Photobug Community Shares: Personal Mistakes

There’s no doubt that wedding photography is a unique profession. One full of creativity, autonomy, and fulfilling experiences. But one of the not so favorable aspects of the job is how it can sometimes be solitary and isolating. Which is why we find it important to never neglect the “community” part of Photobug. In this brand new post series, our goal is to start conversations. We’ll ask a question–specific to the lives of wedding photographers–where you can then share your personal experiences anonymously.

We want you to reveal it all–the highs and lows, challenges, funny moments, and the important lessons you’ve learned in between. Photobug Community Shares will be a space where you can find tips and advice on how to be a better business owner and artist. Our hope is that these anonymous Q&As will help make this uniquely challenging, yet deeply rewarding, profession just a little easier. 

The first question asked in our Facebook group was, “What is a memorable mistake you’ve made in your career and what did it teach you?” Let’s face it, there’s a lot of pressure to be perfect as a wedding photographer. You’re the one snapping priceless photos at an event often considered ‘the best day’ of someone’s life. But never forget that mistakes are a part of being human. And each time something does go wrong, it presents an opportunity to learn–whether we like it or not.  

Below are the memorable mistakes and lessons five anonymous wedding photographers experienced within their career. May we learn from their errors!

“I Took On A Wedding That Didn’t Fit My Shooting Style”

The Mistake: “An old friend of mine was getting married and she really wanted me to shoot her wedding. My style is very moody and earthy, whereas her wedding was going to be super vibrant and cheery. This wedding was going to have lots and lots of color–I’m talking about a rainbow-inspired wedding.

While there were some parts of the day where our styles converged–like during the couple portraits–the rest of the day I didn’t feel like I was able to serve her properly. To keep up the hyper energy, I was posing and prompting outside of my comfort zone. I also had the hardest time editing. I was trying to stay true to my style while also making sure she had the vibrancy she planned for. In the end, I delivered two entirely different galleries.” 

The Lesson: “What I learned is that sometimes even if our personalities are a great fit, someone’s vision for their day may not fit your photography style. And it’s okay to say no!” 

“I Lost All of The Ceremony Photos” 

The Mistake:I was on my way to a destination wedding in France when I lost all of the ceremony photos from the wedding I had just shot. I still had the photos from the rest of the wedding, but sadly lost the most important ones. I ended up issuing a 100% refund to the couple.”

The Lesson: “I never, ever travel before uploading and backing up my photos.” 

“I Asked A Potentially Offensive Question”

The Mistake:While shooting a wedding, I asked the bride’s best friend if she was the mother of the bride.”

The Lesson: “Now, I try not to make any assumptions about guests and relatives. Instead I ask, ‘Who are you to the bride or groom?’”

“I Accidentally Formatted a Full SD Card” 

The Mistake: “I accidentally formatted the SD card I had just used for a beautiful beach elopement. I was so excited to share the photos with my wife, and I accidentally hit the format button instead of activating my camera’s wifi function (the buttons are right next to each other which is a big design flaw!)”

The Lesson: “The photos ended up being okay. I was able to recover all the photos and deliver the gallery without a problem. But I am much more careful now when activating the wifi on my camera. I relax and chill every time I need to activate the wifi in order to send sneak peeks.”

bride kisses flower girl

photo by Morden

“I Forgot To Take an Important Portrait”

The Mistake: “It was one of our first weddings, and we were still learning and defining our style. But sadly, we didn’t get a single photo of the bride with her mom together during the wedding day. 

The bride and her mother had been arguing all morning, so there wasn’t ever a natural happy moment to capture. The day, of course, flew by and weeks later after delivering the photos, the bride was distraught that she didn’t have a single photo with just her and her mom. Her mom also wrote to us and expressed her disappointment, though she understood that the arguing probably hadn’t helped the situation.”

The Lesson: “This experience taught us to prioritize photos with family, even when the circumstances aren’t ideal. From then on, every wedding we get a photo of each individual parent with the bride and/or groom no matter what. Even if it feels forced or fake, we know that those are the photos that parents are going to frame and that couples cherish later when their parents are no longer around. This is a non-negotiable for us now.”

What should be our next Photobug Community Shares question? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more ways to improve your business, check out our client experience tips and tricks

wedding photographer mistakes

photo by Dani Purington

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