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Wedding Fundamentals Purpose

Why Wedding Photography?


  1. My very first wedding, was actually a vow renewal. I took photos of the Grandparents together and the Grandfather later passed away. Interestingly enough I lived across the street form one of the relatives and I reached out to her and offered a printed 8×10 and digital of Grandpa. It was used at the service and I was so honored that they would use it. No watermark, no photo credits, nothing….just the way it was meant to be <3 Great videos Susan. It is important to ask why. My why is because I genuinely love to photograph "love" and what better love, aside from motherhood, than a wedding?

  2. Why wedding photography? I’ve had alot of people ask me to do weddings, and I revere weddings so much – it’s love, it’s amazing, and so important- if I mess up a portrait session, I can always re-do it, but theres no redo on weddings. I did one and I felt like I was dripping in sweat… what if I messed it up, what if I lost the files?! I want to do this right to honor my clients, so I’m here to learn how to do that. Beyond that, I want to have a successful business that supports my family and adds to the people that we touch.

  3. Great video Susan. I love how you started with the why. When I get tired or frustrated with all of the little (and big) tasks that must be done to run a business, it’s nice to be reminded of why I love what I do. For me, it’s the chance to meet interesting new people, the opportunity to be inspired by fresh new love, the high of having a creative job, the fun of attending fantastic parties, and the challenge of pushing myself to continuously improve. Susan, I love how much you focussed on the importance of albums and prints. You’ve given me some ideas of how I can more effectively advocate that they invest in “family heirlooms”.

  4. For me, I got into photography while on a mission trip in Haiti helping with the 2010 earthquake. Quickly I realized how powerful a picture can be and that’s something that motivates me till this day. When I look at a couple and think about their wedding day I find myself wanting to express who they are and what they overcame to get to that moment. I want my photos to show a beautiful story full of love, joy and all the emotions of a wedding day. I want my couples to be able to look at their photos and be able to reflect on their wedding day with tears of joy. 20 years from now when the honeymoon is long over, I want my couples to remember how special that day was to them.

  5. Why wedding photography? I worked in an office for years and then was a stay at home mom raising my children. I love that with wedding and engagement photography you become a part of people lives during one of the most important events of their lives. I love getting to know our couples during an engagement session and when the wedding day comes along I find it exciting to meet their family and friends. It is an honor to spend the day documenting all the moments that will forever be special to them.

  6. I like being in an environment where people are happy for the most part, I like capturing the story of their day and I love seeing my final images. It makes me want to learn more and try new things each time. I dislike the complaining brides though that blame you because they don’t look how they perceive themselves ie: wrinkles, heavy makeup etc… I only got into wedding photography because my photographer missed so many moments that I asked for and I didn’t want my brides feeling like I did. I also am pursuing photography so I can be a stay at home mom and still earn an income.

  7. Alvin Johnson
    Why Wedding Photography, I find weddings to be fun and challenging. I love to get behind the camera and create, I get very happy and passion not to mention excited with it come to weddings. I try to create or want to bring emotional feelings to my photography that someone will look at and enjoy the time and effort I took to create such a photo. A photo can tell a lot without needing to explan why you taken it that way. Photographing a wedding give me a great change to witness and capture a couple most happiest moments in time. I am just getting back into photography, I have photograph one wedding and that was when everyone was still using flim in the camera. I stop right after that to service our country in the military. After I service in the military, I then went on to play college basketball and basebll, but during my time in the military and college I had never lose the excitement that I get everytime I pick up a camera. So now I am ready to jump in with both feet and learn all I can and get to explore my creative side also. I have been looking for someone to tag along with or someone who can pull my coat and teach me wedding photography, but everyone I have made contact with just don’t want to take the time to teach someone or believed that I will take away thier business. I believed there is enough wedding going on that there have to be room for me to fit in, then again is there…. well I have been searching my area and the internet for someone who can teach and not worry about if someone will take their clients from them. I not trying to take anyone business away from them I just want to do something that I have a passion for and that is wedding photography, portrait and sports photography. Then I came across and I got excited once again as if I have just pick up a camera for the very first time. Thank Susan Stripling and all who given their time to you guys are great. I sign up for the course when I got home that night and started looking at Wedding Fundamentals video first and couldn’t take me eyes off of the screen, when I look up it was 1am in the morning and I have to be to work at 6am. I have to log off, you know I have to get to work, but now I can not wait until I get home and start learning again. I think I will stop here, because I am so excited that I can go on and on about how happy I am to come across And this is just how aexcited I get when it come to shooting with my camera…. once again thank you.

  8. Why weddings? I love seeing families celebrating their coming together to form one large family. I love seeing cultural mashups. This year I have photographed several Hindu-Jewish and Hindu-Christian weddings. Also, who doesn’t love a party!

  9. I love photography,love capturing special moments. I have never shot a wedding, but I watched your live stream shooting a wedding and I was glued to the computer. I am excited to be a part of the wedding school.

  10. It’s the joy, the beauty, the happy faces.
    It’s also demanding, and kind of thrill that you only get one chance at each picture.
    Finally, I hope to be able to drive the business to a point, where I can live of it.

  11. Because in wedding photography can i;
    1. Be a better person, helping bride and groom as a photographer and a good friend;
    2. Photograph love, tension and drama;
    3. Be an artist with my camera;
    4. Stay in a happy environment;
    5. Make a good money.

  12. Top 3 reasons why wedding photography for me:
    1. I am a people person.
    Hands down. I love people watching, meeting others, making new friends, building a fun and welcoming sense of community.
    2. I like the idea of being needed.
    This form of photography sells itself, people seek you because they want and need your talent.
    3. The money potential.
    As I continue to learn and get better at this craft, the more financial freedom I see.

    I am excited to be here! I look forward to connecting with everyone here. 🙂

  13. I could write a novel about how I got here, but in a nutshell I’m shooting weddings for the money, the opportunity to create, and the wedding cake! About 4 years ago I went through a major life transition when my husband was called into full-time ministry. I stepped away from photography, unincorporated my semi-successful local photography business, and took a break to reevaluate. I recently decided to attempt to make a come back because we need supplemental income. I don’t want to make it sound like I am not passionate about photography, but as a wife and mother AND woman trying to run a business, I got very overwhelmed trying to keep up with the trends in the industry, take time to hone my skill, and maintain a healthy balance between family and business. I LOVE catching moments with my camera and when I come to places like this I realize how much room I have for growth and improvement so that the moments I capture are not only frozen in time but are frozen in a technically AND artistically well-executed manner.

  14. I never in a million years would have imagined myself as a wedding photographer. That may be a bit of a cliché at this point, but true nonetheless! My “artistic journey” began when I entered into graduate school for film five years ago, about a year after my father left me his Canon AE-1 after he passed away. I was convinced my path would lead me to being a screenwriter and filmmaker. Originally, I entered with my passions skewed more towards writing than filmmaking, but soon found myself in love with working with the camera. My technical abilities in both filmmaking and photography started to evolve and after grad school, I had this uneasy feeling that I was being pulled more into the direction of photography. I began reaching out to local wedding photographers and got extremely lucky when two agreed to have me second shoot with them. After I started second shooting, I knew I had finally found my voice artistically (and emotionally!). There’s nothing like the feeling of creating images that make people happy and, more importantly, being chosen and trusted to do the job. I’ve recently started shooting weddings on my own and looking forward to many more. Here’s to hoping for a successful career!

  15. I honestly never intended to get into wedding photography. I really never thought my awkward, introverted self could ever shoot a wedding. Then one of my best friends got married and hired me as her photographer. I told her she was crazy. She said she believed I could do it and she really didn’t want anyone else. I spent the year going to workshops and studying as much as I could. The wedding day came and needless to say I was hooked. I instantly fell in love with capturing a wedding and all of the things that a wedding day entails. I also felt very different in my role as a wedding photographer than as a family portrait photographer. I felt confident during the day and as exhausting as they are, I feel excited and happy at the end of the day. I just really love it!

  16. My goal has always been to leave my mark. I received my BS degree in journalism and had figured I would get old and grey writing about world policies and milestones that we as a society achieve. That said while working for a few newspapers and running our award-winning college paper, I became in love with the process of capture a single moment that told the story in a new light…with a just a single capture and not a 400 word limit. I came back home to Maine and was working for struggling papers as the growth of the internet took over. On one particular New Years Eve all the freelance writers of the paper I was writing for received a joint email from the managing editor informing us that our services were not longer required and that budget cuts had resulted in cutting the freelance workforce. This left a sour taste in my mouth so I decided to get out the industry and start working as an engineer. On the side I started freelancing my photography to local magazines. After a short time I decided to tackle my first wedding. I got addicted. This was the way I was going to leave my mark! I wanted to keep capturing frozen moments in time and let my style, my eye if you will, be a keepsake for families and their generations to come. Now 10 years in and more than 100 weddings…I am nowhere near tired of the process. I am only able to do it as a part-time photographer but with the 12 weddings we do a year in addition to the sports leagues and the 30-40 family shoots…well it fills a hole and allows me to create art and memories for families. I am here for I want to continue to grow. I have plateaued and want to take it to the next level. I want to work more but not necessarily harder. I want to be able to balance my life, my day job and hopefully do this fulltime and gain better control of my schedule and my family time. Wow…I hope this is not too long. I am very excited to be part of this group! Thank you for being out there and providing this amazing service! And now at the ripe time of 1:49am…I need to go and ponder how we as a nation may have to deal our next president! Thanks for reading…if you made it this far!

