The Secret Life Of Wedding Photographers

Posted by ISPWP Admin on December 7th 2009

What do Wedding Photographers Really Do?

It comes up a lot. Usually when I’m standing in the buffet line for dinner, or when there’s a slow time during the day when I’m not taking pictures.

“So you’re the photographer?”

“Yessir, I am, and I absolutely love it.”

“Well I don’t doubt it. You’re doing a great job out there. It must be great to work only one day a week!”

I hear similar stories from other wedding photographers. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions regarding what wedding photographers actually do all week. It’s perfectly understandable, after all, the only time most people see us working is at the wedding. So I thought it would be interesting to survey wedding photographers and discover what they really do besides take pictures every weekend. Hopefully it will help clear up some misconceptions and give some insight into what goes on behind the scenes after we leave the reception.

About 50 wedding photographers responded so it’s a fairly good sample size, and I’d be surprised if a larger response would yield a much different result.

The Perception

How some people think wedding photographers spend their time (and how some photographers WISHED they could spend their time):

Partying like rock stars: 5%
Traveling to exotic locations: 15%
Taking pictures: 80%

The Reality

How wedding photographers REALLY spend their time:

Editing photos and other computer tasks: 28.4%
Bookkeeping, taxes, insurance, banking: 8.9%
Meeting and communicating with clients: 9.7%
Album design and production: 10.7%
Social media and blogging: 8.7%
Networking: 5.5%
Camera and computer upkeep: 3.8%
Advertising and marketing: 5.9%
Print orders and lab work: 6.2%
Taking pictures: 12.2%

We clearly spend more time in front of our computers than behind our cameras, which is a sign of these digital times.

Photographers, does that sound about right? If you think we’re way off or if we missed anything, let us know in the comments.

Looking for a wedding photographer in your area? Check out the ISPWP Wedding Photographer Directory featuring the best wedding photographers from around the world.

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