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Recently, I had about a 24-hour time frame in which to submit wedding photos to a contest for the cover of a cool magazine. Typically, for these submissions, you can’t use images that have been published anywhere else, which really limits your options. Instead of going directly to, “Eh, I doubt they’ll pick mine anyway” (which they didn’t), I decided to go ahead and set up a quick shoot, and try, instead of giving up before I started. So, now I’ve gotta share some thoughts on getting things done however you need to. You see, I felt a little icky about putting together a fake shoot. I was super dumb to feel that-a-way. Here’s why. It’s not just ok for photographers to stage shoots, it’s necessary. If we’re not booking the type of work we want to, it can really help to set something up, shoot it, and show it. For me, staged shoots are not just a handy marketing tool, they also allow me to explore ideas, or test a new equipment, or try certain lighting maneuvers, etc. Fake and/or unpaid shoots help keep me creative and motivated, which then becomes as asset to the awesome shoots that I’m fortunate to get paid for. I always take the “job” part of my job seriously, but I can’t ever lose the love I have for it as something that excites and challenges me.

I’m also really lucky to have a swell boyfriend who is totally up for it when I ask if we can take some fake wedding photos. He’s a trooper, y’all. And now….here are some completely and utterly not “real” photos of us!


The best part of fake wedding photos…FLETCH PHOTO BOMBS!!!


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