I love my life!
This post is really aimed at new wedding photographers looking to get into wedding photography and wanting to make their fledgling business a success. Brides / Grooms / Anyone else please feel free to skip this post - you’ll find it extremely boring, unless you’re nosey then feel free to carry on reading.
Dear new wedding photographers, my life is sweeeettttttt, it’s fucking incredible I’m not going to lie, I get to hang out with cool-ass couples, party like there’s no tomorrow, make a bunch of new friends and get paid for it - jees who wouldn’t want my lifestyle!
How do you get such sweet gigs?
I shoot my fair share of destination weddings, I love it, I really do. If you have a family, a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or partner, kids etc - it can be hard…being away from your loved ones for weeks at a time is hard, I miss my wife and kids dearly when I’m away from home, I really do.
The hours are long, really long - as an example if I’m away for a week (5 days), I’ll be working for at least 4 of those days, a minimum of 14 hours per day, the wedding day is usually at least 18 - during that time there’s no real ‘switching off’, I don’t fuck about by the pool, sit down and chill or mess about - I’m being paid and I take that very seriously. Don’t get me wrong I don’t spend that time ‘scouting’ locations but even when I’m sat down chatting to guests and family I’m 100% switched on, watching, listening to conversations, paying attention to my surroundings - always thinking about the best way to represent a couple’s experience in pictures…..now then, those of you who’ve followed me for a while know I like a good party and drink with the wedding party (and I certainly do!) , but even after the pre-wedding get together and a whole heap of partying I still have to get up and be on my ‘A’ game, luckily I’m a professional party guy so I can, but it’s certainly something to bear in mind, there’s no time for being tired or hangovers.
Straight after a wedding I’ll spend at least an hour backing up all the pictures, it doesn’t matter how tired or drunk I am, that’s my ritual - every…..single……wedding.
After getting home from a jolly abroad (or even in the UK), my wife and kids desperately want my attention as I do theirs, but there’s the culling to do and starting the editing process.
It’s currently the summer holidays so while my wife and kids are enjoying the sunshine (rare in the UK) I’m sat with my laptop going through pictures, that generally starts from as soon as I get up (everyone wakes me up by jumping on me) until the early hours of the morning…if I’m lucky I get to have lunch with them and play a few 10 minute games with the kiddos.
The other stuff
Eric Thomas said;
“if your going to be successful
you gotta be willing to give up sleep.
You gotta be willing to work with 3 hours of sleep
2 hours of sleep, if you really wanna be successful.
Some day your gonna have to stay up 3 days in a row.
Because if you go to sleep you might miss
the opportunity to be successful.”
That’s a true fucking story man, I’ll work my ass off to make my couples happy, I’ll happily do weeks with minimal sleep to get people their wedding pictures, while I’m waiting at an airport for a plane I’ll be editing, while I’m on a plane and other people are asleep I’ll be editing pictures even though I’ve worked an 18 hour day and had to get up 3 hours later to catch a flight - fuck sleep, work ethic…..that’s what separates you from anyone else.
It’s the same with learning to be a better photographer, if I’m not shooting weddings I’m out photographing ‘something’, I guarantee you…and listen to me now, I absolutely guarantee, if you’re willing to work harder than the next ‘photographer’ in your city or town, if you’re willing to spend every single damn minute of your time becoming a better photographer you’ll absolutely be a better photographer than the person who lives a mile down the road from you, that time you spend on your phone looking at other photographers ‘getting inspiration’ ….put that damn phone down, pick your camera up and go out to take pictures, develop a work ethic that beats the person who’s your competition and you will be a success. Kinda’ wanting to be good won’t cut it, WANTING to be great won’t, working your ass of to be great will, there is no other competition apart from YOU - it really is that simple. Other people can’t teach you how to be better, you’ve got to learn that shit on your own! Don’t rely or look to anyone else to become the photographer you want to be, invest the time and effort in yourself, your style, be your own worst critic and ignore what other photographers say, your way of shooting needs to be yours, no-one else’s, it’s all on you - that’s the best advice I can give you.
Work ethic beats everything, if you’re willing to put the time in to mastering your craft there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Taking pictures is part of that, learning to edit pictures is another part, people and learning the art of being around people is another part, doing it half-assed, saying you want it isn’t the same as actually doing it though….YOU HAVE TO PUT THE WORK IN, I’m talking a LOT of work, a lot of sacrifice and a whole heap of “I want this more than anyone else in my surrounding area”.
I guess most importantly is learning to make the whole thing look easy at a wedding so you’re not a big flappy mess on a wedding day - that takes time and self investment, no-one can teach you that. From a personal perspective I’ve ‘trained’ hard in the background (and continue to do so), so on a wedding day I can manage to make the whole thing look easy breezy and fuss free, almost to a point where I’m not making much effort, I am - It just doesn’t show, but believe me, my brain is working overtime at every single wedding….it’s just smoke and mirrors people, smoke and mirrors.
Work your ass off and you’ll do it, have faith in yourself!
Peace out x