Expert wedding photographers have the weighty duty of documenting the joy and emotion of the happy couple's wedding day in stunning photographic imagery.
Being a wedding photographer is unlike any other job. There are many happy times in this line of work. In many ways, a wedding photographer is indispensable on the most special day of a person's life. The best part is that you can earn a decent living by documenting people's happy times. Do you see a future for yourself in this line of work? It's a brilliant plan, no doubt, but there are a few things you should know before you commit.
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Investing in a professional photographer is a worthwhile investment for many couples, and for good reason. Even for seasoned professionals, photographing a wedding can be difficult for a number of different reasons. It's possible to think you've captured a fantastic series of images, only to be left feeling disappointed when you view them on your laptop at home. Why is it so challenging to photograph a wedding?
FAQs About Photography
Why Is Wedding Photography So Hard?
Several factors come into play. You spend most of your time indoors, your subjects are often moving quickly, and you need to be mindful of when to use flash. In addition, you'll need to time your movements so that you don't raise suspicion. Experience and timing are both essential.
A lot of churches have poor lighting. Photos taken inside without a flash are likely to be blurry due to the low light levels. Therefore, a pause is almost obligatory. Inadequate lighting is a common problem when using the built-in flash on a point-and-shoot or entry-level digital SLR camera.
This causes you to creep closer and closer to the happy couple. They look like deer caught in headlights when you take their picture now. Most built-in camera flashes only light up the centre of the frame.
The only viable option here is to experiment with reflecting the flash off of something. This will soften the light, making your photographs appear more realistic. Then we used the reflected light from the wall by pointing the flash upward. we assure you that this tactic is superior to taking a direct aim. Our exclusive range of Melbourne wedding photography will help you not miss a thing on your wedding day.
People Are Demanding to Corral
Attendees of a wedding are eager to chat with all guests. While this is understandable, it is still your responsibility to ensure that all necessary shots are taken. That's not always easy to pull off as a photographer. To ask random people to pose for a photo when they don't know who you are can come off as odd.
You Have to Be a Little Sneaky.
Set clear boundaries for when flash can and cannot be used. Everyone has their own opinion on this, and that's okay. You really do need some leverage during the wedding vows to get what you want. You might miss the perfect shot if you can't use your flash (unless the bride and groom are saying their vows outdoors).
It may be necessary to move around at awkward times in order to get the variety of shots you need. Many amateur photographers are afraid to cause any disruptions during the ceremony, so they remain stationary the whole time. An expert wedding photographer will know how to sneak around undetected.
A Lot Is Going On at Once
Professional photographers typically work with other photographers at weddings. They have a helper who assists them. During the reception, your assistant can ensure that everyone is having a good time so that you can focus on the bride and groom. It's easy to forget how difficult wedding photography can be with all the extra hands on deck.
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Things You Should Know About Being a Wedding Photographer
Before you get started on your journey as a professional wedding photographer, here are the things you must know:
It All Starts With the Right Set of Equipment.
Being a wedding photographer without understanding your equipment is pointless. Photographers are like birds in that they can't do their jobs without their gear. This means you can't just go out and buy any old cameras and point them at the happy couple. To get the best shots at a wedding, you need to know what gear works best and how to adjust the settings properly.
It is recommended that you learn more about the following types of equipment:
- Photo-Taking Devices (main and one spare)
- Somewhere around the 24-70 f/2.8 range, a medium-range zoom lens
- An extended-range zoom lens, such as a 70-200mm
- Both a wide-angle and a standard-focus lens
- Captured with an external flash (Speedlight)
- The power source and the memory card
- Stable lighting apparatus consisting of a tripod and a light stand
- Diffuser for a flash
- To carry one's camera equipment
Make sure the lighting is taken care of from the planning stages to the after-party. Lighting is as important as your camera equipment when photographing a wedding.
Get Ready for a Long and Tiring Day.
The duration of a wedding is often underestimated. If a couple hires you to take their wedding photos, they probably want you to document the entire event.