  17. I like that wedding photography allows me to visually tell the story of a couple’s beautiful day. I’ve always loved observing people and places. With wedding photography, I can combine my love for observing with my love for photography. It’s very gratifying to see how happy the wedding couple is with the images I have photographed from their wedding.

  18. Having my own business and manage my life and work in my way has always been a goal for me. A few years ago i wouldn’t go for wedding photography, because everyone was doing pretty much the same boring formal pictures. But the market has changed and people’s taste for art as well, so i can find now my creative space there and as you said, i love weddings too, so why not?? Why not being present on such an important day for all that people and why not document that day and create something that will take that day back to them, later on? I hope i can learn everything about the business and get some more creative inspiration, thank you!!!

  19. I have always loved photography. It wasn’t until I started researching photographers for my own wedding that I found quite a few who I thought came up short. There were a few that were amazing and inspirational. I want to be the photographer to capture the beauty and amazing deep emotion on a couple special day. It is always changing and hard work, but thats what makes me excited, it is way more rewarding then a 9-5 desk job. I have a lot of practice and learning ahead of me, but I can’t wait!

  20. I started shooting weddings just to “try it out,” and see if it was a good fit for me, not really expecting to love it, but wanting to give it a shot. Weddings completely sucked me in! I love being a part of such a huge day in peoples lives. I love that I am there to find beautiful emotive moments between the couple and those who mean the most to them. It’s such an honor to be welcomed into those moments and be allowed to see glimpses into peoples lives and tell their stories. Currently I’m only shooting part time, but am looking forward to being full time in the next few years. I’m eager to learn and build up my skill-set to make that goal a reality.

  21. I currently work for an automotive supplier. I do photography part time as it allows me to be creative and enjoy my passion. I love wedding photography as it gives me a chance to help celebrate someone special day. It is awesome to meet new people and to help take make their day a little more special. I truly want to learn how I can be the best photographer I can be. As I want to make photos that families can treasure for a lifetime. Hopefully one day it will become a full-time profession.

  22. I love wedding photography because i love being apart of this special moment between 2 people who trust me to take the best images of the their day. The enjoyment of celebrating love when your world is so full of tragedy. For the smile, tears and joy of that special day. For the challenge it brings.

  23. I honestly wasn’t sure about wedding photography before I shot it. I thought it was a good way to make lots of money. Then I started shooting it and realized it’s so much more. It’s everything I love about photography itself. It’s helped me realize the direction I wanted to go in to with my photography. I also took everything I had wished for from my own wedding and made sure to give that to my clients. My Dad passed away 2 months to the day before my wedding and I wish he could have walked me down the aisle and danced with me, so when I shoot a wedding I always ask about the important people in the couple’s lives. It’s the moments, the unexpected surprises, the chaos, the stress, the unknown and the utter love that happens on a wedding day. It’s a rush and a lot of work and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now I’m determined to learn all I can so I can be one of the top wedding photographers in my area and to eventually do two weddings a month year round. I would love to do more but with a toddler that’s not happening right now lol.

  24. I love the range of images captured on a wedding day – from beautifully posed bridal portraits to spontaneous candids. It is a truly special thing to share a couple’s wedding day and I feel the importance and gravity of our role every time.

  25. Even years before I started seriously practicing photography, a part of me loved wedding photography. Back then I was just a bridesmaid armed with a point and shoot, and would document the day from getting ready to details. Though never being “uncle bob” (at least I certainly hope I wasn’t). By the time I actually began photography as a career, the flow of a wedding day came pretty naturally. I’ve since been trying to learn and practice as much as possible to really create beautiful art for my clients. …I have a lot more to learn!

  26. I like wedding photography because it documents family history. Like you said, it captures the beginning of a new family. It’s great to see the joy of relatives and friends. It’s so important to have photos of these people and events. The photos become treasures and I’m glad you emphasized getting them printed.

  27. Thank you Susan, very inspirational. I was in the Air Force stationed in Brussels in 2003 when I fell in love with photography. Although I had a Rebel film camera, I never really used it. I devoured the manual of the Canon G3 and an artistic love of photography emerged. I created my business in 2009 after retiring from the Air Force. I have only shot or second shot 12 weddings and work full time for the Air Force. I recently received my photography degree in May from Academy of Art University where I flew to San Francisco to walk and have decided I need to get more involved in my passion. I want to average at least 10 weddings a year to supplement my federal job. I really need to get better at marketing and am very happy to be here.

  28. I first became involved with photography (film) several years ago while I was in college. I enjoyed it immensely, however; I had a career and family, so at the time I didn’t pursue it much further. Once the digital camera age started, I found myself drawn back into my interest of photography.

    I’ve really come to enjoy photography and how it has allowed me to capture those special moments in my own life, as well as those of my family and friends. On two separate occasions I was asked to shoot weddings for some friends who were on a tight budget. I found that I enjoyed the experience and it started my interest in wedding and portrait photography.

    I am now considering wedding and portrait photography as second life career, and while I have continued to work on becoming more proficient with my photography skills, I feel the instruction that the Wedding School provides, will be invaluable in my pursuit of this endeavor.

  29. I have been a second shooter for 4 years now and I’m just starting to shoot on my own. I love capturing the raw emotions as a second shooter, but feel I have a lot to learn as far as being a lead shooter. Can’t wait to learn!

  30. Wedding Photography means challenge, passion and witness the most important event in people’s life. Wedding photography needs more well rounded skill set to achieve the the best result. I can learn a lot and improve myself day by day. I love both beautiful portrait and story telling.

  31. I do weddings mostly for the challenge. Portrait, lighting, speed, indoors, outdoors, shade, sun, crabby grooms…you name it. I don’t shoot many weddings a year. Just one or two so I hope to get that one shot that makes the day worth it.

  32. by the way the beautiful, poignant photo of the bride with her Grandmother brought immediate tears to my eyes THAT’S the effect I love to produce in my own photos….. Beautiful Susan

  33. I have shot several weddings for family and friends and always get requests from others to do theirs but although I have been extremely happy with my shoot results, I have feared lack of consistency in producing results for others. Now I can nail it every time. For me, off camera flash is the final frontier..okay okay ..photoshop is in there with that too 🙂

  34. I love Wedding Photography because it has simply changed my life. I did the whole career change thing… my first career was something of a necessity rather than something I wanted to do. It was slowly driving me insane (depression, impact on my personal life etc.). I now have a ‘job’ that I adore. I love going to weddings, I love working at them and I love the drive home when you know you have done a good job. I know how lucky I am (we all are) to be doing this for a living and I don’t want that to ever change.

  35. I love Wedding Photography because of the emotion and the love. When you’re editing your images and you come across that image that makes you smile . I know I have captured that special moment forever.

  36. Wedding photography for me is all about taking beautiful photos and really capturing people’s family and the moments they share on the day, because they will cherish them for the future. I have lost a lot of family members and for me the photos I have of them are so special, that I love knowing that what I am creating for the bride and groom is something that they will truly have and appreciate forever. I also love the challenging environment, and the creative outlet that wedding photography is.

  37. I love shooting weddings. I don’t know its exciting. I have shot children and families and all sort of things but its not as thrilling as a wedding. I feel at a portrait shoot I am just being lazy not really but that is how I feel. At a wedding, it seems that I am working hard and capturing intricate moments for my couples an heirloom to pass on to other generations. It wasn’t to long ago that I looked at my own wedding album and just sat there and was happy to see those photos from long ago and that is what I like to capture a memory forever. There are weddings that I question my sanity but for the most part I love how every wedding is different and I want to keep evolving. Even if I wasn’t a wedding photography I would like to be involved in something wedding related.

  38. Having a creative personality and getting bored easily I find wedding photography is the one area that just keeps on stimulating me. Off course the love, emotions etc is what we all thrive on, but the fast pace and having to think on your feet all the time is what really excites me. Always seeking the special moments and light and emotions to come together. Being super tired after a long wedding then looking at your shots and knowing you have nailed it! Also seeing new places and meeting new people is great. It is also the one area where I find myself continuously needing to update knowledge, trying to better myself for the next assignment. Wedding photography also covers so many styles that it very seldom becomes monotonous. Always new material to work with. And yes, I have also shed many tears behind the camera when emotions run high. I absolutely live and love weddings.

  39. I had to answer this when I took Cliff’s class back in April and quite frankly, it was a pretty simple answer. Ever since I picked up a camera, I have loved photography. While I am schooled in Finance and Accounting and am a licensed CPA, I hated corporate life. When I had the chance and blessing of my wife, I made the decision to walk away from everything I knew to become a stay at home dad and open my own photography business. Why weddings? It’s a fast paced challenge, produces some incredible moments to be around and a wonderful atmosphere to spend a day in.

