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On Weddings

Do You Do Weddings? When people find out that I have my own photography business, the first thing they ask is "Do you do weddings?". My response is often a resounding NO preceded by some sort of mild expletive. Other times I will ask them "Why would I want to do that?". The response usually has something to do with money.

There are many reasons that I don't photograph weddings. The first being I do not take good people pictures when they are posing for the camera. I could go to a photoshoot full of supermodels, take hundreds of posed pictures, and end up with hundreds of pictures of Frankenstein's bride. While I consider myself a talented photographer, I realize that I don't have the skills necessary to do fashion/wedding photography. People photography is a discipline that very few people actually have. Many so called wedding photographers do it just because they have a nice new camera and think that weddings are easy money.

What I can do is candids, you know those shots when people don't know they are being photographed and just being themselves. I have some wonderful pictures of complete strangers in different places just sitting and thinking or reading, with no knowledge that I ever took a picture. I will consider doing certain types of weddings, providing that none of the standard posed shots is required. Outdoor weddings in a scenic area, I can take pictures of the scenery and if I just happen to get a wedding while doing that, I think I would get some good pictures. Other types of unusual weddings might also interests me. As long as it involves something else that I do well and I don't have to do all of the bride's family, groom's family, and cake cutting stuff.

Reason number two is my people skills are really bad. I generally tend to tell people what's on my mind, good or bad. Bridezilla does not want to hear that I can't make her butt look smaller. When dealing with people and especially high strung brides, people skills are paramount to success. I had a medical diagnosis earlier this year that explains my absence of people skills. I can hide my lack of people skills sometimes, but when dealing with a bride and wedding party, all bets are off.

The most compelling reason to not do weddings is lack of interest. I have zero interest in weddings. The money would be nice but I feel that I would be like many other wedding photographers. Do it for the quick money and throw the passion of getting unique, quality pictures out. That is definitely not for me. I will leave the money on the table for some other photographer to scoop up and keep my sanity and quality standards.

Posted by Patrick G. Welch on Saturday, November 12, 2011

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