How do I get into wedding photography?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by eravedesigns, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. eravedesigns

    eravedesigns TPF Noob!

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    In the short...I would love to shoot some weddings and I have done a lot of reading on this forum. I know I will need back up gear so my first wedding I would have a friend shoot with me as backup just to make the bride and groom more comfortable and secure about their decisions. Whats the best way to enter this business and how? Newspaper ads? Samples. I know word of mouth but that comes after my first wedding.
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Not only do you need backup but you need faster glass too. f3.5-5.6 just will not cut it in a dark church or hotel room.

    Find a family member or friend and shoot some candids, and practice out of the way of the pro. You will see why you need fast glass.

    I'd stay away from advertising until you have completed at least a dozen or so weddings and can prove that you have the ability to shoot one. I'm closing in on that target and am still considering not advertising. You will learn a lot from the first half a dozen.

    Also as I say spend lots on good glass and equipment. This is a one off event. Screw it up and your ass will be theirs.
     
  3. zioneffect564

    zioneffect564 TPF Noob!

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    You are going to need a bunch of better equipment. For example you're going to need much faster lenses than you have for the sony i'd think about the 24-70 f/2.8 the 70-200 f/2.8 (G) if you have the money. You are also going to need a prime i'd suggest the 50 f/1.4 or the 85 f/1.8. You're going to need to know how to use your flash inside and out but you're going to need those fast lenses for weddings that dont allow you to use flash. You should also go around with pros to as many weddings as possible and they should be able to help you with the marketing if you ask. (Im not too sure about that since you might potentially be taking business away from them). Its definatly a lot of work and should be taken completely seriously since it is their big day and you dont want to screw it up.
     
  4. fotocapsule

    fotocapsule TPF Noob!

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    go to local bookstore and start looking at wedding books to get an idea on what types of shots and angles.
    another resource is the Podcast, there are TONS of slideshow podcast from weddings that you can view.
     
  5. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Reading about wedding photography on forums and books is totally different from actually being there. It's a once in a lifetime event and there are no retakes. Wedding photography is more than having the fastest lens.

    Shoot several weddings (friends/family) for free, initially as the second shooter (without getting in the way of the hired pro). If possible, assist a photographer in your area - run a search on PPA or WPJA for local photographers.

    books: Search for titles by Bambi Cantrell and Paul Gero
    lens: f2.8 or faster

    Wishing you the very best!
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with Dan...being at and shooting weddings, without being the hired pro, is a great way to learn a lot about what it takes, without the pressure. This can also build up some word of mouth among your friends and family...which can eventually expand your word of mouth net to their friends and family etc.

    If you don't have much experience, assisting a pro is also a very good way to learn quickly...and experience is huge. Being talented is one thing but there is a lot more to it that just clicking the shutter.

    In the mean time...learn as much as possible with what ever means you can. Books, courses, forums...and practice.

    Good Luck.
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Dan too. Shoot as much as you can and practice practice practice. Try shooting christenings or other religous events as practice. But the pressure of shooting a wedding is very different from anything else.

    I have a Paul Gero book and would not really recommend it. There's more info on the web than I read in his book. Don't think I learned anything from it! Ask here and listen to those who shoot weddings.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This has been said before but the best way to get into wedding photography is to find a photographer and try and assist them. Alot of people want to just jump into wedding photography but until you have at least a little experience at an actual wedding seeing what goes on and finding out what to shoot and how and when to shoot it it is tough to just hump into it yourself. Another thing, and this might ruffle some feathers you might want to start moving towards anotherr system one of the "big Two". Short of this you absoulutely need to get some faster glass god forbid if you are at a wedding in a darker church and the person in charge tells you "no flash" in this case you are pretty much screwed with the current glass you have. If you are looking for a book this [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Wedding-Photography-Capturing-Beautiful/dp/0471790176/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-8992508-4371826?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178466978&sr=8-1[/ame] is an excellent one.
     
  9. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    ...rather than ask how, ask WHY you want to be in wedding photography. Is it to try to make an expensive hobby pay? Is it to actually be a pro wedding photographer and compete with the big folks?

    Once you answer that question (even more importantly, if you CAN'T answer the question), you'll know what to do.

    If you want to be a pro, then join local photography organizations, get some training at a real studio, assist some weddings, start shooting on your own at pro prices so you can cover the cost of your training and massive amounts of equipment.

    If you want to just make your hobby pay, do weddings for friends for a few hundred dollars and be aware that their expectations and your results may not match, and be prepared for the relationship changes that result from that disconnect. Better yet, shoot landscapes and sell them as calendars and prints, don't do weddings.

    I don't want to sound harsh but weddings are not to be photographed lightly, not to be photographed with amateur equipment, not to be photographed without backup equipment. I have $10,000 to $15,000 in digital camera equipment and software to process my pro weddings and I'm on the smaller investment size compared to many other photographers. Are you wanting this avenue of income and expense?
     
  10. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    You can't really ask how. It just happens via all the other work you do. I don't know any good wedding photog that started out as one.

    But you asked, so I will answer.........IF you have the art, you will go forward. There is no magic combination of things that will make you successful. Sacrifice and art are at the forfront, like all artist endevors. And then, you ad savy sales and marketing.
    And that's it in a very large nutshell.
     
  11. relgeiz

    relgeiz TPF Noob!

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    As a soon to be married man, I'm putting a ton of trust into our photographer, I've heard horror stories of photos getting deleted, lost, cameras stolen, there's no re-do's in wedding photography, you will have an angry mob on your hands if something goes wrong.
     
  12. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Deleted images can be recovered pretty easily although having stolen equipment can be a big problem. The photographer's insurance should cover this - inc costs of a reshoot if required.
     

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