  40. What does Wedding Photography mean to me? Thats a complicated question. As a human being, weddings are about love, about the beginning of a new season of life. They are about family, about love, respect, commitment and honour, they are a promise. Being asked to capture that, to provide the physical record of the day, to tell that love story is an honour and a privilege… Thats the emotion behind why I do it. Then there is the self-fulfilment aspect. I love documentary photography, and I love portrait photography, but there is a common reason why I love both of those, and that is the art of showing the essence of a person, group of people, or of an event. Wedding photography requires the focus, skill, patience, foresight, and empathy of a photojournalist, a portrait photographer, a counsellor, and of a friend. Its a dozen genres rolled into one never to be repeated, no second chance days….. I love it because I can never stop learning, I have to keep pushing forwards, I can never settle or be comfortable. I have to keep moving and growing.

  41. Wedding photography means friendship and a purpose. As a mom of three, I was struggling to find happiness outside of the house. It is tough at times to be an educated and highly aspirational stay at home Mommy. I love the girls, but shooting wedding and portrait photography has been a game changer. I love meeting the clients and the relationships that are created through the process of shooting a wedding. From the initial phone call to the delivery of the photos, it really is an amazing journey.

  42. It was the tears shed over lost pictures that got to me when I would talk with families after the flooding from Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans. As a photojournalist covering the tragedy I heard this over and over. People told me they treaded through waist-deep water carrying their wedding albums. After all, it was their families’ histories and something they wanted their future generations to cherish.
    When I left newspaper work to start my own photography business, it was a logical step to transition to wedding photography. It seemed to be a perfect fit for my skills as a storyteller, especially since so many people really want a photojournalistic style of photography. I know how important these photos are to each family and I find that extremely rewarding. As a business owner, there will always be clients because people will always be getting married, but as a photographer, documenting moments of joy will always be a delightful way to make a living.

  43. No two couples are the same. No two weddings are the same. No two love stories are the same. Whoever thinks that wedding photography is boring, is wrong. It is challenging, yes. It is frustrating a lot of times 😀 But it is just such a great feeling, after a long long day taking thousands of pictures and selecting the ones that you will actually keep and build the story on, THEIR story on, YOUR story on – so REWARDING when you sit at your desk and look at those pictures, pure, raw emotions. And when you are able to look at the photos with your clients for the first time and their smiles and tears give you goosebumps …. I LOVE doing portrait sessions, I LOVE documenting my family’s daily lives and I wouldn’t want to miss that. But wedding photography is all that PLUS the adrenaline. And I do love that 😀

  44. I have done and still do my family history and because of this, where possible, I will always ask to take pictures of the bride/groom with their parents/grandparents/great grandparents (rare that they are still around, but some people are lucky enough to have them), as weddings are the one time when families do take the time to get together.

    I think that most couples do not know what a well exposed, sharp picture looks like and I fear that price is the first and sometimes only consideration when they select a wedding photographer.

    I love the emotion of a wedding – I sometimes find myself wiping away a tear when listening to speeches.

    I hate it when I hear stories of bad wedding photographers – a friend of mine asked me to photograph her nieces wedding – I couldn’t do it as I was on holiday. When I got back I was told that the bride had chosen a horse and carriage to take her to the Church and from the Church to the wedding reception – the wedding photographer didn’t get one picture of the horse/carriage…. I still feel guilty to this day that I didn’t do the wedding pictures!

  45. It was the photo school joke to the a wedding photographer: quick money, stiff poses. I 2nd shot my first wedding the summer I graduated and have never looked back since. THE STORY. THE EMOTION. the styles of photography that go into the whole day – it’s magical, beautiful, the biggest adrenaline rush & reliving the moments in the editing room fills my heart with such joy.
    I feel honored and lucky to be a wedding photographer. Someone who provides and creates images that bring back so many memories!

  46. I began my career as a registered nurse in surgery 11 years ago and although it’s an honorable job my passion soon became wedding photography. Wedding photography to me is about making a difference in the lives of other and leaving them behind memories that tell a story from my unique perspective. Its a great responsibility and an honor to accept such a task but very satisfying when a client chooses you for your work and raves about your images. I love the art in wedding photography but I love the friendships you form. That’s why i do what I do.

  47. Hello everyone,
    I am currently a corporate event photographer, along with a few senior portraits and family photography sessions here and there. Primarily i do a lot of freelance right now for other photo businesses in the area, and I want to move away from that and concentrate on doing my own thing. I have done a few weddings on my own in the past, and really enjoyed them. I am looking forward to gathering needed skills through the coming weeks and gaining new acquaintances along the way. I would really like to know how to “break into” the wedding scene, besides word of mouth, as I live in a over saturated wedding photographer area..

  48. For me, nothing beats showing my clients the end product. To be able to give them the gift of reliving the their wedding day in the most beautiful way possible is not something everyone can do. I also love knowing that being a wedding photographer will always be challenging.

  49. I’ve been working 9-5 desk jobs forever and that bored and uninspired feeling is killing me slowly. I’ve been second shooting and doing some weddings on my own on the weekends for a few years. Its creative and challenging and inspiring and satisfying and makes me feel happy and alive. And on top of all that, what I do means something to people! Also, I’m really into genealogy. I learned a lot about my own family through old family photos and I like to be able to create those for other people.

  50. I believe weddings are an opportunity to get up close and personal and capture, for most, a once in a lifetime experience. I love family. I enjoy being a part of that.

  51. I just opened my Welcome email and immediately watched the first video. This was a great way to start the program and I am looking forward to learning more!

  52. I did not think I would eveeeeeer shoot a wedding. I was too scared. At one point in my life I was not “allowed” to take pictures (because of my religion!) I have found an outlet, a happiness, an adventure in shooting weddings. I love everything about them. I feel so honored and humbled to be apart of their day and want to learn continuously to capture the perfect day for my bride and groom!

  53. I love photographing the ways people interact with each other and express emotion. Wedding photography brings together a bride and groom’s most important people for a day of making memories. I love being part of their milestone day and adding to their experience.

  54. Wedding Photography to me a way to tell a story of love, i like the emotion and the feeling when the bride and groom look into each others eye, that feeling of “yes we have done it”. It is a medium to create images that makes the couple always think back to that day they said “I DO”.

  55. I guess that I am becoming sentimental in my older age. I have been married thirty years, and I treasure my husband. When I am at a wedding, I remember our own beginning. I love seeing “young love.” I see the bride and groom look at each other with such tenderness. I want to be a part of that. I want to capture everything special about that day. It is a divine moment in a person’s life, and I want to capture it for them to treasure always.

  56. I feel that wedding photography encompasses a wide variety of photographic styles. I love being able to let my creativity shine through with detailed shots, portraits, documentation and so many others. Even though I’m a beginner, I look forward to learning as much as I can.

  57. I love wedding photography because I love telling stories & weddings are one of the most awe-inspiring stories to watch unfold & be able to document.

  58. Well, I love working with people and being part of one of their happiest moments in life is great! I think wedding photography is the perfect job for me and being paid to do something I love is absolutely fantastic! It’s a challenge to have my own business but I try to do my best.

  59. I love working with (generally) happy people, and I also love being organized – so for some reason wedding photography works for me! I’m an engineer, so it feeds my technical side while also allowing for creativity.

    I love how you touched on how this industry also allows us to constantly learn and change. I can see it just in my work from over the years.

  60. For me, wedding photography is one of the most beautiful things that can be captured with a camera. Here, you have this event in life where every person in attendance is there to celebrate the same thing– love.

  61. I love the little moments that can only be found in wedding photography. I love capturing the looks of happiness, sadness, and love that that only be found on a wedding day. I love all of the inside jokes told between the bridal party. Last, but not least, I love beauty, and weddings are simply that. Beautiful.

  62. Maybe its a bit selfish but mostly for me. I love having my own business, my independence, a challenge and being creative. I enjoy the weddings too. I’m happy at a wedding and even the longest days fly by. All the benefits for my couples and their families is why I feel I deserve to be paid for what I do. I totally agree that we are creating heirlooms that are super important. I don’t think that drives me though. I see that as the value that I provide.

  63. After taking portraits for a few years a fellow college student and friend asked me to second shoot a wedding with him. The whole thought intrigued, yet scared me to death. After my initial ‘NO WAY!’, a month or so later I eventually agreed. He obviously saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and I fell in love immediately. I am a hopeless romantic (which helps), and love getting to know my clients, the relationship they have and capturing it to share with others.

  64. Why wedding photography? Well, I would have to say it’s because it just happened! It wasn’t planned. I never thought I would be getting paid for doing something I love. I always loved taking photos, but that was all it was. As I learned more, and as I got better, I wanted more – I wanted to get better. With getting better, came interest from others, then came people wanting to pay for my service. So, I never really thought about why wedding photography, because it just happened. Now, that I’m being asked that question, and now have to put some thought into it……I’m going to say there are a few reasons for choosing wedding photography:

    1.) For myself – To learn all aspects, from business to photography to people skills
    2.) For my family – Weddings are a great source of income. Helps provide for my family.
    3.) For the challenge – Every wedding is different. From lighting, to the venue, to the weather, to the couple you are working with. No 2 weddings are alike. It’s a challenge when you have to think on your feet and adapt to every situation.
    4.) For the education – We can learn so much from weddings. Everything you learn from a wedding or from wedding photography education, can be applied to other types of photography.
    5.) For the couple – To create amazing imagery. To capture their wedding day – to capture those special moments.

