From the exhilarating highs of documenting true love to the intricate challenges of managing a business, there are both pros and cons of being a wedding photographer. You might find yourself on a visual journey with every couple, weaving tales of romance through your lens. However, like any art form, wedding photography comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or an aspiring photographer considering your career choice, let’s uncover the nuances that make wedding photography both a labor of love and an art form in its own right. In this blog, we’re also tapping into the wisdom of professional wedding photographers, gaining valuable insights into what they have to say about the unique pros and cons of being a wedding photographer. So, let’s dive right in!
Pros Of Being A Wedding Photographer
1. Joy Of Documenting Memories
In this profession, you’re not just capturing images, but you’re freezing moments in time and turning them into visual keepsakes that couples can cherish forever. The joy of crafting lasting memories for your clients is what makes wedding photography a heartwarming journey for most wedding photographers.
For ShootDotEdit customer and wedding photographer Kelly Wilde of June Lion, the ability to evoke powerful emotions and create lasting memories is the ultimate reward of being a wedding photographer! She finds immense joy in the profound impact her work has on people. The most gratifying aspect, according to Kelly, is witnessing genuine reactions as clients view their photographs. Kelly highlights the unparalleled satisfaction of capturing the essence of her client’s personality, an enriching experience that surpasses the financial rewards.
2. Living Life The Way You Want
Wedding photography is one profession that allows you to be your own boss. You get the freedom to set your own schedule. You can work full-time or part-time, weekdays or weekends, depending on your preference. You can also decide on the number of weddings you shoot yearly, allowing you to balance your work and personal life.
Weddings usually cost a sizable sum, and many couples are willing to invest in beautiful photography to preserve those memories. The job pays well, especially for skilled and experienced photographers. And, if you know how to market yourself and your services, you can make a good living out of it.
For ShootDotEdit customers Dana and Nate Dorn, the husband-and-wife photography team behind Lovers of Love, the ultimate pro has been their shared journey – getting to collaborate, travel, and experience every facet of their wedding photography business as a united front. Dana and Nate embrace the journey together, from the highs of success to the lows of setbacks, allowing their personal and professional lives to intertwine seamlessly. As they express, the greatest perk is not having to sacrifice their love while pursuing their passion; they get to live every aspect of life side by side each day.
3. Experiencing Photography Adventures
As a professional photographer, shooting weddings can be an adventure, filled with new locations to explore and fascinating individuals to connect with. Meeting and working with other professionals in the wedding industry, like florists, DJs, and wedding planners, can lead to new clients, expand business opportunities, and develop your skill set. You grow your horizons by immersing yourself in diverse people, cultures, and experiences. You also get to work in some of the most beautiful and romantic locations, which is just fantastic!
ShootDotEdit customers Natalie and Brandon, the dynamic duo behind Studio N Photography And Makeup Artistry, expressed one of the biggest pros of their craft is the opportunity to journey side by side while practicing their art. Turning each assignment into a delightful getaway, they transform work trips into mini-vacations, exploring and immersing themselves in the charm of every locale.
4. Pursuing Your Passion
By becoming a wedding photographer, you can be part of the happiest moment in a couple’s life. Doing what you love by following your passion for photography and documenting life’s precious moments can be intensely satisfying. For ShootDotEdit customer and wedding photographer Flavio DeBarros of Flavio D Photography, his professional aspiration extends beyond excellence; he envisions becoming the premier high-end wedding brand. However, for Flavio, the pros of his profession extend beyond skill refinement and business success. He strives to foster an inclusive enterprise, emphasizing love as its central theme. In his words, “Love is the reason I have developed such a deep passion for wedding photography.”
5. Getting Creative With Your Unique Style
A wedding is a unique event with its own flavor, mood, and aesthetic. From capturing unique compositions to experimenting with different light settings on the wedding day, you can showcase your artistic flair and contribute to creating lasting memories for your clients.
