If your wedding photographer does their job right on the wedding day, they kinda disappear into the background. Except when they’re bossing you around for formal shots, of course. Otherwise? Invisible! Even when making sure all the vendors are doing what needs to be done or conducting the timing of it all like some camera-equipment-laden maestro. And because of this cloaking sort of superpower, there are a lot of wedding photography myths out there and we’re here to clear some stuff up.
The things you don’t see are plentiful and the time and skill this work takes is often underestimated by those on the outside looking in. With that, let’s look at some of the most common wedding photography myths.
Your cousin could do it
And with their phone! ((laughing)) Okay, maybe people don’t believe the phone thing, but too many people think a relative who has no professional photography experience could do this.
Why not save some money, right? Wrong. This is one of the most important days of your life. You want photos that reflect that. Too many people go this route and are so disappointed later. And it can ruin relationships when you see the product and realize you were had.
As a side note, always research your photographer thoroughly. You don’t want to end up hiring someone to re-do your wedding photos like this couple did.
Along the same lines of that wedding photography myth…
It doesn’t take much more than a decent camera
Okay… then you can borrow one of our cameras and see if you can make the same sorts of photos happen at a friend’s wedding. Or just go out into a public space and see what you end up with.
Notice that people don’t say that Serena Williams was great because of her racket. Or that Barbara Kingsolver only wrote brilliant novels because of the ink in her pen.
You can have great tools and not know how to use them, and if you’re great, you can use just about whatever tools you have at hand.
Wedding photographers only really work part time and that’s mostly at the wedding
This is a really big wedding photography myth, for sure, and…
Nope. Most of our work actually happens around the wedding, including before the wedding when we first meet you. We take pride in getting to know you as a couple before the big day so we can give you the best photography experience that is unique to you. You can read more about how Matt Mead Photography treats their couples here.
On average, wedding photographers say that the wedding day itself is about 10 t0 20 percent of the work.
A lot of our invisible labor comes after the wedding. Going through thousands (yes, thousands!) of shots to find the best few takes a lot of time, and then there’s the time spent editing! This also doesn’t include the myriad aspects of running a small business.
The wedding day is easy peasy for us
This wedding photography myth actually makes us laugh.
Because we’re just standing on the outer edges of things snapping away, right? Wrong. There are shots that people want and shots that people don’t even realize they want; we’re keeping track of all of that for our whole team. And we are keeping track of all the details of this day, making sure that your timeline is going smoothly overall.
The wedding day takes big energy. We’re lugging around a lot of equipment (and even wearing some of it). We’re holding a million tiny details in our heads. We’re running from one photo-op to the next. We’re dealing with any little emergencies that pop up. And often, we’re simultaneously calming people’s nerves.
Wedding photographers can only do weddings
Well, well, well… that’s simply not true at all, silly wedding photography myth. We love photographing weddings because this style of photography is about constructing a big story. And every single one is unique. And every wedding comes with its own challenges so our brains are constantly at work and learning new things.
That said, there’s our portrait photography. We also love that. We love capturing moments in people’s lives that are important to them, regardless of the size of the moment.
If anything, wedding photography teaches you so much about photography in general that it makes you even better at all the other subgenres.
What’s the big deal? Everything can be photoshopped later.
Even if a photographer is big into photoshopping all the little details, you still have to start with a great photo. Here in Mead-land, we pride ourselves on making you look great in camera. This doesn’t mean nothing is done to the photo later, but again, we start with great photos.
You also can’t photoshop a missed moment. Your photographer basically has to be everywhere all at once. (And they really could use a multiverse partner … that would help. #geekspeak)
Wedding photography myth: it’s really just a hobby
This is a sentiment about all of the arts and people who do them at a professional level. But with photography, it does seem like just about anyone thinks they can do this as a side gig. You see it a lot on social media. Someone who has another job altogether suddenly announces they’re available to photograph your wedding.
This is another reason to really research your wedding photographer. You and your day are worth the best, and the best wedding photographers are master of their craft and art. And they’ve become masters over many years of honing their skills and constantly learning.
Final thoughts on wedding photography myths
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to find the best photographer you can. And find someone you like as a human. Don’t feel badly about meeting with a few before making a decision. Though we believe, you’ll know pretty quickly when you’ve found the right fit.
If you’ve done your research and are meeting with qualified people, you’ll know you’ve found the right one when it feels comfortable to just be with your photographer and their team.