Monday, July 22, 2013

Moving out of the wedding business

bridal photo from a popular tutorial about using curves in Photoshop

It's been almost a year that I've quietly been transitioning out of the wedding photography business. It's not that I don't enjoy weddings. I've actually been extremely lucky to have had great clients (no bridezillas ever. no obnoxious parents. yep. that lucky). But even with chronic insomnia there are only so many hours in a day (and I'm also a full-time professor, so that eats up most of my time). It got to the point where I dreaded getting jobs because of all the post-shoot work. The better I got at retouching, the more picky I would get, and the more time I would spend fixing things that no one but another photographer would notice. In that way, digital is really a curse (at least if you have obsessive tendencies).

I've refused or otherwise found a way out of most jobs for the past year, which has not been easy to do financially, but I don't want photography to become a chore. At this point, I've decided two things:
  1. I will only work on art photo projects that really interest me
  2. The only event/portrait work I will do will either have to be "commissioned" at a rate that I assume most people will be unwilling to pay (I'm honestly not sure how much that is right now) OR it will have to be charitable work.
Doing a really great wedding shoot for a couple that would not otherwise be able to afford a photographer sounds a lot more appealing to me than doing a wedding for pay. But how do you know? How do you find that couple? And still, it's not something I could do very often.

Of course there are other types of photography projects that might be a good service. I know of a few photographers that have done amazing projects. I'd like to explore possibilities for service-oriented photography here on the blog. Maybe some of you have ideas to share. Let me know in a comment.