Weddings are a billion dollar industry and wedding photography is can be a very lucrative career. For many photographers “wedding photography” is not worth the hassle and a lot of photographers will not shoot weddings for love nor money. For others weddings are all there is.
Shooting a wedding carries a fair bit of responsibility. As a wedding is a one time event the photographer must be alert, prepared, backed-up and concentrating. Shooting a wedding is both exhausting and invigorating as the photographer is constantly working, looking for angles, getting the nice candid shots, plus the hours can be very long.
Timing is important. Communication and planning time lines before the event will alleviate many of the stresses associated with photographing a wedding. An ability to tactfully take charge also helps – particularly when photographing large groups or families – a common expectation after the ceremony.
It is not unheard of for a photographer to work with an assistant, who may carry their equipment, help round up guests and assist in the shooting through the straightening up of clothing or the holding up of reflectors. Assisting offers great experience for the would be wedding photographer, and assistants should aim to work with as many photographers as possible.
Having a run list with all of the expected shots is also a useful tool for the novice photographer.
The rewards. Wedding photographers can earn as much as a good commercial photographer, working mostly weekends.
Working hours of wedding photographers are mostly weekends. As most weddings are on a Saturday you will find that it may be difficult to plan activities with friends of families on weekends, however you may also find it pleasant to be able to wake up late on Monday morning your only worry for the day being to cut the grass and edit last Saturday’s job.
Wedding photographers usually have an office or studio and some double as a Retail Photography Studio in many small town and villages. In bigger cities you will find dedicated wedding studios that only shoot weddings and may have large studios equipped with make-up and hair and gowns ready for the bride to wear. Some studios also have arrangements with Bridal shops allowing the bride so try several gowns during her portrait session.
As a wedding photographer your biggest responsibility is to the bride and groom, but especially the bride. The bride is the one who is going to carry your album around to all her friends and colleagues, telling everyone within earshot what a wonderful photographer you are. If you wish to be a successful wedding photographer above all is aware of this.