The ceremony, which can last several hours, necessitates your presence from the crack of dawn. It's possible that you'll need to get up very early in the morning to allow for travel to the event location.
After several hours of hard work, the wedding party breaks up and guests head to the reception. They'll eat and drink until the wee hours of the morning. Therefore, you may be working until very late at night.
It's going to take a toll on your body and mind, so brace yourself. Have all your gear ready to go the night before, and get a good night's sleep. Don't forget to bring some snacks and water to keep you alert and hydrated throughout the day.
Remember to stay creative when you regularly shoot your weddings; the last things you want is depleting your creative spark. Keep yourself motivated by looking into some inspirational wedding photos. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.
Find Out Who Specifically Hired You for the Wedding.
There are probably a lot of people who would have hired you if you were available for wedding photography jobs. There's a chance the bride herself would like to see you at the wedding, but it could also be her parents. Any significant event requires that you know who your boss is.
Why? Due to the fact that it prescribes your actions and methods. Communicate with them to find out what it is they need from you and what kind of photos they want to see. The only way to please your employer is to find out who it is that hired you.
Every wedding has some sort of history, whether it's a personal idea or a meaningful location. Discover those tales, and let them inspire you to create wedding photographs that are as meaningful as they are beautiful.
It’s All About Building Relationships.
Photographers for weddings can be hired by the couple themselves, or by the wedding planner. Thereby, it's not always clear who exactly you're employed by. You are not directly employed by the planner, but you must still prioritise their needs.
You should strive for excellence in your work to the point where it speaks well of them. If they use your photos on their website, it will make them look like top-notch event organisers who only work with the best service providers. Consequently, their standing increases, which boosts your own.
By cultivating a strong rapport with them, they will feel comfortable recommending you to others, thereby expanding your customer base.
The role of wedding photographer often overlaps with that of wedding planner, requiring participation in numerous tasks before, during, and after the wedding day itself. Keep going, and don't let that get you down. Keep in mind that you're working to build a relationship with the whole group, but that the couple's happiness is your top priority.
When the day is over and they see the stunning wedding album, they will be inspired to pen a glowing recommendation that will help you land more and more contracts.
You Need to Be Different.
If your wedding photography looks like everyone else's, no one will hire you. You need to differentiate yourself, and one way to do that is with striking photography.
Take some practise shots at home and see if you can come up with your own unique take on wedding photography. This differentiates your offering from the competition and boosts its desirability.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, don't be afraid to try out some new poses for the wedding or engagement. A professional wedding photographer will know all the ins and outs of striking the perfect pose.
It Will Take up a Lot of Your Time.
There are three stages to a wedding photo shoot: planning, shooting, and editing. It's not an exaggeration to say that doing all this will consume months of your life.
When you book this service, preparations for the wedding begin well in advance of the big day. Even on the wedding day, the bride and groom may continue to bombard you with questions and requests for your assistance.
Production was discussed in detail in the second bullet point. The subsequent post-production phase involves many stages of editing and disseminating your final product. Wedding photography is not for the faint of heart; it requires a significant time commitment.
Work Usually Comes in Clusters.
When you work in wedding photography, your livelihood depends on people actually getting married. Is winter a popular time for weddings? No. Are there more weddings during the summer? No.
A small window of time each year is prime for weddings. This time period typically extends from May to August. It may therefore be difficult for you to find work at other times of the year.
Therefore, wedding season can be a particularly busy time for you. When wedding season is slow, you'll need to be ready to look for other work.
You should advertise your business during the "off season" for weddings. Keep in mind that as a wedding photographer, you also serve as the business's representative.
Wedding Photography Can Be Hard Work.
People often assume that if you're a wedding photographer, you'll get to see lots of exciting things all day long. Contrary to this, however, actual conditions are quite different.
You could leave early in the morning for a wedding, arrive late at night, and spend the entire day travelling there and back. Keep your expectations in check, because it won't always be a grand celebration.