  65. Why wedding photography? There are so many incredible post’s here about emotion, feelings, and a sense of connection to photography. I will not be able to expound on any of this any better than most, if not everyone here. So I am join to take a little different approach. I will talk about why I am here.

    First, I will say, I went to a “big time” art college, I worked in commercial photography for many years. I wore many hats: captain camera, assistant, digital tech, studio manager, etc…2008 I started a family, I found myself looking for stability, or at the very least the ability to be home and still do photography. I began to look at wedding photography, something everyone made fun of the entire time I was in school, or the commercial end of things. What I found out was that wedding photographers, good or bad, where taking pictures that were far more important than any commercial photograph ever. They were shooting pictures that would capture the hearts and souls of families for decades. Last Saturday, I shot a picture of some grandparents that I knew instantly would bring happiness to that family every time they look at it for decades to come.

    That is why I shoot weddings today.

    Well, shoot weddings is being generous.

    That is why I am here, I want to be shooting weddings, more weddings, more bookings. As much as I want to talk about all the wonderful aspects of wedding photography, I do not do it for the fun of it. I have two daughters, schools, equipment, education, food, etc, that all requires money.

    I signed up to the weddingschool, and immediatly decided I was going to get a refund. Not because I know everything, not even close. I just was not sure this was a great use of my small amount of funds. However, I do see Susan ( and the company she keeps ) as an industry leader, a straight shooter, and someone who knows how to create a successful wedding business. I have been at this a while, and honestly suck and a few things: business, marketing, posing, billing, networking, couple interaction, confidence. Um, well, I think that is actually everything. I am pretty good at growing a beard, being on time, eating a good meal.

    I am here to hopefully challenge myself, grow in the areas listed, and grown my business to make it profitable, and allow me to continue do wedding photography because I like everyone here love to make images.



  66. Why? What can be said that has not already been said, but thats just it. I will keep this brief and to one single point. I want to change wedding photography, or a better thought, be different. 500-600 dollars in the Chicago area will get you a shoot and burn wedding. No Prints! No album! I have done it and been there. I have so many images of weddings I have photographed and landscapes I have captured, all sitting on my computer. Would I run in and save a album or print I was having a fire? I would run in and save computers because thats where my prints live…UNTIL NOW.
    I have just started printing my landscapes for a local business to hang and sell. The pride and joy I get holding a print, a photograph of something I took even though it was a long time ago is AWESOME! Tactile response…I get it! If I should have this awesomeness looking at my images, why shouldn’t brides and grooms have the same thing?
    I want to be different, I want to offer the different…but I remember back in the film days, this was the norm. I want to be different but old, because what is old, is new again 🙂

  67. It’s a love/hate thing for me. I HATE how inadequate I feel, especially when I see others work. I love how it allows you to be a part of a families special day. And I can’t describe the sense of pride I feel when someone refers to me as a photographer. And I LOVE, LOVE LOVE when I see my clients update their profile pictures a year later using one of my images. That lets me know I was able to give them something meaningful!

  68. Love this! I photograph weddings because I love love. I really resonated with Susan when she talked about how we are documenting the moments when two separate individuals become a family. We’re documenting love. We’re also documenting very special family moments with those who will soon pass. My wife’s mother passed away a little over a year ago, and we will forever cherish the photos of her at our wedding, because they remind us of her and her beautiful life, and the important role she played in our new family’s existence. I get to provide those cherished memories for others. Pretty awesome.

  69. Why weddings? Like Susan said, “Why not?” I LOVE weddings because they are all about love and hope and starting a life together. I dreamed of my own wedding as a little girl and it was truly one of the best days of my life. I am instantly taken back to that day when I look at my album – even 22 years later! I have been a professional photographer for about ten years now, primarily photographing families with a few weddings here and there. The children that I photographed when I first started will be getting married soon enough and I can’t wait to capture those moments. I can potentially capture that child’s entire story, from the beginning of their life to the beginning of their life as an adult. I think Susan covered every answer to “why”, but being able to freeze time by capturing the special moments so that people can cherish them is what makes being a photographer the best job in the world!

  70. Why weddings? At first, I got into wedding photography to learn more about photography. I was told that working at a wedding helps you understand light better and helps you be creative and think on your feel. But then I fell in love with the atmosphere, the love, the excitement, the nervousness, and the stress. Hence why I want to pursue wedding photography. I get a rush of all these emotions. At the end of the day, I was there for the couple, capture every moment of the happiest day of their lives. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of that. My tagline is: Express. Capture. Re-Live. 🙂

  71. I love documenting emotion. People in there natural surroundings. I love interacting and meeting new people. I love Weddings in general. I have a wall wedding images of my parents, grandparents and my husband and I here in my office and it is one of my favorite walls. I love the challenge of an ever changing environment. I never feel more inspired when capturing a cherished beautiful moment. One of my most favorite images at my wedding was the one of my Grandpa and I. I think about that with every wedding I do.

  72. I have enjoyed taking landscape and family photos for a while, and recently went a friends wedding and took photos for them. The joy on her face when I showed her the images and printed out a few was priceless. This spurred me on to look into wedding photography, it is wonderful to provide joy and happiness to another person. I love capturing memories and people in the moment. I am hoping to better my skills and learn about the world of wedding photography.

  73. Why Weddings? Because capturing the emotion of love on this special day is what its all about. Providing beautiful memories of a day that means the world to both people is worth the smiles and tears of joy. Reliving a moment is that feeling that I want my clients to experience!

  74. I’m an emotion junkie. NOTHING else gives me the same buzz as what you might witness on a wedding day. My clients seem to love my dedication and enthusiasm (which often seems limitless), and as a result, seem to feel reassured and more confident on the day. They worry about soooooo many things anyway, it’s great to be able to help someone by putting their mind at rest and enabling them to have a BRILLIANT day.

    On top of that, I can’t get enough of showing people how amazing they look, especially when they’re properly hopped up on Lurve Magic. I love that people trust me enough, to be creative enough, in a way that no one else might be able to see them. They believe in me to give them an awesome experience, and still delivering exactly what they want – brilliant photo stories of their day.

    Lastly, I don’t know many other jobs where I get to spend the day laughing and crying with amazing people, and then dance with them like crazy on the dance floor at the end of the day… 😉

  75. Why Weddings? There is so much bad and sadness in the world and I think that being able to work in an environment of celebration and love is incredible. One of our brides was working in insurance and told me how much she hated her job and how she felt like she wasn’t doing any good… she went on to say she admired what we were able to create for them. Her and her husband broke down in tears when we sent them their album and every time we see them they thank us. For me, being able to shoot weddings and be a part of someones big day is an honor and an adrenaline rush.

  76. Photography, especially wedding photography for me is all about an emotion. An emotion that’s being had and an emotion that is still to come. I have and always will believe the true character of a person can be captured within a millisecond of a photographer clicking the shutter button. It’s the way someone throws their head back in laughter, or how they pull their lips into a small smile when they are looking at the person they love. It’s the rare and few glimpses when all their guards are down and they forget that a camera is even there. It’s intimate, it’s raw, and it’s a gift being able to witness it.

  77. Wedding photography means a lot of different things to me. What I’m focusing on now is the heirloom aspect of it, when I think about their children’s children looking at those images it gives me chills. The other main aspect right now, is that I don’t like juggling a ton of clients, I rather have a small volume because I hope to be able to treat and serve those special clients in the best way possible. Last week a family member asked me why don’t I lower my prices and shoot more clients (to make more money, of course…), and that is so the opposite of what I want.

  78. What Susan Said! My word, what a powerful video! I thought it could be, now I’m certain, that being a Wedding Photographer could be the greatest job/career ever!

  79. Why weddings? Honestly?? Because that’s where I believe I can make the most money with my skill set. I am not a traditionalist myself, so my guess is that I don’t get as emotionally involved as others in this school. However (and for me, its a big ‘however’), I love taking good pictures (the subject can literally be anything), and I also love pleasing people, so in that sense wedding photography is a great fit because I get to please people (hopefully!!) on a crucial day in their lives by (hopefully) taking some great pics….

  80. Why Wedding Photography?

    No need to say that I love to photograph people. What I like is to capture real emotions. So what would be the best occasion to find them?

    I am fully aware that the Wedding Day is one of the most important days in someone’s life. For that reason we as wedding photographers are trusted, but I like to accept and carry this responsibility.

    I love to catch the love and feelings and save it on a photograph – and this will be freezed „forever“.

    besides all that: weddings are really cool!

