Today I want to share a story with you. This happened back in 2010. I started my photography business at the end of 2009 and in March 2010 I took my camera along to my cousin's wedding.
I wasn't a paid photographer, but I took advantage of every opportunity to practice my skills. Though I thought I might like to shoot weddings because I'm a huge advocate for marriage and I love weddings.
It was just a thought, however, I didn't get my strong motivation, my why until after I'd given my cousin a copy of the images I took. She had taken them into work and shown her colleague and friend. Her friend hadn't been at the wedding because she’d gotten married on the same day.
Why wedding photography
Her friend asked, who did your wedding photos. My cousin had to admit these weren't her pro ones but ones that I’d taken as a guest. Jo admitted that she had been really disappointed in her images and asked if I could do anything with them. Now, please remember I was just six months into my business at this point and not sure of all the etiquettes, copyright issues or anything along those lines. What I was sure of was the bride's right to have good photos of her wedding day.
When I looked at her wedding photos I was shocked that these had come from a professional. She had told me that he worked for her company doing some corporate type shoots. That she had asked him if he would do her a deal. Though he did her photos relatively cheaply, in my opinion had given her a service that matched that price tag. He had not given her his standard service with a discount.
In a few of the portrait shots he had cropped the groom's arm out,for no apparent reason. He'd not moved or asked to have moved washing that was drying on a radiator in the photos of them getting ready at home. Worse than that he'd had 2 younger attendees to pose with his leaflets. It was like they were doing a promo shoot for his business.
She was really upset and I could see why. This became my why. I wanted to prevent brides from going through this same experience. I wanted brides to love their photos. In my opinion, a photographer has done their job right when the couple don't even see the photos. They just see their happiness because everything is so right in the image. The focus is where it should be.
Why the society?
That is what led me to become a wedding photographer, and 10 years down the line and more experienced, I see that photography is not the only element of a wedding day where rogue traders take advantage of couples. That’s what led me to found the SPWV. I hate to see brides taken advantage of. I hate to see their wedding days put at risk and I hate seeing professional vendors tarred with the same brush as those who do not conduct themselves professionally.
Professionals deserve to be recognised as such, and couples should have an easier time finding out who their pros are. The Society of Professional Wedding Vendors is a society that helps both vendors and brides do just that. So those are my why's.
What's your Why?
Now, what is your Why? Why did you start in business? Why were you drawn to the wedding industry? And what keeps you here? I would love to know so comment below and let's connect. Having a strong why is what keeps you passionate about the work you do.
Have a think and get refocused on your why put it at the front of all of your efforts and it will make your work seem less like work and more like your mission.