I have nothing but respect and admiration for wedding photographers. Their job is H-A-R-D. I’ve only shot around ten weddings in my photography career, but it was enough experience to understand that it was NOT something that I enjoyed.
My creativity and joy in photography are in greater abundance when I get to work in a relaxed and stress free environment. (This means that I am relaxed and stress free and SO ARE MY SUBJECTS 😉
Even though I retired from weddings in 2009, I still receive consistent wedding inquiries. Most of the time I regretfully decline and refer another fabulous photographer, but ever so often I suggest a possible alternative:
A portrait shoot in wedding attire.
This means that I get to photograph the bride and groom
- On a low key day before/or after their wedding
- In creative locations
- During the best light of the day
- Without a crowd of people around
- Without a tight schedule
- Without the extended family formal pictures that I dread
- And a million other blessed differences that make me creative and happy.
Yes, this means they have to still find another photographer for the day of the wedding events. It’s not the most efficient route. But it makes me happy!
Business should be designed around what brings you joy.
I always believe that there are creative solutions to designing your business to eliminate the parts you dislike and emphasizing areas that you do like. Business should not just serve your clients, but serve you too. True synergy is when everybody is happy.
Perhaps this means restricting your availability to weekdays so you can spend your weekends with your family (I did this for years, and you’d be surprised how clients automatically adjust their availability to meet yours.) Maybe it means you outsource your books to an accountant. Maybe (gasp!) it means that you could actually sell a CD of images because the thought of packaging/shipping prints and dealing with detailed orders and selection makes you want to die (that would be me!).
Business should not just serve your clients, but serve you too. True synergy is when everybody is happy.
What can you eliminate to bring you more happiness? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Congratulations to Becca & Bryan who were married last week, just a few days after our Bridal Portrait shoot 🙂
Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She loves 6:45 a.m. and Blue Bunny all natural vanilla bean ice cream. Just not at the same time.
Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.
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These are so lovely!
I am liking this idea… ALOT, I have shot 6 weddings and after every single wedding I shoot, no matter how the day goes, I am stressed out and I don’t love it…but this would be great alternative to offer.
Try it Katie! You’ll love it!
Brooke, thanks so much for this article! I am subscribed through Facebook and I don’t always get to click on the link, but I’m glad I did this time. I needed this.
Photography is something I have always wanted to do, but a high school guidance counselor convinced me otherwise. Several years later, I am a stay-at-home mom to an adopted son who cannot function in a normal class room. After having a few portrait shoots and weddings for friends under my belt, I would actually love to photograph children (maybe even special needs children)/families in more of a candid/event photo shoot. Capturing the kids/families while playing, not trying to pose them…is that what you call Lifestyle Photography?
Thank you for saying that you *can* say no to weddings and that you *can* just sell CDs of your images.
Denise! Sounds like you are finally discovering your photography dream! This is wonderful! Follow your heart if it lies in photographing kids. What makes us happy is a great clue 🙂 Lifestyle photography is much more candid and relaxed in nature (but posing can still play a foundational role…so don’t rule it out completely!) I’m delighted that you enjoyed the post!
Those are all GREAT Brooke!!!! I wish more people around here would try this out! They are too stuck in on the day shoots!
Awesome photos, awesome sentiments.
I just did my first wedding a few weeks ago, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I also just decided that I will not shoot on Sundays. This post is great and thought provoking!
congratulations Molly! Weddings can be really fun and energizing for the right personality! Sounds like you make a good fit!
Bodie Brower Likes this 😉
ha ha ha! Yes, indeed. You would like this 🙂
I love this post Brooke! These are the decisions I am trying to make right now, and I love your insight. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it more than you know!
This article has been a confirmation for me! I have been praying about no longer taking wedding photography assignments because I don’t enjoy them….this article has been my sentiments exactly…Thanks!
Lesa! Oh my! Congratulations, my friend! I am delighted to know that you have found your answer in regards to weddings! May you be empowered to pursue whatever path in photography brings you the most joy! Thank you for your comment!
I like the idea of restricting the time for wedding photography to the weekdays so you can enjoy weekends with friends and family. My sister is stressed due to all of the wedding planning she is currently taking care of. I’ll tell her to get her wedding photographs taken care of during the weekdays so she can find the time to relax on a weekend.