#004 How To Have Stunning Photos of Your Wedding With Michelle Yee

In this episode of the Wedding Insider Podcast, I speak with Michelle Yee. She is a Couple’s Choice Award winning Toronto based wedding photographer. She takes amazing photos (which you can see on her site and blog: http://michelleyeephotos.wordpress.com/). And she shared some awesome tips that I know will help you with your wedding. Enjoy!

In this interview, Michelle shares these tips:

  • how to find (and hire) amazing photographers
  • how to find tell if a venue will look good in photos
  • what you can do to make sure that your photographer gets the best possible photos of your wedding
  • what you can do to look your best in your wedding photos (and lots more)

Audio only:

You can subscribe to this podcast on itunes: click here.

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:
WedLuxe blog
Wedding Bells
The Wedding Co. – The List (she forgot to mention this in the interview but thought that it would be a great resource for you)


Justin Jacques: Hey there, it’s Justin Jacques with the Wedding Insider Podcast. Today I have Michelle Yee, my friend and photographer from Toronto.

Michelle Yee: Hi.

Justin Jacques: She’s awesome, and looking forward today we’re going to talk about how you can find an awesome wedding photographer and other things just to consider to make sure that you have amazing wedding photos.

So to get started, Michelle, what do you… no, no, we’re not going to start like that. We’re going to start with….

Michelle Yee: Okay.

Justin Jacques: How do you start being a photographer?

Michelle Yee: Oh, how did I start being a photographer? Well, photography has been in my life for a really long time. My mother was a pretty avid hobbyist.

Justin Jacques: Cool, cool.

Michelle Yee: So she was always taking photos of us, and I think I was probably around like 12 or 13 when she first taught me how to use her camera, which was the Canon AE-1 Program for 00:00:58 any live phone or…

Justin Jacques: Yeah, we got one of that too.

Michelle Yee: Oh nice.

Justin Jacques: It’s cool.

Michelle Yee: Yeah. I love it.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: I was really sad when she left it in the Philippines.

Justin Jacques: Oh no.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, that’s fine. At least you could still buy them on eBay, but yeah, so she made sure that photography was always around. She was the first person to sort of teach me how to use it, use the camera, and I had pretty much been taking a lot of photos ever since then, but I didn’t really know I could pursue photography as a career until I was in my early 20s, which is a little bit late, I think. Yeah, but I went on a trip to New York, and I know this sounds really clichéd, but it was this transformative experience, and that was where I really saw, “Well, people are actually like making a living doing whatever it is that they dream about doing.” So yeah, so I went on that trip when I was like 23 years or 24, and that’s really when I started.

Justin Jacques: Cool, and then did you move into trying to shoot weddings? Is that kind of how, how was that transition?

Michelle Yee: Yeah, well, I was living in Edmonton at the time, and basically, if you want to be a photographer, you’re shooting weddings there.

Justin Jacques: Oh.

Michelle Yee: So right away when I came back, I met like as many photographers that I could possibly could and I started working with photographers shooting weddings. So that was in 2000, and I kind of grew reading like Bold Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar, and a whole dream of moving to New York initially was to be a fashion photographer, but weddings is what I had available so I just started shooting that right away.

Then I guess it came a little bit later where I had already sort of established myself as like this new commercial and advertising photographer here in Toronto that I really started to focus on weddings, and it was basically when the recession came, the industry changed and people were just desperate to do any kind of work. I had – well, for me it would have been like – a pretty big client like I finally got hired by one of the Canada’s like big banks to shoot like a campaign for them, and they just probably paid me like $500 for an ad that was going to be in China.

Justin Jacques: Whoa!

Michelle Yee: Yeah, and I just thought, when I talked to my other friends, and one of them basically just said, “Look, if you don’t do it, somebody else will.”

And I just thought, “You know, this is not worth it for me.”

Justin Jacques: Yeah. That’s crazy.

Michelle Yee: Yeah. So at the time, like when I first moved to Toronto after photography school, and even when I was in school I was shooting weddings, like weddings, that was like when you’re an actor like you wait tables. For me I was like a budding commercial photographer, you shoot weddings.

Like it was just something that I had always done and I had did, so when the recession came and it was realizing that this path I was pursuing totally brought me no joy or satisfaction whatsoever, it ended up being weddings that sort of saved me. Like I had friends who had asked me to shoot their weddings, and before I would have passed them off because I was like a hired gun for like a larger wedding photography company, so I would have just referred them to that company, but I was like, “You know what, I’m not really doing much work, yeah, I’ll do it.”

