What it’s really like being a wedding photographer. The Good the Bad and the Ugly!!!

I have recently had a number of people call, mail and Facebook me to ask my advice about getting into the wedding industry and to find out what it is like to be a wedding photographer.

These people have ranged from photography students to people who enjoy photography as a hobby.

My answer is always the same. Wedding Photography is an insane amount of work and to do well you need to be creative, adaptable, technically sound, good with people and skilled at running your own business. It also helps to be a little obsessive! People seem to think it is an easy job or a way to make a quick buck and unfortunately it is this attitude, along with the digital revolution, that has resulted in a lot of fly-by-nights and wedding photography disasters.

I have therefore decided to write this post on what it is really like to be a full time professional wedding photographer. Please note that this is written from my own personal perspective, and I tend to be a workaholic who is constantly pushing myself to be better, do better and create more ….. Sometimes to the detriment of everything else!

I know there are wedding photographers out there who have it all figured out and have successful businesses, take amazing images and have a balanced personal life. I bow down to those photographers and wish I could be more like them. (By the way … I don’t really know any personally! Except for, maybe, one!)

I also know there are those photographers out there who are happy to deliver sub-standard work. I am not one of those.

So here we go.

What it is really like to be a wedding photographer?


1.Say good-bye to your weekends and your social life. It is very likely that your friends will eventually stop inviting you to weekend events as if you are a busy wedding photographer chances are you will never be able to accept!

2. Say hello to 6 day weeks. Yip, wedding photographers shoot on the weekend and then generally spend all week editing, designing albums, meeting clients, updating blogs, doing admin, marketing, social media stuff, and perhaps doing other non wedding shoots as well. We don’t just work on the weekend and the average wedding involves 60 hours of work at least, not just the 8 – 12 hours of shooting on the day. We all should take Monday off … but how many of us actually do???


3. People seem to think that weddings photography = big bucks. The truth is wedding photography = equipment costs = BIG BUCKS!!!! A true professional will be shooting with 2 full frame bodies and the glass pro lenses to go with it. A camera doesn’t make a good photographer, but good equipment is important. The Nikon Professional Services only admits people who have the above mentioned gear and I think they know what they are talking about! One lens can cost R20 000 … just one measly lens! Our running costs are huge and remember that all this equipment needs to be insured every month and upgraded. A photographer isn’t just about cameras in this digital age as there are computers, software, hard drives, websites and many other accessories which are also needed in our repertoire of tools, and all of these cost a lot.


4. A wedding photographer needs to be more than just a photographer these days. Now you need to be a professional retoucher (all that editing), a graphic designer (all that album designing), a writer (all that blog posting), a social media wizz (all that facebooking and tweeting), and a Business person (all that admin, marketing, accounts, branding and tax)!

5. You will need to have the people skills of a leader and the patience of a saint. Let’s face it most of our clients aren’t professional models so photographers need to be able to get the best out of everyone in a high stress situation. On occasion you will deal with bridezillas, momzillas  and sometimes even bridesmaidzillas! You will need to be a friend to the couple on the day and deal with any emergency that occurs without stressing out your clients. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising so your attitude and personality goes along way in this business.

6. You will have to deal with lots of drunk people (ok this could have gone into the people skills category above but I personally think it deserves its own paragraph). There is always that idiot who insists on grabbing at your camera to take a pic of you (like you would want to hand over a R35 000 piece of machinery to a swaying, sweaty drunk person!). More than likely there will be someone at some stage who falls on you or at the very least stands on your feet.  If you are female you will get hit on and at times you may have the dear drunk guy turn on you when you don’t succumb his advances (my favorite was being asked if I was lesbian after politely declining the attentions of a leering drunk dude!)


7. Being a wedding photographer is highly stressful and you need to be able to multi task and problem solve on your feet. There is just so much to think about on the day and it all happens really fast. There are no second chances and reshoots…. it’s really not that easy and breezy. There are all the technical aspects like the shutter speeds and the F stops which need constant attention. You need to know light well and keep watching the light so as to get the best shots possible. You need to be creative and continuously look for interesting shots whilst ensuring that you don’t miss anything or leave anyone out. It is the photographer’s responsibility to also ensure that all shoots run to schedule, and if the wedding isn’t running to schedule because of other reasons, then you need to be able to adapt and make a plan calmly. You need to be on your toes constantly looking for important moments to capture. You will have to deal with many different personalities and organize people without being rude, bossy or annoying.

