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5 Steps to Making Money as a Photographer - Photography to Profits

I'll also have my Pentax K-7 as secondary camera so will use that as well. True it's a learning curve but everything is but just do your homework, make a shortlist, scout the ceremony and reception locations, look at wedding photos online and hopefyully you'll be fine.


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Wedding vs Portfolio Lets see, at a wedding the subjects are moving, quickly and erratically, and driven, usually by the MC who doesn't care a Rats A,,,,,,, about you. The are drunk and emotional. The lighting is completely out of your control as is the backgrounds. Knowing all this, you will be good. They all want you to take pictures of them. The first wedding is an experience, good luck. I have been mostly taking profile pictures and they are great, everybody likes them, get many response, However I am still new with this, I have been doing it for 2 years only, and recently been asked by a friend to do some shoots for her wedding I have told her this is not my field, but she said I would be a second photographer just because she isn't sure of the one that was booked, she haven't seen his portfolio I have agreed, as it cant get any worse than not having me at all.

It will also be my first ever wedding to shoot, therefore these tips are very helpful, lets hope the practice will help me there, I am planning on reading some photography books specially for weddings,: This is from DigitalRev. One of their tips is make a short list. I downloaded a simple list app on my Iphone and made a list of shots to take. As you're busy, busy on the day it's helpful to have a quick look at it.

On price, figure per hour. On RAW, shooting raw does not change things, having the software to adjust it does. On your girl friends daughters wedding, your not invited, you cannot shoot and attend, also, good way to loose a girl friend. I didn't shoot in RAW or have a flash. You don't want to introduce something new that you're not used to. Is it to save money on a pro or cos they think you want to?

I came up with a figure based on: Time event takes 2. I did in my earlier post, here again http: Every guest is shooting at weddings anyway theese days. So best idea for amateurs is: If you are a professional, you probably know more or less what to. Help please, Ive been asked once again to do some photo shoots for a family I know. I explained that I would have to charge this time. But Im not sure what to charge. This is great advice! I did a wedding with my cousin I was the assistant and got some ideas from her. Now I have a wedding coming up and this time I am alone.

I am a little nervous because I just have one camera body.

I have a f. Just wondering if someone can explain how to shoot raw I have never done this. IS it really necessary and how difficult is it to edit images later? I don't have a diffuser but am looking to borrow one. I would love to do this more often and need advice. This is what I have done so far Keep in mind that when I shot these images I did not have the lens I have now Thanks for the great advice I am a mega amateur photographer that likes to take pictures of eagles, herons, egrets. I do this for fun, I take pictures to get a couple of good ones.

I use a Canon 40D and have a mm lens that I love. I get lucky sometimes and get a few good shots, I'm pretty lucky taking pictures of these birds in flight. My girlfriend asked me the other day if I would be back up photographer for her daughters wedding. She's not getting warm feelings with her photographer I want to thank you so very much for the information you have posted here.

I just wanted you to know there are those of us out here that really appreciate your suggestions and ideas. You just may help me get through this! I read 'shoot without filters' and mind your lens. You can adde tones, effects in post processing in RAW, even more. Appreciate any advise you can give. I have done half a dozen wedding for family and friends and they are stressful indeed. I let the couple know that i have done a few and that i will not charge what a pro charges but i will get some great memorable shots of their day I tend to charge too little as it seems the weddings i do people cant afford the big bucks but all in all everyone has been overjoyed by the pictures i do!

I feel as if im doing them a favor and in return i make a little extra money! These kinds of posts were a great resource for me when I first began shooting weddings. I think the best advice I could give would actually be about the relational aspects of photography. Do an engagement shoot before the wedding. This helps the couple to be comfortable with you and being in front of the camera. If they don't like you and feel like they know you well, they will not smile pretty ;. The bride and groom want one thing, but everyone else wants something different.

If you can't please everyone, please the bride and groom. Ultimately, it is their day and they signed your contract that should be 2 part B. Always have a contract. Stick to the schedule, but don't stress. The wedding planner usually doesn't even have the ceremony begin until minutes after the time on the invitation because guests are notoriously not on time. Maybe back in the day, this was not the case, but it is now Don't keep shooting because you have pretty people in pretty places. Just get what you need and get them to the reception.

