Photography Bucket Lists - My Thoughts on the Matter

Andrea + Jason Shipbaugh Wedding Photography Garfield Park Chicago Illinois

 I am on the complete opposing side of those who are against the wedding photography bucket list. For those who do not what a photography bucket list is, it's a list of destinations where photographers are willing to travel to and work someone's wedding, elopement or session, for the cost of travel only or massively discounted price. 

For myself I do not have one but I do not see why it's such a huge deal or why it has become something of a huge deal. Which I later got insight as to why so many are opposed to it.

Apparently people feel the need and validation of a destination wedding/elopement to see that they are successful. I do not know this personally but from what I have read. Newer photographers, if you need validation of your profession by having traveled to amazing destinations, you are in the wrong field of work. Your validation should be how strong your business is and how amazing your work is standing alone.

But if someone wants to shoot a wedding/elopement for the cost of travel, do it. I am not here to tell someone how to run their business. Or here to tell someone how the market will change because of. The market always changes. And we see that all the time and time again we move with it.

Gabi + Nick Chicago illinois Wedding Photographer

That's another thing people need to do more of, minding their own, respectfully. I didn't read that JuneBug article because it was of the whole bucket list "problem". Frankly I think people have too much time on their hands to worry about what other photographers are doing. Though I have nothing against whoever wrote it, nor am I saying that they themselves have too much time on their hands because I'm sure they are very busy professionals. It's just a little annoying to constantly see this "problem" coming up as a topic in so many forums and private groups and making those who have one, feel shitty about themselves for having one. Remember kids, how you make someone feel shows a lot of who you are.


I personally don't think I am burying my head in the sand because it's not my business but that I have too little time to worry for what other's are doing to get to the top. Again, I am not saying that you have a lot of time just me personally I don't. Think of how time and time again people weed themselves out of photography. This is just a new form of weeding out. If they can't make a profit they will be forced out. Simple as that.

Matt + Mary McCoy Rooftop Bar Chicago Illinois Wedding Photographer


Just because photographers have a bucket list doesn't make them less than anyone. I think for the most part, people who I personally know who have a bucket list, know their worth and if they can get a cool elopement/wedding to photograph in a stunning destination, why not? Some of the most talented artist have bucket lists ie India Earl. It's okay, it's not the end of the world. So please don't make out to be that way.

I as well want to see the world of photography and the community of professionals that I call friends to thrive. But at one point we can all agree that regardless of how and when we give out opinions, people will do as they wish. Everyone has their priorities so to each their own. I respect everyone's view on this topic.

Amanda + Mark Chinatown New York City Engagement Wedding Photographer

Everyone will have their opinion and it's solely up to you whether or not you wish to have a bucket list or not. I felt as though I needed to voice my personal thoughts on this since so many have.