I'm a professional photographer... almost!

Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
311
Just had an interview with a local wedding studio. I am going to do some unpaid wedding shoots with them to see if they like me, and then I will be a paid second-shooter for their weddings. The assumption then would be that I use the money to build up my gear as I gain experience, and eventually do weddings on my own.

Who knows how well I'll do, but I'm excited by the prospect!
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
317
Location
San Diego
Good For You

Ryan--
Congratulations and I am sure all will go well with the test period. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Hope this is the start of a great career for you!

Ron
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2005
Messages
300
Location
Mid-Michigan
Congratulations Ryan. I had an opportunity like that a couple of years ago and actually learned a lot. Best of luck...
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
1,662
Location
Lansdowne, PA
In my opinion your getting robbed.

They should pay you at least something for your time, and then more if they actually use your images.

If they can get you to shoot a couple of weddings for free (for which they are probably getting paid a second shooter fee), then they can find someone else after you to shoot for free. Its a vicious cycle.

Now if I can just find a plumber to replace some valves for me for free, and if I like him, I'll pay him to replace a couple more ...

Gary

Just had an interview with a local wedding studio. I am going to do some unpaid wedding shoots with them to see if they like me, and then I will be a paid second-shooter for their weddings. The assumption then would be that I use the money to build up my gear as I gain experience, and eventually do weddings on my own.

Who knows how well I'll do, but I'm excited by the prospect!
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
575
Location
Southern California
i dont think he's getting robbed, photography is tough work and is very competitive... i'm doing the same thing, and i know that if i dont start somewhere, how else would i get my work out there?
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
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Location
Auckland, NZ
I think the answer here is a bit of a compromise - the biggest issue is "some" unpaid weddings. I'd say go back and say "1" unpaid wedding then 2nd as a paid second shooter.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
1,830
Location
Newtown, PA
Best of luck with the new endevour!

But I agree with the other posters; time is NEVER free.

What is "some" or "a few"? Two? Five?

Maybe, and I stress maybe, one unpaid, some pay if they like you enough to call you back for the second, and if they take you on full time, RETRO pay.

Don't let them take advantage of you!!!!
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
301
Location
Chicago
Just had an interview with a local wedding studio. I am going to do some unpaid wedding shoots with them to see if they like me, and then I will be a paid second-shooter for their weddings. The assumption then would be that I use the money to build up my gear as I gain experience, and eventually do weddings on my own.

Who knows how well I'll do, but I'm excited by the prospect!
nice! i experienced the similar situation a couple of months ago. its a very hard business to be in but the payoffs are great, financially and educationally speaking. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
311
They want me to do 8 unpaid weddings. I haven't accepted anything yet. Should I reject that and tell them I'll do 1? I could use the experience, as I'm a beginner with a D40, but I'd like to earn some money for my work too.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
4,934
Location
Auckland, NZ
8 ? sheesh, You're getting ripped off there Ryan mate.

Being a begginner I'm sorry, but weddings are no place to learn. Get out there with street photography, your family, friends, neighbours etc etc etc until you have got to the stage wheere you know you can do a good pay-worthy job.
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
1,200
Location
Warwick, N.Y.
Real Name
John DeSanto
They want me to do 8 unpaid weddings. I haven't accepted anything yet. Should I reject that and tell them I'll do 1? I could use the experience, as I'm a beginner with a D40, but I'd like to earn some money for my work too.
This is exactly what is killing the photography industry - amateurs willing to do work for nothing "to gain experience" and the people willing to exploit them. Professional photography is a career - just like for truck drivers, plumbers, doctors and lawyers. I'll make you a deal: I promise I won't attempt to drive a big rig for free just "to gain experience" if you promise not to do the same in my chosen career. (Because the end result will be the same: an accident waiting to happen.)

Let me climb up on the soapbox for a second and shout this out: "NEWLY-MINTED AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHERS, WE WELCOME YOU TO OUR RANKS. NOW TAKE THE TIME TO LEARN YOUR CRAFT (4-5 YEARS OUGHTA DO IT.) LEARN HOW TO CONTROL YOUR CAMERA EVEN IN TOTAL DARKNESS. LEARN HOW TO CONTROL LIGHT EVEN ON THE SUNNIEST DAY. LEARN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CONTROLLING YOUR MODELS AND THEN PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND PRACTICE SOME MORE. AND NEVER, EVER GIVE AWAY YOUR PHOTOS. IT DEVALUES YOU AND YOUR WORK AND IT DEVALUES OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS AND THE REST OF THE INDUSTRY. (SUCK IT UP, MAN. IF YOU'RE HALF AS GOOD AS YOU THINK YOU ARE, PEOPLE WILL PAY YOU. IF NOT, WELL...) THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU IN THE FUTURE.

If that sounds a little testy then so be it. (And when I come across that Craigslist dude, I'm gonna whack him upside the head.)
 
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Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,106
Location
Los Angeles, USA
8 unpaid weddings? What a scam. You should demand payment. What a rip off. I'm sorry, but I'd rather be poor and starving then to give my photos away.

I agree with John, people who work for experience (unless a proper work internship) is killing this business.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
1,662
Location
Lansdowne, PA
They want me to do 8 unpaid weddings. I haven't accepted anything yet. Should I reject that and tell them I'll do 1? I could use the experience, as I'm a beginner with a D40, but I'd like to earn some money for my work too.
Would someone please bookmark my initial reply. Your getting ripped off and this is becoming more and more common across photography. It doesn't matter what type, sports, wedding, portrait etc, people are working for "free" to "get their name out". Which is KILLING this industry

Gary
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,605
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
Never do more than 1, and the biggest one there (Bella) will pay you for your first "try out" wedding. You'd get paid for your first wedding if you were assisting and not shooting at all. And that would be for things like carrying bags or holding an extra flash.

Think about it 8 weddings even at a cheap $250 for just shooting and handing over the images is equal to a D200 (new), 17-55 (used), extra batteries, and cards.
 
D

dsokol

Guest
I agree with the "paid" wedding responses. It seems to me too many people expect photography to be free. Just because everyone now thinks spending thousands of dollars on a "digita" l camera is the norm, (no one would spend that back in the film days) it still takes talent and skill to create and capture a special moment (which you should be paid for). I wish you good luck in a profession that is becoming more and more difficult to make a living in. People need to realize that not "everyone" can just take pictures, creativity needs to be paid for.
 

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