Is being a wedding photographer the best job in the world?

Beautiful bridal party at Le Domaine, Hillcrest, KZN

Beautiful bridal party at Le Domaine, Hillcrest, KZN

Being a photographer can be quite a hard business. I don’t want any sympathy or anything, because I wouldnt swap it for all the world, I love it, but I just want to share some of the pain, the anxiety. First there is the whole business of marketing to attract customers, then there is creating a package of products that the customer likes. Not forgetting the bit about being quite a good photographer, and working on those skills to get fresh ideas. Then there is the wedding day – no pressure there, hey?

And after the wedding there is that moment when you review the images and you see that some of them are not too shabby. Then you show the customer, online, and they seem to like them but they are still small and on a screen. After the customer picks the images, the album design. I love designing albums, probably my favourite bit of the whole process. But, just like painting or any other creative art, what I think is fabulous might not appeal to my customer. Thats okay, I just take one for the team and redesign until I make my customer happier.

Then we go to print. And we wait! Right now Graphistudio, the beautiful Italian album that I offer, is taking about 6 weeks to print and deliver. So, by the time the album arrives, I am so nervous. I review for print and build quality, and then when I’m happy I look at the images properly. Did the design translate onto a page? Is it wow? Did I capture the emotions of a special day?

And then the very worst bit; presenting the album to a customer. This is cold sweat, lip biting, nails stuck into palms terror. Ok maybe that’s a bit of exaggeration, but I do so want you to be happy. Actually, no, I want more than just happy, I want you to be over the moon. I want you to be absolutely delighted. I want to give you memories of a special day that will last and last, so that you can look back in years to come and remember how you felt that day.

Some people smile, some cry, some laugh and point and tell a story, some people are more private and just say a quiet thank you and go on their way. The feeling I get from making someone else happy is fabulous. Later, sometimes, I get a little thank you card or an email, and that is just the cherry on the top for me.

“Hi Sandy, Just a wee email to say thanks again. We are so happy with our album and prints and can’t wait to show them to our friends and family! Steph x”

And then this is just the best job in the world and for a moment I have no stress or hassle or pressure, and I can’t wait for my next wedding …


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The importance of properly presented images – why albums are worth the investment

DJ_120512_2292_1FBI have mentioned before that I really don’t like presenting disc only packages. I do present the disc with an album, very happy to, and I am more than happy to supply low res images for Facebook, Iphones etc. I am also really happy to share my poses and setups with guests that have a camera with them (but please let me get my shot first, and dont try to take over, I am on a schedule!).

I work with an Italian company called Graphistudio, who make beautiful albums. I have never been disappointed or let down by them, their customer care is exceptional, there packaging superb, and if I can I can literally call them up and ask a question about an order.

But people still ask if they can buy the disc and print themselves. An article from the Huffington Post has gone viral in the photography community. Kathleen Trenske puts the case why getting a quality album is a the best option, rather than printing your images at home on paper that will curl and fade over time. Thank you Kathleen for so eloquently expressing what I agree with entirely.

“Your memories are worth more than that. And your wedding images? They are worth TONS more than that. These aren’t snapshots from a vacation. They aren’t pictures from your iPhone.

You cared enough about these moments to hire a professional to photograph them. Follow that through by having a professional print them. Have that professional print the pictures you put into frames and have them design you a high-quality wedding album that you will cherish for decades.

If you purchase an album through your photographer, you can see a sample in person. You can touch and feel it and make sure it is worth every penny.

I know that albums are expensive. That’s for good reason. They are custom-designed books, usually hand-stitched and hand assembled and made just for you.

But of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photographs are the ONLY thing that will increase in value over time. As the years pass, you’ll be more and more glad that you have them. Especially, if you can experience looking through them by flipping through a gorgeous custom-designed album instead of sitting in front of your computer and clicking “next” with your mouse.

So, figure out a way to make it happen. Figure out a way to afford that album. Forgo a centerpiece. Cut back on your guest list. Opt out of the vintage car you’ll drive in for all of 20 minutes.

Don’t just do it for you. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren. Because when they root around in your attic in 2075, they will have no idea what do with a USB key anymore than they would with a laser disc player.”

The full article can be found here