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Either I'm an idiot, or just too damn honest for my own good.
I always get asked to do a shedload of weddings, but always turn down offers.
Do people ask because I own a camera? I just don't get it...
I don't make much from photography (probably because I'm utter shyte!); I just hate weddings at the best of times, and I feel that being a wedding photographer takes a very special kind of skill and disipline, and the ability to communicate on an awesome level with an abundance of personalities, circumstance and expectations... It's a special day; it should be left to the experts, in my opinion.
Anyone else turn down work? Has anyone bit their tongue, and took up the challenge?
interested to hear opinions...
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I would rather be stretched on the rack, than shoot a wedding.
I did my brother-in-law's wedding last year, even though I didn't want to, because I knew they were very short of money and couldn't afford a pro. I swore afterwards I would not do another, but will be photographing my sister-in-law's wedding next month. I am happier about this, as there are less people there (it's a very small do) and I know every single one of them very well.
After that, I'm done. Definitely.
I'm a wedding photographer, and I'll turn down weddings....
if it isn't a good fit, or you don't think you can deliver what the client wants then even if you have that skill you shouldn't do it.
As for trying to do things you can't, have no idea about, no experience, equipment, or insurance for....well I don't think we need to look to far away to see that most people will when asked...
I don't primary shoot large sporting events (read equestrian, 10k, 1/2 marathons). I don't have the workflow or the passion for processing it, but I'll often help out a mate who does proving I can just shoot and burn.....
shoot and burn????
I didnt do weddings for years, turned them away, too much hassle and I didnt want to spend my life taking photos of flowers or rings in the palm of someones hand....
...I even turned away one of my close friends and when I saw her results I was sorry I did.
Been doing 1-2 max a month ever since. A wedding photographer friend of mine said to me once 'you dont do this right, you dont do that right, you should be doing this..' which was the greatest compliment I've ever been paid.
I dont do weddings full time, It would drive me mad to have to take every couple that came along, I've developed a style that a few people like (well I didnt realise it until I realised I was getting the same sort of weddings over and over again) and I'm happy with that. Like I said I only want to do 1-2 a month max. If I did 5 a year, again I'd be happy enough.
Of course Im doing 5 next month.....
...yeah great plan that....
...then again I like the people. If I like the people its an honour and a priviledge to shoot their wedding and get the best out of them and help them enjoy their day. If I dont like them, build a great rappor then I dont do it, simple.
Like all other aspects of the business I'm at a stage where I dont have to take every job that comes along and if warning bells sound (or the money isnt enough ) then just walk away.
I know it sounds like a daft question, but do you think I am focusing too much on the wedding on the whole, rather that its contents, and photographic potential?
I'm cool with people, and have no problem seeking out a few alternative visual prose.. i've been sat here thinking long and hard about my approach to all this, and ultimately, I think I am shying away from the responsibility of messing things up on the day, the insurance aspect, and of course the weddings itself...
It's often been said that as a photographer, you're only as good as your last shoot.
I love 'event photography', and have nailed a couple of satisfied clients, so why can't I get over this 'wedding' barrier?
I did them occasionally for people I know - just little registry office jobs - but the trouble with doing it for friends is they expect you to do it for nothing and I soon got tired of it. If you make it to the upper echelons there's amazing money to be made but it's joyless work.
Quote: If you make it to the upper echelons there's amazing money to be made but it's joyless work.
And there I guess is the difference. I find it an amazing experience.
I could have photographed yesterdays wedding for 24 hours and still not got bored, and I'm mad angry that I have a lovely venue today, and the weather isn't likely to allow me to give them the very very best...
That said, and as Joe pointed out - you don't shoot the ones that you know are not going to click with you - let them go and find a photographer that will.
Towards the end of last year I said I wouldn't photograph a wedding - then I got asked - I took 2 months to think about it and eventually said yes - they wanted details and mainly informal, unposed photographs.
Then I got asked by someone else, then I got referred and now I have 5 weddings starting in 2 months time - I said yes to the first one on the basis I could find a professional to assist and I had 6 months to read, research, practise, invest in spares of everything.
I have now assisted on 3 weddings and I really enjoy it - and that's the key - if you do not enjoy it and do not look like your enjoying it I think it will reflect in your photographs. I spoke to the minister yesterday and he said the main photographer is a good one and he sees all sorts of strange photographers at weddings - especially the line them up and press the button types!
A key skill with wedding photography is relating to people young and old and being as unintrusive as possible, having a rapport, having patience, being extremely organised, being able to think on the hoof. Light conditions are often less than ideal so working the light is key. Emotions often run high and knowing when to give the couple / group a break is essential.
Having now assisted on three weddings it is amazing how much I learn each time I do one - writing it up at the moment, posing formals is an art in itself. In summary - my advice is if you do not enjoy it - do not do it!
Joyless experience ?? They are huge fun; total chaos; people at the opposite ends of the emotional scale; you meet some really lovely people; stunning ladies; you can flirt with the bridesmaids.
Then again if you don't enjoy weddings, don't have a passion then not doing them seems like a good idea.
Btw you get some really good pictures and get paid
i did a wedding once, and 16 years later i still wonder if i should of done it, lol
done 5 as an assistant and one by myself and loved every one, got one coming up for a freind who just cant afford to pay for a pro, and strangley enough i am less concerned of that than if i had a paying customer, as i know they dont have any expectations
Quote: It's a special day; it should be left to the experts, in my opinion.
I totally agree with you, but it isn't.
I've just looked at your portfolio and, with your attitude, I think you would probably do a better job than a lot of them out there who just see it as a way to make money.
Try for a more casual style rather than just lines of people smiling at the camera as that is probably more to your way of working. For practice the next time you get invited to a wedding try shooting it and see what happens, just don't let the official photographer catch you.
ps Never shot a wedding, never will just not a people person. I even got a friend to shoot my brother's wedding.
I just hate weddings fullstop - whether I'm photographing them or not. I guess I'm just a Mr Grumpy Nuts. Bah.
Frenchies got a point - I find weddings a joy to shoot, so can't understand this "joyless work" comment.
Honestly, this kind of work is 90% people skills, so if you haven't got the people skills, don't even think about it.
And if it doesn't feel right with a certain couple, drop it and ask them to look elsewhere. Nothing worse than trying to make a great job for a couple you don't like or who don't like you...
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