Wedding Photographers Are Better/Suicidal

Imagine taking a job where the client hates you before you meet them, nobody wants you around, and everything you do is an inconvenience. I may have mentioned it in a blog before on the subject of weddings when it is not just money and your professional career on the line but quite possibly your actual physical health. This is not about film vs digital, though it could easily be.

Years ago, I was asked by a close friend to shoot his wedding though I had never shot one before. So like a fool, I rented a Hassy 500, a pair of lenses and a flash on a stick then set out to totally screw the pooch.

Here were my problems boiled down. I didn’t really know how to move and frame a ceremony. I had no idea how the flash was going to affect my exposures. Outside the familiar comfort of strobes, I was totally lost.

See in most other forms of photography you have people in a box. You get to learn about what works in that box, how to light, pose, and the one lens you are going to mount. You have a playbook.

“Wedding? F**k no! I only shoot engagement photos, let some other fool face down a rabid bridezilla!”

So… you break down the wedding scope to: engagement, ceremony, reception, group photos, and random still life. Engagement is really the most creative, you have locations, freedom to pose people that are not about to have a mild stroke, and nothing has gone horribly wrong yet.

Benj Haisch (I admire you Benj) has a great video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XRK-ZL74Jg about using an outdated camera and only two lenses. He really put it so eloquently, I can’t add much more to it.

When you have infinite gear your likelihood of getting “the shot” goes down unless you intimately know each piece of gear and the outcome. This probably comes at the expense of needing to shoot a million shots in the first place.

So, I don’t fault anyone at the beginning of their journey even with a new single piece of equipment taking a lot of things and learning because… (insert inspirational quote about baby steps before running a marathon)

I don’t know, I am rambling now, but I think when you sense physical consequences over failure, you have to be pretty brave or one hell of a sales person.

In summation, don't do it, the upside is escaping with your gear outside your body cavities.

About the Author



I grew up shooting in NY and LA. I have worked in many capacities at fashion houses like BCBG, and for Victoria's Secret's (Pink) VP of Marketing. Original owner and founder.

represented by Craig Stephens


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