Why is it that so many photography newbies want to take pictures at weddings? Why is it that so many people who see that you own a DSLR are shocked to find out that you DON'T take weddings? These are two of the many wedding questions I have. A bit of background. I shot weddings when I was a starving newspaper photographer/reporter/editor. I did it strictly for the money, to put my wife through college. I knew what I was doing, a full set of lights, pro cameras and lenses (Hassy) with backups of everything, liability insurance, etc. I hated every minute of it, but man the money was good. I can understand experienced photographers wanting to cash in on the wedding photography business... people who know that the business side of a wedding is more critical than the pictures (assuming you want to be in business in the long haul)... Those of you who have been in the trenches know exactly what I am talking about... I see so many newbies come to this site (and others) talking about how they want to take wedding pictures... and I honestly don't get the attraction to it. Perhaps it is from personal experience... one too many bridezillas or momzillas on the most stressful day of their lives... or one too many proof sessions when you show the size-16 bride her perfectly exposed, crystal clear, immaculately composed shots and she looks up in tears saying "All your pictures make me look FAT".... and you want to tell her "honey, you are a porker, what do you expect?" but you know you can't. (BTW, I myself am/have been a porker who always looks too fat in pictures, so I am qualified to make this statement) Then there is part two of my question. I have had many, many former clients want me to shoot their daughter's or son's wedding... I am both thrilled that they liked my pictures of their own wedding enough to want me to shoot the ceremony of their child, and horrified that I am THAT old... Ok, satisfied customer, that I understand... But... Why is it so many people assume the simple ownership of a camera with an interchangeable lens qualifies somebody to take wedding pictures? I have been asked many times how much I would charge by people who didn't know me "back in the day". To me, it is rather like seeing somebody walking around Sears with a new socket set, and asking the person how much she would charge to change out a transmission on a car. I don't know. I generally tell people that I am a wildlife photographer (wildlife and zoos), and that if their son or daughter is a bluejay, cardinal, dik dik, crested crane, white tailed deer or red tailed hawk, then I am their guy... if not, it might be better to hire somebody who has the professionalism, knowledge and equipment to do the job right... and not "just some guy or gal with a DSLR". Weddings (except things like reception candids, which are given to the couple without charge) are the domain of the professional, IMHO. I can't for the life of me figure out why anybody would WANT to do weddings (other than the money), but that's me (can you tell how TOTALLY burned out on wedding photography I got over the 8 years I did it?). Please feel free to share your thoughts.