Is Wedding Photography a Good Career?

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    People tend to look back on their wedding day as one of the most significant and significant days of their lives, one that they remember for many years to come. The majority of married couples simply cannot settle for regular photographs. The photography of weddings is a highly specialised and lucrative sub-genre of the larger photography industry. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

    Wedding photography entails taking pictures of the wedding ceremony as well as the people who are attending it. The vast majority of professionals, on the other hand, are aware that there is a great deal more to wedding photography than simply taking a few pictures. The photographs must be of the highest possible quality and level of originality.

    The staggering number of photographs captured by photographers at the typical wedding is astounding. The photographs of the bride and groom, as well as any other members of the wedding party, are almost always considered to be the most important ones. The subjects of many of these photographs have typically been carefully posed for the camera. Photos of the little girl dancing on her father's feet or the bride smashing cake in the groom's face are examples of the types of candid shots that are taken at weddings. These kinds of photographs are frequently the most valuable treasures.

    At weddings, not only are photographs taken of the guests, but also of the venue itself and any other inanimate subjects. The wedding chapel, the wedding cake, the wedding gown, and the wedding rings are some of the most frequently photographed items.

    Brides who want wedding photographs that are truly one-of-a-kind and memorable also typically have the option of scheduling a "trash the dress" session either before or after their big day. During these photoshoots, the bride will typically wear her gown while being photographed in a variety of unconventional and sometimes even filthy settings. For her bridal portrait, a bride might choose to have her picture taken while she is, for example, playing in the waves or lying down in a field.

    In the early stages of their careers, the majority of photographers gain experience in the wedding photography niche by working at least once or twice in the industry. Is this, however, for you to do? Have you got what it takes to succeed? Even some of the most experienced professional wedding photographers have given up the ghost and moved on to other types of work because the industry is so competitive. You seem curious about this, don't you? I asked a few of my fellow professional photographers, some of whom specialise in wedding photography and others in other types of photography, their opinions on why they believe that shooting weddings for a living is a terrible profession. The following are the top five responses that I obtained.

    Don't get me wrong. This article is about how much I enjoy being a wedding photographer, which is also the point of the article. In order to be successful in this field and derive any sort of personal satisfaction from your work, you really need to have a passion for weddings. And isn't that the point of being a professional photographer and taking pictures for a living – to be able to love what you do? [Cause] it's the only way to make a living.

    This list makes a few assumptions about your abilities as a photographer, the most important of which is that you are competent at taking photographs that are appropriately exposed, in focus, and well-composed. That is the most fundamental requirement to begin with. However, a simple search on Craigslist for affordable wedding photographers will show how many people completely skip this step because they read that all they needed to be able to do to make it in the wedding industry was "spray and pray." As a result, they bought a $500 camera and believe that all they need to be able to do is "spray and pray."

    What Does a Wedding Photographer Do?

    Is Wedding Photography a Good Career?

    The initial consultation with the couple is the first and most essential step that a wedding photographer takes before beginning his work. In most cases, this is the bride and groom, or a member of the groom's or bride's family. At the first meeting, the wedding photographer and the clients will talk about the specifics of the wedding as well as the kinds of photographs the clients are hoping to get out of the experience. Primarily, the photographer needs to get a sense of the aesthetic that his client prefers.

    After these plans have been discussed, it is customary for the wedding photographer to conduct a pre-wedding walkthrough of the ceremony and reception locations. A good number of photographers will typically go to the location of the wedding several days or weeks before the big day itself, if at all possible.

    A wedding photographer is typically one of the first people to arrive on the day of the wedding. Whenever he goes somewhere, you can count on him to bring along at least one assistant or another photographer to assist him. These additional trained professionals might be in charge of anything from transporting equipment to taking photographs.

    The first photographs of the wedding are taken prior to the beginning of the actual ceremony. The dress, the bride getting ready, the groom waiting with his groomsmen, and other scenes from the wedding are frequently captured in these photographs. Many photographers will also pose and take pictures of members of the wedding party if there is time for them to do so.

    The wedding ceremony itself is typically the subject of multiple photographic documentations as well. Some of the most iconic images from weddings include the flower girl making her way down the aisle, the groom's father giving his daughter away, and the newlyweds exchanging their vows. Naturally, wedding photographers will also typically capture images of one of the most significant moments, which is the first kiss shared by the newlyweds.

