Articles in Category: Secret Wedding Photographer
The must read wedding photography blog by professional wedding photographers
The views expressed by the Secret Wedding Photographer do not represent the views of Find a Wedding Photographer or our staff
It's hard work photographing weddings
“Do I really need to provide my wedding photographer with a meal?” YES! I have the proof that wedding photographers need to take on the same calories as a Tour de France cyclist or they will faint during the speeches.
When I turned 50 a few years ago I realised I was in a bit of trouble. The good years had been a bit too good to me and photographing 2 - 3 weddings a week had suddenly become really tough. I was over-weight and out of condition. Back to back Summer weddings in the heat, with all the stress and logistical nightmares, had become so exhausting that I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to continue into my 50’s unless I restricted my workload to one wedding a week. Unfortunately this just wouldn’t work financially and so I decided to get back in shape to cope with the workload. I joined the gym and went on a diet. It all went OK for the first six months but as anyone who has ever tried this will tell you - it gets really really boring! On the verge of giving up I did what every professional photographer would do and bought a gadget.
Wedding Photography: A Cautionary tale
Last week I had a Saturday off - unheard of in August in the good old days - and I went to a friends Birthday party in Prestwich. It was great to be out with my lovely wife at the weekend rather than waiting for the first dance to start in a green cast grim marquee in Cheshire. If ever I’m out at the weekend all I get is the same question, “ Not working?”. Then I’ll be introduced to someone I don’t know and once they find out I’m a wedding photographer they will invariably tell me they hated their own wedding photographs - funny how you never meet anyone who actually liked their pictures. At this party I met a recently married bride from London who told me a really interesting story which illustrates how even smart, clever couples can end up with some terrible wedding photos. Hopefully this will serve as a cautionary tale for brides to be...
Are Two Photographers Really Better Than One?
There are numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the the death of professional wedding photography or the exponential race to the bottom as it’s known in the office. I’ve mentioned a few reasons for the decline here on the Secret Wedding Photographer blog, such as free engagement shoots. Some will claim that the big camera manufacturers don’t care about us pros and much in the same way that Apple virtually ditched development of professional work stations and support for professional applications (farewell Aperture) the big camera companies are now focused on making photography easier and cheaper for consumers. Let's leave for another post!
There is another far sinister factor - the Second Shooter, lurking in the background. I’m old enough to remember life before the second shooter. The days of a now mythical creature - the photographers assistant. A useful beast who knew his place. I even employed one once who didn't want to be a photographer. He liked assisting. Having an assistant is great. They carry your bags. Make sure everything is working. Move lights around and hold reflectors. They were an amazing thing. Unfortunately they are rarely seen now. Commercially no one will pay for them. They have been made extinct by the birth of the second shooter. Another disastrous idea for the wedding photography business.
Would clients actually pay for a pre-wedding shoot?
So who did it? Which idiot first thought it was a good idea to offer free engagement shoots as an incentive to book? I need to know who you are. Who was patient zero? It must be someone out there? Or maybe they’ve gone bust and gone back to work in a call centre. I remember the days when photographers used to get paid to take pictures and so could make a living rather that doing it “because I love taking pictures” and because “I am so passionate about photography”
The reason I ask is that this year I was blackmailed by a client into agreeing to a ‘free’ engagement session - or E-shoot as they now seem to be called or is it actually a pre-wedding shoot, sigh. Now don’t get me wrong but there is nothing wrong with engagement shoots, apart from the fact most of them are a bit embarrassing. I am convinced though that most clients don’t actually want them. How do I know? Well if you try charging for them then no one ever books one. This is a fact. However if you include them for free then of course clients will take you up on your offer and that’s how wedding photographers ended up spending their Sunday afternoons wandering around parks trying to work out a way for these pre-wedding-shoots not to look awkward and laughable. Piggy back anyone?