When I was choosing my career path, I always found it useful reading blogs and websites that had articles talking about what a day is like in the life of a “blank.  It was an extremely useful way of trying to figure out exactly what I would enjoy doing all day, everyday.

So, I thought I would write “A Day in the Life of a Wedding Photographer  to give you guys an idea of what a typical day of wedding photography is like. I broke it into a normal weekday (taking care of office and administrative issues) and a weekend (going out for a wedding shoot).

We love our jobs, but wedding photography is a lot of difficult work. Hopefully, this article will serve to help anyone considering a career in this field better understand what it is like being a wedding photography. Enjoy!

Typical Weekday

8:00AM – 9:00AM: Start work by getting online and checking my emails. Respond to sales inquiries, client requests and vendors requests.

9:00AM – 12:00PM: Post produce images from last Friday’s engagement session.

12:00PM – 12:15PM: Grab a quick lunch in the office.

12:15PM – 1:15PM: Call and follow up on prospective clients.

1:15PM – 2:45PM: Complete the blog entry for the engagement session which I just finished post producing. Post the blog entry and send out emails to the client.

2:45PM – 3:00PM: Post social media notices on our Facebook/Twitter pages regarding any updates on the blog so everyone can check out our pictures.

3:00PM – 3:30PM: Handle special request from one of our wedding coordinators. She wants an image DVD showing her last venue that we shot.

3:30PM – 4:30PM: Complete about 1 hour of web work including: SEO checking on our site analytics and advertising to improve website traffic, as well as fixing any issues that our website might be having.

4:30PM – 6:30PM: Work on post production from last Saturday’s wedding (2 hours a day for about one week to complete the post production on an entire wedding).

6:30PM – 7:30PM: Answer sales phone calls and follow up on clients and sales inquiries as they are getting home from work.

7:30PM – 8:00PM: Start uploading any completed wedding and engagement events to our online image hosting and proofing website.

8:00PM – 9:00PM: Work on administrative tasks such as accounting, taxes, payroll, etc.

9:00PM – 12:00PM: Workout (if I still have enough energy), spend some time with the family, and hit the hay.

Typical Weekend (Wedding Shoot)

Prior Night: Charge all necessary equipment

8:00AM – 9:00AM: Prepare equipment by cleaning and packing up all needed lenses, camera bodies, lighting, stands and tri-pods, etc.

9:00AM – 10:00AM: Meet with second shooter and drive out to wedding prep location. If we are not shooting out of state, most of our in state wedding locations take around 60 – 90 minutes to drive to.

10:00AM – 12:00PM: Lead photographer shoots bride and bridesmaid preparation while second shooter will cover the groom and groomsmen.

12:00PM – 12:30PM: Second photographer will lead groom out to a pre-set location for the “first look . Then the lead photographer will bring out the bride and shoot the bride and groom during their “first look  moment.

12:30PM – 1:15PM: Try to grab a quick bite of something on the run. Drive out to bridal party and couples shoot location. However, we hit traffic so we are running behind schedule.

1:15PM – 2:45PM: Arrive on location and quickly begin the bridal party shoot. Since we are running late, we have to reduce our shoot time by 60 minutes and complete both the bridal party and couples shoot in 90 minutes.

2:45PM – 3:15PM: Drive back to ceremony site.

3:15PM – 3:45PM: Quickly shoot the family formals prior to the ceremony (originally we planned for one hour, however, we are still behind schedule so we only have 30 minutes).

3:45PM – 4:00PM: Set up in our positions for the ceremony and shoot candids while we are waiting for the procession to begin.

4:00PM – 5:00PM: Shoot the ceremony from all angles capturing key reaction shots (i.e. crying, smiling, etc) from family members and close friends of the bride and groom.

5:00PM – 5:30PM: Lead photographer shoots the couple as they greet and hug each of their guests while the second shooter will head to the venue to capture venue shots while the room is still empty.

5:30PM – 6:00PM: Lead photographer and second shooter meet back up to shoot candids during cocktail hour, as well as to shoot bride and groom formals with their guests.

6:00PM – 7:00PM: Guests are seated and dinner is served. Photographers will take a 20 minute break to grab a quick bite to eat while the guests are eating (since nobody likes pictures of themselves eating anyway).

7:00PM – 8:00PM: Toasts begin, lead photographer covers the person giving the toast, while the second photographer would cover the reaction shots of the bride and groom as well as the guests.

8:00PM – 9:00PM: Cake cutting and first dances. Again, lead photographer takes main position covering the primary subjects while secondary photographer shoots reaction shots of the bridal party and guests.

9:00PM – 11:00PM: Open dancing. Both photographers on the dance floor covering all the dancing. Lead photographer capturing the bride and groom dancing with their guests while the second shooter covers just guests.

11:00PM – 11:15PM: Setup and shoot one last large group formal with everyone on the dance floor.

11:15 – 11:45PM: Pack up all of our gear (while hoping nothing was lost or stolen).

11:45PM – 12:00AM: Say goodbye to our bride and groom (collect final portion of payment if needed) and take our stuff out to our car.

12:00AM – 1:00AM: Drive home. Second shoot begins backing up the images in the car on our laptop.

1:00AM – 2:30AM: Arrive at home, put equipment away, and continue backing up all images to ensure that we have duplicates of every image shot at the event.

2:30AM: Collapse in bed.

Article written by:
Pye Jirsa
Lead Photographer | Partner
Lin and Jirsa Wedding Photography