tell the bride what he was thinking as she was walking down the aisle! Or just SHOW him what they’re feeling like inside! Give them a chance to react and show me emotion instead of just posing for me!

It really helps him capture my clients personalities! And it helps him not get bored because all of my clients are different. So he gets a different reaction for each client! And that’s what Rich lives for!

Ready to get your own authentic photos?

As you know, we love raw emotion just as much as Rich & that’s one of many reasons we love working with him! To see even more of his work, follow him on instagram or visit his website. On his website you’ll find all the information on booking him for your wedding, so be sure to check it out and move quickly!

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably into the behind the scenes content we put out regularly. Did you know we do new vendor interviews every month? Check out a recent article about choosing the right playlist for your wedding day!