I took the decision just over a year ago to stop photographing weddings. It’s not been a big secret but I realised I hadn’t stated it here and I do still get the occasional wedding enquiry, even though I’m not actively marketing them now so I thought it was worth putting on record! After 7 years of photographing all sorts of weddings, big and small, I finished on a high with a lovely Christmas wedding at Coombe Abbey for a friend.
Why did I decide to stop being a wedding photographer? Because, as much as I enjoyed being part of a couple’s special day, it was having a negative impact on my family life. Agreeing to photograph a wedding is a big commitment:
- Weddings are usually held on weekends or holidays when my husband and kids are at home or out with our friends. Photographing other people having fun with their friends and family is hard when you know your friends and family are off having fun without you – I’ve missed a lot of opportunities to create great memories with my family over the years and I don’t want to miss any more.
- Weddings often take up a whole day, from loading up the car at 7am until getting back home at gone 11pm and then having to do a couple more hours’ work to get all the photos safely backed up before I go to bed – so a Saturday wedding takes up the whole of Saturday and has a knock on effect on Sunday too.
- You have to plan your holidays months or even years in advance.
- Your clients have chosen you as their photographer so it’s important you plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss their wedding day. That includes watching what you eat the day before to minimise your chance of getting food poisoning, avoiding anyone with any infectious bug the week beforehand (which can be tricky with children) or turning down interesting commercial jobs away if there’s a risk that you won’t be able to get back on time. I know some wedding photographers will think that’s over the top, but I never wanted to be the photographer who was posting on photography forums in a panic asking for anyone to step in to photograph the wedding they couldn’t attend as planned in an hour’s time. And I’m proud to say, I never missed a single wedding.
So when I realised the family, pet and commercial photography sides of the business had grown enough to support me, I decided to quietly let the wedding element fade away.
I will miss the fun and emotion of a fantastic wedding day. Thank you to all the lovely brides and grooms I’ve photographed – I’ve laughed and cried along with many of you. But I definitely won’t miss
- rude vicars and registrars
- inconsiderate guests
- fake phone calls from other photographers trying to find out your prices (when it was all on my website anyway!)
- and high-end wedding venues who think it’s acceptable to feed the photographer a couple of dry sandwiches and a bag of crisps while still expecting you to provide free photos to use in their marketing.
I’m looking forward to getting the chance to go to a wedding without having to lug around a big heavy bag of camera kit. And if you happen to be the wedding photographer who’s capturing it all, I promise I won’t lean into the aisle with my iPad, tell you how you could do your job better or refuse to cooperate during the group photos :-)