Amateur Wedding Photography Tips – Since I have been using the internet over the past 4-5 years, I have come across many photography sites, some quite excellent and some that are quite honestly abysmal. The danger with the internet is that when a “photographer” with a newly built website, is possibly someone who has just taken up photography, bought themselves an overly expensive and professional camera and then maybe stumbled across a great photo or two! They then learn how to do a few tricks or manipulations with editing software such as Photoshop and “Da-Naa” they are a professional photographer.
I wouldn’t want to put anyone off this great hobby, past-time or vocation, but it is extremely important to establish the credibility of the individual giving out the advice and amateur wedding photography tips, PARTICULARLY when it comes to wedding photography.
I have occasionally read amateur wedding photography tips and advice from sites on the net that really wouldn’t pass muster as being from a wedding photographer, as not once did I see the words professional or professionalism. Anyone can click away with a top end digital camera at a wedding, but to do it correctly, in sequence, with all the required and necessary photographs being taken efficiently and professionally takes experience.
My initial piece of advice would be for you to advertise anywhere and everywhere and put yourself out there as an “inexperienced photographer” who is willing to listen and learn and eventually take up wedding photography.
Approach an established professional wedding photographer and respectfully ask if you can tag along at an upcoming wedding firstly WITHOUT any camera equipment, and assist him or her for free, (although he/she may “throw you a bone” at the end). The next time ask the photographer if you can take a few of your own reportage or candid shots so long as that under no circumstances will you get in the way of either the photographer OR the proceedings!
Then maybe you could approach a couple who are soon to be getting married and explain to them that, if possible, you would like to take some photos alongside the hired professional photographer (for nothing again) for practice, and that if they like any of your pictures, they are able to buy them from you at a reduced price.
Once you have done this maybe once or twice, and you feel confident enough that you can do it alone, I would suggest that once again, you offer to photograph a wedding free of charge, although this time as the ONLY photographer, and you should just charge for print costs to cover your own expenses.
By not charging at this point, and because of the fact that you are NOT yet an up and running business, and as long as you make this crystal clear to the wedding couple, you are limiting your personal liabilities but at the same time, getting some incredible experience under your belt for any future work.
Before you take the final plunge and start charging for your wedding photography services, the last of my amateur wedding photography tips is that you enrol yourself on a weekend or 2 or 3 day wedding photography course with a professional wedding photographer and learn as much as you can about lighting and posing techniques, as well as all the other details you are going to need to learn. These courses normally include a model wedding “couple” for a day for you to practice your skills on.
Wedding photography is honestly so much more than simply taking the photographs, you must think about the organising, the printing, the albums and above all else, your own personal proficiency, efficiency and professionalism.
All of this is a lot to take in and the chances are that you won’t earn much money for a while starting this way, but when you finally begin to charge for your wedding photography, you will be more than ready and able, and hopefully have bags of confidence to kick start you on your way.
Once you get it right, wedding photography can be extremely hard work but at the same time, an awful lot of fun and very rewarding both financially and personally.