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I don't want to do weddings.

Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 2:53PM
I like taking portraits, I like concept portraits that involve costumes and dressing up, to make a bit of money I'd photograph other people's children, and that is how I promote myself, but so far this year, the only enquiries I've had are to photograph weddings.

I did 2 last year, one for a friend and one for a friend of a friend. I didn't enjoy either of them, hated them in fact, it was too stressful, it's not my niche, I am not comfortable in large groups of people and the whole responsibility of photographing a wedding was too much for me.

Now, I'm a single mother to 3 children, I have no money at all, we live a very meagre existence and when I told family and friends I want to turn down these weddings they got annoyed with me!

"When you're that poor you can't be choosey!" or "We all have to do jobs we hate!" etc etc are the sort of comments I got.

They don't know ANYTHING about photography, and they are getting angry at me because I won't 'pick up my camera and take a few snaps of the bride'

They have made me feel pretty rubbish tbh, made me feel I'm letting my children down by turning down the money I could get for this.

I've explained about insurance, about the possibility of getting sued if the photos turn out rubbish, about my equipment being pretty basic but they don't get it.

I've made my decision so I'm not asking for advice but 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?

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whipspeed 13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 2:57PM
Nope Anna you're not being a wimp. I wouldn't do them either. I got pushed into doing one, but never ever again. It's just not my thing, for the same reasons as you really.
ourdayphotos 6 229 Scotland
7 Oct 2012 3:05PM
I've done 10 this year so far with another 3 before the end of December. I don't think there's the same money in weddings as there used to be years ago but but you can make up the losses caused by high food & fuel costs. This is my first year of business & I think I've made back what I spent on upgrading to pro gear last year with hopefully no gear to buy next year other than the little things.

Personally I don't find them stressful & I enjoy the banter with the guests, I've even got my 16 yr old son involved now to carry my kit bag & act as stand for my 2nd remote flash. As long as you're organised you should be ok but don't go for the big expensive clients who want wedding magazine quality photos, there are lots of people who want 100 or so photos on cd only for a couple of hundred quid & that could be worth a couple of weeks overtime at the day job.

CDSINUK 6 223 England
7 Oct 2012 3:12PM
Tell them you only do Divorces and to contact you when one of those comes up, they wont ask again im sure Smile

on the other hand you could try and find a proffesional that might be willing to let you tag along and gain some exsperience, but i would choose an area away from where the proff works for obvious reasonsSmile ive been told equipment wise its not what you have its what you do with it that counts, or maybe someone was just being nice to me Smile good luck anyway Smile
NaturesHaven 6 283 6 England
7 Oct 2012 3:14PM
Weddings are a thankless task, people will complain all the time, try to get their money back by claiming the images are rubbish, even if they are not............and I'm afraid wedding photography is not about taking a few snaps of the bride, it's more involved than that.........I'm an ex pro full time wedding photographer and believe me it's hard and it's getting harder, everyone wants photography for about 200, that is how the market has been cheapened. A lot of pros I know or knew have retired from the game and left it to the weekend warriors who have decimated the market.

You are right about insurance, about being sued, your equipment needs to be more than basic, most guests have their own gear. I photographed a wedding and a guest was sat in a pew with his brand new camera reading the instructions and he got up to take pictures...............one look from me and he sat straight back down. His gear was a top end DSLR.

Save yourself grief and ignore the relatives...........to be honest there is no grand money to be made in most genres of photography nowadays, some people are successful but they have been going many years and even they find it hard to make a profit......

Sorry to be gloomy but this is reality from my POV, others will disagree and in the end you have to decide for yourself.....GrinGrinGrin


Julia @ Natures Haven
ourdayphotos 6 229 Scotland
7 Oct 2012 3:17PM
On the other hand I heard yesterday of a photographer who is doing 20 weddings a week! He works at Gretna, now that IS a nightmare but he'll be making a few quid at it.
Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 3:21PM
Well, the other problem is weddings are always on Saturdays and I don't have any childcare and no family to help out, it would be a LOT of hassle and expense to get my parents up to babysit.