  81. We are a husband/wife team for weddings and it was not something we intended on ever doing, but quite literally fell into. We have 4 kids we home school, and I privatized sports are the only way they can participate in our area. So, having children in competitive gymnastics for 15 years (just retired due to back injury), baseball, swimming, and 4th is a gymnast and baseball player, we could not afford all the digital proofs from the pro togs taking action shots at our kids’ activities. So, I sought out the best camera we could afford and that was my mothers day gift 6 years ago. I loved that camera, and oh the shots it captured! But, taking our kids, led to taking other’s kids, which led to our first wedding 4 years ago for a friend who couldn’t afford a tog. We fell in love with it immediately. Working together instead of separate was a lot of fun! While my favorite is newborns, I don’t get but maybe 4 a year, so weddings are our bread and butter in the photography industry. I went back to college at NYIP for my photography degree (still finishing that up), but we just switched to IPS in January, and have doubled our weddings from last year before the new year began. This is not our full time job, my hubby is an Industrial Manufacture Engineer, and I am a stay at home, but we would love for this to become our full time jobs…together! My husband is also a phenominal pro airbrush artist, so our top package includes customized pieces, and he does a lot of artwork on the side as well, so with both businesses, we are hoping to one day be fully self employed as our sustaining income. We love the hustle and bustle of the wedding day, the speed, the intensity, and nearly everything is already done for us (decor anyway..everyone and everything is in perfect condition lol), the technical is all we have to worry about. And we love it! My goal right now with kids at home is to have no more than 26 weddings a year.

  82. I’m getting back into weddings after taking a break for a few years. I’ve got a couple hundred under my belt, and it feels comfortable doing them again. When I started, there was no Wedding School, or Internet, for that matter. I was fortunate to have some friends who mentored me, otherwise it would have been very difficult to get started. Things are so much better now, with online learning and digital images. Mostly, I like producing something that affects people emotionally, that they don’t just like, but actually love. I like making heirlooms for people and am grateful when they choose me to make them. It’s gratifying to know that a hundred years from now my name will exist in a box in somebody’s attic to be discovered by generations yet unborn.

  83. I’m a landscape/seascape photographer who wants to branch out. I’ve had a taste of shooting events, a wedding, and some other things. I’m looking at learning all I can and be able to get paid for what I do . I live in Hawaii and I’ve noticed it is a very saturated wedding photography state. It’s hard to step in, but I want to be different. I’m trying to blend my love of seascapes & landscape with couples. I’m hoping to get a lot out of the wedding school and become a name in this business, just not another photographer. Why wedding photography? I had a chance to see my friends reaction to the photos I took of them and to know, I can do this and it’s finally time to jump in!

  84. Better late than never lol . . .
    For over a decade, I worked as a Videographer in TV News and as a Videographer/Producer/Editor at the National Geographic Channel. I am grateful for so many incredible adventures and amazing places I’ve been able to experience with a camera in hand. When I became a mother, my life changed in several ways. I needed more time at home and more flexibility in my schedule so I decided to start a photography business. For me, weddings are the perfect opportunity to combine the thrill and adrenaline of documentary, photojournalistic style shooting with the added artistic element of thoughtfully crafted detail photos and fun emotional couple and group photos. In news, the downside was that you were often covering the worst day in someone’s life, the blessing with wedding photography is that your day is typically spent covering one of the best days in a person’s life and are providing tangible artifacts of memories of that day!

  85. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what wedding photography means to me; I know what it is — observing and documenting one of the most important days in a family’s lives — and that it’s important not to suck at it…lol. While I’m on the honesty track, I don’t feel that I can really call myself a ‘wedding photographer’ yet either; I’ve photographed a grand total of 4 weddings in my life so far — one for family, 3 for friends — and the last one I shot was two years ago, and not for lack of trying….maybe not trying HARD, but I have tried to book clients.

    What I do know is, aside from my first wedding, the ones I’ve shot didn’t completely suck and have progressively looked better, and I didn’t hate it – I actually rather enjoyed it. I think that’s because I feel like I’m in my element when in the role of ‘observer’ — watching/recording from an outside perspective (it sounds less creepy in my head) — than as a participant.

    The biggest reason I chose to try and be a wedding photographer is because that is where the big money is at (when you do it right), and one thing I want in life is to be doing things I love, rather than being a cog in a machine that is making someone else boatloads of money. Who knows, maybe that’s the wrong reason to get into this genre, but that’s why I wanted to do it…just haven’t gotten off the ground yet.

  86. For me, I have always had a creative side. I wanted people to look back at their wedding photos and instantly in their mind remember the time, or remember a conversation they were having or what song was being played at that time bring back a memory, a emotion just by looking at 1 photograph

  87. For me, it was not something that I fell in love with immediately. I love photography, but I did not want to shoot weddings. I live in a very small town, there was nobody out here doing it. After being asked many times to shoot a wedding, I caved. I shot a friends wedding and honestly hated it. I was terrible at it and swore I would never do it again. At the time, I was broke. I was cleaning houses for a living and realized that there was a need out here where I lived for a wedding photographer, one that lived full time in our touristy town. I could either continue to be a housekeeper, or actually make a living doing something I loved. So I buckled down. I started taking classes, reading, and researching. I cleaned more houses so I could purchase equipment. Once I got over that fear of actually shooting weddings, I quickly realized how amazing they are. I mean what is not to like about love? It’s an entire day filled with moment after moment after moment, and I get to capture it. It’s incredibly rewarding, not to mention getting into wedding photography opened my eyes literally. It changed the way I approached photography entirely. I have learned so much and am eager to continue to learn and grow as a photographer in general.

  88. I’ll be honest. I HATED my wedding photos….and I knew a lot of people that hated theirs. It is absolutely heartbreaking. I have always been into art and photography, but I really never thought of pursuing it as a business/career. I am a people person, and I enjoy photographing people’s moments. When I mean moments, I mean ALL moments and different emotions ranging from tearjerking love and compassion, unbelievable love and happiness. The list just goes on. All these moments happen primarily in weddings. I enjoy having my clients share their happiness with me. Its the chemistry we build in a professional way from our meeting during a consultation, to the end of their wedding night with lots of hugs of appreciation. That is why I am a wedding photographer, and that is why I want to be a better wedding photographer.

  89. I started shooting weddings out of need. I had a successful portrait and boudoir business, but needed to add weddings to help grow my business. I’ve grown to love weddings over the years. I love the interaction between families, I love helping my clients have the best day possible, and I love creating beautiful photos that they cherish forever.

  90. Where else you can do your job and celebrate LOVE in the same time? I love all the motions and comotions what wedding day entails. Love emotions what i see when bride gets to see first sneak peak pictures…love the challenge what wedding day trows my way. I fall in love with Jerry Gionis and Joe Buissink style…but there can be only one Jerry and only one Joe :)) and only one Susan :))

  91. I will steal a quote from one of my favorite movies, “Everything you just said is my favorite thing to do every day!”. I am just getting started with my photography business. I have been second shooting for the past year and have been doing family portraits and other portrait sessions here in Fayetteville, NC. My goal is to become the go to family photographer for many families here locally. I love my family, and to me family is everything. I am humbled and honored to be able to create images that other families that I know they will cherish for years to come. I love what I do and I am so very excited for what’s to come. Thank you for creating such a wonderful learning tool that I am sure will be a great help to me and so many others!

  92. Ever since I was a little girl, I imagined my wedding day, especially the father daughter dance. I had my song picked out for it since I was 12. Unfortunately, life happens and my father passed away my 2006 while I was a junior at UARTS. That following October, a friend of a friend inquired about shooting a wedding, and with only a week to prepare I said yes. I have to say it was one of the best desicisions I have made. It is the emotion of the wedding day that I love and adore. When she and her father took the dance floor I wept. In that time I knew I wanted to continue to shoot weddings to capture those moments and emotions that will be with them forever: the love I see in the couple’s eyes, the tears of friends and family when they see the bride for the first time, the dances and toast. It is the heart felt words, stares, smiles and laughs that I truly love. To this day when the father and daughter get on that dance floor I tear up, and in that moment I know why I photograph weddings.

  93. I love wedding photography because I just love all things wedding! From the invitations, to the flowers, cakes, smiles, tears…..the small details that make the day so unique to each couple. I love knowing that the memories they will look at 50 years from now came from my mind, my heart, and my camera.

  94. For me wedding photography is LIFE! What a great feeling to be able to deliver memories that will become the heirlooms to a whole generation – Amongst many other amazing perks in this passions driven career!

  95. Wedding photography has taken on a different meaning for me over the past several months, and producing photographs in general. My father passed away right before Christmas and we got to go through boxes upon boxes of film images for his memorial. I was able to experience moments of his life that I never knew existed. It was through this process that made me realize just how important wedding photography is, or being a photographer for that matter. It completely changed the way I look at what I get to do. We are granted this amazing opportunity to document a very important time and place that will never, ever, happen again. The only way you get to relive that memory is through that image. For me, that gives me an incredible amount of meaning in what I do.

  96. I have a need to be creative, it’s in my soul.
    Since I was a little girl, every single member of my family that got married, there was a picture of me with the bride veil on in front of the mirror, Ha ha.
    It was my little obsession and I still love to see brides on their princess dream dress. I don’t have on my own my parents wedding pictures anymore, I lost them when my father’s mother took them away without asking. I lost my father when I was just 9 years old and I’d would made anything to have some of my parents wedding pictures with me, Sometimes my daughter ask for pictures of a grandpa she never met.
    I’m a believer in Love, in memories, in family legacy. This might be the reason because after I had lived in different countries my pictures are just the unique thing that I carried with me, all the rest can be replaced but not the memories those are my treasures.
    Wedding photography it is my way to transcending, to be part of reality, that become a visual story full of emotion after been printed,

  97. I aspire to be a full time wedding & family photographer. I’m at a point in my photography career where I shoot almost anything. I want to focus on weddings primarily because I believe that marriage is a gift from God. How beautiful it is for a man and woman to stand before Him and all their loved ones to profess their love for each other and make a solid commitment to never leave each other. Then later on down the line when I get the “we’re expecting!” e-mail, I would feel absolutely honored to capture the milestones of being pregnant, having the baby, the one-year cake smash, etc. All of these events are so meaningful to me. That’s why I love wedding photography.

