"In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality." -Alfred Stieglitz
Weddings, engagement parties, bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, and holidays are all happy occasions that people want to remember and hold onto forever.
Is it possible to capture a moment and keep it forever?
Absolutely. Photographers do more than take random pictures; they capture memories that people want to remember for a lifetime.
Photos taken by professional photographers are stored in albums that can be reviewed to bring back positive memories of special events.
Does a career as a photographer interest you? Do you want to brighten people's day with pictures? Are you curious about how to become qualified in wedding or event photography? If you've answered yes to the three previously posed questions, you're reading the right article!
In today's feature, we will help aspiring photographers acquire information about how to become specialised in wedding and event photography.
Putting Yourself Out There: Finding Work in Wedding and Event Photography
There is big money in shooting weddings and special events. According to 2018 estimates, the average cost of a wedding in the UK has skyrocketed to over £30,000!
While these numbers may seem absurd, essential elements that make a wedding day unique such as a caterer, a wedding dress, a tux, a venue, a cake, a photographer, and a videographer add up quickly.
Engaged couples willingly spend thousands of pounds on professional wedding photographers.
Amateur wedding photographers who are looking to make it big in the industry need to work hard at putting themselves out there; especially in the beginning.
The following are some helpful tips to establish yourself as a professional and frequently booked wedding photographer:
- Create a Website or Social Media Page: by having an online presence, clients can check out your portfolio without any pressure to hire you right away. Feature all of the best work on your website, Instagram, or Facebook page to attract clients. Make sure you have a section where clients can quickly contact you.
- Get Second Shooter Experience: show your portfolio to friends and other professional wedding photographers to see if they would hire you as a second shooter. Having experience as a second shooter is a brilliant idea since you can use the pictures captured from the event as self-promotion on your website.
- Use Your Networking Skills: don't only focus on other wedding photographers, network within the wedding industry to attract potential clients with big bucks! Consider joining online and offline wedding industry communities to make personal connections with florists, bakers, videographers, wedding planners etc.
- Advertise, Advertise, Advertise: by promoting your new photography business on UK-based sites such as Gumtree you might find new clients. Many people would be surprised about how many engaged couples look through classified ads to find professional photographers working near them!
The previously mentioned four tips are from experienced wedding photographers who also had to fit to get their foot in the door. While it might not be easy to get started as a professional photographer, a rewarding career in photography is definitely worth any efforts made!
Shooting a Wedding or Special Event: Essential Components Needed
The exchanging of meaningful vows, the joy of seeing loved ones reunite, and the pricelessness of sharing special moments such as the first dance, the cutting of the cake, and the first look.
All of the previously mentioned events occur on a wedding day and set it apart from all other special days.
To effectively remember every precious moment, the bride and groom hire a professional wedding photographer.
While it is essential to state that a photographer's professionalism, attention to detail, experience, and overall talent convince clients to hire them, there are certain elements that make shooting a wedding or special event run smoothly.
But what tools are needed to become skilled at weddding or event photography?
Before talking with my dear friend Ashley MacPhee, one of Montreal's top wedding and unique event photographers, I thought that a lot of expensive equipment was necessary to shoot special event moments successfully. However, I was completely wrong; that's why it's essential to consult with the pros!
Therefore, without further delay, Ashley suggests that when starting out the following components be present when shooting a wedding or special event:
- Have Backups: nothing is perfect in this world and things, such as camera equipment, can quickly fail without further notice. Therefore, to avoid a lack of professionalism, anxiety, and time away from shooting priceless moments, it is highly recommended to have backups of everything. That means two cameras, two flashes, and two lenses should be brought to every shoot to make sure things run smoothly throughout the day.
- Extra Batteries and Memory Cards: since you are continually snapping shots and using the camera, it is very likely that you will need to change the battery; therefore, make sure you have extras! Also, to capture the perfect moment, a photographer takes countless photos throughout the day so supplementary SD or memory cards are necessary not to find yourself deleting pictures rather than making more.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes: this may sound strange to many readers, but it's serious business; comfort is a priority when shooting long events such as weddings. A photographer is always on the go and on their feet; therefore, a pair of comfy trainers is essential!
- Bring Snacks: the job of a wedding photographer is quite taxing; how so? Well, since there are so many perfect moments to document, a wedding photographer will spend most of the day behind his or her camera. That means there is no time to sit down and eat a proper meal. Ashley recommends eating a big breakfast to start the day and taking advantage of small breaks to eat snacks since you will most likely be working until 9 or 10 pm.
By taking into consideration the previously mentioned necessary components, your first special events as a professional photographer will be an outstanding triumph!
Also, as a blog writer, you sometimes find yourself feeling stumped with new themes, so I personally want to thank Ashley MacPhee for her tips on helping amateur photographers prepare for shooting a wedding or special event. Check out her website to read her blog posts, portfolio, and contact information. Although she's based in Montreal, she's more than ready to travel anywhere to shoot special events internationally!
Wildlife photographers also enjoy an exciting life capturing phenomenal shots of animals.
Photography Tips for Amateurs
Do you want to become the best at what you do? Do you want to take pictures that photographers such as Annie Lebowitz, Mario Testino, and Steve McCurry would marvel at? Do you want to create art?
There is no doubt about it, photography is an art!
Therefore, to create art, there are specific techniques taught by the most celebrated photographers that should be taken into consideration.
While it is true that some photographers are born with unique abilities that skyrocket them to success, many of the most magnificent shots ever taken were the result of hard work, determination, passion, love of photography, and tips from more experienced cameramen.
Therefore, without further ado, the following are useful tips for photography amateurs from knowledgeable professionals:
- Too Much Light is No Good: one cannot become a professional photographer without understanding the foundations of lighting. Many "amateurs" or "beginners" believe that more light equates a better picture; this type of thinking is erroneous. It is essential to state that some of the best portraits or landscape shots are taken during "the golden hour" just before sunset. Therefore, before taking just any random picture, look around and observe your surroundings. Take a look at where the light is coming from; this will influence where you place your subject.
- Knowing When to Use Your Lense: before receiving any misleading information from salesmen, other articles, or well-intentioned friends, it is essential to state that there is NO lens on the market that is appropriate for every type of photography or situation. It is highly recommended to buy your camera and lens separately since the lens provided with the camera is not usually the best quality or suitable for the kind of photography you want to do. Remember that when choosing a camera lens, the crop factor is necessary to consider.
- Edit Your Photos: when shooting with RAW files, which is highly recommended by many professionals, the photo lacks contrast and will need editing not to look flat. By learning the basics of Lightroom editing, your photos will go from amateur to professional in no time! How to use Lightroom? Have no fear; there are many online resources available. To boast professional pictures on your portfolio, use RAW; there are many more options when it comes to editing.
Whether shooting weddings or other important events, there are many elements and much essential information to consider. Nevertheless, if photography is your passion, go for it! While a career as a photographer is hugely competitive, following your dreams and taking pictures of people's precious moments are priceless.