As a wedding photographer you deal with clients on a emotional day in their lives. You are appointed to capture all the happenings and and final execution of months and even years of planning. {No pressure} You are a creative at heart, want to keep your clients happy and enjoy the day with them. However, as with any other industry it has its challenges.

Being a successful wedding photographer, requires quite a few sets of skills, wisdom and innovative ideas to stay ahead.

Big Start-up Cost

Let’s face it, to compete in the Wedding Industry you need to have decent equipment, which does not come cheap, neither does computers nor editing programs.

This is an industry where you need to cough up substantial amounts of cash even before your first paid job.


One thing about the Wedding Industry that is constant is the fact that it is completely seasonal. This results in there being months of only a few weddings taking place. Only a few brides want to take the chance of getting married in winter or months where the chance of the weather not playing along is more likely. Getting Married in Winter is actually not a bad idea, however there obviously is a few challenges, but it can be overcome.



Every Photographer sees themselves as an artist. Every image is unique to their style, and the editing done to perfectly present the images according to their personal preference. So when you realize your work is being used by other industry members to promote themselves, or your images are being used for advertising or promotions without your permission you not only feel disappointed, but angry too. This happens more often than you would think. That is why most photographers would watermark their images, demand/expect credit or remuneration when their images are being used for advertising or anything other than what the original agreement with their client was. “Stealing” and unauthorized use of images occur very often.


Read article about this image and watermarking 

The Business Side of Things

Only a few photographers have the balance between creativity and business skills. Most photographers would be happy just to photograph and edit images, or work on new concepts etc., rather than worry about the admin, business relations, marketing, finance and strategy of running a business. This puts some photographers at a disadvantage to those with excellent business and marketing skills. You could be the best photographer in the world, but if you lack in business skill, you might not be in demand, popular or get bookings on a regular basis. Being a successful photographer requires more than just beautiful images.

You charge what?

Unfortunately in this industry some photographers will do everything they can to get the job. Even if it means giving a ridiculously low quote or over promise and under deliver. You deal with people that on a constant basis devalue photography to the point where it come as no surprise that people basically wants you to photograph them for free.

Stealing of Ideas

Unfortunately we operate in a visual industry where competitors constantly are trying to out-do, out-edit or out-pose their competitors. Some will even go as far as trying to replicate your work. This results in a industry where you need to constantly evolve, stay on top of the game, produce high quality work and keep up with the trends.


Being a wedding photographer you constantly get people asking to Photoshop them thinner, taller, add things, take things out or fix problem areas. Truth be told, you can do a lot with Photoshop, but best have everything looking the best it can, before being photographed. Hours of editing goes into getting your wedding photographs looking its best, having unrealistic expectations about the final product is only going to be a let-down.

Having your work destroyed

Powerful statement, but when you deliver the final product to a client, after hours and hours of carefully editing all the images to look perfect and you see your work being re-edited with horrible effects like bubbles, tints and weird contrasts you feel like all your hard work got destroyed with one click of a high contrast, vibrant boosting button.



Not only do you need to stay positive, energetic and be creative on the day of the wedding, and keep your clients happy. You are dealing and photographing a lot of people on the day that play a part in the successful execution of the day. You are not only in contact with the bridal couple but with the parents, wedding guests, wedding planners, hosts, venue staff and other service providers. Dealing with all involved, requires a lot of skill, patience, understanding and most of all the willingness to bend over backwards to please everyone to the best of your abilities.

Dealing with b*tchy service providers

The aim should be to deliver the best service and quality work to your client. It should be a combined effort of everyone involved to reach this goal. However you will encounter a service provider now and again that will go out of their way to make your job very difficult. {Still have to figure out why}. There are so many ways this can happen, little jabs in front of the client, deliberately making your job a nightmare by moving in front of your lens while shooting or suggesting that you are not competent etc. You get them all. Make sure you know how to handle situations like this.

Other “non-official” photographers

A wedding is a festive occasion, which understandably will be photographed or videotaped by wedding guests. However it is the “uncle bob’s” with a semi decent camera and the overbearing aunt with her point-and-shoot that is the cause of a few headaches. They are the one’s trying to get all the shots, walking around, either in front of you and directly behind you, shouting from somewhere to have the couple look up at them or just in general be a distraction. These individuals might feel like they are doing a great job, but in fact the chances are they are more of a distraction than anything else. How wedding guests can ruin your wedding photos.


Mother Nature

Even if you have the dream client, the greatest wedding location and a beautiful couple, if Mother Nature decides to make your job just a tad little bit more difficult by presenting a typhoon, snowstorm, or other weather related issues, you know you are going to have your work cut out for you. As a wedding photographer you need to be able to handle difficult weather situations and be fully equipped to handle every situation.


Copy what?

You will go to a meeting where a bride wil open a flipfile or notebook full of photographs from other photographers, wanting you to replicate them on their wedding day. Getting ideas and sharing is great, however if the style of photography they are showing you is very far removed from your own style, rather decline as they will be dissapointed in the end and you will be under a lot of pressure to copy a style you are not familiar with or are equipped to produce.

As a side note to bridal couple: Make sure the photographer you book, are the one you like, who’s work you love and who’s personality you get along with. You might just end up disappointed if you photographs look nothing like the photographs and style you like. There are a lot of different styles of photography. Make sure the photographer you choose are an expert at the type of photographic style you like. If not you might end with the same result as when asking Metallica to sing a Katie Melua song (after all Music is Music right) – Just like photography is photography?



On the lighter side of things: 



Images Credit: ; ; ; ; ; ; kirstymithcellphotography