Top 5 issues faced by wedding photographers and how to solve them

By Scott Wyden Kivowitz

If you’re a wedding photographer, you know that every wedding is different. But there are some common issues that you might come across. For example, you might have a bride who is very specific about what she wants. Or you might have a groom who is not very interested in the photos. You might also have a bridal party that is not cooperative. But don’t worry, there are ways to deal with these issues!

Working long hours

Weddings are often quite long. They can often be 8-12 hours between the getting ready photos and the end of the party. This does not even include the travel time to get to venues.

Additionally, with so many things to do on the wedding day, it can be challenging to manage your time.

Here are some tips for handling time on wedding days.

  • Charge your batteries and format your memory cards ahead of time so you are not thinking about it the day of. Also, the last thing you need is for your batteries to run out of power and you have to run around trying to charge them in the middle of the job.
  • Try to create a timeline for the day and stick to it as much as possible. Mike Morby and his team work with their clients to efficiently manage time for over 70 weddings a year.
  • Have a team by your side, ready and able to help. This might be second shooters and assistants. Utilizing a platform like ShootWith.Me can help you find partners. A second shooter can help you cover both the ceremony and the reception. An assistant can pick up the slack if a bride takes extra time getting ready or if you need to help the bridal party with coordination. An assistant can also help backup your memory cards, change flash batteries or help in most other aspects of the day. It’s ok to hand off some responsibility and control, just as you would for editing. *wink wink* Don’t think you must do everything on the job. You also cannot be in two places at once. You only have so much time, so get help where you need it so you can stick to your timeline.
  • Talk to the couple about their wedding day goals. This will allow you to match your talents and abilities to their interests and ensure time management is at its peak. Speaking with your couples ahead of time can ensure that your timeline matches their timeline and nothing can get off track.

Remember that your mental and physical health is extremely important!

working long hours

Dealing with difficult clients and guests

One of the most significant issues faced by wedding photographers is dealing with difficult clients and even guests.

This can be a challenge, but there are a few things you can do to try and make the situation better. First, try to be understanding and flexible with your clients. They are likely under a lot of stress and may not be thinking clearly. Second, be clear about your boundaries and what you are and are not willing to do. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings. You are the photographer, not the wedding coordinator. Of course, as nice people, we want to be able to help our clients however we can. But there should still be limits.

Finally, try to stay calm and professional at all times, even if people are being difficult. This can be a tough situation to deal with, but if you keep these things in mind, you should be able to handle them.

pspetrini on Reddit had a lot to say about common issues faced by wedding photographer

  1. That one bridesmaid/groomsman who is drunk before the reception.
  2. Where the toasts drag on for far too long, or the weddings where the toasts are incredibly boring.
  3. The wedding coordinator who thinks serving the food is more important than the bride and groom portraits. “If my timeline says I have until 6:45 for bride/groom portraits, I’m taking until 6:45.”
  4. The coordinator that is suddenly missing when it’s time for the vendor meal.

In the same Reddit conversation, Sam Hurd shares that he often faces an issue where group transportation during the day is late, not the right size, not coming back to the correct addresses, or taking slow routes.

In the video below, you will see wedding photographer Ben Lau, talk about a recent experience where a client’s wedding planner took a standard wedding photography contract and mutilated it for her own needs.

Ben shares valuable lessons throughout the video, including the idea of not getting attached to prospects before they officially book.

Poor Weather Conditions

One of the top issues faced by wedding photographers is poor weather conditions.  While every photographer has to face weather during the commute to a wedding, this concern is especially difficult for those who photograph outdoor weddings.

One way to ensure you are comfortable photographing in rain or snow is to ensure you are using camera equipment rated for this type of weather. Many of the professional camera bodies and lenses are weather sealed for water and dust.

If it’s too dark, use a flash or strobe to ensure brighter photos. But again, make sure it’s weather sealed.

See if you can find a backup plan for rain or snow.  Maybe your venue has an indoor area that you can utilize for formal photos.

If you are in a location where the weather is hot, then consider other health factors like dehydration becoming ever so important. Make sure you have water with you, sunglasses for the harsh sun, and a hat or sunscreen to protect your skin. Maybe even a change of clothes just in case you sweat a lot and need to look presentable again.

Listen to episode 9 of Workflows, when Charmi Pena shares a story when a monsoon arrived during a wedding she was photographing.

poor weather conditions

Technical Difficulties

Technical difficulties are also one of the top issues faced by wedding photographers. And while they can be frustrating, there are ways to solve them.

One way to solve technical difficulties is to have a backup plan. For example, if your camera breaks down, have a backup camera ready to go. Or, if your computer crashes have a backup system in place.

Another way to solve technical difficulties is to troubleshoot before the wedding. This means testing your equipment and making sure everything is in working order. This will help you avoid any surprises on the big day.

Sync your date and time ahead of time, so if you have second shooters, you don’t have to deal with the technical mess of aligning your photos in the right timeline.

Finally, if you do encounter technical difficulties on the wedding day, try to stay calm and keep a positive attitude.

In fact, I consider the ability to handle whatever is thrown at you elegantly and smoothly part of being a professional photographer.

One thing you do not have to stress about as a wedding photographer

While you might have certain stressors as a wedding photographer, there is one thing that should not stress you. That is post-production.

This part of your photography workflow has many internal components to it.

But the two tedious post-production tasks that Imagen can help with are culling and editing. Spend less time at the computer worrying about delivering your photos to clients and more time focusing on what you love.

You are unique, and your editing style is unique. Imagen can learn your style and edit for you in seconds. Create your Personal AI Profile today and see for yourself.