After many years in the industry, I am finally burned out and just made a career change. I’m sooo excited about leaving wedding photography behind! My dislikes and reasons for exiting the field:
1) Timeline- if I draft a time line for you that allows the maximum # of creative pictures, please stick with it! Dont force me to spend 40 min on the wedding day taking family formals of 2nd and 3rd cousins and mom’s sorority sisters….so that by the time I’m finished, the sun is down and the couple’s pictures are rushed and it’s pitch black outside…
I normally ask that the ceremony be scheduled an hour and a half before sunset to allow beautiful sunlit pictures of the couple alone. If you decide to schedule the ceremony close to sunset and you dont want to see each other before the ceremony for the ‘first look’, your pictures together will be limited and not what they could be. I warn every couple I meet with that this is a possibility when they choose to schedule the ceremony late and choose not to see each other before the wedding….some listen, some don’t. Don’t complain to me when your pictures together are shot on high ISO in the dark. I feel terrible when full potential isn’t met at any of my weddings, but the couple has the ability to make the call when it comes to the time line.
2) I am a photographer not a retoucher! Please do not send me a list of +200 pictures that you want intensively edited! To include: removal of exit signs, changing the color of the church carpet, fixing your bobby pins, fixing wilted flowers, fixing his bald spot, removing bandaids from guests in the backgrounds of your images, removing cars, removing the ex-husband who didnt pay his share of his daughter’s wedding, adding makeup….! UGH…this is my BIGGEST BEEF! I capture your day the way it IS…bald spot, exit signs, and all. I will whiten your teeth and remove your wrinkles and blemishes, but anything else will be for a fee. I can’t invest 1 hour per image on retouching without charging you, especially when you send me a list of 50- 200 pictures you want changed.
3) No it isn’t cool for your friend to follow me around and shoot my setups over my shoulder, only to later display them on their website as though they were an experienced wedding photographer. Everyone has to start somewhere, but presenting someone else’s work as your own is unethical. I have no problem with guests with cameras or with aspiring photogs shooting the wedding…just dont shoot the shots I set up of the wedding party, family, and bride and groom.
4) If you are on a very limited budget and you rent out the local VFW bldg for your wedding, please don’t expect me to work some magic and make it appear to be a high budget wedding. It is going to look like the VFW bldg in your pictures. I put a lot of time and effort into getting the best shots possible, no matter the venue. But I can only work with what you give me.
5) Hate that people think wedding photographers make soooo much money for one day’s work…! We keep 40-50% of the package cost as income. One wedding = 40-60 hours of work. No healthcare, no benefits, no retirement working 60 hrs/week. Sound like a good gig to you?
Vent over…what i loved about it was meeting new people and building great friendships, not only with the bride and groom, but with their families. I met a lot of amazing people.