Why Every Wedding Photographer Should Get Paid and Not Work for Free

You should never do a wedding for free; always make sure that you’re shooting a wedding and getting compensated.

We’re going to get a lot of hate for saying this–we can feel it now. But no one should be doing a wedding for free these days. Wedding photography is a whole lot of work. Unless you shoot in a certain way, there’s a ton of post-production work. Then there’s also the budget. It seems like folks are trying to be cheaper about weddings and spend less money overall. But you’d be amazed at how much money is still involved in a wedding. So why shouldn’t a photographer get a chunk of that change? A good wedding photographer is a lot more than just their camera and a light. There’s a lot of work involved. I used to have to tell this to my aunt, who thought that what I did was simple. I’d retort that I’m instead just very skilled at what I do.

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In New Jersey, Wedding Photographer Mike Zawadzki Creates Magic

All images by Mike Zawadzki. Used with permission. Please follow him on Instagram.

“Vulnerability comes into play big time with clients,” explains photographer Mike Zawadzki. “I mean who is used to being in front of the camera all of the time, unless you’re a TV/movie star?” A part of Mike’s secret is something that I think is inherently a part of growing up in the Northeast. He says that he strives to build strong relationships with his couples. Traditionally not something that you do, but it surely does work when you consider that we’re all human. Mike has a fascinating story and I’ve personally adored watching him change over the years. Mike is one of the many people who I saw quit alcohol in pursuit of improving their own life. I did it for a year and it really changed me. And to see Mike in a spot where he’s a shining star brings me joy. Most of all, I hope that this interview with Mike puts a smile on your face.

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Investing in a Cheap Wedding Photographer Is the Worst Idea Ever

Wedding Photography is all fun and games until the bad photographs arrive. This is proof that you almost always get what you pay for.

As first reported on the Insider, a couple paid $800 to a photographer to capture their big day. Full of hope and promise, Hayley and Nick Kelble were looking forward to seeing the photographic memories of their wedding. However, once they received the final images, they were disappointed. Dark, grainy, poorly composed wedding photography is what their money got them. While we would love to sympathize, lousy planning and weak investment got them exactly what they deserved.

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A Cheat Sheet for Every Wedding Photographer’s Mental Health

Precious memories depend on you when you’re a wedding photographer. Help your clients get the best photos of the big day by sharing this photography cheat sheet with them.

Wedding photography can be stressful both for the photographer and the couples, but you can do something about it. Preparation is key, and it’s a team effort. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet is specially designed for that. If you’re looking for some tips to make the job easier for you, this is a visual guide you should definitely share with your clients.

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Useful Photography Tip #190: A Relatable Tip to Justify Your Costs as a Wedding Photographer

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Though this is partially written in satire, I think that it’s a wonderful point to sometimes make to couples who are about to elope–just how to justify the costs of your services as a wedding photographer. And for years, the tradition has been to talk about the memories that they’re going to have, but they completely understand that. But what they don’t understand is the viewpoint of more than just them. So to that end, you need to think a bit more like them.

I’ve given this serious thought over the past few months, and I think that telling couples about not only the great photos that they’re going to have of them is important, but also those of their guests. Go across social media, dating apps, etc and you’ll find so many photos of folks at weddings and looking their best. Social media avatars are often images that put our best foot forward. To that end, it’s great to not only sell the idea that the couple will have fantastic photos of them, but also their friends and family will get great photos too. So packaging all that in at your price point will ensure that every single person is happy. Of course, it means that you need to either be fantastic at shooting candid portraiture or proper portraits. For the latter, a photo booth can help.

But then the challenge remains: can you deliver?

5 of Our Top Camera Bag Picks for Wedding Photographers

Wedding photographers need bags for all of the gear they take with them to a wedding. Here are some of our favorite picks. 

Wedding Photographers: you may know one or you may be one. Regardless of your status, there is one thing about wedding photographers that’s a given; they potentially have a lot of different gear that they need to take with them to a shoot; cameras, lenses, lighting and other accessories. This requires a solid bag (or bags) to accommodate and protect such a large kit while at the same time remaining easy to transport and access.

Today, we wanted to highlight some of our top camera/gear bag picks with wedding photographers in mind. As well, if you have a big photography kit or a small photography kit, it makes no difference. We will have options below that appeal to a variety of wedding photographers with varying amounts of gear. So, if you are ready. let’s get into it… Continue reading…

The Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL is Plenty of Power for Wedding Photographers

The Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL is bound to be perfect for a wedding photographer.

