Confessions of a Wedding Photographer - Told by GIFS

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One of my favorite pastimes is laughing at memes. They embody the very irony of everyday life and express what cannot be put into words. I stumbled across this page on tumblr with some amazing memes about the struggles and triumphs of having a career in the wedding industry. Being a wedding photographer comes with many struggles that cannot be expressed because of the emotion of your line of work. Everyone assumes you have the most glamorous job on the planet.

So if you’re looking to hire a wedding photographer or are one yourself, here are a few honest truths that I find humorous.


WHEN A CLIENT TELLS YOU THAT YOU ARE THEIR DREAM WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER AND BOOKS YOU ON THE SPOT WITHOUT LOOKING INTO ANY OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS OR ASKING ABOUT PRICE NEGOTIATIONS.

Yes, this has happened many times and it feels amazing to be so trusted! I honestly wish all couples would feel this way but I know it’s a rare phenomenon. One can only hope right?

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WHEN SOMEONE ASKS FOR A DISCOUNT FOR A SATURDAY WEDDING DURING LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Saturdays are like gold in the wedding industry. Everybody wants them and you only have so many. Imagine if you asked for a discount on the latest iPhone the day it released.

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WHEN THIS DOLPHIN IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL AT WEDDINGS. “TAKE OUT ALL THE IPADS.

Seriously! Almost every wedding I have photographed, guests totally ruin the photos with their phones and tablets. It’s so beautiful to see everyone fully present and not with a device in their face. Yes this even means you too “MOM.”

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WHEN THE RECEPTION VENUE TELLS YOU THAT YOU NEED TO WAIT TO EAT ONCE EVERYONE HAS GONE THROUGH THE LINE.

…so you can spend the next 45 minutes making people mad taking pictures of them eating and inevitably getting one minute to sit eat before the next event starts. So much logic.

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WHEN I ASK THE COUPLE TO KISS FOR A PHOTO AND THEY’RE LIKE

HAHA! Remember, don’t pucker when you kiss. It looks like you’re sucking down an extra thick milkshake. Rather go in gently and just rest your lips together.

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WHEN I‘M USING THE RESTROOM AND HEAR THE DJ ANNOUNCE, “AT THIS TIME…”

Seriously, this is me every wedding! As soon as it seems all quiet, the DJ without warning says, “at this time the father would like to say a few words.”

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WHEN I ATTEND A WEDDING AS A GUEST AND WATCH THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Trust me, it happens to all of us. I guess when you’ve been to over a hundred weddings, you tend to notice things.

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WHEN I NEED TO GET SOMETHING FROM MY BAG DURING PORTRAITS

Every wedding is race against time since you only have one shot and there are a million things happening all at once. It’s okay to go into panic mode once in a while, especially when your camera battery dies and your bag is across the venue.

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WEEKDAY MOOD

Some days I’ll be sitting in my office and nothing seems to be working. The internet is slow, adobe lightroom keeps crashing, you cant seems to remove that double chin, and your second shooter just informed you they can’t make it to the wedding this weekend.

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WHEN THE BRIDE INSISTS ON A “NATUREY”, FIELD/FOREST LOCATION BUT ALSO DOESN’T WANT TO “RISK GETTING THE DRESS DIRTY”

To my winery brides…THE DRESS WILL GET DIRTY. I REPEAT THE DRESS WILL GET DIRTY. And bring flats…

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WHEN THE MOB “HELPFULLY” LETS ME KNOW THAT SHE’S GATHERING UP 30 PEOPLE FOR A BUNCH OF GROUP SHOTS THAT WERE NOT ON THE LIST

Most people do not realize we only have one hour after the ceremony to fit in family formals, bridal party formals, bride/groom formals and romantics plus time to bustle the bride and make sure she goes pee before the grand entrance….

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“I DON’T WANT TO TELL YOU HOW TO DO YOUR JOB, BUT..”

I mostly chose this meme because I love Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development. This is me when I’m backlighting the subjects so they wont get a face full of sun and uncle Steve tells me it won’t look good because they aren’t coming out good on his phone.

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WHEN THE COUPLE SAYS THAT THE HUGE LIST OF FAMILY FORMALS “WILL ONLY TAKE, LIKE, A COUPLE MINUTES”

Never goes as planned and someone will end up saying, “listen to the f*cking photographer!”

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WHEN AN INQUIRY ASKS IF I CAN “MATCH” SOME CHEAP PHOTOGRAPHER’S PRICE

When I take on a wedding there are many factors that determine what I charge. The business cost to shoot a wedding starts around $1200, with compensating a second shooter, editor, gear, and compensating myself. My rates reflect the experience I provide. If the caterer, dress designer, or venue won’t budge, why should I?

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WHEN THE DJ IS TAKING PHOTOS FOR HIS “PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO”

This meme is one of my favorites. And the DJ usually has a bomb camera too!

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WHEN THE COORDINATOR COMES OVER TO TALK TO THE COUPLE DURING THE TEN MINUTES I’VE BEEN ALLOTTED FOR B&G PORTRAITS

Can you please hurry it up, the sun is setting, the bride’s curls are giving out, and the groom is almost drunk

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ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF ME SETTING UP FOR THE FIRST DANCE

So many things can happen here! You can plan for the perfect entrance and someone can just stand right in your way and ruin every shot you planned!. Sometimes the bride and groom will literally dance right next to the DJ booth instead of moving to the middle of the room and there is nothing you can do about it. Complete chaos I tell you!

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GETTING THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO LOOK AT THE SAME DIRECTION IN A GROUP SHOT…

One of the most chaotic parts of the day. Everybody wants to hug and kiss the newlyweds, the caterer arrives with teriyaki chicken skewers, and the flower girl is having a meltdown. This is also my favorite part of the day because I get to show the family how efficiently I work and how I can handle a crowd. Um, can anyone say “referrals?”

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In all, I love my career as a wedding photographer because I’m good at it and I love seeing my couples happy. I’ve made it passed the 5 year mark and beat the odds. Most photographers do not make it passed 5 years and end up selling all their gear and get into real estate. Not this guy, I’m in it to win it.

This post is to create awareness about the many struggles of being in the wedding industry. We are not invincible or perfect. We are just like any other business with protocols, bills, and policies. We are everyday people just like you who took a chance on a career to create the most memorable day of your life.

If you’re stressed on your wedding day, imagine every vendor who is providing a service and doing everything in their power to avoid a yelp review disaster. Every wedding is different and ANYTHING can happen.

If you’re planning a wedding or work in the industry…

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Check out some of my full wedding galleries here!

Nicholas Gonzalez