8. If you are going to be a true professional you should be a technically skilled photographer who is able to deal with a variety of different photographic situations on the day i.e. bad weather, dark locations, mixed lighting etc. You need to be able to use flash properly and know your equipment well to deal with any challenge that comes to you. Telling people that you are a “natural light photographer” is not an excuse for poor technical knowledge! Photographers need to know how to light properly … do research on the net, do assisting work or perhaps attend workshop

9. Experience goes a long way with wedding photography. Everyone has to start somewhere and I am all for people following their dreams. However once you have shot a number of weddings you learn to anticipate shots and see moments before they happen. On a technical level experience is imperative. Learning how to pose people, shoot in awkward light, manage disasters and difficult people comes with time and practice.

Creative-KZN-Wedding-Photographer-Jacki-Bruniquel-06 Creative-KZN-Wedding-Photographer-Jacki-Bruniquel-07

10. If you want to make a name for yourself in wedding photography you need to be able to keep up with current trends without being a copy-cat. Finding your own style and constantly coming up with your own original ideas is what will keep you above the pack and keep people talking about you.  This takes a deep sense of self-understanding and a lot of work and time. See my article here on finding your own voice

11. If you don’t work you don’t get paid! And you are the only one responsible for paying your rent, medical aid, UIF, pension and day to day expenses.

12. Be prepared for ridiculous backache from long hours of carrying heavy equipment and shooting in funny positions, and neck ache from stupid hours on the computer.


13. You will get “the look” from certain people when you say you are a wedding photographer. That look which kinda says, “oh you aren’t a real photographer” or “ you’re a sell out” or a “lame photographer”. I hate to say it but it is true, wedding photographers aren’t always respected like say a fashion photographer or a fine art photographer. You will definitely get “the look” if you hang out in non-wedding photographer circles, that I can guarantee you!

14. Considering all of this ….. Be prepared for burn out to be a constant threat. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in work and not take care of yourself when working crazy hours. The result of this is physical and mental burn out. I have had it, and many of my friends who are wedding photographers have had it. It’s not fun and many conversations with my wedding photographer friends revolve around which vitamins to take to overcome fatigue, depression, irritability, insomnia etc.


This all sounds pretty hectic, right? Well here is the good stuff!

1. Wedding photography is real. Being able to capture real life joy and love is a beautiful thing no matter how cheesy that sounds.  Weddings are about couples, family and friends coming together to celebrate commitment and love. This is just awesome and is really meaningful to me. It sounds lame but I still cry at some weddings. There is a beauty in hope and faith that goes way beyond shooting products or fashion. This is my humble opinion of course!


2. One can be really creative and have a great deal of autonomy when shooting a wedding. There is no creative director or art director looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do during a wedding shoot as there would be on a commercial shoot. I personally love this aspect of wedding photography as it allows one to be really creative.


3. Weddings enable one to meet a huge variety of different people from all sorts of backgrounds. If you love to people watch, it’s the best thing ever, and you get paid to do it!


4. Weddings happen all over the place these days and once you start cracking it you get to see and shoot in all sorts of amazing locations. We have shot weddings all over South Africa and the world. This is a real treat for those who love to see and experience new places and new things. I am now hoping and dreaming of a wedding photography booking in Hong Kong and Mozambique! (come on universe … pretty please!!!!)


5. As a wedding photographer you will be your own boss and can therefore decide on your own holidays. You can also take time off when you need it for personal needs. I work insane hours but I also travel a lot which is really important to me.

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6. Most wedding photographers work from home which means you don’t have to deal with morning or evening traffic (yaaaaaay!). It also means your petrol bill is somewhat reduced and this means your carbon foot print is less (ha ha). Working from home during the week means you can keep your own hours, work in your pj’s (not always a good thing) and cook your own lunch (unless you are someone like me who sometimes forgets to eat).

7. You will get to eat lots of yummy wedding cake and my personal best …. cupcakes!!!!!!!!!!!!

8. No two weddings are ever the same, which means that work is always interesting and challenging and never mundane or boring.

