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Seriously though, I know my life isn't geared towards that kind of full on commitment and the worst part about doing weddings was having to deal with all those people. I'm really not a people person in that way.
Maybe I should accept the wedding enquiries I get and then hand my 3 children over to the people that seem to think I should do weddings rather than do nothing, they'll have to have the kids for 2 days over the wedding weekend, then some evenings for a couple of weeks afterwards.... they'd also have to do my food shopping, plus walk the dog twice a day, make sure 3 sets of school uniforms are always clean and ready, and do the housework, I wonder how irritated with me they'd be then if I didn't do wedding photography?
Hi Anna. You've mentioned in other threads, as well as this one, the hassle you get from various people on various issues.
Personally, the older I get, the less I give a toss what other people think. A lot of people have all sorts of failings in their own lives, and you don't need to be Sigmund Freud to realise they are projecting those failings onto someone else - in order to feel better about their own less-than-satisfactory existence.
Do - and don't do - as you please: whatever feels right. And give the negativity spreaders the two-fingered salute!!
i get asked to do weddings and christenings and baby pics a lot. I'm not sure they have looked at my work and just go on word of mouth (which is good in some ways i guess)
I have done some weddings, but mostly for close friends who wanted more candid pics than the traditional stuff. That said, i was once offered a wedding shoot in Canada. I was flown out and accommodated at their expense to shoot a sort of fairy/lord of the rings type ceremony and was asked to do the post production in my usual style. Now, normally i would turn work down like that, but it did seem very interesting.
But really, if a job is not for you, then dont do it. If your heart isnt in it, it will show in your work (no matter how good you are). Even if they offer good money, its their day and it should be covered by someone who can connect with them enough to produce the pics they want.
Granted we all have to find our style and field in photography and editing, so its good to experiment, but a reputation can be destroyed very quickly by doing something you dont feel right about. Family and friends should appreciate that, but in my years doing what i do, i have realised that people see photographers as a generic term and expect us to cover everything
Just found this article, and that is exactly what happened to me at the first wedding I did, I was actually shoved and pushed out the way so the guests could get the photos first, when I tried to point out I was the official photographer they looked at me like I was something they'd found on the bottom of their shoes.
The second wedding I did, the maid of honor was in charge of organising all the photos, getting the groups and pairings together, and I just had to take the photos, on one of the photos some guests snuck up behind me to take a photo over my shoulder and she shouted "Sorry, professional photographer ONLY right now!" and asked them to leave the area and they gave her a mouthful of abuse!!
Quote: but a reputation can be destroyed very quickly by doing something you dont feel right about
To say nothing of the unfairness to a client paying good money and finding someone at their big day who just wishes they weren't there.
Quote: I'm interested to see if anyone else would do the same as me or am I being a wimp and would you jump at the chance
Given that you are a full time mother whose circumstances mean it is effectively impossible for you to cover a wedding, that you don't like dealing with those people and you don't want to do weddings anyway, the problem seems to be not whether you should do weddings or not. Is is more or less impossible and would make you unhappy anyway.
Your problem is with your friends who you say are pressuring you to do something uneconomical and that will make you unhappy. Friendship to me means people who have my well-being on their radar as well as me theirs.
From the outside, the short answer is: Don't do weddings. Get new friends
I did my first and last wedding last week, I Did say no and explained I did not have the exsperience or confidence to do it but they insisted and that was only on my request to have someone back me up.
I understand how you feel as im in the same boat, The fact is you get what you pay for and confidence/experience comes at a price and confidence is not something everyone can learn.
It has not changed my mind I have no intension of doing another. I was stressed and dont consider what I did very good and made loads of errors due to inexsperience, The time flew by in seconds and in hindsight I should have done much more.
The freind say they are over the moon but that could be just being polite, ill possibly never know as I cannot hardly say im not happy with what I did to them.
I do think there is a danger tho of comparing work to some of the best pictures out there and coming short, Yet in realty there are some very mediocre professionals out there.
Unfortunately some guests forget that they are at a wedding at the invitation of the bride and groom, they forget that are there because of the bride and groom and not just for free food, drink, partying and inappropriate behaviour; many years ago a guest was rude to me unfortunately for him he did it within the groom's hearing and got a real dressing down from the groom.
At another wedding I remember well was a bride's mother who to say the least was a strong character however we just got on famously; she said to me Peter if you have any problems with any guests tell them to come and see me; needless to say there were no problems.
Today if necessary I will remind a guest why they are there however 99.9% of issues can be prevented and resolved with good humour; it also helps if you have bags of confidence - not so easy when you are covering your first wedding; much easier when you have covered 100's.
I will also admit that I have got to the stage in life where I photograph weddings because I like doing so NOT because I have to.
