The pressure is on for wedding photographers — it’s their job to capture all of the best moments during what is potentially the biggest day in a couple’s life. And, in a typical wedding season, one photographer could shoot as many as 50 weddings per year!
Just because you’re keeping (extremely) busy doesn’t mean you need to burn the candle at both ends. We’ve compiled a few tips for self-care during a hectic wedding season:
Advocate for your meal (and bring snacks anyway!).
You’re working 8-12 hours without a real break – it’s important that you refuel! If you haven’t already, put a stipulation in your contract that you’re required to have a meal set aside. Even if food is promised, bring something that can hold up (like a peanut butter & jelly sandwich), healthy snacks, and two bottles of water. Sometimes, you’re the absolute last person to be served and nothing good can become of you getting “hangry.”
Another trick: tuck some silverware into your bag, just in case the only available silverware is sitting on the tables for the guests!
Don’t hurt yourself.
If you’re carrying around two cameras plus flashes plus other equipment, you’re bound to fall victim to back pain. It doesn’t have to be that way! Try a harness system, or a waist belt system – really anything that will distribute the weight and get it off your neck & shoulders.
It’s also important to take a few moments to stretch periodically throughout the day. If nothing is happening, take advantage of the opportunity to sit down and regroup. Even getting your camera weight off your body for a few minutes can alleviate any future pain.
Watch the weather.
Summertime is the most popular season to get married and, depending on what area of the country you’re in, it can also be debilitatingly hot. If it’s going to be a scorcher, be prepared! I use a face mist to cool down on hot days. It’s also helpful to keep a small sweat rag – or maybe even a change of clothes! – with you.
And, don’t forget your lens cloth! If, for example, you’re in an air-conditioned church and you go outside, your lens may fog up on a humid day. You’ll want to quickly clean it so you don’t miss that classic shot of the bride and groom leaving the church!
Do your homework.
Self-care also includes your mental well-being, and there are a few things you can do for a less stress shoot. On the night before, double check the start time and location. (You’re going to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not Philadelphia, Tennessee, right?) Is there easy parking available? What’s the worst case scenario in terms of traffic? Plan to arrive early!
When you’re there, bring duplicates of your camera cards, shot lists, et cetera. Better for everyone to be more prepared than not!
Sleep soundly afterward.
Ever have that nightmare that all of your equipment got stolen? Or the one where you lost all of your shots from a recent wedding? Same. Instead of losing sleep, immediately back up your files to your main computer and at least one other external drive. In fact, don’t even erase the memory cards until you’ve finished your final edits.
Also, get equipment and liability insurance! You’ll sleep soundly knowing your expensive equipment can be easily replaced in case of theft or emergency. After all that, take a bubble bath, drink some wine, pet your dog, binge-watch your newest Netflix obsession, or do whatever helps you unwind!
Do you have any tips for self-care during a busy season? Let us know in the comments!