9. The feeling of cracking a “hero shot” is just the best in the world.


10. There are a lot of awesome and creative people who work in the wedding industry and you will make new friends. I have worked with some amazingly talented wedding planners, décor folk, videographers, florists, make-up artists and dj’s.  Some of my great friends are wedding photographers. OK, so they are also my competition but, come on be realistic, it is physically impossible to shoot every wedding in the country every weekend

11. The harder you work the more money you can make. When you work for yourself monies earned go into your pocket rather than someone else’s.

12. Using one’s own talent for full time income is really rewarding. I spent many years working in bars and doing heaven knows what else whilst I was traveling the world, and now I can truly appreciate the fact that making money from being creative is the greatest gift that I have given to myself.

13. If you are good at what you do there is a huge reward in the affirmation from clients and blog followers. My favorite part of wedding photography is handing over an album to happy clients, knowing that I have captured a little piece of their family history and have created something individual and special for them, which can never be made again.

14. If you find the right clients wedding photography can be the most awesome job in the world (well in my experience anyway). Through wedding photography I have had the most wonderful people come into my life and capturing their love feels like a real honor and a privilege. This makes me feel very lucky!!!


  1. Jules Morgan on November 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Awesome Jax, so so true! And amazing images as usual…

  2. Liz Brown on November 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    So interesting Jacki. For me, you are the most talented wedding photographer I have ever come across, and remember I used to run weddings at a castle, so have seen plenty!!!!
    Everyones’ photos really do look dull compared to yours.
    Keep the sneak peaks coming please.

  3. Estefania Romero on November 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Love it Jacki!!! I am so glad to find an article that describes exactly what we go through, and most people don’t understand!!! Love your work, you rock! 🙂

  4. rebecca on November 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Amazing Jax, couldn’t have said it better 🙂 x x x

  5. Candice Mac Nicol on November 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Amazing article!!

  6. Monica Dart on November 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Ahh Jax – beautifully written and ALL TRUE!!! I had to laugh at the shot of the vitamins….your collection looks as big as mine!!! I have to re-post this on fb and twitter as it is just such a brilliant article!xxx

  7. Christi on November 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Brilliant blog post! Thanks for being real and honest! Loved reading it!

  8. Charlene Schreuder on November 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    True words from a true professional. I was knodding my head all the way through reading this, smiling. Really enjoyed the illustrative images 🙂

  9. Stuart on November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Wow Jax well broken down I can definatley back up all your good and bad points. This yr for instance was a huge test losing my mom right before I had to shoot 11 weddings in a row and its not an easy task putting on a happy face and making a brides day feel like number one when your broken inside but yeah this industry is addictive but as you so rightly said not for the social bunnies or the faint hearted . Much love xx

  10. Eric Uys on November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Jacki, where did you find time to write this article?? 🙂 just kidding, well said girl. I love the shot of the mom crying with a random arm of support on her shoulder, really a great capture! You forgot to mention the hours and hours it takes just work out selections for prints and for blogs! I used to have a big problem with my timeline but I have found a formula for editing and getting my work done, as we speak, all my wedding are up to date and delivered, weeks before the deadline and I have all this free time now, which is awesome that’s why I was able to read you post! 😀 ciao

  11. wil punt on November 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    if wedding photography doesn’t work out for you (I am sure it will with this kind of talent, insight, lighting and attitude), you can always try carpentry … you really hit the “spyker op sy kop” here. Good post!

  12. Heather Steyn on November 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    This is so insightful and I say well done to such a fantastic post! I kept nodding my head to your points 🙂 Beautiful photos!

  13. Taryn Rahl on November 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Well Jacki, you have pretty much covered everything – I must say, a very enjoyable read as it brought back many memories of my own experiences. (I seriously don’t know where you find the time to write these brilliant articles – ha ha)
    ps – If you would like a second shooter or assistant when you are in Port Elizabeth, let me know – I would love to join you 🙂 – I am pretty much fully booked for the next 6 months but if you are keen of having me join you, hopefully it will be on one of my available weekends.
    x Taryn

  14. Wayne Sylvester on November 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for this awesome, honest write up. Means a lot for someone like myself wanting to turn pro.