I was really surprised at how much like I really loved the work, like it felt like second nature to me, and not having that person in between like me and my clients, like before it’s hired gun like I never met the people, I just like would show up on the day of their weddings and start taking pictures. But now it was like, well, I had like met these people. We were sort of acquaintances before, but now this time we’re really friends because we had worked together throughout the planning, and even in the act of actually shooting their wedding, I realized that I was only accountable to them and to myself.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: Like I did pause that I had to justify any sort of creative decisions, and that just made me feel like free to just do what I wanted.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: And yeah, so that was like that first wedding under my own banner was in 2009, and I haven’t looked back since.

Justin Jacques: Cool. Yeah, I mean, I think it’s a much more intimate connection. Like that’s a huge difference between hiring somebody like you or I or a much smaller company where you actually get to work with a person, and really, it’s like you’re there for every single, especially a photographer, like I’m only there for the party basically.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: You’re there for like the whole day and the most intimate parts of the day.

Michelle Yee: Oh, for sure. It’s mindboggling to me to think that. Usually, for a wedding photographer, it starts with like getting ready. So in these people’s lives, if you were ever to tell them, “You’re going to take your clothes off and probably be naked for a moment and put your clothes back on,” and some stranger is maybe there taking photos, like most people would not be open to that at all.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: But on a wedding day, it’s accepted. So I think it’s really funny that people sort of don’t realize like this responsibility basically that they’re bestowing upon this person. Like there is all sorts of that. I know that planning a wedding is really difficult, but this is somebody that you’re going to put a lot of trust in.

Justin Jacques: Yeah, for sure.

Michelle Yee: It’s really important to know who’s going to show up that day. Like I mean, of course, that company that I worked for was like really reputable and all of the photographers that they had working for them were super talented, but just that one thing alone of really not knowing who was going to be there on the day of, like that has a real act of trust that when you work with like a small business where you know who you’re working with.

Some people are okay with delegating that and just putting their trust in that company to take care of their interest, but for me I think it’s something that’s a real source of comfort of just knowing you are building a relationship with that person who’s going to be there on the day of and be there to take care of you afterwards as well.

Justin Jacques: Yeah, it’s a crazy connection that you can form with someone over working with them, essentially for one day.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: But it’s a part of the job that I really enjoy is like meeting my clients beforehand and really getting to know them as opposed to just showing up on the day of and having someone taking pictures or playing music.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, it wasn’t really something that I had planned, but I love that we have so many new friends because of the work that we do, you know?

Justin Jacques: Yeah, for sure.

Michelle Yee: It’s really rewarding.

Justin Jacques: Okay, so let’s get going on some tips to help couples finding a photographer. So like where should people start when they’re looking for a photographer for their wedding?

Michelle Yee: Oh, well, there are so many places that you can look now, like blogs are a huge way for people to find photos. Personally, because blogs are like they’re global, you could be going on something pretty and looking at these amazing photos, but they’re a photographer in Georgia, you know?

Justin Jacques: [Agrees]

Michelle Yee: Unless you’re getting married there, it’s going to be hard to replicated that. So I think people’s best bets are Google, and to like google your city or venue, places that you’re thinking of getting married at, doing the image search and seeing what come up and seeing what photos you gravitate towards.

Of course, there are always like magazines and they have blogs as well that you can access. There are some good Canadian publications that feature a lot of Canadian photographers like Wedding Bells is one of them. Wedlock is another if you’re going to have a very styled wedding. But yeah, there are so many ways now that people can come across finding a wedding photographer. WeddingWire is another one where they have a lot of really good people on there.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: So yeah, a lot of different ways.

Justin Jacques: Cool, yeah. Yeah, I think it can be a bit overwhelming too for people. I don’t know, but when I talk to some brides, they feel overwhelmed that all the decisions are possible out there.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, yeah.

Justin Jacques: But those are two good sites for sure, and I mean, obviously, you can go anywhere to get the inspiration, but if you’re looking specifically for vendors, it makes sense to kind of stick within you country. Even if you’re willing, even if you have the money to pay someone, it can be tough to travel and to take photos. I’ve had lots of people ask me to come to the States to deejay.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: And like I can’t. I am not going to take the effort to put in and get a visa and everything. It’s just…

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: It’s a lot of work, and I think it’s the same thing, and even if I know some people who might be willing to do it outside of a visa, but to try and find someone who’s going to be able to actually work where you’re having your wedding makes the most amount of sense.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, yeah.