Now before I go on, there’s pretty good reasons why the Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL will be great for wedding photographers and it really has to do with more or less enhancing ambient light and creating the light that isn’t there. Most photographers will opt for doing that with a hot shoe flash, but 500 watt seconds of power is more than enough to light up most wedding halls just by putting the Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL in a corner, pointing the head up to the ceiling, and firing off at ISO 400 and f5.6 at 1/125th. Crazy, huh?

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The Ultimate Wedding Photographer’s Gear Guide For 2017

Shoot Weddings? Want to Shoot Weddings? This is the Ultimate Guide for You. 

As we continue our ultimate guide series rounding up our top content of 2017 we make our stop in the land of love and eternal happiness – weddings. Wedding photography has grown to become one of the most popular and reliable photography niches left for professional photographers.

If you are just getting into shooting weddings or are thinking about jumping into them in 2018, then you will want to check out this ultimate guide, featuring our top wedding focused content of 2017. So, let’s get into it.

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Our Top Camera Recommendations For Wedding Photographers

It is no secret that the wedding photography niche is one of the most lucrative and ‘safe’ (as in, we don’t expect people to stop getting married and wanting pictures of it any time soon) photography markets in today’s industry. This means there is a never ending flow of new photographers picking up their cameras hoping to make it big in the wedding industry. While there is a lot to learn about the business of weddings, another avenue that should be considered as well is if the gear on hand is sufficient for a wedding environment.

Weddings are major life events for these couples and their families, they can’t just be redone like a portrait session can. This means it is mission critical you have reliable gear, capable of capturing the moments as they come, without slowing you down or making your life difficult. So to that end, today we have compiled a list of our top camera recommendations for wedding photographers.

Ready? Great, lets jump into it.  Continue reading…

Report: UK Couples Favor Uncle Bob to Wedding Photographers

*sigh* it seems like Uncle Bob could be winning the wedding photography wars…

In the UK, couples are ditching wedding photographers in favor of amateurs and GoPros; at least that’s what a report from Amateur Photographer is stating. So rather than paying an experienced professional, they’re going for friends, friends of friends, relatives, and essentially crowd sourcing their wedding using hashtags on Instagram.

It’s a sign of the times; but honestly, we should have seen this coming.

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Wedding Photographer James Day on Shooting with the Fujifilm X-T1

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All images by James Day. Used with permission.

James Day is a Sydney-based international wedding photographer who in many ways lives the dream. He is a photographer with a staff, which means he doesn’t have to be a one-man-show that does marketing, business negotiation, and more. Because of that, he gets to spend as much time as he can behind the camera. With 15 years of industry experience under his belt yet being just 30 years of age, James also runs photography workshops for people who are keen to learn more about wedding photography and the business side of things.

What’s unique about James is that he is part of the growing number of photographers reaching for mirrorless cameras for professional work. Of course, he also uses a Nikon DSLR and more than anything he proves that it’s not the camera that matters–it’s the photographer using it.

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A Wedding Photographer Photographs Families Documentary Style

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All images by Katie Jane Goulah. Used with permission.

“You can’t be a fly on the wall or capture great photos from afar, you kind of have to jump into the middle of the action in a way that you wouldn’t necessarily with wedding work,” said photographer Katie Jane Goulah about her most recent project–Family Documentary photography. In fact, she continues on to state that family documentary work is much different from weddings.

Katie and her family (and the cats, you can’t forget her cats) live in New York’s Upper West Side and her work has continued to evolve since becoming a full time shooter in 2008. She’s kept up with the trends in the market here as weddings have given way to elopements and engagement sessions. I’ve known her personally for years and have always been in awe of her work. But when she started to market her Family Documentary photography business, my curiosity was piqued.

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Two Wedding Photographers Spend 45 Mins Giving Tips

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Photographers Lanny and Erika Mann from Two Mann studios recently sat down with ShotKit to talk about their jobs as wedding photographers. Warning: they’re very blunt and very real about it. Wedding photographers are often exhausted the next day after shooting a wedding and they call it a wedding hangover where they ache and pain all over. They also state that most of their work is done photojournalism style, and so they don’t necessarily have creative inspiration going into it, but instead get inspired as they go along. What that basically means is that they need to adapt, let alone stay coordinated.

The duo spends 45 minutes talking about wedding photography and it’s worth listening to today or over the weekend.

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Photography for Beginners: A day in the Life of a Wedding Photographer on Shoot Day!

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This blog post was originally published by Chris Garbacz. It is being syndicated with permission.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to shoot a wedding? That is exactly what this wedding photography for beginners post is all about!

