Experience, Inspiration and Attitude
Out of many things to consider I would say it’s a combination of experience, inspiration and attitude that make a successful wedding photographer, not unlike other human endeavors.
It is experience as in knowing context, the location, what is available to you and it includes mastering the photography technique.
Inspiration is what will set you apart. I believe that no matter how dry the situation may be, inspiration will get you out of trouble. It is the sometimes elusive ingredient. It could be a new angle, using the depth of field or a small prop, involving face expression and it comes in a million other ways.
You need to stay positive as a photographer, you can’t allow yourself to flirt with any thought akin to “writer’s block”. Look to your left, you look to your right and something will come to your rescue. Make a run for your bag of experience. That’s the “can do” attitude at work.
I look around at other photographers and I see they have the lot of courage. Some can even work without a vision, shoot from the hip and they will nevertheless produce great photos. Sometimes you need to wing it. This may seem odd to ask a photographer butt close your eyes for just a second and start anew. If you feel particularly uninspired well you have to use your bag of pre-set poses. You can also ask for help and I don’t mean call another photographer but ask the bride in front of you and if she is puzzled, you can say “I see you don’t have much experience with this; is this your first wedding?” Hopefully you’ll get a good lough.
While you hit your bag of tried-and-true poses don’t forget you can deviate at any time. There are a million fantastic wedding pictures that haven’t been taken yet. You may have been doing wedding photography for 10 years, rest assured that you ain’t seen nothing yet.