Why do I keep on Photographing Weddings?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by todd frederick, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. I posted the following comment (with a few additions) in a thread
    below and thought it might be of interest for comments:

    "Just a thought:

    I consider a wedding to be a celebration of a very happy moment in
    the lives of two people, and their families, and their friends. I
    even enjoy the wedding and the celebration myself!

    I don't view it as a somber dramatic event where everything must be
    staged and perfect at all times.

    I avoid the staged and perfect weddings, and look for those with a
    more relaxed atmosphere.

    I love, and look for, those moments when it's relaxed and we can do
    some fun photos and have a good time.

    I sometimes like to think that those are the photos the couple will
    cherish the most, and that's why I'm in this business.

    I really don't do it for the money.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. YEA! Someone that thinks like me. I do it because its fun, I get
    to travel, meet cool people, hopefully capture the emotion of the
    day and thats why we do it!!
     
  3. Todd,
    I couldn't have said it better myself...
    -Tom
     
  4. My thoughts too. At least right now... in my chair... in front of the computer... But, when I am on the job... stressing because everything is not so perfect... I tend to think that I am not getting paid enough for this....
     
  5. I do it for the money.

    However, I make the effort for the bride, who has waited her whole life (at least that's what I like to think) to have a perfect, magical wedding day, one where she feels like a princess, no matter what her background or financial means. I want to capture her wedding day and save the best of it for posterity, so she can look at her photos in 20, 30 or 50 years and have all the memories come back to her. I want her to see the photos that I shot and cry (with happiness, of course), and laugh, and be happy.

    That's why I do weddings.
     
  6. I admire your philosophy here. When I read the question my initial answer was "because it's easy money". (sigh) Perhaps I am shallow after all...
     
  7. In no particular order :love of starchy catering hall chow, the money, 70's disco music, and I enjoy watching drunks do the "Macarena".

    Just kidding, its actually all Im trained for.
     
  8. I have HOOKED up a lot of people. My wife often gets mad because I give a lot of stuff away. I can charge a lot more but I try to help people out that need help. I feel that it all comes back to you at the end. One day I will need something and knowing that helping others will hopefully help me out. I do not operate to get rich. Life is too short to be greedy. That is the way I look at.
     
  9. The only job I know that requires 30-40 days a year of work ~~~ with a average of 5 hour work-day --and you make a three figure income...great day job!
     
  10. If that's the case with most weddign photographers, average wedding photography should be under $500.00<br>
    I have a day job as a web designer at a small dot com business and I make decent money.<br>
    To me, it's all about money, easy money... easy extra cash.<br>
    That's it.<br>
    For those who hate me (trying to give me little jabs) I would like to make something clear...<br>
    I am not saying I'm a great photographer.<br>
    I am not saying I'm making ton of money.<br>
    All I'm saying is that it takes so little effort to pay for my living expense.<br>
    Most of my day job income go to my savings account.<br>
    I will be stupid if I don't do weddings.
     
  11. Have a look at this article of Frank Van Riper in the Washington Post about "Overpaid Wedding Photographers". Fantastic! <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/essays/vanRiper/031222.htm>
     
  12. Weddings gave me purpose. For decades I shot people photographs for my own self
    enjoyment. Weddings expanded that to use the skills and eye developed previously ... with
    a built-in outlet for the results. A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the
    head -- Picasso.

    So, I get invited to a lavish party where emotions run the gamut, am paid to do what I used
    to do for free anyway. Get to buy cool gear that I couldn't justify previously. Get to share a
    milestone day with a young couple just starting out. Get to exercise and expand my
    creative horizons on a regular basis. So what's not to like?
     
  13. I work full time as a web developer and shoot on the side. Taking pictures that will last a lifetime and put a smile on my client's face every time they glance at it is a priceless feeling. To be honest I do photography because it helps me to fund early retirement, travel more, and buy more toys than Batman.
     
