Quite a few people out there seem to think that professional photography is a life of glamour, excitement, and international travel. If you make a living photographing, I don’t need to tell you how false that perception is.

This is how non-photographers (and perhaps even some casual hobbyist photographers) think pros spend their time:

Meanwhile, according to the results of a survey completed by the International Society of Wedding Photographers, this is how professional photographers actually spend their time:

These graphs and the results of the survey are from ISWP’s article, The Secret Life of Wedding Photographers, which I encourage you to read.

To go along with the above graphs, they also have some quotes from the respondents of the survey related to their non-photography responsibilities. For most independent professionals in the photography industry, success hinges on being able to perform most of the duties of an entire business, from strategic planning, marketing, billing, and fulfillment to the photography itself.

And people ask me why I don’t want to quit my job and photograph full time…