Although photography can be a very relaxing and peaceful hobby for many people, it can be a high stress job for others. While there are photojournalists who head into dangerous situations, or busy portrait photographers who work with the world’s top models or celebrities, there are also wedding photographers too.
Wedding photography is a high stress work environment? Whether you believe it or not it is often extraordinarily stressful to meet the photographic needs of a couple during their wedding day. Let’s first understand what it takes to become a professional wedding photographer, however, and then we can understand where pressure may appear in the work.
First, anyone who wants to focus strictly on weddings or similar events is going to have to develop their own personal style and a few signature images that appear in any set of wedding photos that they take. Additionally, it is going to be impossible to jump into a career without having a portfolio of existing images and work.
How does this happen? Most wedding photographers will provide free services to friends or acquaintances on the road to their full-time career. They will often take select images from this work to use as an example for potential customers in the future. It is during this period in time that many photographers begin to develop their own wedding photography style. Some people will decide to work only in black and white, others may use special filters or lighting techniques, and some may prefer to have just as many candid shots as formally posed ones. The point is to find your strengths and preferred approach and really dive into it.
Once you have developed your style, perfected your work flow (the way you process or edit all pictures as they shift from your camera’s memory to your computer), and begun to establish an online “presence” (which often includes a blog or website, an account at a professional photo sharing site, and pages at social networking sites) you can begin to market yourself as a wedding photographer.
Remember, however, that all of the stylistic techniques in the world will not satisfy a couple if the important shots are missed or not up to their desired levels. This is where some of the strain can enter a professional wedding photographer’s world. To eliminate this, it may be a good idea to make a list of the mandatory shots, review the couple’s personal preferences in regards to candid photos and those taken in hours leading up to the ceremony, and also heading to the venue ahead of time to master the lighting needs for the service and reception. With a bit of patience, effort and work you can soon develop a great career as a professional wedding photographer of distinction.