Before I abuse the power of click-bait, I would like to emphasise that I now am getting back into Weddings.
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So, back into the meaty stuff. Why I stopped photographing weddings for a good 2 years. When I first started my photography career adventure I knew it would be a hard one. Not because Photography itself is hard, but because it’s an over saturated market with a whole bunch of people claiming to be the best. And the fact of the matter is, there are SOOOO many good photographers out there. I told myself ‘well since this is gonna be a hard gig, Mariam you need to put in the hard yards’. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very good thought process, but I also did not know where to draw the line at the beginning. Your success should never ever be at the expense of your own values or dignity.
Something that I learnt kind of the hard way.
To get my name out there I used to do a lot of ‘pro-bono’ TFP (time for prints) collaboration work. I used to provide my time, editing, travelling and snapping all for free in return for exposure. Which, in many circumstances worked very well.
However, I started doing a few gigs that went till late at night.
Fast forward a few months and I started getting some high paying wedding shoots. Weddings can really get you in the feels. Sometimes you’re stressed about getting the right shot at the right time, and then shedding a tear because ‘you hope you get a man that cries when you walk down the aisle’ too.
I love connecting with people from different walks of life and learning more about them. And that’s what I did at this event. However, some men took my nice demeanour and genuine care for flirtation. Or me ‘asking for it’.
After a few events like this, I felt more and more individuals (men) took my bubbly attitude as flirtation and to one extent I was touched in a very demeaning manner. That was the bit where I drew the line and was like ‘hell naaaw’.
As much as no woman should ever be in such a situation, I also believe in being safe than sorry. This was the main reason as to why I temporarily stopped shooting any late night events that involved alcohol. I realised the trend was that people took alcohol as an excuse to behave in a certain way.
After these weird circumstances, I have grown to understand the human mind a little more. I realised that not everyone has pure intentions, even when they say nice and comforting things. This is something I’m sure you can also resonate with. I find so much love and happiness taking photos, making people laugh, getting to know their likes and dislikes and getting back home to pick my favourite snaps to start editing.
So please, no matter, if you’re a man or woman, don’t let anyone take you for granted. We all have something to offer to the world. And it should be on our own terms.
Building a career is important. It’s fun, challenging and sometimes daunting. I had to remind myself that I shouldn’t let these situations define my photographic passion. So now, I remain confident about what I do and how I do it. I cut the BS and get straight into what I need to do.
Bit of a sob story, but I also want you to know that I never say no to opportunities. Let’s stay in touch. I’m excited to share more about what I do.