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Being a Wedding Photographer and Being Sick

When it comes down to the wedding day and someone is sick, the day must still go on.  Shooting a wedding while having the flu or a bad cold is definitely not fun but luckily there are enough over-the-counter pain meds that usually last for 6 to 8 hours and can pull me through.  Luckily this has only happened twice (so far) but it’s an inevitable, unavoidable fact of life when you have a job that isn’t the kind you can easily call in sick for.

Last fall I shot a wedding where the poor bride was super sick and she was such a trooper!  She made the best of it and in the end wanted to enjoy her day that she had planned so much for, so she didn’t let being sick stop her from having fun!  Of course she reported to me that she was super duper extra sick the next day but she said it was worth it because she got to enjoy her wedding day and she didn’t let it ruin her fun.

You can’t reschedule wedding so what do you do?  You take some meds and you suck it up.  Likely you’ll feel worse in the following days because you didn’t rest when you were sick but it’s better than ruining someone’s day by canceling (if you’re a vendor) or ruining your own day by feeling miserable (if you’re the bride or groom).

This topic is on my mind because last week I got sick with the flu and I’ve never felt so horrible in my life.  I was laid up in bed for five days straight, unable to move, which is not normal for me.  If I get sick I tend to start getting well within 24 hours.  My immune system is usually pretty good so this hit me like a ton of bricks and was very unexpected.
I woke up on Monday (9 days ago) not feeling my greatest but I had a client meeting at 10:30am so I just put on my game face and went to the meeting feeling pretty crummy. I could’ve canceled but my clients were in town from Orange County and I didn’t want them to have to drive back to meet with me another day.  And when I set my mind to it I am able to focus on the task at hand so I ‘pleasantly’ conducted the meeting, laughing and chatting with my clients about their day – without them having the slightest clue that I was sick. I feel like there’s no reason to burden my clients with my own problems especially when there’s nothing I, nor they can do about them. Of course if they were local and it was easier to switch meeting times I would have done that, but in this case, I felt it my duty to attend.

As far as the wedding day there are very few things that would keep me away. I don’t even want to mention them because they would have to be pretty awful.  Even then I know I would be consumed with making sure they had a good photographer there to take my place (I always have Associates on call).  I pray to God I’ll never be in a situation that horrible.
So anyway, being sick sucks when you have to work but it doesn’t matter because in the end, I want to be there for my clients and being the best photographer that I can be and shooting your wedding as I shoot all weddings – with excitement creativity and passion, is what I’ll do, no matter how I’m feeling.  I love my job and I also feel very responsible to my clients and when I make a promise to shoot your wedding I will do everything and I mean everything in my power to be there!!!

Being_Sick_When_Photographing_A_WeddingThank you Sansum Urgent Care for getting me through this awful Flu!


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