  15. Celeste Prince on November 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    WOW Jacki! truly inspiring and very true! thank you so much for sharing. Absolutely amazing images xx

  16. Bruce on November 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Point 9 of the good is a definite winner!
    Disagree slightly with Point 10 of the negative, but completely me personally. As I couldn’t really care what the trends are. But to be a good overall photographer to make it in the industry, I guess you do have to be on the trends.
    That’s why my wife rocks! hehe.

  17. Casey on November 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Classic 🙂

  18. Ruan Redelinghuys on November 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks, well written, informative & very true – esp. the ’zillas!

  19. Kathryn van Eck on November 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    An amazing article. Thank you Jacki for sharing this. I smiled to myself as I read it and it really makes me so excited about the future, hard times and all.

  20. Chanelle on November 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Well said Jacki! See you soon, I land on Thursday!

  21. Francois on November 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Beautiful images , I love the natural light images in the tropical locations !! Always great to read your articles with insightful experience and a real personal approach to your work and work relationships.

  22. Yvette Gilbert on November 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Absolutely brilliant Jacki! xxx

  23. Natalie Sammons on November 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Wonderful! So glad we are able to have you capturing our day!

  24. jo-ann stokes on November 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Could not have said it any better!! This article shows all the guts and glory of being a wedding photographer!! And lets not forget the responsibility that lays on your shoulders!

  25. Beatrice - Bdg Photography on November 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Absolutely true! I’m totally agree with you!

  26. Emma Gardiner on November 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Chanelle from Segerius-Bruce sent me here by Twitter! Have to say, what a well written piece, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Your images are surely wonderful, I’ve been enjoying the past few minutes flicking through your posts admiring your stunning work 🙂

  27. Adene on November 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    So true!! Love it!!

  28. Cotty on November 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Its been said before .. but I’ll say it again. You are extremely talented Jax !!
    #1 Fan

  29. Jomar on November 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Great story! I am a wedding photographer in Bermuda and I do many Destination Weddings. Your article is TRUE! I also love what I do and enjoy every momment of doing a wedding. Meeting people for the first time after talking to them on the phone or via e mail gets your adrenaline going! Thanks for sharing.


  30. Steve Shipman on November 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    All so true, and so eloquently put. Thanks for taking the time to write this, it’s always good to realise we all have the same issues in this business.

  31. Chloe on November 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    This is such a well-written post; all the honesty of the stuff that nobody really loves about wedding photography, without the jaded bitterness. Thank you for this!

  32. nastassja harvey on November 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    brilliant, brilliant, brilliant jax. thank you so much!

  33. Tyrone Crossman on November 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    This is a classic, Jacki!! I just love it and I do hope it opens many eyes!! Well done!!

  34. Gena D on November 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Excellent article!!!!

  35. Paul - Moat Hill Photography on November 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    excellent post and such a true to form read…

  36. sharron van schoor on November 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Brilliant phtography…with a interesting story behind it all…you’re a star!!

  37. Jon S6 on November 28, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    the most accurate artice on wedding photography I’ve ever read! You’re clearly a realist. I like it

  38. Geoff - Paphos Wedding photography on November 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    So true& I like your work.

  39. Geoff - Paphos Wedding Photography on November 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    So True and I like you work.

  40. Kim du Toit on November 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this, it was so lovely to read your perspective as well as the facts! And your work is awesome!!

  41. Kym Burmester on November 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Always such an inspiration.

  42. Fred on November 28, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    That sums it pretty well I have to say !
    EXCELLENT article !
    I did develop one of your point regarding the “big bucks” aspect…telling that in the end, when you take everything into account, your hourly rate is not that expensive 🙂 (but it was in french on my blog…)

    I love your work btw, you are one of these who bring the rest to other levels !!! 🙂

    Cheers and hope to meet you one day


  43. Kobus Tollig on November 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Great post with great images. Thank you for this!

  44. Cheryl McEwan on November 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Amazing article thank you so much for sharing! and am in love with your work Jacki!!

  45. Jeanette Verster on November 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    AWesome awesome post!!

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  47. Lourens de Beer on November 29, 2011 at 8:02 am

    So, so true – brilliant article!

  48. samantha maber on November 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I love your honesty girl. As always – amazing!!! xx

  49. Nigel Sparg on November 29, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Well done! Told like it really is, but we do have fun at the same time….:-)

  50. Dee on November 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Very well written post and stunning, stunning (and funny) images. Very inspirational to me. So – thank you!

