Is it Better to Specialise Purely as a Wedding Photographer, or is it Better to be a More General Photographer?
I read professional photography magazines from time to time (sometimes for a lot of the time), and they often feature articles on how a professional wedding photographer can ‘defend’ their business from part-time amateurs and the perception that wedding photography is money for old rope. The need to emphasise professionalism and in-depth knowledge is stressed again and again. I see similar posts on photography forums as well.
I certainly understand where they are coming from: wedding photography is something distinct and to be successful and effective you do need to know what you’re doing. Sometimes though it can seem that the implication is that only someone dedicated full time to wedding photography can be a true “Professional Wedding Photographer”.
Looking through my website you can see that I do other types of professional work, and that I continue to work on other personal projects. Although the majority of my work is wedding based I enjoy the changing and swapping disciplines, and I believe that it helps my photography.
Landscape work is slower and keeps me focused on composition;
Beachcomber is about spotting patterns and details
and my Lensbaby images often brings out specific details.
My commercial work can involve a variety of lighting combinations, dealing with reluctant subjects or posing models.
This is all good experience that I can bring into my wedding photography.
For me it is all about being a photographer, and the core is having an emotional response to your subject. Others may think differently, but I don’t believe that I could be an effective wedding photographer unless I spent significant amounts of time working on other jobs and projects.