Best way to learn?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by bullshark, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. bullshark

    bullshark TPF Noob!

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    What is the best way to get started in the wedding photog industry? I don't know much about the business aspect of it.. I was thinking about working under a photog or for a studio as a second shooter or assistant to learn a little, and then undertaking my own venture.. Any suggestions or tips would be great.. What should one have before they look to get a job with a studio or another photographer?
     
  2. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    The best way to get started is to assist a photographer in your area. Call some photographers in your area to see if they will allow you to help them. However, when you ask make sure that you can use the photos for your portfolio. They might get really mad if they see the photographs end up some where else. If you know anyone having a wedding, take photographs there. Take as many photographs as you can, but limit your portfolio to the best images. Make sure to get their authorization too. I would say offer your services on craigslist or something, but if you've never had experience and shoot a wedding by yourself it could damage you more than anything. For example if you mess up, loose photos, don't know the tricks of the trade, then the clients could tell people not to use you. That's why I mentioned to assist first.

    Once you actually get photos, begin creating a website. However, make sure it a decent website. I've seen many horrible wedding photography websites. A client is not going to use you if you website sucks. For me the website is the key. Most of my clients don't ask to see my printed portfolio once they see the website. Mine isn't even that great, but making something even better will help your business. Also, make sure you optimize the site so that you get business.

    If you want to work for a studio, then you need to create a portfolio that is going to show what you can do. However, if you don't have one, try to beg in the best way you know. Seriously, even offer your services for free till you prove yourself. Or, as a last resort try to work for a local camera shop like ritz. The more you know about cameras, the more you can improve your craft. Plus if you have camera experience, then a studio will also like that.

    Also I checked to see what camera you have, but I didn't see anything. You need a camera first and foremost! You can't do anything without it. Try to get the best one possible.
     
  3. bullshark

    bullshark TPF Noob!

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    All great advice.. And all things that I'm willing to try.. And I do have a camera.. lol I have a D80 and few speedlights, stands, umbrellas... Things like that.. Thanks again for the advice!
     
  4. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    Just out of curiosity, are you wanting to specifically do studio or wedding photography? Or both? The two can be different approaches. Not that they don't overlap, but just make sure you learn any of the differences in techniques.

    As mentioned the portfolio and website is the key. I presume for both studio and wedding photography. Not that it matters, but the website can even make you look better than you really are. Use the right photos, and clients will definitely come. Good luck.
     
  5. bullshark

    bullshark TPF Noob!

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    Well to answer your question, I enjoy both, although wedding photography is not my FAVORITE.. I much prefer still life, nature/animal, and studio portrait.. The way I see it though, unless you are doing groundbreaking work in those fields you prob wont see much money unless you get lucky.. I figure the money that a good wedding photographer makes from steady working year round will fund my more prefered forms of photography, and more importantly.. my life.. I could be wrong about that though, I dont know much about the salaries of a freelance still life, or nature photographer..
     
  6. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    I hear you...I love nature photography as well, and yes wedding photography does make money. However, I have seen many well positioned nature photographers. About a year ago I met this photographer who tours the world taking photos in other countries. He makes well over 6 figures, but his photos are very original, even though he takes them of overused subjects.

    How original you become will decide how far you go.
     
  7. mmcduffie1

    mmcduffie1 TPF Noob!

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    I started by doing some freebie work for friends and family. Word got around. I don't do it full time though. I have to turn down a few every year due to my FT job.

    Whatever you do don't overload your portfolio. Simple and few are good. get yo9ur best shots and leave it at that. no body wants to dig thru a ton of shots.
     

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