I have shot one wedding. Friends asked me, I set expectations low, they knew their budget was low, everything went smoothly, they were happy, and that was the end of my wedding photography career.
There are a few reasons why I stuck with headshot photography and specialized in it, making it my full-time job.
One objective reason, and the reason for the name of this article, is the number of files I created in my first and last wedding: thousands of images to cull! Making selections is difficult to do with or without the client’s input. There are just so many images, so many people, so many stages of the day, pictures of the dress, pictures of the rings, pictures of the shoes, pictures of the program, pictures of the room, pictures of the food, pictures of the head table, etc. All that affects the workflow, and takes a lot of time after the wedding day.
In my headshot business, I am able to spend an hour or two with each individual client, and I take between 75 and 200 images, of the same kind of image, a headshot. We review on site since I am tethering with TetherTools and Capture One. The client makes selections at the end of the session, between 3 and 10 images, on average.
I work with two retouchers, so I send the files off to one of them and get them back retouched when they’re ready. I tweak them (2-5 minutes) and send them off. Client pushback or dissatisfaction is rare, since they chose the images, and they look even better than when they saw them straight out of camera.
That’s why a headshot business, particularly an in-studio headshot business is such a beautiful thing. It’s simple; each shoot is a discrete, relatively short time period with a low number of final images.
And I think headshot photographers and wedding photographers with similar skill levels in their specialties can make comparable sales numbers if they are full-time.
If you’re thinking about making photography a full-time thing, there’s a different, better genre for many photographers than wedding photography: take a look at headshot photography as a possible avenue.
I’ve done it, and it’s the best photography genre for me.
Learn more about headshot photography here.