    In most cases, the bride and groom will ask the photographer to remain for the reception as well. Typically, he will take pictures of the tables, the presents, and the cake while he is here. At this point in the reception, traditional photographs such as the bride tossing the bouquet and the father-daughter dance are taken. In addition to that, he will take a number of candid photographs of the wedding party and guests having a good time. A wedding photographer needs to be able to react quickly in order to capture these fleeting moments, which can happen in the blink of an eye. These challenging shots can sometimes be extremely difficult to get.

    However, the job of a wedding photographer is not finished after the wedding ceremony and reception have concluded. During the course of a typical wedding, each photographer will ordinarily take anywhere from hundreds to even thousands of photographs. Only a small fraction of the photographs in this collection can actually be used in any way. The photographs taken at a wedding will typically only be selected from the best of those taken, with those that are blurry, uninteresting, or otherwise deficient being discarded. Retouching may be required for some of the photographs as well. After the event is over, he will normally assist the newlyweds in selecting the most memorable photographs that were taken on their big day.

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    The Pros of Becoming a Wedding a Photographer

    Potentially very profitable

    This is the most important one. So, let's set up shop for a while on this train of thought.

    There is no question that weddings have the potential to generate a profit. And just in case you were wondering, despite what other people may say, there is not currently a danger of the wedding photography field becoming overly competitive. (Anyone who is concerned about an oversaturated market does not understand how to reach the vast submarkets that exist within the American economy and others, but that is a topic for another discussion.)

    You are also given the ability to select from a variety of business structures, all of which have the potential to be profitable. You could try to achieve a high volume. Ask yourself this question: "If I charged only $1,500 for all-day wedding coverage plus digital images, could I get booked and make a living doing this?" Absolutely. Because that package rate is considerably lower than the average rate across the nation, you are likely to attract customers who are looking for deals, who account for approximately 45 percent of the total market. With this model of "shoot and share," the recurring costs of your business are kept to an absolute minimum. You can make $60,000 a year as a wedding photographer if you are willing to shoot forty weddings each year. Does it make sense to you?

    You could, on the other hand, establish a low-volume bespoke brand similar to our workshop, The Blumes, which offers a comprehensive range of services in addition to premium heirloom product sales. Even if you are based in a small local market like ours, which has high levels of poverty, it is not unthinkable that you could average between $7,000 and $10,000 per wedding using this method. In this situation, you might aim to book between 15 and 20 weddings each year, just like we do. I'll leave the calculations up to you. The nett income is very good, even after taking into account the costs of the materials.

    Making art with lovely people who are going through the best time of their lives together. The development of relationships is quickly becoming our favourite aspect of the job. Wedding photography could be a good fit for you if you take pleasure in making new connections with people and fostering existing ones (possibly even more than you take pleasure in taking photographs; yes, you read that correctly).

    Wedding days can be a lot of fun. At the end of some weddings, I am so worn out that I am tempted to believe something else, despite the fact that I know better. Then I think back to my previous jobs as a retail manager at a swimming pool store and as a high school teacher and I remember what it was like working those jobs. It is much more inspiring to create artwork for a couple who is deeply in love with one another than it is to diagnose an angry customer's algae-filled pool. Despite the fact that I cherished my time spent in the classroom, I do not miss the agony of handing out failing grades or the hassle of dealing with administrative politics. We've worked on hundreds of weddings, and during that time we've seen almost no bridezillas. There have been some stressed-out brides, to be sure, but nothing that simple empathy and care couldn't fix.

    Wedding photographers are hired by clients based on the client's preference for their particular photographic style. Because of this, you should cultivate your own unique style and work hard to ensure that your photographs stand out from the crowd. And that is a significant incentive for employing one's creative faculties while on the job.

    You get the opportunity to try out new approaches and perspectives, to let your imagination run wild during post-production, and to provide your customers with one-of-a-kind documentation of the event that will go down as the most significant day of their lives.

    It's Seasonal

    As you will see in a moment, this particular point has a positive as well as a negative aspect to it. This job is great because it varies with the seasons. The fact that we are able to take a break during the school year is one of the perks of our job as wedding photographers, which is very similar to that of a teacher. The first six months of the year account for approximately 90 percent of our annual income. Let's just say that during that span of time we have a positive outlook on life! The money keeps coming in, and you can't believe how much it's adding up to in your bank account. Then, of course, there is winter! We save up all of this money over the course of the summer and fall in order to be ready for the offseason when it finally arrives.

