disclaimer: this might sound like a rant because I just got laid off, but it's actually more of an attempt to start a discussion on the pitfalls of wedding photography and pro photography in general. It should also point out some things to the people who are trying to get a start in the industry. There are so many countless people trying to get into this industry right now, that I thought I would share my experiences with my initial break into the field of photography. So... about 10 months ago I started my first job in the industry of photography. I worked at a prominent wedding/commercial studio, editing, shooting and working for a general pittance. I invested in some decent gear and got a chance to work with some very talented photographers and learned a LOT. But... all things must come to an end, good or bad, and I just got laid off. Thank you economic downturn. Anyways, I mainly learned that I flipping Hate wedding photography. I was told the day I went in for my interview by a photography teacher that wedding photography is a terrible, soul-crushing endeavor, but I paid no heed. It was my chance to break into photography and gain ever-valuable experience. Now, 10 months later, I've lost a large chunk of motivation to be a photographer because I've been generally turned off by the whole thing. You end up living and breathing it for months and it takes a lot of fun out of it. Believe me. I thought up some tips after about 12 hours of color correction that I was starting to wish someone had given me before I started: Tip #1 for Greenhorn photographers trying to break into the industry: Choose to do something that you will really enjoy. There are a ton of applications for photography out there, not just shooting weddings. Only shoot weddings if you really love it. I didn't, and it almost made me throw my dream of being a photographer in the trash and starting a different career. If you offer to shoot or help someone for free, you will likely be able to assist just about any photographer you can think of. A person would have to be nuts not to accept free help. Plus, experience in a field you actually enjoy will be more valuable and a whole lot more fun than backing up some random wedding photographer. Granted, it is certainly fun the first few times, but it wears on you fast. Tip #2: Starting out working for little or no money is usually a reality in this industry. It serves two purposes: Gaining experience and getting work out on the street. When your work starts to show some promise, the money will start to come in (my first independently secured shoot paid $75 an hour). You just have to be patient and take what you can. But... whoring yourself out on craigslist for a few hundred dollars to shoot a wedding is not the way to make it big. The flood of people doing this these days is squandering the value of photography as a whole, and you will butcher your reputation. James Nachtwey didn't start his career shooting weddings for a pittance, and neither should you. Well that's it for my rant. I'm pretty happy to collect unemployment and actually look towards the possbility of getting my masters degree. Oh, and I'm getting rid of all my equipment and buying a d40 or a rebel XT or something. I've grown tired of deluding myself into thinking that big expensive gear and lenses will make me a better photographer.