  51. David Nash on November 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Fantastic post, I hope as many people as possible (non photographers especially) get to see this.

  52. Inarie Dreyer on November 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Excellent written article, would have to share this all around! 🙂

  53. Paul Pearce on November 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I just love every word you wrote 🙂
    It could not be further from the truth. Too many clients/people see the package price and compare it to an item bought in the shop and think we charge a lot. With your stunning article we hope their eyes will see into our world.
    Great work and love your work!!!

  54. Grant Griffiths on November 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Great story! loved reading the in-depth of your career! I think I should write the same for a golf professional – travel, teaching…the list goes on. All the hard work has paid off – you are one of the best photographers in the world! Well done – you are world-class at what you do.

    Grant & Raf
    Your best February 2011 Wedding Stars

  55. Taryn Ward on November 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Definitely well said! Thanks for sharing your story!

  56. Swaggernaut on November 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Wow, such a great writeup – I’m going to be sharing this with a lot of people i know that think getting into the wedding photography business is just a piece of cake!

  57. Craig on November 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Love it, love it, love it

  58. cake supplies on November 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks. It has been definitely worth the read.

  59. Nicky Stowe on November 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Sjoe!!!! Jax – such a classic article, so honestly and awesomely written – you rock Chica! I think every head (of everyone reading this) is nodding in agreement with a little grin on their faces! Love, love, love. xxxx

  60. Milton Gan on November 30, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Great post Jacki! I was going to write one myself but you’ve nailed it so I’ve just shared yours on my fb page 🙂

    All the best!

  61. Cheryl Peterson on November 30, 2011 at 6:57 am

    the perfect artical. very true

  62. Daryl on November 30, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Great stuff! Amazing article, has got me thinking 🙂

    One thing you touched on but I think needs to be highlighted is with weddings you are dealing with the couple on a personal level like you said which means be prepared to get phone calls and emails at all hours of the day. This ties into what you were saying about trying to balance your personal life and work. Makes it very hard when you are dealing with your “clients” ( it almost doesnt seem right to call them clients) on capturing one of their most significant moments in their lives and you trying to juggle multiple “clients” all at once. When they call they expect you to know every detail of their day, very tough!

    Just goes to show how great this article is, it is very hard to explain all the complexities of this job.

  63. […] What it’s really like to be a wedding photographer. The good, the bad and the ugly! – I loved reading this, great insight! […]

  64. Kay on November 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Brilliant article! Great insight into a complex business!

  65. mel on November 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    awesome post j! soooooo glad you shared this, it is a mystery to some people. when we tell them it feels like we have done a marathon after a wedding, they give us the blank stare….
    shot for post!

  66. David Ferguson | Brisbane on November 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Love your post. I must admit the good far outweighs the bad (which was well covered but compared with “normal” jobs, nothing). Love what I do and look forward to many more years doing it.

  67. Geoff Goldswain on November 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Hey Jacs

    So often in my career I have considered writing something very similar to this – just havent maybe got my arse in gear or fearful that I might be perceived as self opinionated ( not saying you are – begging your pardon )

    I just feel that I have to compliment you for summing it all up – and communicating it so well – maybe you should have been a copywriter cos you are very good.

    Thanks on behalf of all proper wedding photographers for sharing these insights on our behalf – i would actually love to meet you – you strike me as a rather amazing lady!


  68. iaan on November 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Great post Jacki! Well written, awesome pics and great truth 😉

  69. Sarah Wood on November 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    And that’s it!! Spot on… Thank you

  70. Kobus Schoeman on November 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Thanx for sharing this… I am going to post this on my Facebook Page and ask my fans to come and read this… I absolutely agree with you. Wedding Photography definitely has more UPs than DOWNs.
    I am jealous of you for the places you are going to. At least this December I have a Lesotho and Cathedral Peak wedding. Nice to get some different venues on the portfolio.

    Good luck with your endeavours

    Kobus Schoeman
    MegaPix Productions

  71. Marc Dryden Schofield on November 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm


  72. Alana Meyer on November 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Totally brilliant and well said. What a great post!

  73. Maré Rootman on November 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    amazing, so so true

  74. Jacqui on November 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Great post, I’m so glad you said you spend 60 hours on a wedding, whenever I say the same thing to anyone they look at me as if I’m mad !!

