Pros and cons of being a wedding photographer
Many photographers are thinking about shooting weddings. If you never did it before or just starting, you may wonder – how it is to be an actual full-time wedding professional, shooting weddings for a living. I’ve been doing photography full-time for over 12 years, and in this video, I want to share my top pros and cons so you can get a better picture of what to expect.
The first benefit of being a wedding photographer is your independence. For me, it was the main reason why I didn’t even think about doing anything else besides photography – being a wedding shooter, you don’t have a certain amount of days off per year, which usually happens when you work for someone else, you don’t have a set income, which in most cases limits your ability to do what you love in your life, except when you’re some top manager making good money loving your company. Being an independent pro photographer, you can set your own income goals while still doing what you love and when you want.
The best day possible
Another great benefit of being a wedding photographer is that you have to shoot on the best day of people’s lives. Usually, people are preparing for a long time to make this day special, super excited for it to happen. One of the central figures at any wedding is the photographer, who will spend the whole day with the bride and groom. You will be focused for the entire day on people’s positive emotions. People will be smiling and laughing seeing you so you can get good photos of them. This experience makes the whole shooting process a breeze. They even feed you with the best meals they can afford while paying you money for what you love.
The necessity of your services
I don’t know any wedding that can happen without a wedding photographer. There should always be someone who is taking photos of this big day. For all people, it matters. Some struggle with friend photographers, but most couples hire a pro. So:) This is very good for us photographers because people NEED our services. What do I mean? Let’s take portrait photography, for example – you know these portraits of some half-naked young ladies so popular on Instagram, for example? It may be cool to shoot them, and it may boost your ego, but usually, these girls don’t pay thousands of dollars for you to shoot them, so if you want to make a living out of photography, weddings are a great option.
As you see, there are lots of benefits to being a wedding photographer. It looks like a great choice to make it a career, but there are some cons, or I would say nuances, that you have to consider before diving deep.
The independence of being a pro shooter comes with responsibility. People rely on you to shoot their most cherished photos for many years, showing them to their kids and friends. Hence, it is your responsibility to be able to deliver professionally done images without any excuses about the lousy day, ugly light or mood of the wedding. You must submit everything on time with a consistent quality that people paid for. The good thing here is that it all comes with practice, so over time, you’ll be doing all these things without even thinking.
Need to know your camera – all genres included
Wedding photography, as I see it, is one of the most demanding genres that includes most of the other genres combined- portrait, product, event, documentary, staged and candid. You have to know your camera 100%. You have to understand how to make adjustments, how to find a good light where you think the light is terrible, you have to know what lenses do and how composition works, so even having some ugly location or lack of time, you will be able to get the photos your clients will love.
It gets boring – commercial, maintain your style
Another con I can think of is the consistency of style and quality that you need to maintain for people to know what to expect from you to be willing to pay you money. When you’re doing a creative shoot, you’re able to shoot whatever you like, and you don’t need to care if your models will like the outcome – it’s you experimenting, but when people pay you money – you have to deliver. Deliver a quality product every single time in a specific style that they booked you for. It limits you as an artist, so you must keep shooting your side projects to practice something new before gradually applying it to wedding photography.
As you see, wedding photography is a unique genre that includes most other genres. Wedding photography people need and are willing to pay for, giving you independence and the ability to shoot all over the world, at the same time requiring you to know your skill. I love to shoot weddings and think that this is one of the most exciting jobs you can ever imagine.