As any other photographer out there, I have my preferences, starting from the gear I use to the photos I take. There are things in my profession that I love doing more than others and, of course, things that I absolutely hate. For me, wedding photography falls in the latter category.
Before you jump to conclusions, I must clarify that I have absolutely nothing against weddings in general or against wedding photographers. I respect and admire their work just as much as I respect anyone working in the photography industry. But alas, wedding photography was not meant for me.
I’m not speaking from a theoretical point of view. I dislike working in this field because I tried and struggled to find joy and excitement in it, but all I got was a soul-crushing experience.
I never expected wedding photography to be so stressful. As a wedding photographer, you’re going to capture a once-in-a-lifetime event so there’s no room for mistakes. You don’t get a second chance to shoot the perfect picture of the bride walking down the aisle or that special look on someone’s face, the emotion, the laughter and the kisses that are gone in a flash. That kind of pressure and responsibility almost gave me panic attacks. There was a nerve-wracking list of things I had to do and a really tight timetable that I was in charge of. I wasn’t only the photographer, but also the coordinator and the planner, and everyone was relying on me to know everything.
At a wedding, you can’t just go with the flow. Everything has to be planned thoroughly and you don’t have time to wait for inspiration to kick in. My creativity was being limited and replaced by technical aspects. I got to the point where I felt weddings were a never-ending sequence of “just the bride and the girls this time” or “groom’s family only” and other combinations. It sucked the joy out of my work and made me feel miserable.
Like having to keep track of everything while shooting hundreds of artistic pictures wasn’t enough, I always had to deal with guests whose only purpose was to make my life harder. Some seemed to think they knew everything about how to shoot a wedding and felt the need to constantly give me directions. Others, armed with their own cameras, jumped unannounced to take shots that I might miss, ruining my shots in the process.
I also resented the constant interactions with people that weren’t willing to cooperate and were dissatisfied with everything. The time spent on endless explanations while keeping a smile on my face that made my cheeks hurt was terribly aggravating.
Finally, I came to the conclusion that I was a lost cause as a wedding photographer. However, this is my personal experience and it doesn’t mean it has to be the same for everyone. But I put an end to my wedding photography venture and I’m glad I chose a different path.