Amateur Wedding Photography – It Has To Start Somewhere!

If you are looking to become a professional wedding photographer, you need to be selective as to the information you gather. I have read many online tips and viewed numerous websites that provide advice. For the most part none of these are what I call professional, and to be honest most have zero professionalism with regard to the process. This is a very special day for the couple. The photos need to be sequential and care taken when capturing the important shots.

This first bit of advice that I give anyone that asks me for advice is this: Advertise yourself, get your name out there, provide samples, and most importantly listen carefully as to what they want. The best advertising for repeat business you can get is through word of mouth.

Once you have set up your business, and you are comfortable with your equipment and profile. Make a few calls to some reputable photographers in the business. Ask them if you might be able to assist them with an upcoming job. Tell them that you are willing to work free, that you are trying to gather experience. Who knows maybe they will give you a bonus if they like your work.

Once you have established a bit of experience, put out some feelers to upcoming brides and grooms to be. Perhaps some friends or family members may already have a photographer hired. Ask if it might be ok, if you also took part taking your own shots. Inform them that you are willing to provide them with some sample shots. You may even get some great shots that they will like and be able to make a few dollars.

Once you have been around the scene and feel more comfortable, you will be able to set up your own solo shoots. I would suggest that your first few jobs that you charge the couple for the print costs only, and I they are happy perhaps you will get a tip on top of the work. It is very important to build up your reputation.

Wedding photography

Wedding photography

It is important to be honest with the wedding couple, so that you are limiting your liabilities with regard to your responsibilities. You will be amazed at how comfortable you feel after doing 2-3 of these settings.

It is also important that before you take the full fledge step into photography self-employment, that you do a bit of research. I think that everyone thinks that photography is simple and easy. This is simply not true; you need to understand the various lighting, posing techniques, and many other details. Check online, or a local college and even some local photographers offer 2-3 day courses. The courses will generally have a model couple that you can use as a subject, with various background settings.

Photographing a wedding is much more than just taking pictures of the couple. Sure, there are family shots, and special shots with the bridal party. Nevertheless, organizing the event, and capturing the right lighting and background is essential. Printing, and setting up the albums is also, where you can make a great name for yourself.

Be prepared to learn as you go. You are not going to be the best photographer in the world your first time out. You cannot expect to make top-notch money either. If you are well prepared and organized you, can make your work much easier, and in turn make lots of money.

Once you have honed your skills, you can start to make a great living at this. Wedding photography is extremely hard work; it is also very rewarding and can be a lot of fun as well.

Photography Wedding Tips

The happy couple has been arranging this day for many months; this is it, your chance to capture their beauty. You will be providing them with lasting memories so you want to be sure that you be at your best also. They are paying a lot of money to get the pictures just right, it is your responsibility to make that happen.

The biggest thing you need to remember is, Be Professional, courteous, polite, be on time, and well dressed. You appearance is very important.

Another good tip is to make sure that you are insured. Indemnity insurance is something that you should have. If something goes wrong, you want to be protected in the event that you are sued.

When you sign the contract to be the photographer for any event, you are liable. The people hiring you are putting 100% of their trust in you. You will be capturing their happy moments, and your photos will be adorning their walls and albums for years. Make sure that you provide something that they will cherish forever.

Wedding photography

Wedding photography

Another great tip that many amateur photographers don’t think of is providing albums or DVD’s for family members. Parents, or siblings, friends etc. of the groom or bride may be interested in purchasing additional photos. This is a great opportunity to make some extra money.

The old boy scout saying “Be Prepared” fits so well when preparing for a photo shoot. I am sure you can remember your parents or grandparents telling you to be prepared for the worst. Always think ahead and be ready for anything.

You would be surprised at the number of photographers who do not prepare. They show up 5 minutes before they are suppose to be there and scramble to find suitable areas. They have not taken the time to meet the other members of the wedding party, nor the family. It is essential that you gather all the necessary info, location, church, select a few nice spots that have great background etc. Communicate with the couple and take notes as to what they want.

As mentioned earlier in this article the couple have been preparing for this for along time. Create a checklist for them; many times the photographer aspect of weddings is neglected by the couple as they simply have too much stuff to do. Your job is to make sure this is all organized.

There are numerous photography forums on the internet. One popular question that seems to get asked is “What should I bring? What equipment do I need?” If you do not know the answer to this question you really have no business charging people for you services, worse off you are risking ruining your name as you are just not ready.

When selecting a camera for the big shoot, the minimum I would recommend is a 35mm camera or at least an SLR 8 mega pixel Digital both have the capability to produce A1 prints.

Lens selection is also very important. I would suggest bringing a wide angle –medium to start with. Something with a large aperture of F2.8 is advisable. Speed lights are also a great idea provided you have used them before and they are suitable for your camera.

As mentioned earlier, don’t forget your step ladder, you can capture some great shots from up at a higher elevation.

I can not stress enough how important it is that you are familiar with all of your equipment. You have to understand how everything works and what to do if something goes wrong. Bring spare batteries, lens, filters etc. It’s better to have to much then not enough. I often bring a spare camera, but only because I have been doing this and can afford to own two cameras is this possible.

Go prepared; be confident, friendly and professional. Be wary of the surroundings and be pleasant with the guests. It can be a stressful day for some people, so try to lighten the environment up a bit, use some small humor, and communicate well.