Hello everyone. New to the site, looks like a great place.
The reason for my topic is sort of straight forward. I've gotten involved with photography as a part of my journalism program and it sort of evolved from just photojournalism to an enjoyment with everything else that comes with photography. One thing I found myself thoroughly enjoying is wedding photography, as with my love of everything else wedding (took a wedding planning course two years ago and got 99% on it) but I've hit a snag. As many know, weddings can be one of the most difficult type of photography and given I don't want to risk ruining someone's memories of their big day, I haven't advertised myself as a wedding photog.
However, I've been e-mailing several wedding photographers in my area (an area of about 250,000 people) and while a few bites (3) have asked me to get in touch in the fall (when I return to school) many have never responded. One of my friends who is involved with portrait and landscape photography said it could be that since my area is heavy with competition because it is a smaller city, they're likely not going to want to train someone, let them second-shoot or even just mentor them without pay (the option I've been asking for) because they don't want someone eventually becoming competition nor stealing clients.
As such I'm wondering if people have any advice of how to get training on being a wedding photographer. I've noted on here some people suggest given amateur status you should do stuff for free which I'm not opposed too, however it's my understanding many professionals feel that those who do things like weddings for free are ruining the business because without pay the photog has no real commitment to the couple to deliver quality shots or even show up. (No offense to anyone on here who does go free, from what I've seen you are not these type of people but I've heard of many in my area). So like I said, is there any suggestions you'd have? I'm currently reading books on wedding photography like posing, what goes into it, the details for the normal day as a wedding photog, etc. I've gotten into going out and shooting but finding models in this city is also rather difficult because my friends apparently are camera shy.
So yes, as I said any help would be much appreciated and sorry if any of this is confusing.