Your 1st wedding???


TPF Noob!
Apr 17, 2006
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queensland, australia
Hi guys, was just wondering how you guys got your 1st wedding 'gig' and if you faced much rejection because you had no 'real wedding' experience. I may be doing a small wedding for a friend-of-a-friend in October, but would like to be able to show them something 'weddingish' without pretending:blushing: i'm full of experience., I'm thinking of hitting up all my married girlfriends to go to their homes and do some 'fake' practice bride shots. I figured this way, i would have to source best lighting, best backgrounds, composition... etc. rather than practicing in my own familiar 'backyard'. From here was thinking of putting together a portfolio of 'practice brides' to show prospective clients... .. I was also thinking it would be best to offer 'bargain' prices until i build experience.... Really looking forward to hearing your stories and valued advice xx LOL:heart:
"Bargain" prices are the only way amateurs get work around these parts. ;) The first wedding I did was for my best friend's sister. She knew I was a photo geek and needed a budget photographer. Everything went well and I got a couple shots for a portfolio.

The second was a coworker of my stepdad's who also needed someone cheap but with photoshop experience (as she wanted a lot of special effects). Bingo for me. I upped the price just a bit and she's happy as a clam so more portfolio shots for me.

Third wedding will be happening in July, and that is a friend I used to work with. Again, someone looking for a cheap photographer for nice, classic wedding work. Young couples just have no money. Surprise. I'd do it for free for the girl though as she's practically family anyway. :)

I'll also be tagging along at a wedding in June to practice candid shots and to watch a "pro" in action. (The "pro" doesn't know this :mrgreen: )

Honestly, IME, the best way to start is to do it for people you know and cheaply. Maybe just have them cover costs to start. Word will spread about who took the photos as the couple shows them off to family and friends. :)
Our first was for a coworker of my mom's daughter. It was a very low-budget affair, and our skills and fees (around $500, I think) fit right in to their plan. Our next few were mostly coworkers and acquaintences, still in that $500-$700 range. Now we're heading into our 3rd season and while we still do some friends and acquaintences, most of our business comes from referrals on places like and such. And we're no longer in that $500 range. ;) While we're still very inexpensive as far as most wedding photography goes, we're much closer to the local 'par'.
I would suggest summers_enemy idea. I plan to do this sometime in the future too. Tag along with another photographer and help them for free. Give the pro all the shots that you took, and use what good ones you have for your portfolio. The pro will be happy because you will capture some things they were not able to do, and you get experience.
summers_enemy I'll also be tagging along at a wedding in June to practice candid shots and to watch a "pro" in action. (The "pro" doesn't know this :mrgreen: ) [/quote said:
Good advice...everyone has to start out cheap. My only problem with this is "the pro doesn't know". Please be sure that the "pro" doesn't have a clause in their contract that you can not shoot at the wedding or that you can not use any photos for commercial use. This is fairly common (its in my contract). I also waisted my time at a wedding when i was first starting.... couldn't use any of the shots. Just a thought!

I assisted others until I had enough for my own website. Once the website went up, I started getting calls.
I think I come off pretty confident at meetings, and have only been asked once how many weddings I have done. My answer was simple and vauge, but also true, "too many". :)

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