Justin Jacques: So let’s start with those couple of Canadian blogs, that’s a good suggestion for sure.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, yeah. I mean, when you talk about like wedding, like wedding photography, like I think, obviously, I would love to travel with wedding photography, but even just for me like the logistics of like being able to do your job really well under those circumstances are especially trying.

Like even in Toronto, something that I do with all of my clients is, because I tend to work mostly with natural light and because I’m more of a documentary photographer, that means that I need to come armed with as much information as possible. So I like to go to the venues at the time in which I’m going to be shooting like beforehand so I’m just like to go like what can I expect with the lights.

Because I’ve been in lots of situations where when I was doing more editorial photos, they’re like, “You have five minutes with this CEO.” And you’re shooting downtown like in the financial district where you’re really not even supposed to be shooting unless you have a permit in advance. But what you’re doing is kind of guerilla, and I showed up and I was there an hour early, and when you’re in like the financial district, like the light changes there so quickly because you’re basically in these canyons.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: Actually, you’ll have this light that fits that one spot, but it won’t be there five minutes later, and he was late for our shoot and it was a total disaster. By the time he showed up, like all the light, all of the places where I had planned on shooting him looked totally flat and boring.

So when you’re in a wedding like that where you don’t have a chance for a reshoot, not that you wanted to reshoot editorial jobs either, but there are so much more on the line. Or when you’re traveling, like that ability to really plan ahead and to know what you’re getting into is definitely challenging.

Justin Jacques: For sure. Yeah, I mean, it’s the same thing a little bit. Not as important for me, but somebody could say that you could rent equipment or whatever and get around it, but I just like to that I have equipment that works, that everything is going to be set up, that I just seem familiar with the area. It’s just that traveling far outside just seems difficult.

Michelle Yee: I know.

Justin Jacques: I know people who do it.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: But that’s not me.

Michelle Yee: It’s not really a holiday.

Justin Jacques: No.

Michelle Yee: Like if anything, like I just try to think of it as like I’m just getting to work and it’s somewhere different, but it is work.

Justin Jacques: That’s right.

Michelle Yee: Especially with travel weddings like you are working basically from the moment you arrive until you leave.

Justin Jacques: So if people have found a couple of people that they might be interested, do you have any questions that they should be asking that they might not already know, like they might not already think about of themselves?

Michelle Yee: Yeah, I mean, I was trying to think about you would sort of like ask me about what could help people decide on who’s going to be a good wedding photographer…

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: And I feel like there’s a lot of wedding resources where they have all these different questions that you can ask photographers, “Are you insured? Are you going to be the person there on the day of? Do you have like a list or questionnaire or something that you can send me?” And all those things are definitely important. I think you need to based on those how the photographer answers, you can assess if this is a person that you’d trust or not.

But it’s also like things that you can’t literally ask them. Like whenever you email your photographer, how soon do they get back to you?

Justin Jacques: That’s a good one. On that, I agree with that.

Michelle Yee: Because you’re under a lot of stress planning a wedding. Not only is you’re like busy with your work, your family obligations or whatever, throwing a wedding in there is a whole other animal, and when you have a vendor that you don’t hear from for weeks, like that’s not a comfortable feeling.

So for somebody like myself, I only take on a certain number of weddings because I know that I have to be on for the people that have booked me, so whenever they email me, I want to make sure that I am like the last person in our thread to reply even if it’s just like, “Okay, got it, everything is great.” Because my whole goal is just to make the process as easy as possible, so it’s not only just helping them with doing all of the photography side of things, but we’ve been at so many weddings that we have a pretty good sense of like what is realistic and what’s not realistic in terms of timing.

So if see something that I think isn’t going to work, I think maybe some vendors would probably choose a path of least resistance and just think, “Well, I don’t want to bother them with that, so I’ll just let somebody else deal with that.” Or if they have a planner like let that all to somebody else’s shoulders, but I really want to be proactive, and if I think that something is not going to work, I’m not going to wait until the day of to like. “Oh, doing this is going to be a disaster, but I have decided not to say something.” Like I’ll say something right away.

So these are things that it’s more in at the relationship building with your vendors that you really get a sense of like, “Do I have a good sense of dialogue with this person? Like can I communicate easily with them, not just like in the initial meeting, we’re going to have a really good canned responses to like good questions.”

