For me, being a wedding photographer is an incredible profession. Being the granddaugher of a street photographer (I am using the word “street” since in the ’30s the photographers were using their wooden cameras on a tripod at the parks) and a daughter of a wedding photographer, my profession couldn’t be less exciting. All these years I met tons of fantastic people! While it’s not all romance, fairytales and unicorns, there are indeed awesome things about being a wedding photographer. Here’s my Top 10 list!
1. A Startling Photographic Project
To be frank with you, weddings are astonishing events to shoot. Everybody is in their best mood, everything is almost flawlessly prepared, so it goes without saying that you will never get bored. Besides, each wedding is different. It’s not only the dreaming locations where they take place, but you get to spend your day capturing genuine emotions, tears of joy, anticipation, excitement and laugher. Wedding projects are so jam-packed with photographic opportunities nothing better for brainstorming.
2. Tell a Story
I endorse the documentary wedding photographic style. I am talking about its value on each occasion to my clients, friends or relatives. With a wedding, I have practically a love story in front of me, which I need to instill into my images. Like films, each wedding is unique; there are characters, scenes, actions, emotions, even unexpected scenarios if you are focused hard enough. The challenge for me is to capture them, to tie them together and to create a photographic story in a photobook when I design albums! Imagine your love story in a book!
3. Develop a Spectrum of Photographic Skills
As I wedding photographer I find myself shooting in a wide range of styles. There is the documentary-style where the spontaneous element comes first, then I switch to being a portrait photographer, and finally, I direct my “models” to pose like in-studio photography. I love shooting lots of details; bouquets, wedding rings, groom’s bow-tie, flowers and blossoms, gown’s lace, even the perfume’s droplets in the air. I may do some shots of the location, venues and landscape. Light-wise I need to shoot in exterior and interior, in sunlight, shade, rain and snow (I love this white dress on the white land), to use artificial light and to shoot with no light. Yes! I am developing into a very well-rounded shooter
4. Meet Amazing People
My grandfather taught me the hidden meaning of Aesop’s Fables about the Lion and the Mouse. It demonstrates the mutual dependence regardless of size or value. In weddings I have to interact with hundreds of people and to meet some pretty incredible ones. Each person has something to tell you that you’ll find useful some time in your life. What I love also is that there is an opportunity to go beyond and establish solid relationships with clients, who can become more friends than clients. And then, there are tons more people I am getting to meet at the party. I create relationships with other vendors I work with, like florists, planners, decorators, make-up artists, etc. And I may get connect with other local wedding photographers by developing my business networking. They can be an amazing source of support, advice and cooperation.
5. Learn to work under pressure
At weddings, time flies and I have to make a lot of decisions very quickly with sustained attention. Sometimes, I need to stay 100% focused for up to 14 hours straight. Also, I need to organize my team in order for the cinematographers and photographers to follow my pace and the rhyme of the wedding. If you haven’t had to do that before, it may sound impossible, but once the experience comes it becomes your way of working.
6. Travel the world
Weddings happen all around the world, and I had the opportunity to be requested by couples to photograph their Day. Indeed, brides are becoming more and more willing to hire a wedding photographer out of town (or even country) if they really connect with their work. Being an international wedding photographer takes a lot of work to get your name out there, but nothing is impossible if you are mastering your profession.
7. Be creative
Storytelling wedding photography rewards creativity. I couldn’t shoot the same old, same old in each wedding. Since I am hired to tell a story through my images, I can do whatever inspires me. That sort of freedom makes my mind spin and turns my job way more enjoyable.
8. Be your own boss
I could write hundreds and hundreds of pages to develop my point of view on this matter. A pretty well-established businessman told me laughingly that the self-employed is the one who chooses to work 80 hours per week in order not to work 40. Self-employment is not a piece of cake, but it’s quite darn enjoyable. I can make my decisions. I set my hours. Extra bonus: I can work from home! And the best one: I may decide whether pyjama day should be Mondays or Fridays (or both!).
9. Create life-lasting work
Why photos matter? For me, because they can be looked at in 100 years The albums that my grandfather, father and now my team produce for my couples clients become treasured family heirlooms and are passing down from generation to generation. As a wedding photographer, I may impact people through my images and create emotions for a long time. That’s why I am evolving to focus more on capturing the feeling of the wedding day, and the emotions surrounding the couple.
10. Get Inspired!
Likewise art, wedding photography evolves different techniques and then, new trends are developing. Since I aim to offer my best to my clients, I cannot refrain from nonetheless being inspired by the best! To be highlighted that the carbon copy of another photographer’s work is not authorized, and for me it is unforgivable. As a wedding photographer, I totally believe that it’s often helpful to take a break and spark the creativity process on some new ideas by looking at the work of others. I also can find my inspiration through learning. The more you read, the more you learn, the more your brainstorming is getting stronger and then you are capable to adapt your style to the new tendencies.
Those are the Top 10 exciting things for me about being a wedding photographer. In the next article, I will develop the Top 5 difficult things for me about being a wedding photographer. Stay tuned..!