Yesterday I shot my last wedding

I've been a professional wedding photographer for around 11 years now. Wedding photography has allowed me to live an amazing life and has given me the free time to do other things (like create Fstoppers). Over the past few years I've been shooting less and less weddings.

Wedding photography doesn't excite me the same way that it used to but at the same time I certainly don't hate it. If I could book weddings a month out I would still continue to shoot them but being that I'm working on bigger projects, I hate having to guess what I'll be doing a year from now. Our latest tutorial that we filmed with Elia Locardi took 3 months of straight filming. If Patrick and I had to shoot weddings that project would have never happened. I fear that booking weddings a year or more in advance may potentially limit other opportunities.

Having the ability to turn down work is definitely a luxury but I feel very guilty about it. Wedding photographers are paid extremely well, almost too well for the amount of actual labor it takes. It seems foolish to turn down high paying jobs years in advance. I fear that I won't easily be able to start the business again if I decide to. I fear that I will waste my time over the next year and I may as well have continued to shoot.

I hope I won't waste this time. I hope to start shooting other genres of photography. I'd like to get into wedding videography actually and I think I may be able to book those jobs a few months out rather than 1-2 years. I want to write a book. I want to write and direct a movie. I want bring more physical products to market.

I don't really have any purpose for this post. It's just the thoughts of a photographer who owes almost everything he has to wedding photography but is deciding to take a break anyway. I can't believe I don't have a single wedding on the horizon.

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Adam Sparkes's picture

Cheers to that, Lee. It's a scary step. When you hit a stride with wedding photography, it is truly a wonderful influx of cash, but also pretty big obligation for your calendar. I envy you, but also don't envy you at all. I'm always thinking of how I need to diversify before my age (experience) catches up to my drive and marketability. However, you are correct, it is very difficult have any big or long term plans with the way wedding seasons book.

Louis Hopgood's picture

Obviously you made the decision some time ago to stop, and I have to say that takes a lot of balls to go through with and I imagine you are freaking out a little, but you needn't. FStoppers is going places and the freedom it affords you, especially if you can shoot more tutorials like Locardi's is phenomenal. Good luck with everything in the future Lee. I'll be watching and reading whatever you produce!

Rob Mynard's picture

Scary step Lee but good luck with your new projects and congratulations on getting some of your Saturday friends back :-)

Joe Watson's picture

Good on you for changing it up and taking a risk. I think my wedding photographing is only just starting to get to a level I'm happy with... but in my day job I totally feel like I need a new challenge so know exactly how you feel. Good luck man.

Julien Miscischia's picture

Life change people! That's something scary but so exiting, happy to ear that you have so much projects in mind, at the end, this is the most important thing. I work as a AD in agency since 10 years and I just start a pro photography career. It's scary, but I've so much projects I want to accomplish... Bref, good luck Lee and I've no doubt that you will realize what you want. And just thank you for all the job on Fstoppers, big source of inspiration :)