A View into the Daily Work of a Wedding PhotographerJuly 12, 2016
Being a wedding photographer can be both a difficult but rewarding career path. Not only do you get to experience one of the happiest days of a couple’s life, but you also play a vital role in capturing those precious memories for them to relive over and over again for the rest of their lives.
Before you choose to go down the path of becoming a wedding photographer, you may be interested to find out exactly what the daily work of a wedding photographer involves. Today, we’ve provided just that, and we’ve broken these tasks and responsibilities down into typical weekdays (Monday – Friday) and typical weekends (when shooting at a wedding).
Let’s get started!
A Typical Weekday:
Morning (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
Like most professions, a wedding photographer will begin his or her day by signing into their emails and responding to client requests, sales inquiries, and vendor requests. Communication is still a vital part of being a photographer (particularly a wedding photographer), as you want to remain professional, accessible, and on top of your workload.
The second part of the morning, leading up to lunch time, might involve editing or the post-production of images from a recent wedding or engagement session. Editing photographs can sometimes take as long as (or longer than) the actual photo shoot session itself. Therefore, wedding photographers will also spend a large amount of their workday using editing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom.
After Lunch – Early Afternoon (12.30 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
After lunch, a wedding photography may typically find themselves making a few phone calls just to follow-up on prospective clients. While making contact with people via email can be effective, sometimes those time-sensitive issues are best answered with a friendly and prompt phone call.
Wedding photographers also need to spend time working on their own online presence, so many will use this early afternoon time to upload, edit, and publish blog posts featuring one of their latest sessions. Following this, they will then contact the featured clients and vendors to send them the link to the blog post.
Early afternoon tasks will also involve updating the wedding photographer’s business social media accounts. This includes sharing the link to the previously published blog post so that followers can check it out, along with replying to comments and engaging with other photographers, publications, and vendors.
Late Afternoon (3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
While it depends on when a wedding photographer will choose to end their work day, many will work up to dinner time before resuming some work into the night.
Late afternoon tasks might typically involve working further on the wedding photographer’s website and online presence, including SEO, checking website analytics, and marketing efforts.
This time is also spent editing more images from previous photography sessions. Professional wedding photographer Pye Jirsa reveals that she spends 2 hours a day for about one week to complete the post production on an entire wedding.
After Dinner / Night Tasks (6.30 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
As we mentioned previously, being a wedding photographer is quite a demanding and busy career! For those who feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the workday to complete their tasks, they will use the evening hours to work on the following:
- Following up on more client, sales, or vendor calls (as they have now had the time to respond after work).
- Uploading completed engagement and wedding photographs to an online platform (usually password-protected) so that the clients can view them.
- Additional administrative tasks such as taxes, accounting, tracking income etc.
One of the most important things to come to terms with as a wedding photographer is that the majority of your shooting (engagement and wedding sessions) will occur on weekends – After all, this is when these special events are often held!
On Thursday or Friday night, a wedding photographer will usually charge their equipment batteries to ensure that everything is ready to go for the next day. Note: shooting at a wedding turns into a VERY BIG (and long) day!
Morning (8 a.m. – 10 a.m.)
Firstly, a wedding photographer will prepare his or her equipment for the day, including cleaning lenses and packing up the camera bodies, lighting, stands and tripods etc.
If a second shooter is also taking part in the day, the primary shooter will also meet up with the second shooter in the morning before they travel to the wedding prep location. Travel time (along with how early both photographers set off) will depend on how far away the shooting location is.
Once both photographers arrive at the location, it’s time to start shooting! Usually, the lead photographer will shoot the bride and bridesmaid preparation while the second shooter will cover the groom and groomsmen.
Late Morning to Afternoon (10 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.)
These hours are spent capturing plenty of photographs of the bridal and groom parties across various locations using both the lead (or first) photographer and the second shooter. A quick bite to eat will hopefully be squeezed in too before both photographers drive back to the ceremony site.
Late Afternoon – Night (3.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.)
This important period of time sees both photographers shooting lots of candid images of the ceremony, as well as loved ones’ emotions and the bride and groom interacting with their guests once the ceremony is complete and the reception has started.
Around 6.00 p.m. dinner is usually served, allowing the photographers to sit down and enjoy a bite to eat while everyone else munches away too!
Night (7 p.m. – 11.30 p.m.)
During these hours, many of the important moments to capture will occur. These include the toasts and speeches, along with cake cutting, the first dance, and formal group shots with the bride and groom.
Late Night (11.30 p.m. – Finish)
With weddings usually finishing around 12.00 p.m. – 1 a.m., it’s safe to say that wedding photographers often find themselves finishing their work very late!
During these last few hours of the night, the photographers will pack up all of their gear, say their final goodbyes, and make sure that all of their stuff has now been put in their car.
On the drive home, the second shooter (or whichever photographer isn’t driving) might like to back-up their images on a laptop or hard drive. Alternatively, this can be done once the photographer arrives home.
Once home, the wedding photographer will also have to put their equipment away and continue backing-up any additional images onto their hard drive. Then it’s off to bed for a well-deserved rest!
It’s important to note that every photographer is different and works to their own schedule, however we hope that you now have a clearer idea of what a typical workday might look like for a wedding photographer!