Why so few?
Someone asked me yesterday "Why do you only photograph 24 weddings a year?", closely followed by "You could easily book more if you wanted, there are people doing more than double that easily, quite a few even triple that"
It's a fair question to ask, more weddings = more money after all, I must be barking mad mustn't I?
Quality, that's why:
1. Quality of my wedding photography
I've spent a long time working out the answer to the question, "What is the absolute maximum number of people I can provide my best quality work for per year?"
Things like shooting 2 weddings a weekend for months on end would burn me out, even a wedding a week for months on end - I'd get sloppy, or disinterested, or sick of weddings! Then there's all the editing, having a bunch of weddings piling up that need editing puts pressure on to finish them quicker, shortcuts are taken, they get farmed out to other people to edit and while they are finished quicker but that finish isn't the same because I'm not doing it myself. None of that equals top quality work, that's not my best and if someone doesn't get my best I'm cheating them. Don't worry this is all hypothetical, it's never actually happened.
So the number I came up with, once I'd worked out how long it takes me to do stuff until I'm happy is 24, that would average out to one wedding every two weeks throughout a year. That's my ideal number if I want to work non-stop, which brings me on to the next bit
2. Quality of life
I'm a family man. I've a wife and two young kiddos, what's the point in working if I never get to see them? So quality of life for me and my family is hugely important. I need holidays (doesn't everyone), a chance to recharge and appreciate the things my work brings - family time! So that influences how many weddings I take on.
While I absolutely love being a photographer, and that's not the usual kak talk you hear every wedding photographer saying btw, I spend a lot of time working on personal projects, I don't just photograph at weddings. Anyway, went off on a tangent there, sorry, where was I? Ah yes - family time. Yes I need family time, me time, time to work on my own stuff.
3. Recovery time
Kinda all linked to the above. Shooting a wedding is exhausting, not in a woe is me, I'm a hero kind of way, I'm certainly not one of those wedding photographer showmen who rolls around in fields, wades into rivers, climbs trees (It's all a stupid show for the guests btw) but it takes me about a week to fully recover from each wedding. While I may look like I'm breezing around having the time of my life, on average 18 hours on the day where my brain is constantly working overtime is hugely mentally draining, not to mention being on my feet for that amount of time. I need serious recovery time
What does it boil down to?
The people who book me get my absolute best, no shortcuts, no sloppiness, no disappointment. Anyone who's wedding I've photographed will happily tell you I'm certainly not burned out, I certainly don't look like I want to go home when it's getting late, I'm fresh as a daisy all day.
A Documentary Wedding Photographer based in Cheshire, offering a completely unique approach to your wedding photography. I'm a guest, not a photographer.