The Best and Worst Parts of Being a Wedding Photographer

It looks like a glamorous job, taking photos in beautiful places and a dance party every night. Or maybe it looks like the worst job ever, dealing with high expectations and family drama. Wherever you stand on the subject, listen up because I’m going to share the best and worst parts of the job to help you decide if you should be a wedding photographer.

We’ll talk through a lot of s-words: self-employment, seasonality, schedule, and service. But first, let’s talk about passion. If you’re even considering being a wedding photographer it means you have a passion for something, maybe you just want to make a living around your creativity or you want the freedom to be your own boss.

I’m a firm believer in passion, in spending your days doing something that brings you joy or makes you feel fulfilled. But here’s a question for you, do you really know how you’ll be spending your days if you pursue the life of a wedding photographer? Let’s find out.


The ultimate dream and the inevitable nightmare. Oh to be self-employed. When I am my own boss I get to set my own schedule (we’ll talk more about that later) and decide how to spend my days.

True. And I also get to do my own marketing and accounting, I get to purchase my own health insurance. I get to set my own income goals and hustle hard enough that I barely hit them, or sometimes exceed them, so I can pay my own salary.

Self-employment isn’t for everyone, I’m not sure it’s even for me after over a decade of experience. And yet, it’s hard to imagine going to work for someone else and having someone else decide my mission, goals, and priorities. I both love and hate it, making it both a pro and con and something for you to investigate your own reactions to.


Weddings, in many places, are seasonal. Again, this can be both a pro and a con depending on how it sounds to work really hard during a condensed season of time. In some ways it makes life flexible during a less busy season, for example, but in other ways it’s easy to get burnt out if you don’t pay attention.

There are definite advantages to working hard during one season and then playing hard (or recovering) during another season. But there are challenges too because if summer is your busy season that might mean you’re working when your friends and family are planning vacations or reunions or when the weather is really beautiful. Depending on how many weddings you need to shoot, seasonality can be extra challenging to fit in a large quantity of work in a short time window.

Note that your income will be seasonal too. You will likely not make a regular income so you have to get good at budgeting and planning. That way you’ll know if you need to pick up some extra work in the off-season. A lot of photographers might specialize in weddings but also have other photography they do in the off-season for multiple income streams.


To expand on the idea of seasonality, let’s dive into your schedule. As a wedding photographer, you might be working every Saturday and Sunday. If you’re smart you’ll schedule a weekend on a Monday and Tuesday otherwise you’ll find yourself working 7 days a week.

Having a non-typical schedule can be kind of awesome. Playing on the weekdays when the trailheads and campsites we love aren’t crowded is pretty amazing. It might make it hard to be social with your non-wedding photographer friends but you can find other people that have a non-typical schedule.

We also find ourselves having meetings with clients or responding to emails in the evenings or at random times. There’s no set standard that we’ll be in the office from 8 to 5. Instead, we have to be available when our clients are.

The schedule of a wedding photographer can be really flexible and inflexible at the same time. My best piece of advice for you is to try to build some structure, boundaries, and organization into your day. That way you can enjoy the flexibility without letting it wreak chaos on your life.


Being a photographer is a creative endeavor, I love telling stories and crafting images. But being a wedding photographer specifically is about serving your couples. You’re hired by a couple to capture their wedding day and depending on how everything plays out, serving your couples can be the best or the worst part of your job.

Some non-wedding photographers that I talk to say they could never photograph weddings because they’re too stressful and the expectations are too high. For me, when I have the right clients, the stress turns into excitement pushing me to be creative and to exceed the high expectations. Yes, weddings are stressful and infused with a lot of stressful emotions and family drama but they are also beautiful and meaningful and filled with joyful emotions.

The trick with being in a service industry, and specifically photographing weddings, is to find couples that view the wedding the way you do. If you’ve been researching becoming a wedding photographer you’ve probably heard words like ideal clients and branding. The more your branding and marketing can target clients that you enjoy serving, the more you’ll love what you do.

Should You Be a Wedding Photographer?

Are you stressed or intimidated by all of that real talk about wedding photography? Or does it make you excited for the challenge of coming up with strategies to solve all the problems and reap all the benefits? To answer the question of whether or not you should be a wedding photographer, it’s all about your perspective.

Let’s say you view self-employment as freedom and limitless potential. To you, the idea of seasonality and an irregular schedule sounds like flexibility for the pursuit of dreams. And serving joyful couples and their families on a love-filled day inspires you to work hard to create. Then, yes, you should be a wedding photographer!

Or conversely, let’s say the idea of setting a budget, figuring out how to buy health insurance, and setting up a 401k seems like too much. And you really just want to have a predictable schedule. And you hear the word wedding and just imagine Bridezilla stomping through the city. Then maybe investigate some other photography jobs because the list is long and wedding photography is not for those with cold feet!

About the author: Brenda Bergreen is a Colorado wedding photographer, videographer, yoga teacher, and writer who works alongside her husband at Bergreen Photography. With their mission and mantra “love. adventurously.” they are dedicated to telling adventurous stories in beautiful places.

Image credits: All photos by Brenda Bergreen.