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Pros And Cons Of Working As A Wedding Photographer

If you love taking pictures of people in extraordinary social situations, wedding photography might be for you. Being part of such an important event in your clients’ lives is both an honor and a huge responsibility.

But before you jump in with both feet, there are some things you should know to make sure that you’re choosing the right profession.

Here are some critical pros and cons involved in being a wedding photographer.

PROS

1. You get to unleash your creativity

Clients choose wedding photographers on the basis of their personal style of photography. That’s why you need to develop your own style and make sure that your pictures stand out from the crowd. And that’s a huge motivation for being creative on the job.

You get to experiment with different techniques and angles, unleash your creativity in the post production phase, and present your clients with unique documentation of the most important day in their lives.

2. You meet interesting people

Wedding photographers get to meet people they would never come across otherwise. Each event opens the door to meeting plenty of new people. Your horizons are bound to expand with every new client.

3. You’ll never be bored

Since wedding photography is all about the people involved in the event, you can be sure that you’ll never develop a boring routine.  You’ll need to constantly adapt to new circumstances and personalities, or handle tricky situations like shooting in rain. New challenges make this job very exciting.

4. You’ll expand your skill set

Whether its adapting to new technologies, or improving your technical skills, you can be sure that there’s plenty of room for you to grow in the profession.

5. You can choose your own clients

Once you set up your new business and it takes off, you’ll have the luxury of choosing commissions without having to accept every gig that comes your way. You’ll also get to choose when and where you work. I you love to travel, you’ll be free to visit every corner of the world thanks to destination weddings.

6. Most of the time, you’ll be working with very happy people

And that’s what makes the job really outstanding. Shooting weddings, you’re bound to be surrounded with people who are in good moods and want you around. They’ll appreciate your talent in helping them document such a special day.

7. You’ll have a lot of control

The wedding photographer is easily one of the most responsible people in the wedding ensemble. They’re the ones who capture the moments, so they coordinate work with venue authorities to learn where it’s possible to take shots. Photographers also oversee the background decorations to make sure that they don’t overpower portraits and couples shots.

 

CONS

1. Your gear will be costly

Professional wedding photographers usually have their own equipment. If you’re just starting pout, it’s smart to borrow it – at least until you are sure that your business will enable you to pay for the expensive gear.

2. It’s a high pressure job

Weddings are joyful events, but there is also a lot of stress involved in them. Everyone wants to have a perfect wedding and if you are the one responsible for documenting it, you will have to deal with the pressure of getting it just right. You will be the one responsible for capturing these moments and that is a lot of responsibility.

3. Processing wedding pictures takes lots of time

Many photographers who are just entering the business fail to realize the amount of time needed for the post production processing. And so do clients. You need to make sure that your clients understand that it takes time for the pictures to be ready. Expect to spend hours in front of the screen perfecting the images. Naturally, the longer the shoot the more pictures you’ll have to edit.

4. Running your own business is tough

As a self-employed professional, you’ll need to take care of plenty of tasks to make sure your business is running smoothly. It is smart to hire professional bookkeepers to have the peace of mind that you are doing everything correctly. You will also gain plenty of time to do what you love – taking pictures.

5. Expect to work long hours

Weddings last a long time. They can be anywhere between 8 and 15 hours, and it is tough to survive. If you are a freelancer, expect working unpredictably long hours with few breaks in between. You cannot  miss out on crucial moments, right?  Plus, you will  be lugging around your heavy gear, so make sure to keep your body in shape.

6. It won’t always be perfect

Most of the time, you’ll have happy clients. But once in a while, you will have to deal with a client who is not happy. This is a heavy burden to bear because of the responsibility involved in the task. But be strong and trust yourself to do the best job.

7. You might feel alienated

Even if you meet so many new people, your job is solitary in its essence. Expect to be busy during weddings and have no time for casual conversation. The usual long hours of professional interaction don’t give many opportunities for networking either, unless you’re lucky enough to have a team of people who help you in major assignments. Just like in other freelance jobs, going out for drinks with colleagues after work is next to impossible.

Conclusion

Many people like the idea of professional wedding photography.  But before you become a  wedding photographer, you should know that the job involves a lot of responsibility. Plus, you’ll have to prioritize your client’s wishes over your own sense of aesthetics. These pros and cons may help you make the right decision.

Do you have other pros/cons from your own experience?

Kate Thora

Kate Thora works at Uphours. Her artistic soul manifests itself in her love for photography and dancing.

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  • Sara Ell

    As someone who’s considered getting into wedding photography a few times, thank you so much for this post! I love attending weddings and being a part of people’s big day, but you definitely need to . This post really helps to clarify some of the specific upsides and downsides of the job.

    The points about gear and dealing with clients I had thought of before, but I hadn’t really put too much thought into the social side of the job. Many of the wedding photographers I know are out of town on most weekends and most of time during the week processing photos and meeting with clients. I wonder if the and chance to meet so many people and travel to cool locations makes up for not having much of a social life outside work?

    I’ve heard the comment about aesthetic priorities from plenty of wedding photographers, yet many of them still seem to maintain their own unique style—in many cases, that’s why their clients seek them out! Do you find that you have to compromise your style as a photographer in order to accommodate the couple’s tastes?

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