Justin Jacques: For sure.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: I think being, even in just how quickly somebody responds, that doesn’t necessarily show you how it’s going to be, but I feel like the people are going to be most on top of checking in with you and making sure that everything is lined up is they’re going to respond to you relatively quickly. Like myself, I always try to be within 24 hours. I don’t necessarily respond within an hour.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: I sometimes do, but within 24 hours to me is a really reasonable timeframe.

Michelle Yee: Sure.

Justin Jacques: But I’ve heard out from my clients that other vendors like they haven’t heard from them, or friends have gotten married too, like they’re trying to contact their vendors and like they will not hear from them for like six days and it’s like two days before their wedding and they’re wondering if the person is going to show up at the wedding or not, and it can add a lot of stress for sure.

Michelle Yee: Totally, right?

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: I mean, I guess this is that sort of the argument towards like going towards a bigger company because we’re working basically in an unregulated industry, so you’re putting a lot of trust in these individual people that really aren’t accountable to anybody else but to you, so you want to, you know. Like I guess you could ask them how proactive are they.

Justin Jacques: Seriously, yeah.

Michelle Yee: But yeah.

Justin Jacques: I think that’s actually not bad. Honestly, it sounds ridiculous, but it sounds like also a reasonable request, and just see what their response is.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, actually, yeah, that would be a good question, just to see like, “Are you like the type of person who is going to anticipate needs?”

Justin Jacques: Because my answer to that would probably be, “I guarantee you a response within 72 hours, but I almost always respond within 24 or faster.”

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: Like that would be my response. Sometimes on a weekend when I have a couple of weddings, it can be tough to respond to emails and that’s generally the times I’m not responding super quick, but I still feel like it depends on the situation. If your wedding is five months away and you’re sending me an email, I feel like you probably don’t feel a need for a response, whereas if your wedding was tomorrow and I saw an email come through, then I’d probably try to respond as quickly as possible.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, yeah. I mean, of course, I’m not saying that like I’m tied to my email, but you know?

Justin Jacques: Right, but you would probably have a similar response, whereas some people might not even have that response ready where it seems like they’re going to care about that type of thing.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, I mean, I think being proactive in anticipating needs is actually a part of my business.

Justin Jacques: For sure.

Michelle Yee: So yeah. So I guess that would be something that would be really worthwhile in asking your vendors in advance.

Justin Jacques: Cool.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: So like you know photography more than anyone, I’m sure, other than other photographers, but generally you know more than people that are going to be hiring a wedding photographer, I would say. Obviously, people can just look at pictures and just get an idea of what kind of appeals to them, but what are the different styles that people can be looking from just from a descriptive standpoint? Like what’s the difference between you, like I know there is a difference, but can you kind of describe that difference of what people can find in different photographers?

Michelle Yee: Yeah, I mean, it’s funny because I went to a wedding show yesterday just because a friend of mine was there, and we were just meeting other vendors, and my husband who’s a wedding DJ as well, like he was talking to a photographer and he was giving his card. He told him, “Maybe you know my wife because she’s a photographer.”

He’s like, “Oh yeah, I know.”

Like I don’t have that perspective at all because really like there are so many different styles of photography out there. Even when you say the sort of like blanket things like “I’m more of a photojournalist, or I’m more of like a portrait photographer.” Even people who is sort of associate themselves with that sort of style could have like huge variations in how that’s translated.

But I think in general, there are people who really focus a lot on like very styled wedding shoots, you know?

Justin Jacques: Okay.

Michelle Yee: Where they bring a lot of like elements in like props and whatnot. These are people who would need a lot more time for the photos, and there are people who say that their strengths are in candid photography or they say they’re more documentary or more photojournalistic. I mean, maybe it’s not like buying or like this or that, but I guess those tend to be the extremes, or like the more pause more controlled versus like the not controlled and more sort of responsive types of photography.

Justin Jacques: Okay, yeah.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, but wedding photography in general, like there are so many just different aspect of wedding photography that you kind of need to be like the jack of all trades in a sense. You need to have at least some skills in portraiture, some skills in photojournalism. Now that people are really getting into like finding all the little details, like you also need to be like an accomplished still light photographer. So you wear a lot of different hats like I know a lot of really talented photographers who have like amazing, amazing like bodies of work who say they could never shoot weddings because it’s just too stressful.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: And those are people who are doing like campaigns that cost like hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce. So you definitely need to be very skilled on a lot of different areas as a photographer regardless of like what you say you specialize in.

