Wedding Apprentice


TPF Noob!
Nov 3, 2005
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Hey ya'll.
I am really wanting to work with a more seasoned photographer than myself to learn some more about photographing events and weddings. I'm totally willing to sign a reasonable non-compete agreement since I'm not even sure I'd want to make doing that sort of photography my main bread and butter. But, since I am a photographer, I do get asked to do weddings and I'd like to know how to do them better.
I guess my question is this: For you seasoned wedding photographers, what would be the best way for me to approach you? (hypothetically of course)
Thanks for the advice in advance:)
I'm pretty receptive to a pint of Guinness!!! ;)

Seriously though, the best means is to be honest and be yourself. Don't work for someone who's crap - find someone whose photography you like - choose a wedding photographer who is good. Offer to assist for them for free in exchange for them giving you tips and tricks.

Find your local PPA and see if they have an apprentice program. I know ours does and you get matched with a more experienced photographer. Or, like Rob said, call someone whose work you like and see if they are receptive to the idea. I know I'm always willing to have an extra set of hands at a wedding!
Rob said:
find someone whose photography you like
Words right out of my mouth.

Also run an online search for all the wedding photographers in your area. It helps you to check their work out, without knocking their doors. WPJA is another good source.
I think most wedding photogs really like the idea of an apprentice. First of all, it's flattering, and secondly, it's a huge asset.
I apprenticed under someone else, and I just wrote a letter saying I'd be happy to fetch bags or whatever. I was really fortunate that he was totally generous and allowed me to take shots, and keep them for my port with absolutely no restrictions.
I still have mentors, and probably will for my entire career.
But back to your original question. First of all, I would like someone who was familiar with my work, and who agreed with my style as an apprentice. I haven't been approached by a stranger yet, but if I was, I would feel really nice that this person would look to me as a potential mentor. What I would want to see in the way of an introduction letter was why this person felt like we were a good fit. Another thing I would like to see is a few work samples, even if it was just some snaps of friends.
Like I said, I have a few mentors, and I know that they feel a huge responsibility in thier teachings. I think it's pretty important that the mentor and the apprentice have good communications, and like styles. I agree with Dan and Alison that the PPA and the WPJA is a wonderful place to start looking.
You will find the right person for you, and you will end up relishing that person forever, and they will feel the same about you.
Let us know how it goes, ok?

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