There are some things that you get asked time and time again as a wedding photographer. It’s seen as being quite a glamorous job so people always have questions and remark at how nice it must be. They usually ask things like “what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?” or “have you ever worked for someone famous?” then they inevitably want to know “Who’s the most famous person you’ve photographed?”. It’s quite nice having people assume your job is glamorous. I suppose in a way it is- it’s certainly not a bad way to spend a weekend. But there’s a lot more to the job than many people realise and very little of it is as glam as you’d think. Often when I say this, i’m then asked “well what would you do if you weren’t a wedding photographer?” Which for me, is a bit like asking “how long is a piece of string?”
What would I do if I wasn’t a wedding photographer?
Before I started working as a wedding photographer, I never had any intention of building a career as a photographer at all. Least of all one who shot weddings! Photography was just a course I randomly picked up at college because my other course choices clashed with the college’s timetable- so I had to choose something else. That something else ended up being Photography.
I’m the kind of person that gets bored very easily and truthfully, my mind has flitted between a hundred different careers. At the point I gave up my day job to pursue photography full time I was working in secondary education, with plans to become a secondary school teacher. I’m thankful that never worked out as 2 years working in schools before a PGCE was sufficient to show me that actually, it wasn’t the career for me!
So what would I like to do?
If I ask myself often enough it changes week to week. There are definitely times when I crave routine and stability. A bog standard 9-5 where I can waltz in at 9am and swan out at 5pm without a care in the world. No homework, no responsibilities once that clock strikes 5pm. Just in, do your job and go home. That’s a world away from the life of a wedding photographer, where each singular job is months (and often years worth) of emails, meetings, planning, shooting and editing in the making. And the responsibility? Well that’s huge. You only get one wedding day so it’s up to us to get it right, regardless of the conditions.
After almost a decade of that, I know i’d soon get bored with anything less exciting. And for that reason, i’ve had fleeting aspirations to work as a paramedic, an A&E doctor, a police officer. Jobs that to a degree take over you life. It’s inevitable that things will play on your mind and that long shifts are just part and parcel. It’s real, genuine life changing stuff and that’s the kind of responsibility that is truly enormous. Could you really take a leap from being a wedding photographer to doing something so monumentally massive though? Is it stupid to even think that could be a possibility? Helping people and making a difference is admirable but you don’t want to be years of training down the line or on the job when you realise it’s too much.
As big as the rewards would be, I know then i’d also miss being creative. I never saw myself as a particularly creative person until I no longer had an outlet for it. Since becoming a wedding photographer, I have become creative in ways I didn’t even realise. Writing for example. I write often now- blogs, website text. Creative and entertaining captions on social media. Engaging emails. And I truly enjoy it.
And so my mind has also taken me to a place where I write for a living. It’s a lovely little dream where I create content, whilst still having flexibility and the pressure of deadlines. It’s a somewhat fantasised reflection of the reality of being a freelance writer however, I have no doubt of that!
There must be something in it
Almost a decade down the line and i’m still doing something that I enjoy. Which is a huge deal for someone who gets bored as easily as me! It turns out that wedding photography provides just enough of everything that I look for in a dream job to keep my mind and my hands busy.
So what would I be doing if I wasn’t a wedding photographer? Honestly, I don’t have a clue- but i’d probably be day dreaming about it!
If you’d like to keep up with what i’m doing when i’m not pondering a change of career, you can find us on social media.
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