  75. Dana Goodson on November 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Great article! Your work is beautiful! You’ve got a new blog follower here. :o)

  76. Dylan on November 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I think you nailed it, it has its redeeming qualities but its not an easy job!

  77. andy stenz on November 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    wow. nailed it. i love this post and i love my job – even with all the stuff you so eloquently hit on the head.

  78. Ellie Gibbons on December 1, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Wow lady, you nailed that post!! I can tell every word of what you said came from your heart. Thankyou for sharing x

  79. Kat on December 1, 2011 at 2:11 am

    So incredibly well written and absolutely true – along with beautiful photos. Awesome post. Count me as your newest follower. 😉

  80. mark engelbrecht on December 1, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Very true….you have hit the nail on the head with this one!

  81. Carolyn Roberts on December 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

    What an amazingly insightful article! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  82. Kat Forsyth on December 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Dead on. I already told you you rock, but just in case…YOU ROCK! 🙂

  83. Charl Smith on December 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Well said, well done 🙂

  84. Keri on December 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Fantastic article, Jacki! You are an inspirational person! Love, love your work!

  85. Life with Kaishon on December 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Wow. This was so good. Thank you for sharing. Your images are fantastic!

  86. Monica Salazar on December 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Very well said and everything on point.

  87. Christine Meintjes on December 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    One of the best posts I’ve ever read! Well done Jax! We love you!

  88. Greg Lumley on December 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Jacki, this is so brilliantly written, you have broken it down so well!

    Well done!

  89. Dorelies on December 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Awesome and sooooooo true!

  90. Rensche Mari on December 1, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Great stuff Jacki, this is what I’m talking about – everything you said is sooo sooo true. It is extremely hard work to be a wedding photographer, and for all of those that give wedding photographers the ‘look’ I have seen some fashion photographers shoot weddings and they did not succeed at all.

  91. Anushe Low on December 2, 2011 at 2:07 am

    What a brilliant post! I’m fairly new to this game, but I 1 million percent agree with every single point you’ve made. And add a toddler into that mix 😉 xx

  92. Marianne Taylor on December 2, 2011 at 2:22 am

    You speak the truth. This makes me feel proud to be a wedding photographer.

  93. Belinda Muller on December 2, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Excellent article and relate on so many levels!

  94. joline scheepers on December 2, 2011 at 9:20 am

    awesomely accurate!!! Makes me appreciate and ADMIRE myself a little more!!!

  95. Tasha Seccombe on December 2, 2011 at 10:24 am

    “A wedding photographer needs to be more than just a photographer these days. Now you need to be a professional retoucher (all that editing), a graphic designer (all that album designing), a writer (all that blog posting), a social media wizz (all that facebooking and tweeting), and a Business person (all that admin, marketing, accounts, branding and tax)!”

    This is so totally true!!! A something you don’t often get appreciation for!

    So well written and so exactly how it is 🙂 Thanks!

  96. shanna on December 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

    jacki … LOVED LOVED LOVED that post ..just fabulous. i am in durban next week for a wedding shoot. let me know if you wanna meet up. always cool to meet new people in the industry. my bother owns the corner cafe in glenwood . . you may know it if you live in Durbs. i hang out there often, when in Durbs. give me a shout and pop by ! shanna xxx

  97. John Carson on December 2, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Awesome article and so well written. Your photography is amazing.

  98. […] This morning I came across a fantastic blog piece by Jacqui Bruniquel about what it’s really like being a wedding photographer. […]

  99. Eddette Steynberg on December 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Wow! The comments says it all: well written and spot on!

  100. Christina Holt - Wedding Concepts on December 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Such great read and if I could replace with word photography with “wedding coordination” – I’d say I feel exactly the same 🙂
    Hope to work with you at a Wedding Concepts Durban wedding in future.

  101. Yolande De Vries on December 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    So true and thank you for open and kind spirit you have you have conveyed this in. xx

  102. Jim O'Keefe on December 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Right On!

    I love what I do and agree on every point.