Justin Jacques: Okay, cool.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: What can people expect? Like obviously, in anything you buy, there are different price ranges for everything even by, I don’t know. What’s the cheapest car you could probably get? I’m not sure.

Michelle Yee: Oh, you could probably a car for a thousand bucks on Craigslist.

Justin Jacques: Yeah, exactly.

Michelle Yee: Like a million dollar, I don’t know, the McLaren I guess. Is that like the new supercar?

Justin Jacques: I have no idea. I’m not a car guy.

Michelle Yee: Likewise. Don’t worry, I’m really good one.

Justin Jacques: I knew that. I should find a better analogy for future times I’m asking this question. But anyway, I’m sure everyone gets the idea. What’s like the standard? Obviously, probably people are going to find a $500 wedding photographer on Kijiji.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: For a professional wedding photographer, where would the price range generally be? And people can also probably pay a $100,000 for wedding photographers.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, yeah. It’s like that whole idea that you get what you pay for definitely holds true in photography. I mean, I think that there are instances where you can get really lucky and you can find someone who’s talented but early in their career, and maybe that will only set you back $2,000 or $3,000.

But I’ve heard so many horror stories, even with people who have hired more expensive photographers where, I mean, I guess this was in the days of film, but like I have a client of mine who said, “Yeah, like we hired our photographer and I was finally ready to make prints like have enlargements made, and he lost my negatives and it had only been like five years.”

So there’s a huge range. You can probably be paid something like $5,000 or $6,000 for your photography too. But yeah, so it could really range, like you can find somebody for the $2,000 to $3,000 mark. You can find like really super talented people for around $5,000.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: And then seeing like what else you want from them, whether you want like albums or you want them to capture more than your day, but maybe your dress fitting too. It can just go upwards from there.

Justin Jacques: Okay, cool.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: Okay, so this is actually a good question. When you have a couple, what can they do to make sure that you are able to capture like the best photos? Like is there anything? I’m sure there are things that they can do, and what are they?

Michelle Yee: Yeah, communication is key. Do not keep secrets from your photographer. I think that is like the number one thing. Because you can have couples where like they want to surprise their partner on the day with something, and I think that that’s amazing, but just don’t keep that from your photographer even if you have to send them just a sort of email in secret, do that.

I was at a wedding a couple of years ago where the groom in the middle of the reception decided, or not, he didn’t decide on impulse, but he had planned on serenading his bride, and for me, like at receptions, it’s generally people sitting down at their tables.

After you get like the sort of like wide angle and some of the more standard shots, like generally you’re just kind of you’ve got your long lens and you’re just trying to get people’s reactions.

Justin Jacques: Yeah. People eating, it’s not really worth taking pictures of either, right?

Michelle Yee: Yeah, people eating. Like by that time, I’ve been carrying around all of my lenses and all of my gear all day so now I’m just paring it down to just the one lens because I think generally this is the lens that I may be able to use to get people’s reactions. So all of a sudden, he’s singing and I’m like, “Oh my God, I don’t have like the right…” I was just limited in what I had available to me because I had only had that one lens on me, whereas all of my other stuff was off across the room.

So had he told me that he was going to be serenading her, I would just had all of my tools at my disposal. Like I still obviously managed to get photos of it, but I would have loved to have done it in so much more if I had known that this is going to come.

So that would probably be the biggest thing, like just communicate everything to your photographer. Like whatever you think is maybe even not relevant to me, I would totally think is relevant.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: Every itinerary that anyone does for them, like the DJs for example. Like itineraries are so detailed at the reception. It’s like everything is broken down in like two-minute increments because it’s like this song comes on in this speech, whatever. Like even though that may not be directly relevant to me, I’d still want to know what’s going to happen so I can anticipate the evening and just be…

Justin Jacques: Yeah, I’ve had lots of it. I make itinerary for every wedding, and I know not everyone does, but I know that some other DJs too or a planner does that, or somebody. There’s usually some sort of itinerary around.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: For those of you that are brides or grooms, like share those itineraries with all of your vendors, even if they don’t seem like they matter because sometimes I have photographers coming up to me and it’s not their fault, they just weren’t told about what’s going on, and like they’re asking me what’s going, and then I have to either give them my itinerary or sit there and explain to them, “There, you should have that stuff.” So that make sure, that’s a super good tip because it is really important for us to know what’s going on.