    If everything goes according to plan, you won't have anything to worry about when it comes to the months when business is slower. There are a lot of people who are afraid of having a "off-season," but that could be because they aren't as disciplined with their own personal finances as you need to be to have this job! Due to the nature of our circumstances, we need to exercise extreme caution because this is both of our full-time jobs. In our situation, there is no safety nett, but there is a good chance that this will not be the case for you! Because we have everything planned out, we are able to make the most of our time off. You can have a stress-free period of your life, during which you get to spend more time with your loved ones and friends, if you make the appropriate preparations. I'll discuss the negative aspects of this very same topic in the next paragraph.

    You Get to Meet New People All the Time

    This is the perfect job for extroverted people! During the busy season, there is never a dull moment because you are constantly introduced to new people. Even if you are more of an introvert, you shouldn't discount yourself. Caitlin is someone who views herself as an intelligent extrovert. Even though she still identifies as an introvert, she has become both self-assured and outgoing in her professional life. On the days of weddings, we always run into fresh young couples and a diverse assortment of other people because of how busy our season is. This job is the ideal way to help you break out of your comfort zone for half of the year and then give you the opportunity to return to your more reserved self for the other half of the year. In our opinion, you get the very best of both worlds this way!

    Work for yourself

    I really enjoy being my own boss. It couldn't possibly go any other way in my book. Because you are able to complete your work from any location, you are free to set your own hours, sleep in more frequently, and travel to any destination you choose. If you're anything like me, the idea of going to work for the man is almost intolerable to contemplate.

    Because of the rigid schedule that the public school system requires, Eileen and I even choose to educate our three children at home. We are able to travel as a family because we are free birds. We have worked while visiting friends in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, the Philippines, and various states in the United States. The benefits are not an illusion.

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    Cons of Becoming a Wedding Photographer

    Financially Unstable

    Sadly, I have found that the primary reason photographers give for photographing weddings is financial gain. If that describes you, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by leaving the situation right now. Do something different.

    This is not meant to put you off in any way. In point of fact, I believe that you would be successful working as a wedding photographer. I have no doubt about it. The students who participate in our workshop frequently achieve remarkable results. But if you approach this endeavour in the same way that the vast majority of people do—that is, without a guide or a lot of business experience, and by attempting to create something entirely new—it will be unsuccessful. Even "the hard-working hopefuls," as I call them, have a failure rate of about 70 percent when they try to make money with it. The vast majority of the early survivors will perish within the following couple of years after that point. Do you anticipate staying in this position for more than a few years? Have some good times first, and then start looking for a "real job" to do? Or do you wish for wedding photography to serve as your primary source of income, allowing you to provide for yourself now, for the future education of your children, and for your own retirement?

    If this is the case, you had better have a strategy in place, because as a business owner, you are perpetually without a job. Does what I've just said make any sense to you? Every consultation that you have with a prospective bride is like going on a new job interview. There is always the possibility that some years will be prosperous, while others will mysteriously be difficult. It will take some time before you can figure out what you are doing wrong and how to do it correctly so that you can bring home the bacon. There is no health insurance, paid vacation, or 401(k) plan provided by the company.

    It's Seasonal

    Let's dive deep into the reasons why this has both positive and negative implications for us! Earning money during the off-season isn't for everyone! It's possible that this is not the right job for you if you'd rather not watch the green line rise every day of the year. You can make additional money during the winter months by investing in a photography studio or education business. This demonstrates that there are ways to circumvent the seasonal nature of your income. During the busy season, a significant portion of your weekends will be devoted to working, which means you will miss out on a lot! In particular, social gatherings such as weddings, birthday parties, barbecues with friends, etc.!

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    Because the weather is typically awful during the off-season, you probably won't want to spend time outside. As a result, you'll have to forego some of the months with the best climate in order to keep this job. I would venture to guess that you are beginning to have second thoughts as a result of this! We completely comprehend it! Before you take the plunge, we want you to be able to make the most informed choice possible. We photograph approximately twenty weddings each year, but if you wanted to do this as a side job, you could do anywhere from five to ten. That equates to one to two weddings per month! Because of your schedule, you won't be missing out on very much! Last but not least, be sure to book your vacation time as far in advance as you possibly can! If you don't, your agenda is going to get full, and you won't have much of a choice about whether or not you can even go on vacation! Here, we are speaking from our own personal experiences!!