    We are sometimes treated like Rodney Dangerfield though; “get no respect”!
    At a recent business to business expo, I had a woman compliment my architecture prints then after noticing some bridal photos say to me that “Oh, you do weddings. I’m looking for a Professional Architecture Photographer!” I asked her, “What do you think is more challenging? Photographing a building (a patient stationary object) or a bridal party with 8 groomsmen, 8 bridesmaids, 1 junior bridesmaid, 2 (pre-school) flowergirls and a cranky ringbearer”? She moved-on looking for that “expert” architectural photographer! Duh!

  103. Al Cummings on December 4, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I’m the father of a professsional wedding photographer who made it fine in the corporate world, but wanted the independence of working for herself. It’s tough and plenty challenging. The rewards are mighty. She’s passionate about her work and it’s reflected in the quality. Everything in the article is absolutely true. It’s not a profession for the weak at heart, or for those who don’t put satisfying their cleints at the top of the list. I’m really proud of my daughter and her husband who are a husband and wife weding photograpy team. He is a professional retoucher which means they sit side by side during those 10 days of editing, retouching, designing, marketing, planing for the next event, and the myriad other things it takes to make it in the business. Check them out at picture the love .com.

  104. Monatslinks #5 | jastphoto on December 5, 2011 at 11:34 am

    […] ein Blogpost mit dem Titel “What it’s really like being a wedding photographer. The Good the Bad and the Ugly!!!” (ungefähr “Wie es wirklich ist ein Hochzeitsfotograf zu sein. Das Gute, das Schlechte […]

  105. John Heil on December 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Great post! You’ve successfully expressed what we all feel on so many points. Well said! 🙂

  106. ajira on December 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    You’re so right! Definitely up and down, pros and cons… not all sunshine and rainbows like some folks seem to think. LOL!

  107. John Vizcarrondo on December 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm


    Thank you for your nice article on Jacki Bruni Que. It will help me.


  108. Blog | Bodhi Vision Photography on December 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    […] What it’s really like being a wedding photographer. The Good the Bad and the Ugly!!! – Great article by Durban based photographer, Jacki Bruniquel. Check it out. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. « Wedding | Premila & Lerosh […]

  109. Pete Mann on December 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Great post, made me lol, so similar to what I do…videography. Have yet to do the vitamin thing though…

  110. Junior Marsters on December 8, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Nothing but the truth, awesome article.

  111. Andy Brown on December 8, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to put this all together, very nice read!

  112. Who is Weston on December 9, 2011 at 12:47 am

    What an amazing outlook on who/what a wedding photographer really is. You totally spoke the true! Thank you for your post. 🙂

  113. Laura on December 9, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I was really LOL, so true that wedding photography is not as easy as people think, but it s so rewarding when you find the right clients and I also feel very blessed to photograph my clients weddings and be creative everyday. Well done, great post!!

  114. mysianne on December 9, 2011 at 1:54 am

    amazing, amazing, amazing. i’m going to share this. and shoot even more vigorously and edit even harder.

    love your words and your work very much!


  115. Rino Engdal on December 9, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Solgar is a good brand. 🙂 How many pills in total do you take each day?

  116. Lindy Photography on December 9, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Soooo true!
    Wonderful to see my life in print and I hope that it helps to dispel some of the over glorified opinions that we charge too much for what we do 🙂

  117. Sarah Kate on December 9, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Thank you x

  118. Jade on December 9, 2011 at 8:20 am


  119. Nick Lance on December 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Absolutely true! I hope more people read this to understand what it is to be a Wedding Photographer 🙂

  120. Warren Williams on December 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

    So very true, and love the imagery you’ve shared.

  121. Renee Moore on December 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

    So true. Thanks for a great read 🙂

  122. Jimmy on December 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    So true! Good points about all the “hats” a wedding photographer has to wear.

  123. Melody Gillikin on December 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    BRAVO! Well said!!!

  124. Anne Marie Carson on December 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    So wonderfully written, and from a very personally felt standpoint. I’m sure that most wedding professionals would be able to relate to a lot of this. Lovely images that you’ve paired with the ups and downs, so glad you ended with the positives. I know that is what keeps me persuing wedding photography… =)

  125. Angie on December 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks for writing this!!

  126. Drew Noel on December 10, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Love it. Pretty awesome and much more telling than most. It’s true – people think I’m at home having fun all week, instead I’m teary eyed from staring at a computer screen for 10 hours. haha

    Thanks for showing our stuff!