I’m super excited to share this with you, a full overview, behind the scenes of exactly what goes on, the fun stuff, the stressful stuff, what needs to be prepared and basically just a really awesome summary of the whole day, start to end.

Weddings are a serious matter, the real deal and you don’t get any second chances. That’s why you need to be prepared, organized and know your stuff!

So, let’s set the scene: you have booked the wedding a year ago, regularly communicated with the couple throughout the year, had a pre-wedding meeting to go through the timeline of the day and all other details (I’ll go through this in detail in another post), and now the time has come, tomorrow is the wedding day!

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Evan Rich: Being a Fly on the Wall Wedding Photographer

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All images by Evan Rich. Used with permission.

Photographer Evan Rich has the blessing of being born into a creative family. After a short stint in the finance world, he became bored and eventually enthralled by the passion that he had for photography. He became a destination wedding photographer–perhaps one of the toughest things that any photographer could try to do. As exciting as the job is, it takes a special kind of shooter to pull this off flawlessly. And where we believe Evan excels the most is capturing candids.

So how do you become the “fly-on-the-wall” type of photographer like Evan? He states that it isn’t about being covert at all–instead it’s about blending in.

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Missouri Wedding Photographer Disappears Leaving Brides Without Photos

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One of the worst things that you could possibly do as a wedding photographer is never give a couple their images. But apparently, that’s what Missouri Wedding Photographer Samantha Woolsey has done according to a story from Fox News. The story implies that Ms. Woolsey was behind on rent at her storefront in Cameron, Mo and that in order to not go into further debt, she took off and left. A forwarding address was also not left behind for mail or contact info–which further implies that she did not want to be contacted.

While photographers tend to go out of business all the time (sadly) Samantha had a couple of major debts left–to the brides whose weddings she had photographed. The story in particular shares the account of Toni Gardner whose family came from Australia for the wedding. But the problem is that she never got the images from Ms. Woolsey and now only has cell phone images from the guests. But Toni isn’t alone, and many other brides also called Fox News to complain.

The news story states that Samantha Woolsey photography is still advertising on Facebook, but if you indeed check her page you’ll see that no posts have been made since May of this year.

More, including the video is after the jump.

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Jacob Loafman: My First Year as a Wedding Photographer

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All images by Jacob Loafman. Used with permission.

The first year is always the toughest both as a business owner and as a photographer. It’s all about understanding yourself as a shooter, making sure that your business is profitable, and adjusting to the landscape. We found photographer Jacob Loafman and upon hearing that he has been shooting for just under a year, we were quite shocked to see the incredible quality of his work and his success–which is seemingly rare amongst many budding professionals.

Jacob attributes his success partially to his tagline: “Let’s create together.” He admits that the business side was incredibly tough, and that his beginnings were still very humble.

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The New Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 Pro Lens May Be the Wedding Photographer’s Choice

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 Pro zoom lens (1 of 7)

Around a month ago, we were called into Olympus’s offices to see one of their newest lenses targeted at the high end pro. They initially spoke about it when the EM1 was first introduced but said that it was still in the works. And today, the company is announcing their new 40-150mm f2.8 lens for the professional Micro Four Thirds camera user. As such, it features loads of pro oriented designs such as weather sealing, internal zooming and focusing, and even an interesting new collapsible lens hood that means that you never have to remove it and reverse it again.

As far as other features, the lens boasts 16 Elements in 10 Groups, close focusing to 0.7m, 9 aperture blades, a front filter of 72mm, weighs 760 grabs, 1 Aspherical ED lens, 2 Aspherical lenses, 1 SED lens, 3 ED lenses, and 1 HD lens. We’re not sure what the latter is to be honest.

Olympus is also announcing a 1.4x teleconverter for the Micro Four Thirds camera line; that otherwise is very scant of details.

When the drops on the market, it’ll be priced at $1,499.99. More photos are after the jump.

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How to Avoid Being “Uncle Bob” for a Wedding Photographer

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A recent episode of All Things Considered ran a piece titled, “Meet Uncle Bob, the Wedding Photographer’s Friendly Terror”. It featured an interview with wedding photographer Amy Wurdock about her experience contending with the well-intentioned family member with expensive camera equipment who inevitably gets in the way of her doing her job.

If you have photographed many weddings, you no doubt have your own Uncle Bob story or you may even be guilty of being Uncle Bob yourself. It was something that was on my mind while attending a recent wedding. Here are some suggestions to avoid having to be a wedding photographer’s painful anecdote.

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