    Your New Boss Can be a Slave Driver

    It has been said that entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours in a week in order to avoid working 40 hours in a week. You have probably heard this statement. Not only the benefits, but also the drawbacks are very real.

    It doesn't matter if you run a multibillion-dollar conglomerate or a one-person studio; in order for a company to thrive, especially in its early stages, it needs to be cared for. You don't have to deal with any of that when you work for the man; in fact, you probably don't even hear about the struggles the business is having unless it makes the news. After completing the few tasks that have been delegated to you, you are free to walk away from the situation at 5 o'clock. When one has a job that is stable and secure, they are able to experience a greater level of calm.

    If you decide to open a wedding studio, you should be prepared for a certain ongoing level of stress. There is no limit to the amount of marketing work that can be done, whether it be through social media or the more traditional method of relationship-building with customers and suppliers. You may go places, but you should get used to the idea that you are never more than a text message or phone call away. Your customers anticipate that you will be easily accessible. It's possible that the bride will experience sudden anxiety about her wedding day schedule one month before the agenda even needs to be finalised. It is possible that a planner will anticipate your presence at a venue walk-through that you feel has no purpose. If you don't respond to their negative Google reviews quickly and tactfully, it's possible that they will permanently tarnish your reputation. At every bridal show, networking event, and consultation, you absolutely must present yourself with a smile on your face. After that, you will stay up all night editing photographs and cleaning equipment. If you haven't gotten enough sleep, you might feel a little under the weather on the day of the wedding, but God knows you won't be calling in sick. How do you like being in charge of everything now?

    Expect Lots of Night and Weekends Away

    This should be obvious to everyone! You are going to have to take more pictures as your schedule starts to fill up. When you increase the number of shots you take, a greater proportion of your evenings and weekends will be consumed by your work. The only way for you, as the owner of a service business, to grow your company is to either provide more services, charge more, or hire more people. Because each option has positive and negative aspects, there is no single best solution. You should be aware that weddings will consume a significant portion of your weekends, and engagement sessions have the potential to consume a significant portion of your evenings. In order to achieve this goal, we have decided to raise our prices, reduce the number of customers we serve, and simultaneously provide outstanding work that justifies the premium we charge. Your answer might be the same as mine, but it also might not be! In either case, you should be aware of what to anticipate!

    Lots of drama and busywork

    Is Wedding Photography a Good Career?

    Having said that, let's not kid ourselves here. There is often a lot of drama from our clients' families, despite the fact that our couples are wonderful to work with. For example, divorced parents who won't stand in the same group photo together; drunk Uncle Bobs who harass us; jealous siblings who purposefully show up late for portraits; mothers of the bride who are disappointed that our style (which their daughters love) isn't more "traditional"; grooms who study law and want to pick apart your contract or threaten a lawsuit if he can'

    I have witnessed a hawk turn a dove-release into a bloodbath, been assaulted by drunk guests, and been cursed by countless church ladies. A grandmother once told me to "get your f***ing camera outta my face." Then, when I get home, I have an unthankful night of image culling, lens cleaning, and checking the balance of my chequebook. It's just another day at the office, right?

    It's Hard on Your Body

    Wedding days can be hard on your body! Luke began to experience lower back pain as a result of his poor posture and his constant burden of carrying heavy loads. We were able to put an end to that problem by working on our flexibility and visiting a chiropractor. Thank goodness! On the day of your wedding, you will almost certainly be accompanied by two cameras at all times. It winds up being somewhere between 5 and 15 pounds on your back! Which doesn't seem like such a big deal until the eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth hour!

    In addition to that, you will be responsible for dragging and carrying the remaining necessary equipment into the areas designated for the ceremony and reception. The fact that you spend eight hours or more per day on your feet is another way in which this job is comparable to the medical field. Staying active and stretching can help you get around this obstacle. It doesn't matter what kind of work you do, at some point or another, your body is going to be put through stress, whether mental or physical; however, you shouldn't let that stop you from pursuing your goals. This is the kind of work that can bring in a lot of money!

    You need to have personality on top of everything else.

