Wedding photographer problems: from cereal bars consumed behind hedges to “have you got any good ones”
Being a wedding photographer is a funny kind of job and most people, including the couples who book us, have no idea about what the job actually involves until they’ve been through the whole process of working with us. And even then they probably have no idea that we snaffle cereal bars in bushes.
I recently came across this post from press photographer, Leon Neal so I thought I’d share some universal truths about being a wedding photographer. Do have a read of Leon’s post if you’re a photographer, as lots of his points apply to wedding photographers too.
Here are some wedding photographer problems and observations about things that we encounter on a day to day basis.
When the wedding hangover is real. It’s pretty hard to stay hydrated on a wedding day and after an especially hot day shooting you can wake up the next day feeling like you drank nine pints of vodka. Electrolytes are your friend.
When your lunch on a wedding day is a cereal bar hastily consumed behind a hedge.
When Unplugged weddings are misunderstood. Contrary to popular belief guests with ipads / phones don’t bother me at all but do you want a load of pictures of your favourite people with their faces obscured by phones and cameras?
When it looks a bit like I’m crying a little bit behind my camera and it’s because I’m crying a little bit behind my camera.
When someone asks “have you got any good ones”. It’s tempting to reply “no, I’ve totally screwed this one up. Would you mind telling the couple for me?” just to see the look on the other person’s face. You probably shouldn’t do that though.
When you check your fitbit and you’ve walked 10k – 15k steps at a wedding (that’s up to six miles!). My record was 2ok.
When you’re scared of heights but you’re required to climb a MASSIVE ladder at least once a year for a big group shot. *holds breath*
Wedding photographer kryptonite
When fire escape signs, magenta up lighters, registrars and vicars, enthusiastic hobbyist photographer relatives, DJ lights that make everyone look like they have measles and other wedding suppliers who think they know more about photography than you do are your kryptonite.
When you need the loo and have to hold it for several hours. This is an essential wedding photographer skill.
When you can see amazing light happening outside, while you’re inside photographing speeches. STOP THE SPEECHES, WE NEED TO DO A PORTRAIT! Obviously I would never do this, but it doesn’t stop me wanting to.
When, like Leon, you have no idea where any of your lens caps are.
When your back up system is really secure but you still spend many, many hours obsessing over it.
Female wedding photographer problems
When you constantly have make up ALL around your camera eye piece and view screen.
When (some, male) DJs and chauffeurs tell you how to do your job (“why don’t you try standing over there / taking it from this angle…) or assume your male second shooter is in charge. Yes, really.
When you’re happy to be seated on a table with guests for dinner, but it does mean you have to sacrifice the chance to take your shoes off.
When a guest wants to take a picture of you, with your camera. 1) You’re a bit drunk so I’d rather not give you my expensive camera. 2) I’ve been shooting for 10 hours and I am, frankly, not looking my best right now!
When everything’s running late. This is pretty standard to be honest as weddings hardly ever run on time. Being flexible around the wedding day timeline is a pretty crucial part of a wedding photographer’s job.
When the registrar picks the worst moment to duck out of your carefully composed first kiss shot.
The feeling of victory when you reduce your editing queue back to zero at the end of wedding season.
When you receive a shot list that’s many, many pages long. Luckily my clients trust me and I haven’t had one of these for a lonnnggggg time but they’re still out there, in lots of wedding magazines. Here’s my post about how NOT to brief your wedding photographer.
When it rains on a wedding day but the rain breaks around sunset and we do our ‘hello awesome light’ dance.
When someone asks “what do you do in the week?”. Oh, you know, run my business!
Did I miss any truths about being a wedding photographer? Let me know in the comments!