It first might sound weird to ask someone else about whether you should or should not become a wedding photographer. It is your life. It is your career. How can anyone else make a decision for you?
But it’s also true that this question got asked very often, especially by young photographers, mostly university students who are trying to figure out what they should do between pursuing a career with a better sense of security in terms of money, and turning a hobby/passion into their job with an unknown future. Well, you get the debate.
As much as we want to help, we can’t answer this question for you. But we would like to share our story of how we started our wedding photography business.
Simply put, we were forced into it.
Like many entrepreneurs, we have the 2008 global economic crisis to thank for our transition into the small business world. Before that, Leon and I both earned our degrees in Journalism, and naturally had worked in news media for years. Photography was always just a passion, and sometimes a part of work. We would often imagine what life would be like if we were photographers, but never really thought there was a possibility of it becoming true.
But then the economic downturn hit us. I was out of job as the newspaper I worked for was shut down, and soon Leon was laid off as the newspaper he worked for moved their editing and printing departments to China to cut the labour cost.
We were lost, and had no idea where the next would be. The dream of becoming a wedding photographer surfaced again. But isn’t it more logical and realistic to find a new job in journalism? Passion is great, but it doesn’t necessarily bring home bread and butter. The fact that I was pregnant at the time made it even harder to make up our mind. As soon-to-be-parents, we knew raising a family needs more stability. But we also knew, even if we landed a new job in journalism, the risks we took would not be any less.
It took us one and a half years to really get started. To be a wedding photographer might be a passion, but to run a wedding photography business means a lot of work and there’s a lot for us to learn. We hope we’ll own a studio one day, where we can meet friends and clients, show them our work, or just have a chat. But for now, we are still working from home, meeting at coffee shops. Still, we can’t be happier with our life.
We are lucky to be able to do what we love. Every weekend we are on our way to photograph a wedding, we feel excited. There’s a new story for us to document. We enjoy our life more than ever, we are happy that we see each other almost 24/7, and we can spend a lot more quality time with Chloe and our parents, although we do wish we were away when we spend too much quality time with them 🙂
If there’s anything, we regret that we didn’t do it earlier. Now this is by no means a story that tells you to leave everything behind and pursue your passion. You need to understand who you are and what lifestyle you want first. In the next part, I will talk about what it is like to be a wedding photographer. Stay tuned!