The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Don`t do weddings…




…Though the money, I`m told, is very good.

On Saturday I managed to watch a few weddings at Meiji Shrine in Harajuku. The photographers worked very hard I noticed. That day (the 22nd of November) was an auspicious day to get married according to my wife and the ceremonies, though spectacular and dignified of course, were tightly scheduled one after the other like a conveyorbelt. The poor photographers, all of whom were sweating under the surprisingly hot sun, had to practically run after the elegant processions that criss-crossed the central courtyard, get their portraits (reportage style is all the rage now), sneak a couple of candids (ditto) and also set up the posed group and happy couple shots under the shade of the ceder trees, all before the next wedding came through 20 minutes later.

The money should be good for that much work.

Not for me though… …



7 responses

  1. Andy

    Why not ? If you had the time to watch them you could have taken the pics and made some money. Not what you want to do but sometimes you need to sell a bit of your soul to the devil to get to do what you want

    November 26, 2008 at 12:10 pm

  2. I interviewed for the job of ‘Wedding Photographer” a couple of years ago at one of the only real churches that does weddings (and looks like a church) in Nagoya.
    The interviewer, a second generation Korean (in Britain we might just say british by the first generation?) understood my desire to work and liked the shots I showed him, but turned me down because he thought that the happy couple and wedding party might not be at their most natural with a six foot something whiteboy flitting around taking photos at their wedding.
    And I’m sure he was right.
    So even if you wanted to …..

    November 26, 2008 at 12:27 pm

  3. I`m a fifth generation 6 foot (only) Irish whiteboy. So same probs perhaps. A friend in England sold the idea to me this summer talking about his own wedding photographer: a couple of gigs a month and i`ve made enough money to do whatever I want the rest of the time basically.
    Already had one call for a wedding order through the website but that was before i was digital. A lot of pressure though as i`m a perfectionist. I have seen a lot of bad wedding photographs and maybe i shouldn`t be because it appears people`s expectations aren`t terribly high sometimes but for that day, that day especially you`d want to do your very very best.

    November 26, 2008 at 3:09 pm

  4. Andy

    Well, to be fair I don’t know much about weddings and am not married………!
    I’ve had the (mis)fortune to attend a few weddings recently and it seems there are plenty of crap photographers making money from it and (more importantly) the couples don’t seem too fussed about the quality of the work. I was asked to shoot the evening at one wedding (as a favour) and got the evil eye from the official photographer who was only using a 300D, kit lens and no reflector……….I wouldn’t have paid for the work they produced and all you got for your £600 quid was a CD of pics. I know I could do a better job and offer a better product, I just don’t want to do that sort of work to make a living. I can earn money doing other things and continue to earn the odd bit from mags, exhibitions etc

    November 26, 2008 at 5:11 pm

  5. Andy

    Damon, you do take some great shots of your lads. What about kids photography rather than weddings ?

    November 26, 2008 at 5:12 pm

  6. Andy

    5th generation Irish ? I never knew. I’m 3rd generation, have no interest in it, never been to Ireland and can’t stand Guiness!

    November 26, 2008 at 5:14 pm

  7. I remeber you telling me about that wedding Andy 300D indeed. Here though the photographers have the full press photographer kit 2xEos1dcmark 3 bodies, wide lens on one white telephoto on the other. selling the life style, paparazzi dream, that the bride is some famous J-pop idol and the groom a leading industrialist/ A lister TV pundit.
    I want that kit.
    Mind you this was at Meiji shrine where it is likely the bride and gromm are exactly that (it being very expensive to get married there) smaller sites are perjhaps less full on.
    I need a wide though for short finding limitation on my 24mm with the 20D.

    Oh and I mis counted, I`m 4th generation Irish and not keen on Guiness either.
    Talk soon mate

    November 26, 2008 at 10:18 pm

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