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Hey Photographers, the Wedding Day Is Not About You

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As a wedding photographer, I know my job is important. I could argue that I’m the most important vendor at the event, in fact.

After all, I’m the one who will be documenting the day for posterity. 

I’m the one who will be with the bride all day long. 

I’m the one taking the family portrait that will be treasured by the bride’s mother forever.

There to Serve

Those are the things that make my job important. But they don’t make me more important than anyone else at the wedding — especially the bride and groom.

A wedding photographer is a vendor hired for an event, period. I am a servant, just like the waiter serving the guests their food. I am there to serve the wedding couple.

I am not there to make sure the bride accepts all my creative suggestions.

I am not there to persuade them to do a “first look” session before the ceremony.

I am not there to coerce them into posing for sunset photos if they decide — even at the last minute — that they would rather just enjoy the reception instead.

Art Comes Second

I am there to offer professional advice and to work up a shot list for the day.  But I must be OK with the fact that the schedule can change at any time, and I have to be flexible with my plans.

It is their day, not mine.

Yes, I am an artist. But I can never become so focused on my desire to create art that I lose sight of why I was hired in the first place.

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9 Comments (Open | Close)

9 Comments To "Hey Photographers, the Wedding Day Is Not About You"

#1 Comment By Roy Kurniawan On August 23, 2011 @ 12:58 am

Well said! 🙂

#2 Comment By Kim On August 23, 2011 @ 4:35 am

Awesome. I love your attitude. But then theres those wedding clients who are so completely disrespectful that this is the precise reason as to why I will never shoot another wedding again.unreasonable demands. Drunk and out of control wedding guests, mothers and inlaws telling you what to shoot how to shoot. Its just too stressful to me so I will only be second shooter. Plus anything can go wrong and I dont want that on my head!

#3 Comment By Lynford Morton On August 24, 2011 @ 10:49 am

I love this article. Service before self is always a recipe for success. Great job, Susie!

#4 Comment By Candice On August 26, 2011 @ 3:32 am

Yes, your right! And I congratulate you for being a great artist on your own. I like the way you are. Continue being the best of you! Nice attitude!

#5 Comment By Tiffany On August 27, 2011 @ 12:57 am

Great attitude!

#6 Comment By Lisa On August 27, 2011 @ 1:55 am

Some of these are good points but if you are not there to offer creative input to the wedding. As a professional you know these photos are important to the bride even if they don't see it during the wedding or reception. Your photos are the only memory that the bride will have of her day. So those little extra photos of the sunset or some special shots during the reception are important. I have had brides thank me for doing photos when they have been tired of photos because the sunset photo came out awesome.

Your creativity is the reason they hired you. So don't do the bride a disservice of letting the perfect shots go. They will thank you in the end.

#7 Comment By Aaron Ancona On August 31, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

You have to do what you have to do, sometimes it can be tough, like when I was once kicked in the "camera" (i.e. face) while taking photos of the bride and groom opening the dances and some of the guests where already too excited and lifted one fella over the crowd.

It's just part of the game.

But never believe your clients when they say they do not need group shots, they will, trust me they will, so be prepared and sufficiently equipped to lit up the dimmest room, courtyard etc. They'll ask it for last, just before they leave or cut the cake.

Salutes from Italy!

I love weddings!!!! I adore weddings!!! I adore to be surrounded by beautiful, happy people!

#8 Comment By Fred Hinegardner On September 15, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

Good article.
Ancient wisdom says that one can serve only one master at a time. If one signs a contract to do a job for someone else, the master that you will serve has been decided. Forget your desires to be recognized as an artist and be a professional by serving the needs of the client to the best of your ability.
If I want to create art, I will hire the models, and I will be working to serve me.
When I tried to do both, I ended up with a compromised job, neither serving the client to the best of my ability, nor getting the cooperation I needed to create art. The result was always a muddy average of mediocrity.
Weddings are a commercial job and should be respected as such.

#9 Comment By wedding photography dc On September 17, 2011 @ 1:28 am


I tried to leave a reply, but I can't.

Susie is really good photographer.