Even the small things, even for me when I’m just playing background music during dinner, I like to know if you’re planning on having people singing or whatever it is, and I’m sure Michelle would want to know and every other photographer would want to know that’s just happening too.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, exactly. I can’t like stress that enough. Just giving as much information as possible.

Justin Jacques: Cool.

Michelle Yee: So yeah, that is like the number one thing that people could do, and second to that, I guess, is just choose a venue that has a great light.

Justin Jacques: Okay, cool. Actually, that’s the next question. So you’re a photographer, and obviously very visual based.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: For those of us that don’t think like you do, what should we be looking for when we’re looking at a venue to make sure that our pictures are like really awesome?

Michelle Yee: Yeah. Well, like I think it’s really important for people to pay attention to their first impression like when they walk into a space, like does it feel really grand? Does it make you feel good being there? You know?

Justin Jacques: [Agrees]

Michelle Yee: If you right away start thinking like, “Okay, well, I’ll make sure I have to do that. I have to do that, and do that,” then at its very basic nature, it may not be the best place because I feel like lighting is something that people just notice or they get a sense of instinctually, you know?

Justin Jacques: Yeah, we might not notice it on our own.

Michelle Yee: Yeah. So I think you should just pay attention to what your instinct say as to how good the space is.

Justin Jacques: Cool.

Michelle Yee: Yeah.

Justin Jacques: Is there anything that like styling-wise, makeup-wise, is there anything that you know of that helps brides especially I guess looking at pictures?

Michelle Yee: I think the most important thing for me is that they feel comfortable.

Justin Jacques: Okay, cool.

Michelle Yee: Is it comfortable with how you look? You’re not going to feel as confident. When you’re choosing like a makeup artist, for example, like I definitely recommend you do the tests because you think that there is not too many ways that makeup can go wrong, but there are a million ways that make it wrong.

There is like a wedding show that my husband and I went to like a long time ago because we obviously been a wedding photographer, and he was like, “Oh, look, they’re offering free makeovers. You should go and have a makeover.”

And I went over, and I was like, “Okay, I’ll make a makeover,” and this woman literally sat me down and did not say a word to me for an hour. Like she didn’t talk to me at all. I was the type of person I rarely wear makeup so I had no idea what she was doing to me at all.

Justin Jacques: Oh my God.

Michelle Yee: And like an hour later, somebody was like, “Oh yeah, that looks really good.”

She’s like, “Yeah, you see I told you that you would look great with this.”

And I was like, “You didn’t actually say anything to me.”

Then after when I got to see what I looked like, I was like shocked. The first thing that came to my mind was like I looked like a Chinese opera singer, which was like totally not my flattering at all. But for men trying to be portrayed as women, and I felt like that.

Justin Jacques: Oh my God.

Michelle Yee: I was like, “I am a woman trying to look like a man trying to look a woman.” And yeah, it was really horrible. It was really, really embarrassing.

Justin Jacques: It was horrible.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, it was a good thing that she wasn’t the makeup artist at my wedding.

Justin Jacques: Yeah, for sure.

Michelle Yee: Seeing that, yeah, I would have been mortified. So yeah, I mean, I feel like the most beautiful thing about a person is like when they are smiling and they’re happy.

Justin Jacques: Yeah. Okay, cool.

Michelle Yee: So as long as you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing and how you look and you just feel like you’ve never looked better, then that is like all I need.

Justin Jacques: Okay. That’s awesome.

Michelle Yee: Yes.

Justin Jacques: One last question.

Michelle Yee: Okay.

Justin Jacques: And really, I’m trying to ask like this same question with everyone. I forgot on the first interview. I didn’t write it down unfortunately, and you’re number 3, so you get the second try at this question.

Michelle Yee: All right, cool.

Justin Jacques: Can you share three like insider tips that you as a wedding photographer know and most people don’t? And it doesn’t even necessarily need to be about photography, but about a wedding, like you get to see a lot of the day and actually pretty much all of the day, so anything that you can think of that is going to make somebody’s wedding better, then let us know.

Michelle Yee: Oh okay.

Justin Jacques: It can be about photography too.

Michelle Yee: Okay, okay. Well, I guess to reiterate, communication.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: Share as much information as you have, even if you feel like you’re bombarding your photographer if they’re not replying, which they shouldn’t be mad at you.

