A few weeks ago at a wedding, a guest at the wedding approached me to ask about my equipement and what to consider to become a wedding photographer.
Afterwards, he asked me if I had any advice about getting into the business of wedding photography, as they was considering learning it and taking the next step towards it.
I advise there is so much to consider before jumping into this, but to avoid overloading you with information here are my 6 starting points to consider:
1. WORK HARD
Nothing comes to you in life, just because you want it, You have to push yourself hard. Get into unfamiliar, even uncomfortable situations to learn from your wins and losses, grow and develop when ever you can. Fail a lot, but get up again. Fail, and get up again. Fail and get up again, until one day you find yourself steady on your feet, ready to tackle the challenges ahead. This can take years of learning and practicing before you get a reputation that assist you in your journey.
2. BE YOURSELF
The person behind the camera is as much a part of your brand as the pictures you take. Photography is your personality and art, and you have to inject a little bit of you into it. You may be funny or quirky - show it, and people will be drawn to you, wanting you to share their day with them. Don't act professional either, BE professional - be kind, thoughtful, attentive to the needs of clients with compassion and towards other suppliers, helpful, courteous and always, I mean always, do the right thing. This is what professionalism is - the business stuff can be learnt as you go along. Trust me, I am still learning all the time…
3. APPRECIATE TIME
Time is a photographer's business - we capture it forever in an image, but time is also fundamental in everything that we do. We have to manage our time - planning, meeting, shooting, editing and marketing, but we also need to balance this time with our families and friends. We have to take our time, on editing, getting to know our couples, and with our shy clients. It takes time to learn what we do and it takes time to build and develop our skills, experience and business. Don't always want things now. Appreciate time more than anything else, because without it, we have no experience to draw upon.
4. START BELIEVING IN LADY LUCK, HUMBLY
You could be photographing a wedding with a £25k camera along with £10k lens. You could know your equipment and settings like the back of your hand. You could have 25 years of wedding experience and charge £5k for each wedding. And still miss the perfect shot. Lady luck will be at your side from time to time to help you through some of the day.
5. LIKE AND UNDERSTAND PEOPLE
If you don't like people, then you're going to be a bad wedding photographer. People make a great wedding. Without them, there'd be no wedding, no photographs, no you. Our job is to bring out the best in them and capture it on camera. Their personality and emotions, as well as their beauty. You're not going to be able to do that if you just rock up at a venue wanting to take pictures. Learn how everyone interacts, their relationships with each other, or just stick to landscapes, Landscapes don’t move, talk or have emotions to deal with, so if you don’t like people then weddings or portraits for the matter is not for you.
6. LOOK FOR MOMENTS, NOT PHOTOS
The basic difference between a good photo and an incredible photo is simple: Emotions. When someone looks at a nice photograph, it may tickle the receptors in their brain and please their eyes. When someone looks at an incredible photo, it'll yank on those receptors and swing from their heartstrings to make them cry, laugh or gasp. A wedding photographer's job is to make people relive their day, to FEEL the love, joy and tears all over again, not just see it. If they don't, then we've failed at our job.
This is our commitment to our clients, its not easy, but is dam rewarding when you find your feet and can perform at a high level.