I guess in the end if a wedding photographer has problems with guests or thinks that they have such problems then they have a problem in themselves and perhaps should try another branch of photography where you do not have to deal with sometimes 100's of people simultaneously.
As for friends they can be difficult as familiarity can breed contempt unless you put them on an entirely professional footing; if it is your first wedding them tell them that any errors, omission or mistakes are entirely their responsibility as they have chosen a highly inexperienced wedding photographer maybe on the cheap; another couple I remember initially hired a friend because he excelled (in their opinion) at photographing landscapes; he panicked after accepting the commission and ran around for advice and the necessary equipment; the clients panicked, debooked him and booked me instead; I am pleased to report that they weren't disappointed.
This wedding ended with a funeral
As I said earlier I did my first this weekend, one observation
that shocked me , I took my pictures in raw and as I was staying over did not get home to the following day, it then took me 3 days to sort them.
in that time Facebook was full of pictures taken over my shoulder and every other angle, every pose position I asked the couple to stand in was covered. It did make me realise that today's professional photographer has to deliver quality as he will never beat the hordes of photographers at a wedding.
it put more unwanted pressure on me to be better than the rest. Not something that made me comfortable at all. Very unnerving especially if I'd been paid for it and can see why some of the rogues get complaints when they don't deliver.
Quote: Personally, the older I get, the less I give a toss what other people think.
One of the joys of getting old
If you are really serious about never wanting to do weddings again Anna you really should get rid of all those wedding shots on you web site.
Maybe, although I do not mention anywhere on my website that I do weddings, nobody looks at my website anyway, the stats confirm that and not one enquiry has come from that, they've come from Facebook.
I wrote a book called ‘Memories from the Mid-20th Century’ about my life in a boarding school, the Liverpool Blue Coat School to be precise, where I attended from 1950 – 1957. I canvassed other ‘Old Blues’ experiences to be able to swell out the time scale to cover 1920 – 1970. I gave the finished article to the school Brotherly society to be sold to enhance their funds for charitable works, and as a present for both my education and also the schools 300th anniversary. (Details are on my website).
Thinking of this reminded me that having been a wedding photographer for many years in the ‘film’ days, I experienced so many things that I always intended to write a book about that.
Apart from being capable of delivering the goods photographically, you also have to be able to manage the occasion and to deal with the very occasional ass***** who can make your day a misery if you are not up to dealing tactfully with them. This is perhaps the bit that can put people off, if you cannot manage the occasion efficiently, the whole planned sequence of events can run away with you and cause you to miss the planned opportunities that you had in mind. It is essential to be able to stand up and be counted by good organisational skills whatever the weather and whatever unexpected event occurs during the proceedings.
Being on your own can be a disaster if there is nobody available to hold your golf umbrella over you when faced with a torrential downpour, not to keep you dry but to protect your equipment. If you dash off to the reception where there is no room for large group pics. you have missed your opportunity for capture. If it is snowing, how can you deal with misted up lenses when you get to the heated reception where the heat on the cold lenses makes them mist up? If you do not have replacement equipment, what happens if a break-down occurs? Is your flash unit powerful enough to be able to cover large groups indoors? Will the batteries last out and do you have spares? How do you ensure that all the people you need on the group pics. are available just when you need them, I could go on and on.
I don’t wish to be off-putting but you are right, if this does deter you, then my advice would be not to attempt the commission. As I said before, it is a day’s management – the hard part – as well as a photographic event.
Wedding shoots are bloody tough. Did a couple of them for friends and they were undoubtedly the most stressful thing that I've done. I've looked at your portfolio and you've got good stuff so it's round to the most difficult aspect and that's self promotion and building contacts.
Things such as a good website, business cards, a portfolio of your work cost money. You could also try and approach studios for unpaid work to get more experience and contacts.
I know it's so difficult trying to just get by and I wish you the very best of luck.
I'm with you on the wedding dodging... Good call, if you’re not comfortable don’t do it.
Like you I have a young family and work full time, the thought of Cramming a wedding into my only free time isn't fair on anyone.
Make sure though that you take the details of the couple that are enquiring about your photography, find a good local (Wedding bias) photographer that you can recommend that they approach.
Provide them with all of your details or business card and make sure that you make it clear that you can be a great photographer for them (just not at their wedding) children quite often come after weddings, and this may be a future opportunity for some work that you would comfortable to do. Kepp a note and follow them up, ask how their wedding went....makes for some good leads..
All of these enquiries are great news and show that you are hitting the nail on the head, look at it in a positive light and just keep doing what you enjoy. Don't sell your soul for coin, it will drag you down and show in the end product.
There is nothing wrong with saying no to work, I wouldn't want to jump into the ocean to photograph Great White Sharks even if I was offered a small fortune to do so but people don't look at it that way.
All you have to do is press the clicky button? Right?
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