The first wedding I did for my friend, who was the bride, I was basically bullied into doing it, I REALLY didn't want to, had no experience of weddings, she paid me 125 and then went nuts at me afterwards when there weren't any photos of so and so and her with aunt Maud etc etc when what she failed to realise that when I turned up at her wedding after travelling from Suffolk to London with all my gear, by train, on my own, is that she never introduced me to a soul, I didn't know anyone, I had no idea who her parents were and when I tried to organise group shots they looked at me as if to say "Who are you to tell me what to do" and nobody would comply, a very loud guest tried to help out but she couldn't do it either, by the time the reception got underway the bride and guests had started taking drugs and were off their faces so I left with the brides mother as it was pointless.

The 2nd one I did was the complete opposite, big, lavish, expensive, run like clockwork, I visited the church the week before at their expense, there was a wedding organiser who grouped everyone together for photos and had the running order written down, but it was still not my comfort zone and just not my genre of photography. and I can't say I actually enjoyed it and after the hours I put in editing photos at my kids expense basically, because I was holed up doing that every minute I had and was a grump to be around, I didn't actually make much money from it!

Julia, you have said pretty much what I suspected so I feel happier in my decision now!
CDSINUK 6 223 England
7 Oct 2012 3:26PM
ive been told thats exactly how to doit, discuss with the bride groom exactly what they want, write it down make an agenda, check out the location for the best positions, and then get the organiser to arrange the people for the required images, ive never tried one, i wouldnt have the confidence, it all in the planning i guess, if its well planned then the confidence is taken care of, and you also have a come back if the bride complains afterward,
ourdayphotos 6 229 Scotland
7 Oct 2012 3:26PM
Maybe I've just been lucky but all my clients have been lovely & left great comments on my website & facebook pages saying how delighted they all are. I can honestly say I've not had one bit of trouble this year from any guests but I try hard to give them what they want from the pre wedding meeting until delivery of the album or CD.
KenTaylor Plus
13 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 3:32PM

Quote:I don't find them stressful

Then that is fine.
Stress can cause health problems for some where your decision is a wise one.
You have to be relaxed at the same time as the clock is ticking with no hope of turning it back leaving me to agree with your decision.
Only ever done one many moons ago for a friend that made me realise its not as easy as it appears.
Britman 12 1.7k England
7 Oct 2012 3:48PM
Totally with you on not wanting to do weddings. Not worth the stress and if you really don't like doing it that will only reflect in the pictures. I was forced to do my cousins wedding years ago, needless to say it was a disaster and my cheap equipment failed.

Stick to your guns and don't be bullied into do a wedding and leaving yourself wide open to being sued.
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 4:14PM

Quote:"We all have to do jobs we hate!" etc etc are the sort of comments I got.

Personally I've always put earning a living, getting in money any way I legally can, as more important than my own personal comfort but I come from a time when benefits were not easy to obtain and a family that had no money to help me out.

But anyway, who would want someone miserable and unhappy to photograph their wedding?

Just say no.
Bevy 5 13 England
7 Oct 2012 4:21PM
We are in the same position as you Fishnet! My husband specalises in portrait (also concept/model portfolio work) which he is very good at, but does not make hardly any money (yet) but he really enjoys is and it shows in his work. He could do other types of photography which would pay, like kids and weddings, but he just does not like it and no-one can understand why we would turn them down. We were asked to do a wedding for an 'alternative' couple, off the back of his portrait work, but declined as having not been married too long ourselves, we both felt it would be too much pressure and way out of our comfort zone to take the chance on getting anything wrong on their special day.
Luckily for us, we both work so can enjoy the photography and not rely on the income as its something we really enjoy and would hate the pressure of feeling we had to take any job offered, no matter whether it was something we knew we were good at or not!
yashicaboy 6 26 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 4:25PM
Just say NO you know it makes sence! I have done a few for friends and have been lucky and pulled it off but if I am asked now I just turn them down A bloke at Camera Club is a semi pro with good gear and insurance etc and he don't bother with them any more to quote him "more trouble then there worth!"
Go with your gut feeling and tell them to do one!

Richard G
Fishnet 14 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 4:27PM


Personally I've always put earning a living, getting in money any way I legally can, as more important than my own personal comfort but I come from a time when benefits were not easy to obtain and a family that had no money to help me out.

Wow, that was a loaded statement.....if I was paranoid I might think you were implying I was

A) trying to work whilst still claiming benefits

B) Claiming benefits

C) Have family that had money to help me out

If you were, then you'd be wrong on all 3 counts.

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