So which job is listed at the #10 spot on the "Most Overpaid" job list over at MarketWatch.com? Drum roll please, Wedding photographers???!!! Man, and we were off to such a good start yesterday.
Here is the text from that part of the list:
"10) Wedding photographers - Photographers earn a national average of $1,900 for a wedding, though many charge $2,500 to $5,000 for a one-day shoot, client meeting and processing time that runs up to 20 hours or more, and the cost of materials. The overpaid ones are the many who admit they only do weddings for the income, while quietly complaining about the hassle of dealing with hysterical brides and drunken reception guests. They mope through the job with the attitude: "I'm just doing this for the money until Time or National Geographic calls." Much of their work is mediocre as a result. How often have you really been wowed flipping the pages of a wedding album handed you by recent newlyweds? Photographers who long for the day they can say "I don't do weddings" should leave the work to the dedicated ones who do."
OK, OK you say I'm insulted! But, you know what, I agree with them. I know what you are thinking - Ziser must be crazy to say that! So is everybody pretty fired up right now reading this "hogwash?" I hope so, but MarketWatch.com are "spot on" with their assessment - read it again. They state that the "overpaid" ones are the complainers and see wedding photography as a hassle in dealing with bridal parties, brides, and reception guests. They are only in it for the money. And you know what, if that's the case, then they are overpaid.
Folks, one of the most crystalline thoughts I've had in this profession was the result of a remark a student of mine made several years ago during a week-long wedding class I was teaching to 75 photographers from around the world. This question was raised by a class member, "Why were weddings such big events for people of his faith?" (He came from Israel to participate in my class.) His answer is as clear to me today as it was ten years ago - he said, "In the over 5000 year history of people of my faith, we endured by living from one joyous event to the next!"
That's when it became clear to me that the role of wedding photographers was more than just about shooting a weekend wedding. It was truly about capturing the most joyous events in peoples lives. Every photographer working in this profession MUST see and feel that "joyous event" as we look through our viewfinders. Only then will they be able to capture all the heartfelt images our clients deserve. It is a honor for us to be asked to participate - with our skills and talents - in such an important part of our clients' lives. I don't think MarketWatch.com had all of us in mind but maybe it's time for the others to get another job - or a better attitude.