I shoot weddings on colour neg / B&W with Nikon 35mm and Hasselblad.

It's interesting what has happened to this business lately, although I'm speaking about the UK here, I don't know about elsewhere.

Firstly, photography in general, and Wedding photography in particular, has become an astonishingly aspirational profession. It seems there are more people trying to become Wedding photographers and shooting weddings on a part time basis than there are weddings each year. Prices attainable for shooting weddings have fallen like a lead baloon in the past 3 years because there are so many people shooting for 300 - 400 a pop.

There are few wedding photographers who command big money (Damian Lovegrove, Jeff Ascough), but the market is VERY small for this. However the aspirational types think they will be able to achieve this so these people cater for them with wedding photography courses, where they actually make most of their money with delegates paying 250 - 500 a head.

I wont shoot a wedding unless I can see myself earning a resonable wage for EVERY hour I spend on it. (Time is the most expensive aspect - even with film, processing and film is a small part of the cost.) There are many people out there working for less than the minimum wage because they only look at the wedding day itself as the time involved. Or they are just shooting jpeg and burning the image straight to a CD after the wedding without looking at them.

The consequence of all this is that Wedding photography has come full circle: Back in the 70' and 80's it was the fag end of the profession (for those of you in the US a fag is English slag for cigarette) It was the what the photographer from the studio, who drew the short straw, or was the new kid, got sent to do at the weekend. Throughout the 90's and into the new millenium it became much more of a profession in it's own right, with prices climbing considerably and, importantly, the quality improving too.

Then digital came along and lots of people percieved that anyone could pick up a DSLR and shoot a wedding - weddings in particular because they tend to happen at weekends and thus fit in around an existing job. The result of this, over the past 3 years in particular, is that the quality of work and the viability of wedding photography as a specialisation, has fallen through the floor, and I think we are back to where it was - the fag end of the profession.

Unquestionably, the biggest money in photography at present is in training. Hands down, no two ways about it.

Matt