Thanks for this post! I am so glad that I read this! I am shooting my first wedding tomorrow. I feel more confident now. Hi, I posted a while back that I was asked by a friend to shoot his wedding. I did the gig, here's some of my photos- http: The day was interesting, stressful, enjoyable, hard and an experience! Obviously there's a learning curve, not easy to know where to position yourself during the ceremony as you have to move around. The main things I'd pass on are:.

This was you can catch shots without having to change lenses. At the reception I had a 30mm f1. I copied some photos from other photographers with permission. Know where you're going to stand for all differnet parts of the ceremony. At the reception I was worried that I wasn't getting the candid shots but after a while people mingled more and loosened up.

I was stressed but am happy with the results. I'm doing another wedding in October and looking forward to it. What helped me was the groom said the photos aren't the most important thing to them, if they were I'd have said no. But for anyone thinking or who has been asked I'd say- 1. If they're aware and still want you then do it. You've one life, it's a great experience and odds are it'll go well. Ahhhh, here I will agree with the 'doubters' out there.

Photographing people is def not like shooting 'objects' and 'landscapes. They don't move, they don't blink, they are not unruly and certainly they don't have personalities, both good and more often bad. Plus, you shoot something that dos not have a heartbeat you don't have to worry about bringing the feeling of the moment into the frame. I would say find someone you know who is going to throw SOME kind of party and offer your services for free and try that. I do parties exclusively, it is quite different from shooting a bowl of fruit. I hope this gives you a view of what you will be up against.

I am not saying you cannot do it but be prepared. Sort of like babysitting a room full of 12 year old boys and girls. I've saved this to my favorites so I can go back over it when I have time. I've been asked to do a wedding. I don't do people I do sunsets, old barns, old cemetaries, trees reflecting in water, etc etc It scares me to death to undertake such an important occasion.

I've got 7 months to prepare. I talked myself out of doing it once already. I have asked several people I know to let me practice photographing them and their kids. I sure hope I can have the confidence to go through with it. I also am going to practice where the wedding is going to take place The bride fully understands how scared I am to do this for her. I will not be charging one dime for my time or anything. I've been doing the professional thing for a while, but have stuck mostly to family and newborn photography. I've recently been sought out to do two weddings, mostly because of word of mouth, and have found this article to be very helpful.

I've been a second shooter a few times, but never had to be The Main Photographer Thanks Darren, for calming my fears! Ana, for lack of experience, the best thing you can remember, if you can, is, take a breath before each shot, mentally step back out of your emotional state and ask yourself, "is the composure and settings OK or can I tweek it a little better". And in a nutshell, post processing in Photoshopis very underrated by people who have not use it to save the day.

One thing I like to tll my clients before the event is that they are paying me to record their event. I am at the beconing cal. I don't know all the intrinsic relationships of their family. So if there are people they want pictures with, Get used to calling my name out and get me on the spot to capture it. Ususally my midevent all I hear is Bobbee, Bobbee,Bobbee. Makes me tired but when I deliver the pictures they do love it. Good luck and I hope you have at least one layer of skin left at the toll of midnight. Remember, two things, have fun. While it is a job, there is no exclusion from you enjoying the event and if by the end of the night you are not exhausted and in pain, you did not do a good job.

Relax you will be great. I am so grateful for the tips. I am a begginer photographer and tomorrow I will be taking wedding pictures. I never did before and I do not intend to keep doing. I am freaking out, but, as the bride told me, she cannot afford a pro or a beginner, so, I will do it for free.

I know some bride can hate the photographer afterwards, but, I think that when they cannot afford paying, it really does not matter how their pictures of the big day came out, but, what matters he most is actually HAVING some pictures. Its better having sommething than nothing.

I've photographed a couple of weddings now, totally free of charge, to build up a portfolio and have learnt a lot very quickly. Fortunately both sets of clients have been very happy with the images I've given them, and the second 'free' wedding clients actually insisted on paying afterwards. My top tips are invest in a fast lens f2. Wedding photography isn't as easy as people think because you have the client's needs in mind and you don't get to pick the location.

You have to think fast. Good to see some of the comments since I've last read this. The last wedding I did recently was probably the worst ever. I felt for the bride and groom. It was easy to see the frustration building up. Jokes do help at times like this but can really backfire. It's a bit old, but channel 9 had a little dance called the channel 9 quickstep really showing my age.

