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Weddings: Where to Begin?

Discussion in 'People' started by Jeff Fillmore, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Okay- So I really think I would like to shoot weddings someday. What is the right way to begin?

    My daughter was a flower girl in a wedding last month and I studied the photographer closely. I thought he was very good and while I watched him in action- particularly with candid shots at the rehearsal dinner and the reception- it really sparked my enthusiasm to try this out myself. I know I would need a better camera body, some more lighting, a back-up, etc. But the last thing I want to do is sell myself as something I am not and possibly screw up somebody’s wedding day. Obviously everyone who shoots weddings did it for the first time once- so what is the best way to get started, develop a portfolio, gain confidence, experience, etc.

    I bought a couple of books and am reading up on it. Is there such a thing as photography apprenticeships? Or maybe I should just nose around and find a couple who could not afford a photographer otherwise and would be grateful for my best effort? Some honest feedback here would be sincerely appreciated.
     
  2. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Wedding photographers NEED assistants and second shooters. There is less pressure in those positions as you will not be responsible for the whole shebang. If you know anyone who is starting shooting weddings, check with them and see if they will hire you as an assistant. Once you know the routine, move up to shooting second, and finally to being the photographer.

    Unless you have some other motivation, avoid shooting a wedding for free. You will be disappointed with the pay, and the customers will be disappointed with your work. The old adage 'You get what you apy for" will come into play on both ends.
     
  3. bob swanson

    bob swanson Guest

    :cool: If you are serious you can do a google search for your area wedding photographers and just contact them. Tell them what you want to do. I use assistants all the time. They don't start getting paid until they can produce the images that I want. We do get together prior to the event to go over details and expectations. It would really take you a few weddings to decide whether you really want to do this.
    Choreography is as important at the wedding as anything else. The photography becomes second nature as where to be at all times during the ceremony and reception. It's not that hard really just time consuming and I feel it's rewarding both financially and mentally.
    One of the reall "killers" in the industry are the people that do these events for free. Even though the B&G knows what experience you have they really can't be too satisfied unless they are exceptional people.
    At this stage equipment isn't too important. I'd say a dslr and a good zoom lens and flash are as important as anything. As you get to like it than you can start adding equipment. Good luck, www.bsvirginian.smugmug.com
     
  4. Chris' advice is excellent, start off as an assistant in order to learn the ropes. You will also need to good at processing your images so I would concentrate on that aspect as well.
     
  5. Seneca

    Seneca

    Dec 4, 2006
    Texas!
    There is a school in Texas Texas Professional Photographers Association, Inc. that happens only once a year...around April. The cost of the school for 5 days is $500.00. Of course you would have to get yourself here plus your lodging and meals are separate. TPPA offers about 30 classes, and for 5 days you study on one class, the class of your choice. I attended this year, and I'll be attending again next year.

    I was amazed at the attendance (1000) people from 39 states, and 4 countries. Just being around people who love photography as much as I do was a treat in itself. Every night we had parties, and of course during the day, we had class from 8:00 - 5:00.

    If you're interested in moving forward with your photography, this is the place to be...to be around people who are so talented with the camera. I left there with a whole different prospective in my own photography.

    Good Luck!

    http://www.tppa.org/school.htm
     
  6. The first thing I'll tell you is that wedding photography is not for everyone!!! You'd definitely have to do a few, preferably as an assistant/2nd shooter as others have mentioned, to see if it's for you. Watching other photographers and "thinking" you can do better is totally different from being the photographer and doing it!!

    While I'm not primarily a "wedding photographer" I have shot about 20 weddings over the past two years working with/for other photographers. Having just done my first contracted wedding two weeks ago, I would much rather be a second shooter. :biggrin: While I think I did a great job, the responsibility of capturing the day was a little more than I would like to deal with on a regular basis. I will still take on an occasional wedding, key word is occasional!!!

    Try it out first before you jump in with both feet. You'll find out quickly whether you have what it takes to be a wedding photographer. Remember that a wedding day is a "one time" deal - you don't get a do-over if you miss an important shot!!!!

    Good luck with whatever you decide, and as always, post some pics!!!
     
  7. It has to be a passion and you must have a vision and the talent to wrap it up.
    Forget about it if you think you can just charge 1000$, 2000$, 3000$ or more just to snapshoot around without any substance or style. Too many people think they can do it but they just end up wrecking someone's memories for life.
     
  8. Jeff,
    Al Jacobs has a nice collections of ideas he put into a .pdf book. Check it out here.
     
  9. bob swanson

    bob swanson Guest

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