memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #15519673
"Sorry, I can't shoot your wedding as my equipment isn't good enough to cope in that venue with the restrictions they have"... That will sound great to a potential client....
As a photographer I have turned down 2 weddings by saying "I'm sorry but at this point my business isn't set up to handle that scale of engagement, but I hope I can help you in the future." The first one still booked me for their maternity photos and have since called me back about their childs christening photos. And the second one recommended me to their folks for their 40th anniversary party. I think most people will accept and respect your honesty.
I've also turned down work in other venues, as a software architect before IBM bought my business with only 100 employees I always had clients trying to hand me jobs outside of our scope of expertise or that required resources far beyond what I wanted to bring to bear. I do not believe I ever created negative impressions or hard feelings by being honest about work that was outside of the scope that my business could handle.
And I think as a part time shooter who is trying to build a business for when he retires he doesn't have to do weddings right now. He can make a good amount of income doing family and senior portraits and the like. And he can have a plan that says "OK I take a year to get a new camera and a decent lens, then a year doing second shooter work, then I book some weddings of my own." Or decide to never do weddings. Personally I don't think I'll ever shoot a wedding as the main shooter, I'll only do second shooter with partners who credit me for everything shot under my lenses.