You did this to feel better when extremely nervous or under pressure. Anyhow, I told the bride to think about this if she got nervous when walking down the aisle. She did think about it,, burst out laughing and had to go back outside and start again. Not once but twice. Right out through the vows etc, she just couldn't keep a straight face. Boy, did I cop it later, but she still talks about it today. Shame we didn't have silliest home video back then. It was definiely a winner. I was in a wedding band for 25 years, so i know the pressure, i have been doing photography for a while and people are asking me to shoot there functions.

I wanted to add a few things but since it has been going for a few years already I think pretty much everything has been taking care of. All of our photographers make sure that the day is pre-planned and rather than quietly hiding inside the crowd they make sure they connect to the bride and groom and their guests. If you can tell a few good jokes, that will also help. I was starting to panic because I thought that my friends didn't have a photographer lined up at all for their wedding.

I found this article because I was worried that I'd end up doing it with no experience whatsoever other than playing around on my own with very successful results but no pressure. I was very relieved to find out that they do have a photographer lined up, however I will still take my camera making sure not to get in the way to get some shots at the reception: A photographer needs to have at least one backup camera, if not more just in case something happens.

I know a photographer that dropped his camera in a water fountain. You really have to be on your toes because there is so much going on. Best article for wedding! Patrick miguel Blan is giving you some great advice. The Canon 5D is a great camera I recently purchased the 7D also another great camera. Getting familiar with the camera is key. You can do lots of configurations with the camera. However, I don't think you will be proficient with it by just renting it over the weekend. Go to canon's Digital learning center site to learn and don't forget Youtube. You can't practice too much.

You don't want to blow a wedding. You may want to tag along with another photographer that is shooting prior the wedding you are doing. Borrow lenses has a wedding photographers essential package. Everything you will need is in that package minus the camera body. Hi Patrick ,the 5D mark ll is a great top of the line camera , although I don't own one I've used it several times,superb image quality and you look like a million buck. Another thing is editing software you probably will need Photoshop to edit the images or Adobe lightroom.

My wedding dilemma- I'm going to be photographing a friend's wedding later this year he's going to pay me for it. He wants to rent a Canon 5d mark II and mm lens. He's rented this before for a work event and loved the camera. The plan would that this would be the main camera for me to use and my Pentax as a backup.

My obvious issue is that I'm not familiar and would only have an evening and morning to get used to it. I'm very familiar with my camera, where settings etc are. I also have a few lenses. I have a Pentax K-7, Sigma 30mm f1. I've said to him straight out what I've mentioned above, think I'll have to say it's my camera or can't do it. I've shot just over 30 weddings now, and one thing that really helped me, was having another person with me.

In my case my wife to help with arranging people, and just talking to them. This would give me time to think about what I needed to do to get the shot set up. Wedding photography is very stressful when you are just starting out, because there are so many things you need to do, and it's all happening at a pretty fast pace. It does get easier and less stressful with every wedding you shoot. I've been a wedding photographer for the last 8 years and is not joke when you say turn your camera shutter sound off,this simple tip separates professionals from aficionados in every situation.

I switched to wedding photography from studio photography a few years ago and have a great success. A key wedding photography tip I thought was overlooked in this article was have a curious and empathetic eye. To be a good at wedding photography you need to be creative, have excellent technical photography skills, be quick on your feet and have an appreciation for human nature.

Bouncing the flash off a reflector is a quick way to get a softer light using on-camera flash when ceilings or walls aren't available or suitable. Creative have a free webinar covering post wedding photography activity. I won't be able to make it but it could be interesting, link: I have 2 weddings this summer my first ones and posted here already so it's not spam just in case anyone is thinking so. Pros and Cons on shot lists. But others say they are great. I do like them BUT This is where you take your comprehensive shot list downloadable from the internet and hand it to the bride and tell her to pick.

Grab the remaining, and try to subdue her nature to pick every one, and get her to pick the most important ones. You hand that list off to some Brides maid or realative that is reliable the bride will pick this person and have them group the people and you shoot them. You job is done, well the coordnation part.

