Wedding photography is not an exact science, is not a strict set of rules and formulas that anyone can use and achieve at least some success. Photography in general is not a field where rules can be applied for any situation and get good results every time. There is an infinite diversity of situations and factors that make a photograph, from light and composition to moment and subject. On top of all these, there is the unbelievable diversity of technical aspects and to complicate things to an extreme, the experience, talent and vision of the photographer. To say just one thing about wedding photography and comprise all this madness in one perfect word, that would be unpredictable. There are so many things going on at the same time, never exactly the same from day to day, changing and evolving with each and every second. Photographers can try and make a sense of whatever happens around them, but they will never be able to completely control the outcome. Something, sometime, will surely go wrong and each moment has different meanings and angles that can be explored.
Speaking more in depth on my view about wedding photography and its universe, first of all, I never believed in adopting a single style and that this is the perfect formula for success. Of course, it’s nothing wrong in becoming known the best in something and some people view the world this way. I was never able to go into a wedding and think about fashion or journalism, to name just the two main opposing styles in this domain. A wedding photographer must be every other type of photographer depending on the moment and the situation. You just have to incorporate a little bit of product photography or landscape photography, a lot of portrait or fashion photography, some sort of photojournalism and street photography and many others. It also depends on the subjects, I could never just stand around silent and wait for something to happen when the couple is so afraid of the camera that watches my every move and direction. Neither can I become the director of cheap scripted movie and make everything happen on command. I believe there is a middle way and depending on the situation we photographers must adapt and overcome anything in order to create a story that our couple will love.
One thing I’ve learned doing wedding photography in Romania for the past 7 years is that there are amazingly talented photographers that will create masterpieces each chance they get, from apparently mundane situations and there are photographers who try their best to create beautiful stories and even if their images taken individually are not as impressive, the full story they tell can still achieve deep emotional impact. I try my best to be in the second group as I understood that I will probably never be in the first, except for seldom sparks of creativity. One does not have to be a naturally born photographic talent to be able to tell beautiful wedding stories through hard work and passion. It’s all about capturing moments that will never return and will be cherished by generations. We live in an ever-changing and evolving world of information technology and people are constantly being bombarded with visual stimuli each day. Who knows what the future will bring so photographers are here to record the present as well as they can and wish.
One of the biggest myths about wedding photography is that you can get rich if you are really good at it. The truth is that not all the best photographers are also good businessmen and there are an unbelievable amount of things to take into account. First of all, customers see the fees that photographers demand as full profit numbers, when in reality a grand portion of the price is going on expenses like equipment, marketing, education, taxes and others. Sometimes, not even half of the full price of a wedding photographer goes to net profit and when this is your full-time job and the wedding season only lasts for only about half a year, things begin to take a new perspective. On top of this, many think about wedding photography as a one day job each week, as in reality most photographers will spend another 2-5 days editing a wedding, which is a big part of the job. So the fee for a wedding photography service is not just for the day, but more likely for a full week that will also include the cost of expensive equipment which is being worn out, the cost of promoting the business, the costs related to buying education and spending time learning and exercising and so on.
In conclusion, if there is one thing I can say about wedding photography and its world is that I love it! For me, this sort of happened one day and although I used to love photography in general, I did not imagine myself doing weddings before trying the first one… It also increased my passion for photography a thousand time and I can only be grateful to call myself a wedding photographer!
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