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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 13 Apr 2010 (Tuesday) 00:37
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How did you start your wedding photography business?

 
cccc
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Apr 13, 2010 00:37 |  #1

Shortly stated, I want to be a wedding photog during college.

I know I can't just jump in and start doing weddings, so I want to know how all of you started?

What would you recommend to a newbie, aside from not "giving" away my work?

Thanks all




  
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bholtz
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Apr 13, 2010 11:51 |  #2

started with friends, then mostly a little advertising and word of mouth


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sapearl
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Apr 13, 2010 12:40 |  #3

Hi Chad, as bholtz says here, ditto.

I did my first weddings when I was back in school, after having shot for the campus newspaper. That had given me a lot of experience with events, speakers, groups, creative and unexpected things..... so I got pretty decent at shooting on the fly. People would approach me, saying they liked the PJ newspaper style of my coverage. So PJ is not new since this was back in 1973.

I also shot dormitory, corridor, sorority and fraternity house portraits. Once groups knew I was available I'd be shooting various groups almost every weekend. Back than it was 8x10 b/w prints in a wet darkroom. Now you have greater versatility and the ability to offer more varied and creative services.

bholtz wrote in post #9986803 (external link)
started with friends, then mostly a little advertising and word of mouth


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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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Apr 13, 2010 13:28 |  #4

I am in the same boat myself, and starting a full blown business, at least for me while going to school full time and working a retail job, is not feasible. I am trying to network, finding people in my area and trying to shoot with them. I have got into touch with a wedding planner and she has let me shoot a wedding, as well as a few other pros.

Dont expect to get paid much to start. I am planning to do a post on Craigslist and do some $500 weddings. Ive shot for my school paper, local magazines, etc. but that didnt help me so far. Find people that will be getting married sometime soon and target that crowd.


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Apr 13, 2010 13:37 as a reply to  @ Red Tie Photography's post |  #5

My fiance found our first gig on a posting at her photography school. A couple on a budget was looking for students to do their wedding. We kept doing weddings because our first couple (and their family) was so great and we've been really lucky ever since.

For the next year, the rest of our clients came from Craigslist - again very lucky with the couples that booked us.

Now the majority of our clients are referrals :)


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Joelene
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Apr 13, 2010 16:29 |  #6

I hated my job and thought photography looked like fun so i applied at studios recieved one phone call and then I became a photographrs SLAVE and ego booster for years. For minimum wage, I carried his bags, met his brides and booked his weddings, answered his phones, assemebled his proof albums, then orderd his prints, met with his unhappy couples, convinced his happy ones to spend more and give refferals then when i pushed him into digital, i did his digital proofing, editing, assembling, website, I designed his promo cards, set up his booths at photo shows, designed his adverts, set up meetings with vendors, the list goes on and on and on. I was his little BIOTCH for years and years.

Till finally i realized, I was never going to get anywhere as a PHOTOGRAPHER if I continued to do what I was doing. So, I quit and did all of that for myself. My first wedding was my cousin's she paid me by paying for the camera and lens rental, and gave me a car she had sitting in her garage. My second wedding was because another photographer didn't like the customer and gave me thier number to practice on. My third wedding was that bride's mom's wedding!

I then spent a summer with another photographer, every wedding he did I was there. ( 6 a weekend... yes SIX) around the end of that season, he said here is my camera. you take the next series of shots. The wedding after that he said, here is my camera I am going to sit in the corner. YOU shoot this wedding. then the next weekend he went on vacation and I was HIS little biotch, but i was a shooting one :D so i was HAPPY one. After he took me in for one summer I went out on my own own and it is all me all the time now. I continue to work with that second photographer as his back up when he is gone or ill. He is who i consider my "mentor' I learned a lot from the first guy, like how not to treat people.... but the second is now an amazing friend who i really owe my career too.

the end :)


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sapearl
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Apr 13, 2010 18:29 |  #7

Joelene - I have to say that is one helluva story and an interesting read. It reminds me of NPR's three minute short story contest..... very well written, quite engaging.... and I think rather poignant at the end. Thank you for sharing. - Stu :D


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pcunite
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Apr 14, 2010 10:26 |  #8

You should be asking HOW to start, not HOW DID YOU start. This is 2010 and things are changing, if you start like some of the old (digitally old anyway) timers did your not going to be as successful because this is how 100 new people every year in my area are starting. Do you want a successful business or do you want to hack it for while to see if you like it? Big difference.

Guy with camera vs. Business with service offerings...

Do the math, most people on POTN doing weddings and have skill are doing 30 or so weddings. The income is not that great but if you *LOVE* it then it is worth it. There is a reason the big names do workshops for poor saps to learn how to do weddings. They make $20K a workshop. You can only do so many weddings a year, much better to look like a wedding pro and then do workshops, much more money.

Get into doing weddings because you love people, not 'cause you think it is cool to hold a camera. And if you love people for heaven's sake take care of them by offering proper service, not just handing them a CD.




  
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Joelene
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Apr 14, 2010 11:05 |  #9

pcunite wrote in post #9993243 (external link)
You should be asking HOW to start, not HOW DID YOU start. This is 2010 and things are changing, if you start like some of the old (digitally old anyway) timers did your not going to be as successful because this is how 100 new people every year in my area are starting. Do you want a successful business or do you want to hack it for while to see if you like it? Big difference.

Guy with camera vs. Business with service offerings...

Do the math, most people on POTN doing weddings and have skill are doing 30 or so weddings. The income is not that great but if you *LOVE* it then it is worth it. There is a reason the big names do workshops for poor saps to learn how to do weddings. They make $20K a workshop. You can only do so many weddings a year, much better to look like a wedding pro and then do workshops, much more money.

Get into doing weddings because you love people, not 'cause you think it is cool to hold a camera. And if you love people for heaven's sake take care of them buy offering proper service, not just handing them a CD.


Only a hundred? I think it is triple that at least!! and I totally agree with you 100% on all other points.


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This is a beautiful shot ..bw!
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