Rejection is Natural
Listen, if you want to break into the wedding photography industry, you must be prepared to face rejection. This is the most important day in two people's lives, so every detail must be just right.
People may not want you to photograph their wedding if they aren't completely satisfied with your previous work. That's cool, because your unique style will undoubtedly find its fans.
Consider any negative feedback with a grain of salt; even seasoned photographers have their work turned down by the occasional client. This in no way indicates that you are a terrible photographer and should never pick up a camera again. If this happens, it simply means you and your prospective client aren't a good fit.
The Most Difficult Things About Being A Wedding Photographer
Like any profession, there are pros and cons involved in Wedding Photography. It's a difficult job, and not everyone is cut out for it.
Try as you might, becoming a wedding photographer is not without its challenges. To get hired as a wedding photographer, you need experience shooting weddings.
There is no easy way to work around this for any photographer.
Some will work as a second shooter for an established photographer, while others may get lucky with a family member or friend who is willing to give them a chance.
Without putting in the time and effort, you won't be able to gain the necessary experience. Getting married is expensive, and it can be difficult to find work in addition to the costs associated with planning and executing the event.
Numerous lenses, flashes, backup gear, batteries, memory cards, and hard drives are needed to capture and store the images from such events. That's a lot of money to spend before you even have a functioning business.
Now, you can save money on your first few weddings by renting equipment, but if you plan to make a career out of this, you'll need to make a sizable investment in order to compete.
Due to the complexity of the wedding photography process, this one could benefit from items 2 through 5. Getting it up and running is the first step. Then, as a business owner, you realise that you are in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly.
This makes you the:
- Department of Marketing and Accounting Bookkeeper
- Secretary Art director/Customer service/marketing/etc.
...or any other name you can come up with!
Just you. That's a huge load of responsibility, and there's a lot of education to be had before things run smoothly.
What about cost? Pricing is one of the most difficult and nerve-wracking aspects of being a photographer. Is what you're doing correct? If you're worth it, you'll get it. Are you intentionally setting prices to drive your company to bankruptcy? Even though it's becoming easier to navigate thanks to the many available guides, the topic is still enough to give anyone the willies.
Mega Amounts of Work
It's no surprise that running a wedding photography business involves a lot of work once you consider all the moving parts. Photographers who specialise in weddings likely don't get much shut-eye due to the many business-related tasks they must complete.
It's a dangerous misconception that they can work just one day a week and still rake in the dough. Most photographers work a standard 9-to-5 weekday schedule, with evening meetings and engagement shoots, and Saturdays dedicated to weddings. That's a lot of effort to put in. Planning to start looking for a wedding photographer soon? Check out our range of Mornington Peninsula wedding photography here.
Maintaining a healthy work-life equilibrium is essential. Planning a wedding can quickly become a full-time job. It's incredibly difficult to find time to do anything other than work as a wedding photographer. When wedding season rolls around, you may find that your personal relationships suffer because you are frequently unavailable on Fridays and Saturdays. Being so focused on one thing all the time can be tiring and lonely.
The onset of burnout is inevitable. Without harmony, it's easy to lose interest in and enthusiasm for the work that must be done in order to achieve excellence.
Weddings are seasonal events in nearly every culture. Extreme temperatures in winter and summer mean there is little to no work to be had during those seasons. It's not surprising that this creates problems with making ends meet.
Depending on your financial situation, you can either rely on the money you make during wedding season to get you through the rest of the year, or you can diversify your income stream. This is a very difficult task.
Making A Good Living
Wedding photography is not an easy field in which to turn a profit. You need both strong photographic and business skills. The business world is always shifting, so you have to be flexible if you want to succeed.
To make a profit, it is necessary to account for seasonality in pricing. It's important to keep expenses low, but you provide excellent service to customers. Making money as a wedding photographer is straightforward; there is always someone willing to pay $1,000 for the shoot and the files. Making a respectable living, however, is a different matter altogether.
