Ten Tips For the aspiring wedding photographer will, I hope, help those interested in this kind of career. I think in person education with a mentor is most valuable. If you have already taken the leap and feel that you just jumped into more than you bargained for, this post is for YOU!
Ten Ten Tips For The Aspiring Wedding Photographer:
- GEAR and SKILLS: This is the MOST important of the ten tips for the aspiring wedding photographer. It takes time but please do it. First, learn what good light is and how to find it or create it. Be in complete control of your camera settings and exposures so you don’t have to look at the camera to find them. The camera must be professional in quality with high ISO capability, auto focus and at least 2-3 lenses that are fast. You will be working in low light situations. Have lenses that are at least f 2.8 and that cover wide angle from at least 24mm and one that can zoom to 200mm, I carry two zooms -24-80 and 80-200mm, plus a 105 macro lens for details. You must have at least 2 flashes and know how to use them ON AND OFF the camera.
- ASSIST a wedding photographer to see how the day flows. Preparation is key because you don’t have time to think sometimes at a wedding. Moments happen and you have anticipate and be ready. I am happy to be a resource for anyone who needs help or guidance.
- JOIN at least one of these organizations: Professional Photographers of America organization. This is a national organization with local state chapters, and one in CT. There is education here plus equipment and indemnification insurance that come with membership. Networking with other photographers in you area is helpful as well. Also join WPPI. This is ‘Wedding and Portrait Photographers International’. Visit their website, go to their convention next year and see what is happening in the world of Wedding photography. This experience was what got me off to a good start in my Wedding Photography business.
- BACKUP: Have two of everything with you at each job. Two Cameras, at least 2 flashes, 2-3 lenses or more, if one malfunctions, you still have something to shoot with. have extra batteries for everything. Bring many memory cards with you incase one corrupts or you you run out of room on them. Have a good bag to hold all your gear safely.
- TEST all your gear at least 3-5 days before a wedding so if something is malfunctioning you can rent something. Nothing will sap confidence on the day if you are not sure something is working perfectly.
- MEETING with your clients in person. Get to know who they are, what they want and make a timeline plan with them. If you are not on the same page as your clients, there may be misunderstandings and you may not be able to give them what they were expecting.
- SCOUTING the venue before the wedding day is essential. Bring your camera to test out places for portraits, or trouble shoot issues and prepare. Call ahead – most venues will welcome you so, make an appointment with the event manager there and they’ll help you gladly as they want the best for their client as well.
- THE CHECK LIST: Make one and check it three times so you don’t forget something that day. A snack is a good thing to bring as, too.
- CONTRACTS AND INSURANCE. This protects you and your clients. There are sample contracts on the PPA website that you can personalize to your business available to all members. Get Insurance to protect you. This is also a PPA benefit with membership.
- PRICE IT RIGHT: Starting out you may not be able to command very high fees, but you do NOT want to undercut your fellow photographers by doing free or very low pricing as that devalues what you do and brings everyone down. Get the knowledge you need, practice your skills, study with a mentor. Then you can charge a reasonable fee – you will be working very hard and very long hours before, during and after the wedding day.
Take these Ten Tips for the aspiring wedding photographer as a beginning only. People are counting on you to capture their day in beautiful photographs. You do not want to disappoint them or it will be hard to stay in business.
Feel free to contact me if you are a photographer that wants to learn more about wedding photography or interested in getting better. I have ten years of experience and I will be offering a workshop specifically for photographers interested in wedding photography if there is enough interest. So share this post and help me spread the word. Thank you!