There are few jobs in the world where one gets the opportunity to work with people when they are at such a positive and exciting time in their lives. The months before getting married are full of excitement and joy for a couple and it is a great privilege to be able to be part of this. The wedding photographer is also in the unique position of working closely with the couple on the wedding day itself as well and this again can be an opportunity to be part of making the day special and memorable for them. Apart from the day itself the photographs that the wedding photographer takes on the day frequently become a treasured part of the couple’s history. They will probably be looked at by the couple’s children and passed down the generations for years to come.
All of the above carries a huge responsibility for the photographer. He or she has to get it right on the day and the pressures of fitting all of the photographs into the time available at a wedding can be very stressful but this can make the job extremely rewarding as well.
Other less obvious advantages to becoming a wedding photographer include the status of being self employed and being able to do something that many would consider as a recreational pastime as a job. The work itself is very pleasurable, even editing images and designing albums is creatively rewarding. There are, of course, times where the photographer is doing less interesting tasks like ordering photographs and dealing with financial issues, marketing and communication but all of these tasks are done within the confines of being ones’s own boss and essentially being able to choose your own work pattern and schedule.
On the negative side the photographer is often asked by clients to work very unsociable hours. Most weddings take place at the weekend and the photographer can generally expect to be tied up for the whole of a Saturday or a Sunday with a wedding. Clients also generally work during the day so that means that client meetings will often take place in the evenings or again possibly at the weekend. Obviously the photographer can choose to take time off during the week in lieu of this time but it still has consequences. Often it will be possible to take and collect children from school and tasks like shopping can be undertaken at much less busy mid week times.
Few jobs allow as much creativity as being a photographer. You can have an expressive outlet and there is nothing like the feeling of people loving your work, being excited by your style of photography and ultimately paying you to take photographs for them. You do, however, need to have a great technique, be extremely confident in your abilities and be able to be consistent in the standard of pictures that you take week in week out. This can be a huge pressure. There is also the constant pressure of waiting to see if clients will enquire about your services and book you. It can be very hard not to take it personally when people don’t make a booking.
All in all being a wedding photographer is a great job. It allows you to be your own boss, work with people at a fantastic time of their lives and also allows you to be creative and in control of your work life balance. On the downside it can be stressful, financially unpredictable and demanding of your time particularly in the evening and at weekends but it can be rewarding, flexible and an exciting profession to be in.