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: But even if they’re not, just send them like ten different itineraries of the same day whatever. So for me, just give me as much information as possible, and so that’s number one. I guess number two is, it’s really hard because weddings for a lot of people, it’s something that they’ve thought about for a really long time.

Even for somebody like me, like my husband and I were like we’re in the wedding business, but even when we got married, it was a lot of stress just trying to plan it because there are all these expectations. I didn’t think at that time that it was necessary for my parents to invite like 15 of their friends whom I didn’t know, but now that my friends are starting to have kids and I’m developing relationships with them, I think, “Yeah, I want to be there when they get married.”

So I think that knowing that it’s a lot of work and knowing that there are a lot of like expectations and preconceived notions about weddings, adopting the attitude that at its most, at its sort of when it’s distilled down, it’s really a celebration of you making a commitment to somebody who is really important to you and sharing that with your friends and family.

You can just repeat that in mind, like everything else can just fall to pieces, but as long as that one thing happens, then everything is going to be good. So all of your vendors are prepared because you’ve bombarded them with itineraries, and then when shit hits the fan, oops I’m sorry, I probably wasn’t supposed to swear.

Justin Jacques: Okay.

Michelle Yee: But if stuff doesn’t go the way you expected it, like just keep in mind like what it’s really about, and then I guess the third thing would just be on the day itself, it really does fly by, you know?

Justin Jacques: Yeah.

Michelle Yee: That whole idea of like time flies when you’re having fun, it is like exponentially fast on the day where it’s like, “Oh my God, I’m surrounded by people I love. I can’t believe I’m seeing all these people in one room all together.” So just make sure that on the day of, you just take a moment to really just absorb all of that.

Justin Jacques: I’m trying to tell that to everyone of my clients, just that. It’s just it goes by so fast like try your best to realize it.

Michelle Yee: Oh, it’s just like one time during the day, and I think I’m going to adopt the practice of like to like even just instigating and be like, “Okay, I just want you to take a moment, take a deep breath, look around you and just savor this.”

Justin Jacques: Cool. Yeah, it’s a good practice.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, I think so. I think so because even for me, it’s easy to get swept up and it’s like 00:34:56 hold the sun at like 11 o’clock at night.

Justin Jacques: For sure.

Michelle Yee: And the day is almost done.

Justin Jacques: Cool.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, yeah.

Justin Jacques: Thank you so much for sharing that info. I’m sure our listeners/viewers will find a ton of value in that. That was really good.

Michelle Yee: Okay, I hope so. Thank you so much for having me.

Justin Jacques: Yeah. What can people do if they want to get in contact with you?

Michelle Yee: Oh.

Justin Jacques: Where can they find you?

Michelle Yee: They can go to my website which is michelleyee.com, and I used to hate this that this is how you could spell my name, but it also fits really well with the Mickey Mouse song so it’s like M-I-C-H-E-L-L-E-Y-E-E.com. So it’s really funny. So you can go to my website. You can…

Justin Jacques: Our transcriber will appreciate it that’s your song.

Michelle Yee: I hope that they can write a little musical note, and you can also stalk me on Instagram, which is @michelleyee, but it’s mostly photos of my dog.

Justin Jacques: Who is super cute, so I’m sure you’ll love them.

Michelle Yee: Yeah, I know, and yeah, and then my Twitter handle is the same as the Instagram, @michelleyee, and also, I have a Facebook page, and new and exciting things are going to be happening there as well.

Justin Jacques: Okay, cool, and then I’m going to put together some show notes with just links to kind of the sites that you’ve mentioned, links to your site.

Michelle Yee: Great.

Justin Jacques: And whatever, I’ll send it. It will be in the weddingdj.com/podcast/michelle.

Michelle Yee: Sweet.

Justin Jacques: And then yeah, and then one other note is that if your subscribed on iTunes and listening to this here, it would be amazing if you could give me a review if you like what you’ve heard. I just want to be able to spread the words to more brides and grooms, so just the more reviews I have, the more likely they are to show my podcast to other people, so that will be amazing.

Thank you so much, Michelle. I really appreciate your time, and I’m sure everyone else listening does too, and well, I really appreciate you being here.

Michelle Yee: Awesome, thank you for having me.

Justin Jacques: Cool, thanks.

Michelle Yee: Thanks.

Justin Jacques: We’ll talk soon.

Michelle Yee: Okay, bye.

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