  127. Di Watson/Dianne Watson Photography on December 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

    What a great read..and Im reading it between editing two sets of portraits I took today.
    So true and well written..after 20 yrs running my own business, you put everything into words for me!
    keep up the great work

  128. josh Rosales on December 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

    excellent! very sourcefull.

  129. Kelly on December 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    This is fantastic! I love it!

  130. Anne Skidmore on December 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Dang, way to nail it all in a nutshell!
    Thank you for taking the time to write this so extensively with your beautiful imagery- it’s good to now know it’s not just me working 6 days a week, etc!

  131. claire nicola on December 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Jacqui, I just had the best laugh while reading this post! All of a sudden if feel free from the guilt of wanting to cause bodily harm to the family member who won’t play along in the family shoot, or those delightful, self-assigned, guest-assistants who come up to you at regular intervals with “an amazing idea for a shot you must try!” (which is always ridiculous, impractical and not at all your style), and heaven help us, the drunk guy who is hitting on you / insisting on taking your picture. Sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in some ridiculous alternate universe at weddings, but from now on, I’ll just laugh off all these crazy moments…content in the knowledge that there are other wedding photographers all over the country fighting off sexual harrassment and any of the other annoyances that I’m going through too – thanks for the post, it made my day:)

  132. Robert & Elisabeth McKay on December 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Jacqui,
    Reading this blog post, we felt like we identified with it so much that we could have written it ourselves. Thanks for not only venting for us but reminding us what we love about our job. As the year comes to an end and we feel the burnout really setting in, your positive comments already have us looking forward to next years weddings.
    BTW, we love your work! : )
    Bob & Liz McKay

  133. […] Bruniquel ist ein professioneller Fotograf aus Durban, Süd Afrika und plaudert in seinem Artikel What it’s really like being a wedding photographer. The Good the Bad and the Ugly!!! aus dem […]

  134. […] What It’s Really Like Being A Wedding Photographer – Good food for thought for people who are thinking about moving into weddings (and a good […]

  135. Renee Moore on December 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    So so true. Thank you for a great read 🙂

  136. Alish on December 25, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Loved this post, thank you!! Tells it like it is and actually is a bit scary lol. But refreshing!! I look forward to your next photographer to photographer post, ha!! Merry Christmas.

  137. Daniel Cowee on December 26, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  138. Evin Photography on January 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    AMEN!! Thank you for writing!! 🙂

  139. Helen Murphy on January 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

    What a refreshing article on your craft! The everyday person truly has no understanding of what it takes to do what you do.

  140. Robert Redmond on January 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Loved this honest no holes barred article so so true and well written from a Pro there is nothing more to explain you did it all and today this is so true.

  141. wedding4africa on September 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

    As a wedding photographer in Johannesburg, South Africa I must commend this and say this is a lovely high-quality post. Thank-you for sharing.

  142. David Wahlman on January 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you for the article, it was very helpful and insightful as I’m entering my second year of trying get a business started. Loved the photos too. Thanks

  143. adeline van eck on January 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I truly aspire to be like you some day. Honestly. I have been soo inspired by your work and your attitude and work ethic (and I have never even met you in person). I just finished studying 3 years graphic design and art direction (specialized in art direction) at AAA school of advertising in Cape Town. I am about to embark on my wedding photography journey (I am going to be assisting an amazing photographer soon). I know it is going to take me a long time to craft and execute work on your level, but I will never stop until I get there ;0) It is soo inspiring, having someone like you to look up to.

  144. Anneli Marinovich on January 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Such wise words Jacx! And I hope you know how much your work & the way you push the limits, have always inspired me. Great post! X

  145. Simon dewey on July 9, 2013 at 8:10 am

    What a comprehensive answer. Great article

  146. Charlotte on July 9, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Well written. Feeling inspired and determined!

  147. Sian Lewis on July 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Absolutely spot on (especially the part about getting hit on all the time – I’m going to start wearing a wedding ring in the hope it might help)
    I love your approach to how you’ve written this, brilliantly done.

  148. Patrick on January 27, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks for posting this Jacki – all rings very true in my experience. I hope you are keeping at it – you are obviously very talented at this game.

  149. Roger Harris on June 11, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Fantastic tips with mind-blowing photos. I will love to get more tips like this from you…
    Keep up the good work.

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