Becoming a wedding photographer
Why choose weddings?
For many, the answer is simple. You love using your camera, you like your photos (perhaps someone else did too) and then you were asked to do it for someone.
While many see it as an easy way to get paid for what they like to do, its actually one of the lowest paid disciplines of photography.
So, are YOU asking yourself about becoming a wedding photographer?
|Kiss in the street.|
Here I will attempt to discuss what it will take to become a wedding photographer.
What you should begin with, is recognizing that great wedding photography does not just happen because your camera is pointed at a couple who look happy. It takes talent, skill and a great deal of personality.
How can you find out if you have talent?
There are many avenues available for getting feedback about your "eye". I would suggest you look long and hard at your own work, then compare it to the work of an established and recognized wedding photographer. Preferably a wedding photographer you respect and enjoy the work of. Don't be bashful, but don't give yourself credit where it is not due. Look at your work and evaluate it honestly. Are you that good or do you believe you can be?
If others have seen your work (not people you know) and loved it, or even liked it, that may be a good indicator about your talent. Try submitting some of your work to be judged by others. Photo.net is a place that will offer you great feedback about your work. You can upload an image and ask for ratings, critique and comments. That will shed some light on your natural talent, and along the way help you refine and hone your vision.
Right here on DPReview.com, you can upload images and enter them in competitions or just share them from your gallery. Ask the community to give you feedback. Ask if you have a natural "eye" for this, but be prepared for the truth.
My final suggestion for learning if you have talent (and probably one of the most telling) is your prospective client. If you have shot images at a wedding, ask the couple to give you a brutal opinion of the shots you took. Not on their wedding day though.
If you think you've got "it", keep reading...
Honestly look at your best shot(s) and ask:
- Composition: Is it well composed according to basic rules of thirds.
- Consistency: Is your work consistent with your vision (assuming you have one)?
- Perspective: Do you have a unique or compelling perspective of what the shot captures?
- Emotion: Does your work convey emotional energy (a hard one to answer of your own work)?
- Colors or B&W: Can you see your vision best in color or black and white?
- Light: Have you made the light available to you, work best for the shot?
- Focus: Do you have the intended subject sharply focussed?
- Camera: Are you aware of what your settings were to create an image?
- Lens: Do you automatically know what focal length to select, to capture what you want.
"Above all, to thine own-self be true." or Know thyself (Shakespeare / Socrates)
When you take the proverbial floor, are there cries of "sit down" or do you easily command attention?
Many of us like to imagine we are God's gift to something, but having a great personality will be the key to becoming a successful wedding photographer. This is one area you cannot fake it. If you know yourself well, you will also know if you can make people (especially those whom you don't know) smile, laugh, cry or listen raptly to your every word.
We all want to think we have a great personality, but is it true? Here are some things that will tell you about your self, and help you answer the question.. Do I have what it takes?
- Are you a story teller? Do others gather when you begin?
- When you are talking, is it easy for you to command the attention of a crowd, group or some friends at the local bar?
- Do you find children want to see what you will do next?
- Are you a huggable or funny auntie/uncle?
- Do you have conversations that shine a light on the person you are talking with?
- Will your friends ask you to join them in an activity whenever they are doing something?
- Are your family generally keeping in touch with you?
- If you are married, does your spouse feel cared for by you? (you should ask them)
- Are you moved by the plight of others?
- Can you sit through an emotional movie and feel nothing?
- Do you prefer to be one of the crowd, or do you find the crowd following what you do?
- When you talk, is it more about your opinions, life and experiences?
Best reagards, D.
See more of my work at David Wegwart Photography
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.