Handling The Responsibility
There are no retakes or second chances at a wedding. Rare moments like the bride's entrance, the exchange of vows, and the tossing of the bouquet can only be captured once.
You need to be able to think creatively under pressure, in addition to having the technical proficiency to ensure you can pull off those crucial shots. While practise and planning will make this less of a challenge, you should always keep in mind that the event you're filming may only happen once.
It's a huge burden to bear.
Mentally & Physically Exhausting Shoots
Typically, weddings require at least 8 hours of filming time, but they often go up to 14 or even 21. (which was our longest day ever). Physical and mental exertion will be constant as you follow the bride and groom around and record their memories of the big day. Scarfing granola bars and chugging energy drinks helps you get through the day, but then there is the much-discussed "wedding hangover" afterwards.
Sundays are for rest and relaxation.
The long hours also do a number on your back and shoulders from carrying so much gear around, and if you aren't careful, you can quickly get dehydrated. You get to deal with everything while always needing to maintain a positive attitude.
Pleasing A Wide Range of People
Spending the day in close proximity to the bride and groom puts you in touch with many influential people (bridal party, parents, planners, officiants, etc.). You'll need to take pictures of many of these people, which means you'll need to guide them as well.
Many of them care deeply about the outcome of the day and the quality of the photographs taken. Now you have the difficult task of making everyone happy. It's doable, but you'll need to put in lots of time and energy and show a great deal of sympathy, openness, and, above all, tolerance. Better at this, and you'll get recommendations from more than just the happy couple!
Finding Your Unique Style
In fact, we've only scratched the surface of the challenges involved in wedding photography, and we've already listed nine of them! It's a multifaceted event that calls for a wide range of photographic abilities, but perhaps the most difficult part is developing your own distinctive vision.
Half of the photographers and three quarters of the blogs in the wedding industry seem to follow the same trend every year. As a result, modern brides are looking to these and similar sources for inspiration when creating their wedding day visual presentation.
Joining the bandwagon and riding the wave of success seems like a more practical strategy than blazing a trail. But fashion is a fickle mistress; next year will bring another shift. As for the future, we see ninjas taking over from vintage. This is the first time you've seen or heard it.
While it may be funny, it's not a good idea to base your personal style entirely on what's currently popular. After the tides turn, you stop being relevant. To make your work stand out and attract the kind of bride you want, though, you need to give it your own distinct style.
That, however, is precisely where the difficulty lies, as you are never truly finished with this task. As an artist, your personal aesthetic will develop over time. Ignoring what other shooters are doing and focusing on your own voice is the key to making it stand out.
Avoid finding motivation in the wedding business. Read up on the latest in the field of graphic design or make regular trips to your favourite museums. It's easier to stand out from the crowd and avoid being swept away by fleeting fashions if your personal style is distinct and original, which is why broadening your influences is key to doing just that. Now, we realise it can be intimidating to read about all the technical aspects of wedding photography. we won't lie and say it wasn't difficult; it was.
However, the job also has many attractive features.
The key takeaway from this discussion is to enter the industry with reasonable expectations for how much work will be involved in achieving success. Passion for the images you can create for clients is a prerequisite for putting in the time and effort necessary to make a successful career of photography.
After all, if you're a wedding photographer, you'll get to indulge in an abundance of delicious desserts.
Make the most out of it.
Certainly, some weddings are drawn-out ordeals that leave you exhausted both mentally and physically. You should still give your absolute best effort in every endeavour. Consider that you are doing an outstanding job overall. You are taking pictures that people will treasure forever because they are happy ones. Wedding photographs are so memorable that even after a divorce, former spouses often keep them. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
Despite the potential challenges, this is a rewarding career path. Think of the bright side: you get to witness people at their happiest moments, ever. This is what you can expect if you decide to enter the competitive field of wedding photography. Do not let the volume of this material overwhelm you; rather, use it to chart your professional course and prepare for what lies ahead.