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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 31 Jan 2012 (Tuesday) 16:04
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Wedding Photographer Level Definition

 
Tigerkn
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Jan 31, 2012 16:04 |  #1

In wedding Photography, we heard the term Pro., Amateur, Rookie all the time but who define the level and what are the limit qualification to be named in different level. I am wondering........

How do you define Wedding Photographer in difference level between: Pro. vs. Amateur vs. "Rookie" (Don't accept the job)?

Ranking below was copy directly from here (external link)

1-5 Weddings – Inexperienced
6-10 Weddings – Amateur (Qualified as an assistant photographer)
10-20 Weddings – Knowledgable
21-30 Weddings – Experienced
31+ Weddings – Professional (Qualified as an associate photographer)

Do you agree with ranking above? If you are, where are you now?


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dho81
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Jan 31, 2012 16:32 |  #2

Based on your chart, I'd fall into the "Amateur" category, but I don't consider myself one. Although, also based on your chart, after this season, I'll fall into your "Experienced" category and close on the heels of "Professional."

I don't think you can define it based on the number of weddings. Some people are faster/slower learners than others or can pick up things much better than others. Like with most things in life, there's no hard rules. Maybe generalizations, but then there will always be exceptions.


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Flores
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Jan 31, 2012 16:38 |  #3

I agree with dho81.

Experience is different for everyone. If you are good at organizing, and handled 3 photographers, portraits for a wedding party of 15, and an all day ceremony + an all night reception as your 3rd gig...

I don't see how you could be called inexperienced or an amateur...

:)




  
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snakeman55
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Jan 31, 2012 16:54 |  #4

There's always an X-Factor. It can't be boiled down to a rule of thumb. I got talked into my 1st wedding and did a good enough job that I booked my next 7 weddings based off of that 1st one. It depends on your skill level, your natural eye, your personality and a lot more.

There are plenty of guys out there doing 20+ every year that I think are terrible. There are guys that do one every once in a while that I think are amazing.

The level of professionalism you carry is somewhat independent of experience. For instance I didn't have to have a lot of experience to know to be on time, reply to emails promptly, keep my promises, dress and speak well, bring appropriate gear and prepare for contingencies.


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tim
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Jan 31, 2012 17:24 |  #5

I've seen photographers who've photographed 200+ weddings who I wouldn't trust to photograph anything at all, and i've seen photographer who've done 5 weddings who're awesome. Experience helps, but it's not everything.


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Gel
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Jan 31, 2012 17:56 |  #6

tim wrote in post #13802443 (external link)
I've seen photographers who've photographed 200+ weddings who I wouldn't trust to photograph anything at all, and i've seen photographer who've done 5 weddings who're awesome. Experience helps, but it's not everything.

This.


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Eric
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Jan 31, 2012 18:15 |  #7

I agree with these

tim wrote in post #13802443 (external link)
I've seen photographers who've photographed 200+ weddings who I wouldn't trust to photograph anything at all, and i've seen photographer who've done 5 weddings who're awesome. Experience helps, but it's not everything.

Gel wrote in post #13802612 (external link)
This.

There are those still how only want to shoot a limited number of weddings that are in fact quite talented. By that calculation it could take 10 years to become a professional

So I don't agree with that ranking system, though I do feel I fall into the appropriate catagory listed based on the number of weddings I've shot, knowladgeable...


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nicksan
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Jan 31, 2012 18:40 |  #8

I'd say let your images do the talking.




  
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jcolman
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Jan 31, 2012 19:52 |  #9

nicksan wrote in post #13802889 (external link)
I'd say let your images do the talking.



Exactly.


But to get back to your question, there will always be people who fall outside the parameters. I had never shot a wedding before 2008, so I was "inexperienced" when it comes to shooting weddings but I've been a professional photographer/ cinematographer for 30 years. However I agree that for the most part, your scale is probably pretty accurate.


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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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Jan 31, 2012 20:29 |  #10

nicksan wrote in post #13802889 (external link)
I'd say let your images do the talking.

Your images, people skills, and ability to adapt on the fly.


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Tigerkn
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Jan 31, 2012 21:55 |  #11

Thanks every!! I was just curious to see how every define it since those terms were use here from time to time.
Responses from everyone about Shooter images, skills make sense as it is more practical instead of counting by weddings. Thanks again!


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snaphappyphotography
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Feb 01, 2012 00:42 |  #12

Yeah it also depends on your demographic, standards are different in many parts of the country. That's why it's so important to understand your demographic.


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Peacefield
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Feb 01, 2012 07:41 |  #13

OMG, not this again!

The real answer is . . . don't worry about it. You're either a wedding photographer or you're not. Look at nearly any other profession: a sales manager, a dentist, a teacher, an office manager, etc. No one ever preceeds their title by proclaiming themselves as experienced, professional, amateur, etc., you are what you are and it's your quality that distinquishes you.

It's exactly the same with wedding photography.


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Tigerkn
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Feb 01, 2012 09:18 |  #14

^ Thanks Robert.


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smmokan
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Feb 01, 2012 10:38 |  #15

Why does there have to be a ranking for everything? "Best ever this", "Best ever that", "Worst of the last two months not counting Sundays".... who really cares? I know it's something to debate, but it's very pointless.

Maybe it makes some people feel superior to others? :(


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