  98. Weddings for me are important for a few reasons. Like Susan mentioned in the video it reminds me of how my love and family began. I eloped at 20 years old. I don’t have a single image of my wedding day. I want to change this for others. I don’t want them to have the regrets that I do, even if they choose a simple elopement. I live vicariously through weddings. They are fun! Images are important to me. After the loss of my brother recently, I learned that much more of how images and printing them are invaluable.

  99. I love Love! I feel the need, the motivation, to capture emotion. I want people to see themselves in many different ways, I want someone to capture me at most vulnerable and beautiful! I am drawn to storytelling as well:)

  100. For me it is so important to capture the emotion, we forget too fast what we were feeling that day. I love the storytelling of the entire day and sometimes that story starts from days even months before the actual wedding day. I’m always excited to just learn more.

  101. I’m going to be brutally honest here; I love wedding photography because I got burned out on the cheesiness of posed family portraits. I love the raw emotion, crazy schedule, and excited nerves of a wedding day. I love documenting every detail that the bride has planned for months. I love creating galleries that will allow the bride and groom to relive their entire day. I love the idea that these photos will be passed down to their children and grandchildren.
    Also, I got tired of buying props.

  102. Serving others, making people happy, giving them moments to cherish forever, turning clients into family, and because I am a romantic at heart!

  103. Why wedding photography? Because I love seeing people in love and being surrounded by such happiness and joy. I love capturing the raw and genuine emotion that happens on a wedding day. I love that my clients can look at their image 5, 20, 50 years from now and see how crazy in love they are with one another and remember those exact emotions and feelings. I believe wedding photography serves as a reminder through the good times and bad that no matter what you are in this together.

  104. My main reasons for what I do is serving people. Making them happy. Making the wedding photography experience – a true experience. When they can think of me as a friend and not just their wedding photographer. That my clients know I am working my tail off for them so that their decision to commission me for their day was the best decision they made.

  105. I love that you mentioned your own wedding because that is sort of why I got into photography to begin with. I got married almost 10 years ago, in a small town, but during the planning portion I was deployed in the Navy on a ship a million miles away. My fiancé at the time and my mom did what they could for planning but because our town was so small our resources were limited. My husband picked a local photographer who cost $1400 (back in 2006) and when I received my pictures I was blown away with how completely awful they were. I was suppose to get an album but told them I didn’t want it, so they sent me a disk with my images and that was the end of it. So I picked up a camera and taught myself but swore I would never shoot a wedding because I never wanted anyone to go through the pain I went through. But then a few years later I had a friend ask me to shoot his vow renewal wedding for him for free and I did and I loved every second of it. So that right there is why I am shooting weddings. To ensure that couple’s receive quality images from one of their fondest memories at the start of their life together.

  106. Hello there,
    Wedding photography, for me, came pretty natural. I started catering weddings when I was 20 years old and I absolutely loved that job. Everyone at weddings really are in the moment having a wonderful time celebrating. I was not an avid photographer then but I always loved it and did it more of a hobby. I remember one wedding in particular where the photographer was running around and I happened to grab his attention and suggest a really neat shot. He was thrilled and even asked if I wanted to be his assistant! I’m sure it was a minor thing at the time and who knows how serious he was, but it did inspire my interest about pursuing my hobby further. Fast forward a few years, I got married and we did not want to have anything related to a “normal wedding” a friend of ours did photography for us and at the time I had no concept as to what wedding photography could be. Being young we both found ourselves going down separate paths and decided to divorce, staying really wonderful friends. Now looking back I just wish we would have taken that whole wedding day more seriously especially the photography. Even though our relationship ended in divorce it never ended. We were family for life. He is no longer here and I cherish the photographs I have of him. He will always be apart of my life journey and is in part who I am today.

    Trying to wrap this up as I went through school for photography I heard the rumors “once you get into weddings you don’t get out!” I really did not want to pursue weddings I wanted to do other sorts of photography. You know the concepts of youth and the far out ideas of reality, I loved Fashion and wanted to be a fashion photographer yadda yadda. Somewhere along my journey with photography I started doing a wedding here and a wedding there. I started for free or barely anything because I wasn’t really sure what I was doing and couldn’t justify charging someone if I wasn’t sure the outcome. But with my catering experience I had confidence I’d still get good images. (plus there are so many people who really cannot afford photography, I for one (at that time) was never in a boat to be able to afford much myself so I related to these couples) And it did help build a portfolio.

    I still loved the atmosphere of weddings and it brought back all the feelings I got from catering these types of events but it added this love I didn’t have before. People really appreciated my work and I had this feeling of respect and it just made me feel wonderful that my work, as well as myself, was appreciated and cherished.

    After years of still doing personal work and other portrait jobs I started to see a style, my style shine through. I am able to use my fashion sense and that romantic feel of my work that I think really compliments the wedding photography genre. It also pays the bills 😉 I’m a capricorn lol.

    All in all that feeling of love I that remember so much from my wedding day is what captivates me and pushes me to capture those moments for my clients . I LOVE IT and It brings so much joy and meaning to my life and gives reason as to why I photograph.

  107. Why weddings? I went to college for photography and originally I wanted to do fine art photography ha ha That didn’t last too long. I found that I loved portraits and eventually found my way to weddings (I still do portrait photography too) I think the appeal for me is that wedding photography involves so many layers. You have portraits, documentary, still life and sometimes even landscape. It’s never boring and everyone is happy and looking their best. I also love the fact that I am creating something that will be a family heirloom. I have always loved designing albums and they are my favorite way to deliver the images. I am excited to learn and grow and I am so glad that Susan has started this site.

  108. I enjoy capturing the love two people have on their special day. When my partner and I got married in 2011 (two days after it became legal for us to marry in NY) we had a small wedding in our house with only are parents & her sisters there. No reception and no photographer in the area wanted us to hire them. We only have a few blurry ceremony pictures because my father in law didn’t know how to speed up my camera’s shutter. lol.

    I never want anyone to experience what we went through (prejudice) on their special day. I want to be able to give couples those beautiful wedding photos that we never got. I want to be able to do this for many many years. I am honored to learn from such an excellent icon in the wedding photography business. Along with learning from the others in this wedding school.

  109. Oh Susan, I agree so much there is just nothing like looking through old pictures, the memories and emotions. Photographes truelly are my most prized possession and it is a great feeling to be able to give this beautiful gift to someone else.

  110. I love everything about weddings. The beauty, the family, the connection and love stories- I’m beyond obsessed. Every story is unique and fun in it’s own way. Celebrating with the wonderful people we work with as their journey begins is a truly regarding experience. I have only been photographing weddings for a few years, but hope to be doing this for a very long time. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, and when the client comes back saying their wedding gallery brought them to tears, made them laugh– made them feel something all over again- that’s what I love the most.

    1. I am so with you! I have been obsessed with weddings since I was a kid — from the dress to the venue to the cake to the flowers…I think there’s something so magical about it.

  111. Hello everyone. I’m Nataliya from upstate NY. I choose to do wedding photography because I love documenting people in love. As crazy as it sounds, I actually enjoy the high pace and hustle and bustle and bursts of emotions that most weddings bring. I may come home tired but I love knowing I contributed to someone’s life a little by saving some memories on my camera for them. 2015 was my first year being in business and the more I learn, the more I realize how much more learning I need to do! So, with an open mind and eagerness to improve my skills… let’s do this!

  112. I live in the Seattle area of Washington State. I love the chaos and beauty of weddings – not just the day, but the planning, the relationships, the details they choose, every piece of it that makes up the bigger story. I love the in between moments, the laughs, the tears, the fears, and I love being in the middle of it all, and finding ways for our brides days to be even better than they imagined.

  113. Why weddings? The people. All of those people from both sides of the family in one place. The joy of all those people seeing each other. Being able to capture that joy for the future. When I was little and we visited with relatives, my parents would often find me flipping through the relative’s photo albums. The wedding photographs were my favorite. I want to leave photos behind for some other little girl to find and dream about. To see part of the story from where they began. I love the way you capture so much of the story in one moment. I’d like to learn to create some of that magic too.

  114. I came to photography later in my life… I enjoyed the early mornings “out and about” with my new to me camera… soon, landscapes, nature and wildlife would fill my memory cards. Then “Facebook”… I started to post some of my images and my friends really liked them and said so many nice things… “I have a good eye” … a few years in I did some family functions, friends and family sessions, they all let me practice on them… then my first real class where I learn to take it off “Auto”… I loved it! Practice Practice Practice … Creative Live… worked with another photographer and then tutored by a retired teacher for a bit… and then 2 years ago I got my first “paid” wedding…. a family I had worked with… It was on the beach on a bright sunny day… service at 12 p.m.! oye! But I loved every minute… it was such a happy and loving day… I have loved them ever since and want to better every time. I am very excited for what I will learn here, I have always admired and have been in awe of Susan Striplings work.