You still have to take a good picture. Don't forget the incidentals like flowers, rings, shoes, etc, etc, etc. A good macro lens helps. I was asked recently to take the pictures at a wedding in July so I could really use your tips. I found them really helpful. Love the shot list idea. I actually created a shot list for the photographer to use for my own wedding. I have to drop a comment here, again!!! I have always said that if you have the drive, the equiptment and knowledge go for it. I do stil stand by that. I must also comment that a good many people have said on this thread, go out and work with a professional photographer for years to gain experience.

Well I have to agree with that in part, You will learn what to do, you will learn setup and you will learn the business. What I think you SHOULD learn, but am questioning if you will actually get the chance, is to learn to take the right photos and slow down. I just did a rather large Super 16 party on Saturday, It ws a Quad 16 birthday, 2 brothers and two sisters.

Spending over a day editing the pictures I was reflecting on what I had taken and past, earlier phtographs of parties. There was a suttle difference. I did realize that this was becuse my internal clock is slowing down and now I have no quams about stopping everyone in their tracks and ordering people around to get the shot I see through the mayhem. This certainly can come from arrogance but in my case I see more of it comeing from exerience and I am settling into what I know I can deliver.

I more and more do not question my ability, but my equiptments capability of delivering what I see. This, again, in case the point has been lost by my babbiling, comes from all the parties where I have stood up in front of people and directed, to 'get the shot'. So go do your engagements but during, if you can catch a breath, and certainly after, take a step back and do a Lessons Learned on every aspect of your process and make a mental note as to how to improve.

If you cannot do that you will not go from the ugly bug to the beautful butterfly and impress people with your beautful colors!! Gee thanks, I think? Being from NY and just gutsy, I have done my share of business, After hours joint at Auto mechanic shop after that, 30 year as a consultant with my own business.

Senior worldwide Middleware specialist. You can learn to keep your foot on the gas and driving straight ahead and be courageous!!! Bobbee, it is true that getting yourself out there is important, however once you step out of the circle of photography that is used to catering to price shopping, you will find that it is very difficult to win work based on price or even by being free. Professionalism, your talent and especially relationships are the key.

But hey, you got yourself out there which is the first step to building relationships and for that you should be commended. I'm 14 years old with an eye for photography and my mom's friend asked me to photograph her wedding! This is an amazing opportunity for me and these tips really helped! There are some great tips here and even some experienced pro photographers could stand to brush up on some of these! Thanks for the tips. I especially resonate with the 'expect the unexpected' one. Weddings are all about planning, and yet the best moments come by surprise.

I have found that that's where a truly professional photographer proves himself useful. So i like your comment about 'many for the price of one'. Maybe and maybe not. I travel world wide alot. Naturally I get upgraded often. So I am sitting in 1C, before I got on the plane I notice these guys, slightly older, goofing around like slightly younger people.

They were a little under the Irish Sun. It just so happens they are sitting behind me. The one joval guy, who is bragging and dropping names, and his friends, are the Production Manager and Production crew for the Black Eyed Peas. The 'Peas' hand a concert in Central Park that weekend and this was Thursday night and they were going in to set up.

I pass them my card and apoligize for being pusshie, but I am sure he understands.

1. Learn To Shoot In Manual Mode Right Away

After some chatting he sez that this would be nice but they have a photographer. So I sez to him, why would you have one photographer when you can have two for the same price. He was in that special place in his drinking where this statement registered an oddity in his lubricated crainal muscle, and sez 'What?

So I tell him, get me a pass, clear me with security and let me shoot. I will give you my tiime and all the pictures on CD, if you like my work, call me or don't call me in the future, you have nothing to loose. Never called, but he does have my card. Unless he used it to take the appitizers they served us in First Class out from between his teeth and quickly deposited my card in the circular file system.

You have to be in it to win it. We hear too many Wedding Photography horror stories. The best way to assure great results from your wedding photographer is not use a photographer. Instead you should be using photographers, especially if you can a few for the price of one. Many of the better wedding photographers have interns that not only help set up shots but also take their own shots.

We frequently find that the best more candid shots are coming from the interns, they're not occupied taking the required shots but instead can look for the candid gem. I think what many people seem to be forgetting is that even Photography pro's have to rely on post-production work to have the best possible photos. Photoshop is used by most pro's! Without Photoshop even the Pros shots wouldn't be as outstanding as they look.