    If your general perspective on the world is that everyone is stupid and that you want to punch most people in the neck meat to keep them from blabbering on about their ugly child or whatever else, you probably won't be successful in a job that requires you to smile a lot and keep the energy fun and exciting for your clients for at least ten hours at a time. This kind of job requires you to keep the excitement level high for your customers.

    I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the best clients around, but many of my colleagues who responded to my question mentioned horrible brides or mothers of the bride as being a real headache in how they've worked. I consider myself extremely lucky to have the best clients around. So, what exactly does all of that imply for you? You need to be the kind of person who can put a smile on other people's faces, which indicates that you should be excellent at providing customer service and finding solutions to problems. Because, in the end, you are managing a company, your true abilities are most frequently evaluated when you do not have a camera in your hand.

    It was also mentioned that it is difficult to strike a balance between what you want to create as an artist and what your clients may ask you to do (for example, selective colouring, weird cropping, and cliché Pinterest reenactments). This was another point that was brought up. You need to be very good at educating your clients about what your photography style is, what you want to create for them as a photographer, and what you don't do as a photographer. Having said that, you also need to have the ability to occasionally put your pride aside and simply obtain the photographs that your customers and their families want. This is the middle ground: pleasing other people while also satisfying your own needs.

    The final piece of advice is to cultivate an outgoing and sociable demeanour – or at the very least, fake it. You are the person to whom the bride and groom, as well as their families and friends, turn for advice and direction. If you want other people to look happy, you need to project happiness yourself, and that means accepting compliments, maintaining a positive attitude, exuding confidence, and agreeing to everything. You need to be the photographer about whom everyone else exclaims, "Wow, that person was incredible to photograph!" Even if you aren't feeling well, and even if you're going through a breakup, you should try to stay positive. Whatever. If you are unable to bring the outgoing personality (or if you are unable to put on a front), which is required for a wedding, you will find that you have fewer and fewer clients, and you will also find that you become more bitter and resentful at each wedding that you attend, up until the point where you are unable to take it any longer. You are not required to be the focus of everyone's attention at all times; in fact, quite the opposite is true. The fact that you need to be just as good or even better with people than you are with your camera is what often causes some people to decide against becoming a photographer.

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    Can Be Stressful And Full Of Pressure

    In today's society, stress is pervasive and widespread. Get to the next con on my list if you aren't feeling stressed right now, and then let me know how you are feeling when you get there! The days of the wedding can be calm and very comfortable, but they can also be very stressful and full of activity. We operate each day in a very similar fashion, but not all brides purchase the same amount of time, and in the vast majority of instances, you will be collaborating with a new set of vendors on each and every weekend. The best thing to do is to make a schedule for the day so that you can exert as much control over it as possible while still acknowledging that unexpected things can and will occur. Your day may be derailed by a number of factors, including tardy family members, inclement weather, delayed food service, or impromptu additions to the reception. All of these factors have the potential to cause a shift in your timeline, which in turn can make you feel stressed.

    The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that it is someone else's wedding day, and the last thing that you want to do on your wedding day is to be stressed out! Therefore, it is imperative for us as photographers to acquire the skills necessary to deal with the circumstances! We are, in a sense, similar to the wedding bouncers; okay, that's not entirely accurate, but we thought it sounded cool! Bring a capable second shooter with you so that in the event that it does rain, the two of you will be able to take pictures of the bridal party at the same time to save time. Include some buffer time in your schedule before the ceremony, just in case something goes wrong!

    On a day as stressful as the wedding day, little things like this can help! Concerning the level of pressure, you will only need to get one shot for the entire day! If the absolute worst were to happen, the only shot that couldn't be redone would be the one of the first kiss. You should always have multiple people shooting the first kiss so that there is always a shot of that when it happens. This will ensure that you never miss a shot of the first kiss.

    There is no getting around the fact that wedding photography has both positive and negative aspects. This is a high-stakes game in which there are no second chances. If you decide to go in, go all in. Not until then will your customers receive satisfactory service. And you will be successful.

    If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

    I have a lot of hope that this was informative for all of you new shooters, regardless of your age. If you have any inquiries, feel free to post them in the corresponding comments section. If you found value in what you read here, I would be grateful if you would help me promote it across your various social networks. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I wish you the very best of luck with your upcoming wedding.

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