ShootDotEdit customer Stephanie Heymann of Stephanie Heymann Photography emphasizes her craft’s profound pros through a unique approach that blends friendship, artistry, and an innate social connection. As a photographer, she doesn’t just document moments; she becomes an integral part of her clients’ stories. Thriving on genuine connections, she describes her style as capturing true emotion in unposed, candid moments. For her, the beauty lies in those in-between instances, and her commitment to showcasing people authentically, whether laughing, crying, or giggling, highlights the joyous and real essence of weddings.
Cons Of Being A Wedding Photographer
1. Being The Artist And Administrator
Wedding photography involves not only taking photos but also managing contracts, invoices, and marketing. You will need to invest time in administrative tasks like bookkeeping and social media management to run your business effectively.
For ShootDotEdit customer and wedding professional Brandi Salerno of Brandi Allyse Photo, navigating the business aspects of her craft had been a significant challenge. Acknowledging this, Brandi chose to elevate her business acumen by enrolling in relevant classes. Brandi’s experience underscores a common struggle for creative individuals in the wedding photography field, emphasizing the necessity of adapting and learning on the business front to achieve success.
2. Finding A Work-Life Balance
Days in your life, being a full time wedding photographer and a business owner, can be difficult when balancing work and life. ShootDotEdit customers Dana and Dorn of Lovers of Love candidly shared the challenges of consistently maintaining a disciplined schedule for their photography business. Life demands focus, and attempting to excel simultaneously as a photographer, parent, spouse, and individual can lead to shortcomings in all areas. To address this, they adopt a shift-based office hours approach, with one working while the other parents. While this intentional balance may not immediately seem like a drawback, Dana qualifies it as a con due to the ongoing effort required. Achieving a perfect balance is elusive some weeks, but this disciplined approach ultimately enhances their lives when successfully implemented.
Suggested Read: Work-Life Balance For Photographers: A Guide For Wedding Pros
3. Keeping Up With Your Expertise & Skills
To become a wedding photographer and a reputed industry professional, you need to showcase your expertise and skills with the proper technical knowledge and equipment know-how. This involves investing in expensive equipment to deliver professional-grade work and learning to use them proficiently.
ShootDotEdit customer and wedding photographer Brent Looyenga of Looyenga Photography reflects on the demanding nature of wedding photography, emphasizing the dedication required for perfection in every detail and the potential challenges posed by the time and effort invested in delivering exceptional work. Despite the considerable effort involved, Brent asserts that if the result is a creation that leaves clients awe-inspired and genuinely enamored, the time invested becomes inherently worthwhile.
4. Managing Difficult Clients
As a wedding photographer, you’re not just capturing images of love and joy – you’re also dealing with clients who may be stressed, demanding, or just plain difficult. Learning how to handle these situations is essential to your success in the industry. Whether it’s a bride insisting on a specific shot or a groom who simply won’t smile, you need to approach each issue with a professional attitude. Remember to keep a calm demeanor and always communicate effectively and professionally to ensure the best possible outcomes.
5. Dealing With Competition
The wedding photography industry is highly competitive, and distinguishing yourself requires dedicated effort and hard work. A portfolio of stunning images, excellent client service, and a robust online presence are essential for success. What else? Believing in yourself!
ShootDotEdit customer and wedding professional Kristen Lenox from K. Lenox Photography talks about the challenges within the wedding photography industry, shedding light on the pervasive tendency to compare oneself to peers. She shares the universal experience of creative professionals and admits the everyday struggle of questioning her choices in comparison to others, expressing moments of self-doubt. Kristen’s honesty reflects many photographers’ internal dialogue, emphasizing the continuous learning journey.
The pros and cons of being a wedding photographer are many, but if you’re passionate about the art and are willing to put in the hard work and prepare yourself for this field’s challenges, you can have an enriching career. Now that you know what to expect as a wedding professional, remember that photographing weddings is not perfect or easy. Nevertheless, with the right approach and vision, you can turn your dream of being a wedding photographer into a successful reality.
At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.