S2E3. How To Embrace The Unplanned When Shooting A Wedding w/ Sean Flanigan


Sean Flanigan

Sean Flanigan is a pioneer of the modern wedding photography industry, creating photos that resonate with people because of their raw quality, grittiness, and real feeling. Named one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the world by American Photos, Sean has an impressive portfolio and over a decade’s worth of experience in the industry.

Interview Host: Sachin Khona // May 2019
Listening time: 48 mins

Sean believes that the most important aspect of wedding photography is gaining complete access to the couple, and being the opposite of a fly on the wall. He takes his love for bike riding, punk rock music, and skateboarding and applies it to his photography brand. Today he discusses the changes he has seen in the industry throughout his career, the importance of relentlessness and willingness to succeed, and how he chooses to embrace the competition to add value to the industry.

Wedding photography happens fast, and Sean is using his recipe for success to get the most out of a couples special day. A passionate photographer, world traveler, father and husband, Sean is playing by his own rules and seeing a massive benefit in return.

What inspired you most about Sean’s take on wedding photography? Share with us in the comments below!

In This Episode

  • The importance of being physically close to a couple during your time together
  • Why you should be prepared and also embrace the unplanned when shooting
  • How to get several jobs out of one initial client with referrals and happiness
  • Highlighting the differences and changes in the wedding industry in the past decade
  • Words of advice to new photographers and those who want to break the rules


“Were not photographing wildlife, were photographing a beautiful event. There is probably only one time in peoples lives that they have their best friends and family members all together in one spot, and if you are going to be photographing that from the outside in, you are losing.” (6:03)

“It’s cool to have an inspiring location, I won’t deny that. But I don’t think that it’s important, and I definitely don’t place a premium on it like I do the connection that I have with a couple.” (10:32)

“I didn’t know how to shoot a wedding, but the most important thing was that I didn’t care what the rules were.” (22:14)

“You are either unwilling or you are willing to do the work, and the people that are willing to do the work are going to have success. So it is about being relentless and being willing, and that’s all it is.” (29:00)

“I just want to take good pictures and have enough money to eat food, its just simple.” (39:03)


A Fist Full of Bolts Website

Follow Sean on Facebook | Instagram


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