  115. I fell in love with wedding photography after assisting a family friend at a wedding when I was in college. Since then I’ve been shooting weddings part-time, and now I’m ready to give it a real try. I love that people trust me to capture one of the most important moments in their lives. No matter how many weddings I shoot, it always feels like an honor to be there for those moments. Plus it’s an exciting challenge, since no two are ever the same.

  116. Beautiful to listen to you. Why wedding photography for me? Because my first wedding client literally stalked me into it. I used to say I hate weddings, till I figured out while learning from Susan that I was actually afraid of them, because I only saw the huge responsibility you take on. The responsibility remains, but the more I learn, the more comfortable I become. Still a very long way to go. I truly love details and shooting the couple alone. Living on Bonaire, a small Caribbean island we mostly have very small intimate destination weddings, just right for me. And I love true connections with my couples. Since I got married myself last year I realized how important my images are to me. We had only a very small wedding, the two things that are most important to me as a memory of that day are my images of my small family and photoshoot of my husband and me and my ring. I love to look at their beauty every single day.

  117. For me, wedding photography is a labor of love. Sometimes the emphasis feels like it sits squarely on ‘labor,’ but most of the time it’s more on the ‘love’ end. I think it’s a true privilege to be invited into a family’s inner circle for one of the more significant events they’ll celebrate together. I enjoy the challenge and the responsibility of creating a record of these amazing days. Honestly, I love making beautiful photographs, but the feedback that has me really flattered is when a client tells me that their friends and family liked having me around, or when I run into them at another wedding months or years later and they insist on a hug. So to answer ‘why’? Because I love it.

  118. I love shooting people. They are usually dressed their best and feeling their best at weddings. I love the challenge of making people feel comfortable and beautiful. I see the documentation process of a wedding event as a bonding experience and the photographs are how I deliver gifts to celebrate and enhance the experience. I become part of two new families for a day, sometimes 5 or 7 days. I am obsessed with the magic of connection and my camera is the tool that allows me to gain trust and return it. I see destination weddings as an opportunity for growing and experiencing and sharing new cultures and adventures.

  119. I agree with so so much of everything Susan is talking about in this video – I am a photographer to capture those monumental moments! I am a wedding photographer and I love my job because I get to capture moments of pure joy and excitement of the couple. I see and capture that look of true love, as cheesy as that sounds. I love weddings even more than any other photography because there are weddings in every culture. As a wedding photographer, I get to be an ethnographer and an anthropologist as well. Wedding photography a study and documentation of cultures, their differences as well as their similarities, and it’s fascinating! There are so many more points that Susan brought up that I hadn’t thought of before. Specifically, that “Weddings mark the moment the couple becomes a family and starts their legacy.” Holy crap! How cool is that!? I knew this in the back of my mind, but never really thought about it like that. Maybe because my family is so involved in my life. But this is when the couple’s OWN family starts and our photos are their “first family heirloom.” Such an awesome thought. I just had a client celebrate their second anniversary and she posted the photos I took of them – it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world – that’s why I’m a wedding photographer. For the moments as they happen and for the feeling they give my clients 10 years from now, and the feeling they give their children, and children’s children.

  120. I’ve taken workshops under David Ziser and the shot several wedding utilizing those techniques! I’m a people person and I love to learn! However, marketing is the 80% part that I need guidance.

  121. I am from sunny South Africa (Pretoria, Gauteng). Why? And I agree with Susan. Why not? This is a beautiful day with beautiful memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.

  122. I love weddings in general and I used to want to be a wedding planner. I was a hobbyist photographer which I have since turned into a business. The reason wedding photography is important to me is because my husband lost his mom at a very young age, and then lost his father shortly before we were married. He really doesn’t have much to remember his parents – his mom especially, but he does have their wedding album which now means the world to him.

  123. When I was younger I felt like I had a creative side but never found the right path. I tried painting, drawing, music, writing and other avenues. Then one day not to long ago I invested in a full frame camera and it fit my hand like a glove and I never put it down. I’ve worked in the corporate world for many years now and hope one day soon I can merge my business experience with my every growing photography skills. As the saying goes, if you do what you love and love what you do you will never work a day in your life. One day soon I hope to fulfill this dream and really start living.

  124. I have been shooting as a professional photographer for almost two years now. I started off as a photographer because as an adopted child having no memories of what I looked like under the age of 7 capturing moments in peoples lives is so important to me and such a blessing to be part of. In the last year I started assisting with a local wedding photographer and each wedding I go to I get to see two peoples story become one. Capturing these moments of the start of their new life and looking back on this day with their littles is just as important to me as it is to them. So excited about this class and all Susan has to share!

  125. I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I love shooting weddings.
    Because I think it is a fantastic experience to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

  126. In wedding photography, I love getting to witness and capture a couple’s most happiest moments. I can’t help but smile when during editing photos I come across a huge smile I managed to catch! I am currently a college student in Colorado and I don’t know how long I will pursue wedding photography but as for now, being in this industry will grow me. I like to be stretched and challenged. I love working with people and I love being on my feet. On the wedding day it’s a lot of people and a lot of being on my feet – and I love it! Wedding photography is a blast and it is a powerful way to be a blessing to others.

  127. Why wedding photography? I think one of the things that appeals to me most about wedding photography is the privilege and honor of capturing and preserving the memories of one of the most amazing and profound occasions in human life, the covenant of marriage. It’s a beautiful and sacred thing to witness the joining of a husband and wife, the beginning of a new family. Wedding photography, is a vital part of providing a tangible record, one that can be made with visual power and beauty, that meets the human longing to preserve that which is precious. I have but a few photographs of my mom and dad, and they are fading, and they mean so much to me, and being able to contribute to that same feeling for someone else in the future is a powerful thing that I don’t take lightly. Which brings up the challenge I feel about wedding photography—the weight of it. I want very much for my work to be excellent, and I want my clients to have a great experience with my wife and I (we are a husband and wife team) and we both feel like this school will give us a foundation of knowledge to build upon. I think I have participated in weddings as a photographer less than a dozen times, and my wife and I have worked together only once. We have a lot to learn, but we are both so excited and ready to learn.

  128. I have stayed away from wedding photography in the past because it seemed like you have to have a lot of energy moving around capturing moments and some weddings can go on for a whole day and evening. Then recently I agreed to photograph a friend’s daughter’s wedding. Being very nervous, I also told her she needs to hire a proper pro photographer and a videographer because I didn’t think I alone could cover the whole event. So she took my advise and the pro covered the formal potraits while I shoot candid moments and covered the groom getting ready. I was surprisingly pleased of how my photos turned out and most importantly they were happy too. And I enjoyed the experience. So here I thought I would like to try it again and to learn how to do it properly. And hope the pay is good. I am also terrible at marketing. Currently, I am taking photos of school events and class potraits. I came across Susan Stripling Photography from another photographer who was featured in a camera magazine and I admire both of their photographs tremendously. I’m looking forward to learning.

  129. I honestly don’t think I could have avoided it – though I tried! I had always been a photo hobbyist – from film & darkroom days – but my previous career was as a wedding coordinator for a venue…. I was the one who sold the space, planned with the bride, and then oversaw the event.
    After about 10 years in that role in the wedding industry I was so burned out on it – I left, and when I started my photography business I was family portraits only – totally vowing not to get back into weddings. Well, here I am. Back in weddings. I swear, I don’t think I know how NOT to. My ‘why’ is much like the rest – to document and create, to witness and preserve- it’s really an honor 😉

  130. I love Photography and I love a great love story. I also love capturing something awesome for people to admire. Weddings are challenging and I feel like a champ when I complete the day and I feel like a nailed. lol! I’m not as good as I would like to be and I’m not always so sure of my skills but I always give it my very best.

  131. For me, it’s about the storytelling, I love that there are so many stories within the one day. I’ve always loved people/portraiture and creative fine art photography and from that weddings seemed like a natural extension. It also enabled me to start creating a more financially viable business as weddings expose you to so many more potential clients. I am part way through my third season and always realised that wedding photography was incredibly important but that message really hit home recently when one of my brides & grooms lost two key family members before their 1st anniversay – her father and the grooms brother. I had taken a beautiful set of photos of her father seeing her in her dress for the first time which are now so treasured. I purchased Susan’s 30 days on CL and learn’t so much from it…I am now very excited to continue that learning path and to keep improving.

  132. Hello everyone! I have to be honest, I have yet to shoot a wedding. I’ve done a few portrait, engagement and maternity sessions and would very much like to take my photography skills to the next level by learning to shoot weddings. I know it’s not easy. So many things can go wrong but I think the wedding school will give me an incredible foundation to start building on. Why do I want to shoot weddings? I’m in my second year now of photography and have found it incredibly rewarding. Getting those priceless, intimate moments is a rush and I’d love to experience it on the weddings level. I know it’s tough and demanding, but I think I am ready for the challenge.

