Ever since I became a professional photographer I have avoided weddings.

Just plain avoided them.

A few would-be wedding clients have inquired and I’ve just always simply said “nope! I don’t do weddings.”

 

 

I rationalized this aversion for all sorts of “good” reasons. I didn’t like the idea of working with fussy brides or their picky moms. I didn’t like the idea of being on my feet for 10 hours.

But most of all, I HATED the idea of endless hours post-processing 3,000 pictures that (in my mind) would all look about the same. I mean, that white dress is gorgeous but if I have to see it in one more picture I’m going to gouge my eyes out.

Honestly this might seem harsh but I don’t even usually like looking THROUGH an entire image set of wedding photos. I can’t imagine having to be the one to sort out and edit them all!

 

 

{side note – editing is one of my least favorite parts of my job. I hate being in front of the computer for hours and hours turning my photos into art when I would rather be out there meeting more cool people. I love working WITH my clients… and while post-processing is a necessary part of my art, I have always been more attracted to the types of photography that are lighter on the editing. For example, birth photography is much more natural and less glamorous than wedding photography. I spend way more time making a bride look her best in a wedding photo than I do making a brand new baby look anything other than “I was just born leave me alone.” It’s just easier to edit certain types of photos. Weddings are on the harder end for me. PLUS weddings are just so. much. bigger. I mean, I usually offer clients of family sessions about 30 great edited images in their final set. Most wedding photographers end up with well over 500 images to reveal to their client. Ugh. All this whining being said, and I can totally research outsourcing my editing if I want. That’s a perfectly reasonable option.}

 

 

So as fate would have it, I was recently connected to a really amazing photographer about second-shooting a wedding she was doing in Rochester. And then I went ahead and booked two more weddings with another fabulous Rochester wedding photographer this summer.

 

 

What’s second-shooting?

Glad you asked, cause it’s amazing. Being a second-shooter means you get to photograph a wedding but you are blissfully NOT responsible to the client for delivery of a perfect product. 

Essentially, I get to dabble. I am backing up the primary photographer while I also learn from them. (And I am learning TONS! These ladies are super talented!) But I also get to deal with my existential crisis about wedding photography in a low-risk scenario. I shoot the whole wedding alongside the primary photographer and I help with anything they need (posing or arranging the bridal party, etc.) and then at the end of the night I hand them my SD card of images and I go drink a beer and put my feet up. I don’t have to edit my own photos because they choose the ones that best compliment their final image set and edit them all together.

 

 

So really, second-shooting is a big win for everyone.

There’s almost no chance of a missed shot with two photographers on the scene!

It mainly helps everyone breathe easier knowing if one of the photographers has an equipment failure or a heart-attack, there’s a backup. I kid. Cause if my photographer-friend has a heart attack I’m definitely going to the hospital with her. Sorry, bride.

 

 

Anyways, yeah. I accepted the opportunity to second-shoot as a sign from the universe that I should check out this whole wedding thing. So far, I am undecided if weddings are something I would consider shooting on my own. It’s still just a long boring day and a lot of boring editing later, so I’m not sure it can deliver enough of a reward to entice me 😉

(I can’t believe how cynical I sound right now! I LOVE weddings, truly I’m not a scrooge I promise. I just don’t know if I want to SHOOT them!)

 

 

Also. I don’t know why everyone always assumes that the only way to be a successful photographer is to shoot weddings.

I mean, there are as many varieties of successful photography businesses as there are types and styles of photography! And yeah yeah I’ve heard the argument “everyone gets married” and besides being obnoxiously false, I can also just snap back that there are more people around me who need great photos of their family every year. And there are way more seniors than brides-to-be. Don’t even get me started on babies. Do you even have a killer headshot? Cause you need one.

 

 

We all need great photography for all aspects of our lives, not just our marriages! 

That’s part of the reason I am the opposite of scared to teach photography classes to aspiring artists in my area. It’s not like we’re all going to go for the same piece of pie. Some of us don’t even eat pie. Some of us will never sell pie. Some of us like different flavors of pie. It just doesn’t matter!

My best friend accused me of being a big baby for having gone so long without even giving weddings a try.

During one of our weekly phone calls, she was patiently listening to me whine about another wedding inquiry and how I didn’t want to shoot it and then she cut me off with “Jess. Everything about a wedding day is designed to be BEAUTIFUL. Every detail is thought out, planned out, and arranged FOR you. You love pretty details. Plus, you love photographing people’s emotions. What can be more emotional than a wedding day?”

Point taken, bestie, point taken.

 

 

So I have two weddings under my belt at this point.

I’m truly grateful for the two photographers who have allowed me to work under them and taught me so much! Who knows, maybe I’ll catch the bug 😉

While I would still say I’m on the fence about whether I’ll be taking on any wedding clients of my own in the near future, I do see how it is a beautiful beautiful emotional day full of moments like this:

 

 

 


Like this post? Book me today! Doesn’t have to be a wedding, but hey, maybe my raw and slightly cynical honesty has you intrigued and you’d like me to be there on your wedding day! 😉 If you are a bride about to inquire about a wedding, I promise I won’t automatically pass you off! Let’s team up!