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Advice needed again please


Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2006 11:32AM
Ok, I've decided Photography is the career path I want to go down, I enjoy photography and find a passion in it, I especially like doing outdoor portraiture, as you can see from the few images I have put in my portfolio (will have to get some more uploaded soon), so Im guessing that I would enjoy Wedding photography, although I have no experience in this field, I do have plenty of experience in Studio portraiture, but I prefer to have the open space and I find I can produce much nicer images. I have put quite a few images with stock agencies, although not sold any as of yet, but this is a recent venture.

Anyway I'm rambling on again, I am highly interested in wedding photography but don't know how to get into it, my trouble is that I have a five year old daughter and can possibly get my mum to look after her maybe one Saturday a fortnight(I say Saturday as that is when weddings generally take place)
I have thought about writing off to wedding photographers to become an apprentice but then i cannot guarantee I can work for them all the time i.e babysitter permitting. I am quite willing to work for free when I do get the time, as I think the experience would be payment enough. Could anyone suggest a way I may be able to get experience in this field or a way I could maybe word a letter saying that I may not be able to work on some occassions etc.

Many thanks

Debbie
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
11 Sep 2006 11:37AM

Quote:I enjoy photography and find a passion in it


Would you be happy doing utterly boring photography as well as the "nice" stuff - because it makes money for you?
Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2006 11:43AM
Thanks for the reply Carabosse, yes I would be quite happy doing the "boring stuff" i.e a lot of the images I have put with the stock agencies arn't exactly interesting subjects for me although I have to say I do find the challenge of doing "boring stuff" quite interesting, in the way of how can I make it look interesting etc, also the other side of things I wouldn't mind doing i.e lugging round equipment setiing it up etc etc as I look at this as a need to achieve what I ultimately would like to do.
JohnHawthorne 15 1.7k 5 Scotland
11 Sep 2006 11:51AM
I'd like to help but I'm not a wedding photographer. However I can't see the harm in writing speculative letters (or emails) to local wedding photographers simply stating what you've said here. You have the right attitude and it's quite refreshing to see that. I wish you well in it.
whipspeed 16 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2006 12:53PM
Not easy being a working Mum, but go for it Debbie, write some letters & enclose your work, they can only say no & possibly yes. But do be upfront about the babysitting. Good Luck.

Sarah
culturedcanvas 15 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2006 1:23PM
Debbie ... 750 - 1500 for a wedding for the day .. babysitter 50 max ... id write to wedding photographer asking if they need an assistant . offer your services free, agree a number of weddings, try and do it out of the area tho so the photographer doesnt feel competition when you go on your own. Set up a good website, market it well, and try and shoot as many friends, relatives weddings as possible alongside the main photographer to build up your portfolio. Dan PS Good Luck !
Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2006 5:40PM
Thank you all, some great advice, and I guess I will just send those letters out, well I best get to work writing them theres no time like the present, thank you again.

Debbie
whipspeed 16 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2006 6:16PM
Good luck Debbie, I hope it all goes well for you.

Sarah
Simon E 18 132
11 Sep 2006 7:13PM
I think wedding photography is one of the toughest photo jobs because you're reputation is on the line every time. It's a number of people's biggest day of their lives and they'll let you know if you don't deliver.

How determined are you? that will be a big factor in whether you get past the wannabe stage. Don't let the babysitting get in the way if you're dedicated. Some people are naturals, they just click with people and have a feel for what they're doing. It's a stereotype but women can make better wedding photographers.

It sounds like you already have a portfolio. Get it organised, have something truly impressive to show. You could try sending a letter to a few wedding snappers in the region, I would suggest including an A4 sheet with a set of images on that show your skills. Check their websites, shop windows and/or newspaper adverts and customise your letters accordingly - it will show you've been doing research rather than pulling names out of the Yellow Pages. Write that you will ring to follow up (they're bound to be too busy to ring you).

If you're into learning from books you could try
- Wedding Photography by Ian Gee
- Elegant black and white wedding photography by Sara Frances.
- The Art of Wedding Photography by Bambi Cantrell.

There are others but I borrowed the first two from the local library and was quite impressed. Have heard good things about the third.

A friend of mine is in the SWPP and says it can be useful. I'm not a big fan of having letters after your name, but a practical organisation like that might be worth a look once you're on your own.

Try to get some advice, there may well be forums where people with experience pass on useful info (the Amateur Photographer forums have some suprisingly useful advice). Snappers in the USA are ahead of the game and sometimes forums like Zuga.net's Wedding and Event forum is an interesting place to hang out.

There are advice sites (e.g. confetti.co.uk) and magazines for brides - check the advice they give, avoid the pitfalls described. Unless you're lucky to have the local market to yourself develop a style you're happy with (b&w film & print, 6x6cm trad/formal, PJ digital machine-gun, whatever) and if you're good people will want to use you.

Simon.
Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2006 9:27PM
thanks Simon great advice, and thanks for the links and info on books.

Debbie
philwig 16 817 1
11 Sep 2006 10:40PM
Sounds like some good advice there.

I don't think weddings are boring, although they may be if you shoot one a week. Perhaps lots of things are like that.

I'm not sure what the best way to get into it is. I kind of drifted that way by accident as various people asked me to shoot weddings because they knew I did photo stuff. The first one I did was for free and it was for good friends, and I knew I could get a few shots so that was no big deal.
Once you've shot one it's easy, because there are a hundred or more people who were at that wedding who will ask you to shoot their weddings or tell their friends etc..
Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2006 8:56AM
Thank you Phil, I have just had a look at your website you have some great images on there, I especially like your candid shots.

Debbie
Debbiee 14 136 6 United Kingdom
13 Sep 2006 6:32PM
well I have sent 10 letters out up to now and more addresses to send some off to, fingers crossed one of them offers me something.

Would just like to thank you all again for the encouragement.

Debbie
User_Removed 16 4.3k 2 United Kingdom
13 Sep 2006 7:03PM
As part of my City an Guilds Photography course I was photographers assistant at a wedding.
The photographer had a formula that he worked to, making changes if the bride and groom requested.
My job was to get everyone in place for each photo, check dresses,button holes, flowers were right etc.
You have to dress like a guest, so smart gear is a must.
When the photographer decided he needed the step ladder from his car I found myself trying to run across parkland in 3" heels, not to be recommended.
It was great fun and I got top marks from the Pro but it was hard work.

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