  133. Hey all,

    My name is Shane Edwards and I am excited to get this program going. I have spent most of my life working as a Firefighter / Paramedic. Now that I am getting close to when I will be hanging up my helmet I am looking to get my love of photography off the launch pad and into action. I have done five weddings over the course of the last two years. I am at the point now where I want to start doing this more full time. I enjoy wedding photography for many reasons. Including interacting with so many people. I like that this is not a 2 hour session and you never speak to the clients again. It is very rewarding to get to know people and eventually deliver a breathtaking album to them. Anyways I look forward to taking this journey with everyone here.

  134. Learning to trust myself, to capture someone’s visual legacy… through an eye of creative questionings. For a child, great-grand child and for the client when their memories begin to fleet them. My shutter becomes their visual inheritance. So I asked myself, how do I want it to look? How will I show them all the things that make them and their partner everything and more? I have to show them, infinite. I have to show them a timeless image suspended in time, immortalized. I don’t have many photos of my childhood, so in many ways this journey is personal and quite fulfilling. I want to learn how to paint infinite with my shutter. This is what wedding photography means to me. XOXO

  135. Why Wedding Photography? Simple……I love weddings. I’ve been photographing weddings for a few years now (a couple of weddings a year) and while taking a photography course in Ottawa, Ontario I got to shadow and work with a few wedding photographers who raised the bar on what my wedding photography expertise needs to be and that’s why I signed up for this course.

    I want to take my Wedding Photography to the next level. I want the photographs I take to be something the couple and their family and friends will look at and bring joy to them. I’m hoping to learn how to market my business so I can get my name out there in a very competitive market.

    Looking forward to learning lots of great things and learning from the other students taking the course!

  136. Why wedding photography? Well,My reason similar to Anji, My husband and I made the mistake of not investing in a wedding photographer. We had his uncle ask, and decided, why not? He didn’t take many pictures. Most of the pictures are one half of his family, many many missed moments, and no real portraits came from it.
    A wedding is the joining of two families, and the start of something big.. I want to capture moments, take photos that my clients will love and cherish. Something to pass onto their children.
    I am very excited to be here, and if it’s anything like Susan Mentorship program, it going to be amazing!!

  137. My friends and even other photographers think I’m crazy for enjoying wedding photography. They don’t understand why I would willing put that level of stress and responsibility on myself. When asked why, I simply respond respond by saying “because I’m the guy that gets to capture romantic moments that can never again be reproduced”. Sure it sounds corny and a bit cliche but it’s absolutely true. I love the high level of challenges that a wedding day brings me. I love being the one that makes the happy couple hold their hands to their hearts and say “oh my god, that’s beautiful”, and honestly I love making it a never ending self-challenge to surpass my own work and creative bigger and better images every wedding. There’s so many elements that make wedding photography rewarding in almost a selfish way but the selfless reasons far outweigh them which is why I what to grow in this industry and become better at what I do to serve my clients in the best way possible.

  138. For me the “why” is because I love everything about weddings. Beautiful locations, happy couples, family and friends gathering, fashion, glamour and milestone moments. I am looking forward to learning how to greatly improve upon the images that I am currently creating for both myself and my clients.

  139. Why wedding photography? I’ve asked myself that more than a few times. I’ll admit, until an old classmate of mine asked me to shoot his wedding last year, I was a bit terrified. I had heard too many horror stories of bridezillas. And I was afraid of things going wrong. Hence giving credence to the bridezilla tales. Then I put that aside and decided to help my friend document an important part of his life. As I photographed his wedding I know I made mistakes. I learned from those mistakes. My lighting wasn’t always perfect, but the moments were captured. And in some ways it began to remind me of why I fell in love with photography in the first place over 30 years ago shooting high school sports.

    So how does that relate to wedding? Because at that time everything was on film and you only had so many shots. You were capturing moments in high school kids lives that they would never repeat. The big catch, the shot at the buzzer that won the game, the slide into home plate for the winning run. All of those things apply to weddings. For me it’s recording the moment that will never be repeated again. You can pose the formals, but the rest of the day goes by in a flash and you better be ready. I love being ready. And capturing the memory that will live on. That’s why I do wedding photography and I’m here to learn the things I don’t know. Some that I know I need more info on, some that I have yet to learn.

  140. I have done weddings, but my business has slowed. I haven’t shot a wedding in a couple years. I do not do well with marketing and only rely on friends. I mostly focus on family photography now. I have loved Susan’s work for a long time. I figured that even if I am not shooting many weddings, I can learn and apply these skills elsewhere. And maybe figure out how to get some more weddings, too!

    But, my why for photography, not just wedding photography is similar to Susan’s. There will be a day when our loved ones are gone and the images that were captured are all we have. I lost my Dad when I was twelve. I have few images of low quality. But after that, I picked up a camera and started to capture everything. I started to really invest in equipment when my son started to do theater productions. It seemed only natural to go pro since I had the skills and, lets face it, we need a way to pay off all that equipment.

  141. For me, my “why” started out as something that I enjoyed doing on the weekends when I was not working in my corporate job. It was fun to go out and document all of the events that occur during the course of a wedding day. At the end of November and beginning of December of 2014 I suffered the loss of both my mother and grandmother within 6 days of one another, and when I shot my first wedding in February of 2015, during those 8 hours I worked that day I quickly realized that wedding photography became a very distinct source of solace where all of my sadness and pain would dissipate and for me it quickly became a source of not only inspiration but also “therapy” for me. In the spring of 2015 I ended up leaving my corporate job to go full time as a wedding photographer and I could not be any more happier in my life than I am right now.

    That is my why and I love it!

  142. “Why” I do it? There is nothing better than seeing the joy and excitement of your clients after capturing those once in a lifetime moments for them. Nearly all of the weddings I have done, about a dozen, have come from word of mouth referrals. I have gotten better with each, but really want to hone the skill and know that I’m doing everything within my capacity to capture and provide the most beautiful set of memories I can for my clients.

  143. To us, Wedding Photography is about Connection. We’re a husband & wife team and we chose this specific path to specialize in because we truly love the connections we make with our couples. From the first moment we meet them, through the planning process, engagement session, wedding day, & delivery. We truly connect and make friends. Then when we photograph their friends weddings years later, we immediately reconnect when we see a past couple. Personal connections are just as important as emotional connections. When you truly capture a moment there is no explanation that needs to accompany the image – because the photo itself tells the story. You connect to it. It could be a photo that isn’t even one of your own but I complete strangers & when you connect with that image and it triggers a memory from your own past, that is what is truly amazing. Those connections are why we love Wedding Photography. :)!

  144. I see weddings as an empty canvas that people get to fill with their unique creativity and love (ultimately love is the most beautiful form of creativity.) Couples get to show the world who they are together and pull out every imaginative trick they have. Being able to get a look at the creativity of couples in love is amazing, even more so, we get to give them something that can remind them of what they are capable of together, is a blessing, and incredibly fun.
    Any opportunity to learn how to do that better, is worth it. Thank you for this!!

  145. I currently have 2 weddings under my belt, both done for free for the experience. Each turned out well. Why wedding photography for me? I enjoy shooting and am considering shooting for additional income to supplement my full time job. I enjoy learning and look forward to learning much from this class.

  146. The “why” for me is because I love seeing the happiness and hopeful joy of an engaged couple. I find weddings to be fun and challenging. I’m excited to get started.

  147. To me the “why” wedding photography is very simple, because when my husband and I got married we made the mistake of not investing in a wedding photographer but had my brother’s friend a hobby photographer take those pictures. He missed so many moments and in the end I cried looking at the images. I want my clients to have a better experience, to have pictures that they love, that capture every moment of their day.
    I am very excited about the wedding school and am hoping to take my business to the next level:)!

  148. So my passion is to create. To create something that draw people in, amuse people, bring emotional feelings, something that is treasured, endured, makes people inspired, to think or see things differently. I use to paint fine art to do this, now I use photography as my outlet for this. It’s something that I’m drawn into more because I’m still creating art. The tangible moments are now there. Forever. The moment of laughter, tears, joy, shock and awe are stopped, and can be seen over and over again. I can achieve all that my heart desires through wedding photography. From the moments of the bride with that look on her face as she’s about to get dressed, to the last kiss of the wedding day. I get to share these moments with people I would never have known if I didn’t explore and still explore the depths of wedding photography. I’m very much looking forward to this just to learn a bit more, even though I did the 30 days and the group mentor ship with you, you are one of my favorite photographers and I love learning from you – especially because your approach and open truth about everything is real, and not covered in fluff.

  149. To me, my “why” centers around the joining of two families. Weddings are sometimes the only time you’ll ever see all these people in the same place at the same time. Sometimes it takes such an occasion to bring out the best in difficult family members – even if only for a day. Very excited to absorb as much as I can from this course – so happy it popped up on my radar merely an hour before enrollment closed!

  150. Even though I really admire you as a photographer and teacher, I was hesitant in purchasing your course. I made the right choice to invest in myself by purchasing your course. A very good video to supercharge my enthusiasm and to pass it on to my clients.

    1. Thanks @disqus_fYOYH3ODhi:disqus! Looking forward to growing this school with you over the coming year!


Susan Stripling


Why Wedding Photography (PDF)

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