  14. After a successful career in another field I've come back to a love I have of people photography. Being with people is essential for me. What a better way to enjoy other folks than to be commissioned to be the author of their wedding story! I treasure every moment during their day and capture the happiness with my photography.

    I still capture B&W with film and when my wife & I arrive home from a wedding I will usually be so pumped up that I will develop at least one if not several rolls of the B&W film! And at the same time I'll be putting the digital images on my computer. Exciting!

    At 56 and retired from another job, I'm having the time of my life! I never thought that retirement would be this wonderful.
     
  15. No Boss!!

    I seem to have had the worst luck with bosses, every single one has happily taken advantage of me, knowing I have a family to feed, and many were bastards to boot.

    I love being my own boss, doing half my work at home on the computer or at my desk, and the other half of my work is stimulating, fun and challenging.

    There is something about getting the phone call after giving the pictures and hearing how delighted the couple/family are with your pictures, you really feel that you are getting job satisfaction!

    And anyway, cummon, apart from when I was in the army, where else do boys get to do their job with expensive and fun toys?
     
  16. Oh Oh Oh - and the free food! Don't forget the free food!
     
  17. Don't get me wrong...making money is great!

    However, there are many ways to make money. I live in terror a few hours before every wedding, fretting about what might go wrong, and checking equipment 10 plus times, and asking myself why I do this, but once I'm there I love it...especially if it is a relaxed, fun party and the bride (or mom or groom or...) isn't a primadonna!
     
  18. I thought these statements could stand to be reiterated. Well said, gentlemen.
    Marc Williams - "So, I get invited to a lavish party where emotions run the gamut, am paid to do what I used to do for free anyway. Get to buy cool gear that I couldn't justify previously. Get to share a milestone day with a young couple just starting out. Get to exercise and expand my creative horizons on a regular basis. So what's not to like?"

    David Duffy - "Taking pictures that will last a lifetime and put a smile on my client's face every time they glance at it is a priceless feeling."
    Ben Rubenstein - "There is something about getting the phone call after giving the pictures and hearing how delighted the couple/family are with your pictures, you really feel that you are getting job satisfaction!"

    I agree wholeheartedly with all those statements. Additionally, I enjoy the creative challenge of finding the better shot, the original pose, the perfect expression, the touching moment, that the subject never knew you caught on film (or chip) until the moment when their jaw drops and they overflow with smiles. And, getting paid for it all is a blessing.
     
  19. I agree with most here. I do it because I love photography with a GREAT passion. I really enjoy the people I meet and work for, and they feel the same. To be honest, the food sometimes isn't all that great (shhh), but I have a lot of fun. Yes, I make money, but the big "payment" for me is going over the images with them and hearing the oohs & aahs. To me, their happiness with images that I capture is what it's ALL about.
     
  20. Todd, I do it for the sheer love and adoration of it all...the emotion, the romance, the vulnerability of the couple,the intimacy,the ritual/ceremony,the intensity and drama, the playfulness, the sense of community amongst the participants and celebrant. Each wedding reinforces my belief that life pivots around finding love and being in love. So to be part of this, to witness and record it for the couple is very exciting. Yes a bit of coin is nice but far from the main motivator.
     
  21. Todd,

    Great thoughts, definitely worth going over again. I consider myself blessed to be able to make a living (most months) doing what I love doing, what I'm passionate about doing. Just like you said, I hope the couple appreciate their wedding photos the most. Other that a video, they are the only lasting reminder of one of the most important days of a lifetime. The flowers die, the food/cake is eaten...you know the saying. Sometimes I have to take a step back and ask myself what you stated in your comment. Hey, the money is good, but the real reward is seeing the ooohhing and ahhhing of the bride when she looks through her images. Take care, and happy shooting.

    Duane
     
  22. I do it because I like weddings, and I love seeing the faces of the bride and groom when I hand them their photos. The greatest compliment I get is that the photos bring back the day for them.

    Would I do it if I wasn't getting paid? For friends, yes. I really love being involved in the day.
     

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