One may argue the shift away from film photography to digital photography should reduce the overall workload for the photographer.

Take it from someone who has done both — that is a big fat “no.”

I shot weddings in the day and age of film photography. There was one exception where I was second shooter with a digital SLR to my mother, and I wound up needing to clock out to photograph and report on a car fire in the parking lot for my job.

I only did wedding photography for a few years because of the demands that came from pre-wedding prep, paired with some very not-nice wedding guests. The couples were always wonderful to work with, but the guests? Not so much.

The day a guest, angry I had taken a photo of their “bad side,” tried to grab and toss my camera, was the day I knew it was time to stick to pet and family photography.

If it was a new venue, film photography meant lugging in a handful of film rolls, different flashes and lenses, and multiple screens for “bouncing” light — and finding enough time beforehand to test shoot from various locations and get the film developed to see how those shots came out.

Small-timers, and film photographers in general, did not have their own developing rooms. One-hour-photo was a no-go too, because photos were over-solutioned and saturated.

You also had to take meticulous notes to mark the best shot locations, screen height, lens, and camera settings, all corresponding to a number you wrote on the roll of film.

With film photography, you had no idea if it was a good shot or not until the developed prints came back.

The stress of that — or if an entire roll came back completely black or out of focus — was incredible. There were absolutely no do-overs. None.

Turning the page to digital photography has changed where our workloads sit. While we can adjust on the fly, in the moment, and tell if a shot is a wash or a win, there is something missing with digital.

In the end, we now find ourselves glued to our computers for a week after the ceremony, adjusting, tweaking, straightening, etcetera, before providing prints and digital copies.

The stress is still there — because we absolutely cannot mess this up.

I have read stories of photographers with corrupted cards that readers won’t read. Ones where the photographer did an entire wedding, and while looking through the lens was clear, once the images opened on the computer there was something clearly on the mirror.

Which is why photographers carry multiple photo cards on them, and oftentimes use a backup photographer, or second shooter.

One of the biggest hurdles digital photographers face today is camera phones.

Arms extended out into the aisle. People standing during the ceremony, or crowding the couple during the first dance, or kiss. For a professional photographer, capturing these moments is like needing to dance around a wall, while leaping through the air, 10-feet high.

Wedding photographers certainly do not get enough credit, where a great deal of credit is due.

Photo by Holly Vanorse Spicer