i am for the most part a positive girl…a glass is half full type of girl…but right now my glass if half empty….no, actually completely empty…i am a hungry photographer….not in a cute metaphorical kind of way…but actually hungry….starving….in need sustenance….let me see if i can explain…there is a dirty little secret in the wedding world…its called the “vendor meal”….i am calling out to all brides…and caterers….and anyone who may be listening….ladies…i am a passionate photographer….i love what i do….i can often go tirelessly for hours capturing the nuances & beauty of your wedding day….i will sometimes work for 8, 10 even 12 hours before taking a break…don’t get me wrong, i am not complaining about this…i LOVE being a photographer & will do just about anything to create beautiful images….the thing is when i finally do break, its usually for just a few minutes….and i am often ravenous….i am not sure quite how to describe the experience of coming face to face with a “vendor meal” but its very close to how it feels to be heart broken by the love of your life…it hurts…and words can’t really touch the way it feels…now a “vendor meal” can take all forms, from a soggy sandwich served next too garbage cans in the alley of a five star hotel, to cold pizza at a gorgeous estate, to the ever popular “box lunch” which is usually made at the crack of dawn & served in the evening & includes an array of barely edible nibbles….sometimes we are served a warm “vendor meal”, that is warm, yes, but also basically inedible….imagine lukewarm sliced turkey & soggy vegetables….i when i say inedible, i mean literally i cannot palate it, & instead of eating, i go hungry & wait until i get home or back to my hotel room & eat then…i realize this may sound a bit whiney…again this is not my intention….there have been a few occasions where i was fed wonderful food, i’ve been given the same plate of food the bride & groom were given, these beautiful moments are few & far between….if you still think i’m being too picky, think about this…a photographer is there to capture your wedding….if we are fed well, not only do we have fuel to go on, we also feel happy, appreciated & grateful…which means we can continue tirelessly  to photograph the things & people that are important to you…i also feel its important to emphasize here, that we do not need or want a long break to eat….we have no desire to experience your eight course meal….one edible plate of food will do…as a rule of thumb, if you do not want to eat it, probably we won’t want to either….i have never complained at a wedding & i would never want to distract a couple from enjoying every moment of their wedding day….that would be petty….but i’ve worked many a night hungry & with hurt feelings…photographers if you are out there, please chime in…and lastly, if a bride & groom are unaware of this, then of course they can not do anything to change it….and caterers, we are on the same team…we are all working together to create a memorable & beautiful day for a couple in love….some caterers are incredibly gracious about feeding us & others, not so much…ironically, the same people who will not feed us, are often the ones that want photographs of their food & the event…i am more than happy to share my images with anyone who worked on a wedding…just please share a little food with me, we are on the same team…my head is bowed, my heart is full & my belly is empty.

food for thought…i would love to hear your thoughts….xoxo

a little more sweetness...

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  1. May 15-2012 , 11:23AM
    What really sucks is being a vegan wedding photographer ;(
  2. May 15-2012 , 11:28AM
    Wow.. had no idea! Didn't even really know to consider this --- great article. Sorry about the broken hearts - I am sure people just were unaware. I just shared this info with a co-worker and she even said ... "Oh, thought that the photographers came with everything that they needed" -- Neither of us have had a wedding so.. we are learning so this is great advice!

    Thanks,

    ARN
  3. May 15-2012 , 12:19PM
    AMEN! I'm just bold with it because I have a crew with me when I shoot weddings. So at the time of the agreement I make I let them know that you will have food for me and my team. Because like you said I'm not passing out for nobody!
  4. Shawn:
    May 15-2012 , 12:29PM
    you are an idiot. Thinking you deserve to be treated differently than any other hired hand at someone else's wedding. You are no different than the flower designer, the cake maker and the servers that are working. You are hired to take photos. And that is all. I am sure you are amazing at what you do. but bottom line. You are a HIRED HAND.
    If you are hungry, bring a power bar.
  5. May 15-2012 , 08:42PM
    SO true Elizabeth, thank you for writing & explaining this, hopefully it will create a new change! <3
  6. Jul 20-2012 , 11:54AM
    This is beautifully written. I've read this a few years ago but came here again to read again after receiving an email from a groom asking if a "vendor meal" was ok. Most of me just really wanted to see the words again to feel not so lonely about wanting something so simple. @Shawn-Yes, photographers are hired but we are also the only ones working for 10+ hours straight on the wedding day. We don't have the luxury of the flower designer to go out and get something to eat in the middle of working, or the cake maker who is able to take as many breaks as they want. Wise up.
  7. Nov 07-2012 , 12:09AM
    Shawn, you're the idiot. If you're not a photographer, your opinion doesn't amount to much, since you do not speak from experience. You're just showing your ignorance. If one has a maid that works full-day, one provides her with food at lunchtime and something to drink. Are we as photographers (who work longer than a full- day domestic) now less important or worth than that? Wise up. Your inhumanity is shocking.
  8. Jennifer:
    Jan 22-2013 , 04:35PM
    I own a photo booth company and although our day starts later, we are there for six, seven, sometimes eight hours typically not getting home until 10 or 11:00, a little late for dinner. When our meal is overlooked, we are starving by the end of the evening. And as a large part of the entertainment, we are much better at keeping that smile and making your guests laugh if our bellies are full. I agree whole-heartedly that the oversight definitely makes one feel unappreciated. And Shawn - you are the idiot. As HIRED HANDS we don't exactly have the option to leave the premises and grab a bite to eat. Nor do we have access to a refrigerator to bring our own meals. I'd love to see you go through your entire work day with nothing but a PowerBar for nourishment.