Photo-retouching is a big part of it. Consider hiring a second camera and lenses if you dont already have them. I have had friends that had children that I wanted to do their weddings for them. They thought it more important that I was attending than working the wedding. You being the father that is a much more important idea.

Don't do the wedding!! Attend it like a father should and enjoy you kids very special day. If it is all about the money, hire that pushie guy and tell him to drive or walk there. I am sure you can find someone who would be willing to do it for less. That is if it is stll about the money and only the money. Tanya, You are walking into a dimension where you have no idea what is oging to happen. It will also be ridiculous for the mother or father of the groom to be hotographing the wedding. Shooting in RAW is absolutely not necessary, but if you do and you are planning to do a half decent job you will need at least 10 4GB CF cards.

YOU WILL end up with some nice shots and shots that people will say "are great" mostly our of obligation but it is the shots that your will miss due to your inexperience that will be the problem. Shots that only a experienced photographer can see, create or anticipate. Post production is also something that you should be concerned with - there is no way that "homemade" albums and prints can have the end result most brides are expecting. Lastly - you are shooting for "family" - never a good idea and your inlaws all of them starting with your daughter in law will resent you unless those photos are beautiful.

My son will be married in June and they can't afford a pro. Since I photographed my daughter's private wedding ceremony, they asked me to photograph their wedding. Long story short, I will be taking their wedding photos. My daughter's wedding was just immediately family, very casual and a simple restaurant dinner no reception. My son's wedding, while small guests , is formal and includes a reception.

I'm so glad digital-photography-school. I'm reading everything I can. The tip for shooting in RAW is great, but I know those files are larger. I currently have one 4GB compact flash, high speed memory card. I'm with Joan on the idea of not shooting family. Its great to take a camera to a wedding when you're a guest, but I've never shot my best stuff when shooting people I know. This is a great list, and lets face it there are plenty of people who can't afford a pro, so it will be a great help for their friends who step in.

I recently received this email: I came across a small biography about you while looking into cheap photographers. I currently work for a company that unfortunately does not care about the customer and now they are closing of their studios including mine. I know quite a bit about the photography side of the business but am quickly learning there is a lot more to it than that.

I'm a bit of an armature when it comes to the technicals of it. I am however very good at capturing the pictures that people seek. I would like to go into business for myself after the company closes my studio. I would like some assistance if you would. What type of software do you use to enhance your pictures? What type of pricing do you do? I want to offer my customers what they are use to seeing from me without sinking myself. Also what do you suggest lighting wise and backgrounds? I personally prefer black, white, and then a few seasonal things thrown in for backgrounds.

As for a camera I was looking into a Canon Rebel T2i. Since I'm not exactly rich I'm also trying to start this as cheaply as possible. Any help you can give would be very greatly appreciated. Hi Shawna, I received your email tonight regarding your desire to start a photography business. I appreciate you asking so I think the least I can do is take a few moments to give you a few thoughts and advise. Having a photography business is VERY difficult. Becoming a photographer is a process that takes years to develop.

Learning "photography" the art and the science is a skill that takes time and patience. Doing a great job for your customer is incredibly difficult. You - are not ready and may never be. But I can guarantee you that if you go about it as I think you want to, your chances of success are minimal if not impossible. The greatest advise I can give you much better than answering the questions in your email all of which, are irrelevant by the way and if you truly care about "the customer" is to go work for a studio for at least five years, enroll in some professional schooling, read a lot, practice a lot and MAYBE THEN start thinking about becoming an independent photographer.

As of right now, the experience, skill, knowledge, business ability and equipment you have will not allow you to provide a good product or customer experience and you will not only erode your possibilities considerably but you will also erode the very industry that you seem to have an appreciation for. I understand you want to believe that your work is up to par with customers' expectations - but that is your opinion. Photography is about beautiful images, but it is about a whole lot more. I will be glad to critique some of your images with total honesty if you would like.

By the type of questions you asked me, I can tell you right now that you have a very long way to go - and you should make a plan that takes you there - or you can choose to become yet another cheap and inexperienced photographer like the many others that "started their own business" because they had an epiphany while listening to their favorite song. Something that may seem as insignificant as the formatting, grammar and spelling of your email make it evident that you need so much more preparation and experience - I could hardly get through your email all the way.