Why I Stopped Photographing Weddings
This blog post has been a long time coming, and I know many of you have asked me why I don't shoot weddings anymore. So I'm finally going to tell you why in today's blog post!
Two years ago and a half years ago, I picked a camera up again for the first time. After I finished my degree in Fashion Photography, I felt totally drained, and uninspired. I wanted to spend all of my time focusing on Atlas Magazine (which I did), and I genuinely thought I might never take another photo again! It was a scary time.
It all changed over night, when I was browsing some images by a photographer I really admire, and a spark was reignited in me. I was desperate to take a picture again. Thankfully, that fire hasn't gone out.
However, when I decided I wanted to start shooting again, I was faced with a lot of self doubt and fear. How on earth would I make a career as a photographer work for me whilst living in Cornwall? I was passionate about fashion photography, but I genuinely didn't see how I could make that work, so I decided to look into wedding photography.
There is a huge wedding photography industry in Cornwall, and for good reason. It's a beautiful place! I'd only over shot one or two weddings before, and I'd been good at it, so wedding photography felt like a logical path to go down. I could make money, and do what I loved for a living.
For a long time, I thought that was going to be the case... until the weddings actually started.
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the weddings I photographed. Every couple I worked with was wonderful, their days were beautiful, and I took some incredible images. Images that I'm really proud of!
But there was a major problem: it didn't fulfil me creatively.
It didn't take me long to realise that wedding photography wasn't creative enough for me. I didn't know it until then, but what I really love about what I do is the ability to take an image I have in my head, and create it. I want to tell a story. I want to MAKE something. Yes you could argue that I could approach a wedding with this mentality, but the reality was that most of the time, that's not the case.
The role of a wedding photographer is to document. To be there to capture what happens on the day. That is a beautiful and important job to have... but I knew deep down that I wasn't the person who would do it best.
I decided very quickly after my first two weddings that I was going to stop. And yes, there was a lot of panic involved. After all, I'd spent over a year promoting myself and marketing myself as a Cornwall based wedding photographer! I didn't know what I was going to do, or how I was going to do it. I spent a good three weeks feeling extremely low, worried and disappointed in myself. I was so embarrassed!
Then one day, I decided to get a grip and start moving in the direction that I wanted to go down: fashion photography. That was the start of my pitching journey. When I realised that, despite living in Cornwall, I still could work with brands, it all changed. That fire inside me began to rage , and I'm happy to say that I've never looked back.
But it wasn't all for nothing. In that short space of time where I was pursuing wedding photography, I discovered that I absolutely love working with wedding businesses! I'm a major romantic, and a lot of the imagery I love to shoot has a very romantic feel to it. I found that in working with wedding businesses, I was able to fulfil desire for romance in my imagery. So instead of shooting real weddings, I still spend a lot of my time working with wedding businesses. I love working with wedding vendors, florists, venues, dress makers... anything to do with weddings, and creating the imagery they need to promote themselves. They're some of my absolute favourite jobs!
I'm so grateful to that year and a half of self discovery. I don't think that I'd ever be working with some of the people I get to work with now if it wasn't for my foray into weddings.
Above all, this experience has shown me this: it's ok to pivot. It's ok to change your mind about where you want your business to go. It's ok to go down a new path.