1. Thou shalt have a working knowledge of thy craft. As a business person, artist, photographer, and a compassionate human being. To this I add, Psychiatrist and Priest.

2. Thou shalt know thy equipment, their idiosyncrasies, purpose and best usage. Be comfortable with several formats processes, and styles. 

3. Ye shall make sure there are sufficient fresh quantities of flash cards. 

4. Ye shall not stick bad portraiture before me. Learn something about the basics of portraiture or studio work so you know about lighting and facial size, proportion, angles and layouts. 

5. Thou shalt read the Boy Scout handbook and “be prepared”. Learning about a new piece of equipment at the wedding is a recipe for disaster. Having suitable backup gear is crucial. 

6. Thou shalt knoweth thy turf. Know the layout, lighting, paths of the Church, the Synagogue or Mosque, its rules, the Officiate, and the reception location beforehand. Thou shalt not passeth up good opportunities because of frugality, a few bucks in the poor box will open doors. 

7. Extra shots of unique moments mean extra shekels from the occasion. You can’t turn the time back for that once in a lifetime shot either for you or the bride. 

8. Thou shalt not stick thy head in the sand. As trends change and as the consumer becomes aware of different trends and vogues, you have to increase your options too. Schooling and seminars and increase your portfolio. 

9. Thou shalt spread thy table before me. Contracts signed, payments made, no grey areas, no bushing or bumps. The rules laid down, the cooperation in place, the times and scheduled appointments met. 

10. Thou shalt invest in a good Timex. Be early, stick with schedules, even though we know the Bride will be late. Timing! This holds true for the delivery of the proofs. Be a day early and you are a hero. Be a day late and you will be judged a lot tougher especially when the mother-in-law drags out her 10X Schneider Loupe. 

11. Thou shalt learn to say NO and to have fun! 

Oh, I suppose I could come up with fifty more, there are more, but these are the crucial ones. The most important question is your commitment. Only you can answer that.  Like I once said “doing things on a lark, can make you dinner for a hawk!”. There are times one must bow out of a situation, that's why I wrote Bridezilla and I must admit I have been caught several times when I asked my self "Why me"? Because of me, that's why. You can't solve the entire world’s problems and have a life for yourself. 
If weddings are not fun for you, review the suggestions, read more on the subject, make a plan to change things and then work your plan. If things don't improve and become fun, get out of it. As bad as weddings can get, they are still more fun than shooting funerals.


Village idiot

Normally I'm very patient with people but sometimes the Village Idiot walking on his knuckles makes it to a E-machine and gets to me. So I get an email asking why I would put a checklist on my site for a Bride to ask questions with if the intent of my site is to help new shooters. 

My first remark to this nimrod was "are you that naive?"    I added "Knowing the type, size, shape, techniques and burial characteristics of landmines laid by an enemy can prevent one's lower extremities from being blown off providing your mine detector worked that day". 

Nothing like burying your head in the sand, only it's a minefield. If that doesn't explain a Wedding, I haven't got a better explanation.   Furthermore: The questions you see here are all over the Bridal Sections of the Web. Almost every Wedding site, magazine, book, has a way to select a photographer. I am merely echoing what's out there. If you don't have the qualifications a smart Bride is looking for, at least you'll know what they are looking for. Possibly even realizing, you are not in their league. It's a checklist, for what you should be doing.