My first wedding was yesterday Locked

Started Dec 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Kerry Pierce
Kerry Pierce Forum Pro • Posts: 19,757
Re: Weddings are hard!

GordonSaunders wrote:

Having just been flamed (by people without links to their portfolios - fancy that) on another forum you have my sympathy. I've shot a few weddings and understand how little control you have of the people. Despite what some commentators expect, you aren't shooting supermodels and can't retake shots.

That is true, but it is also where experience and knowledge become even more important. A wedding is not a snapshot of your kid or dog. A wedding is supposed to be a once in a lifetime event. If you are going to present yourself as a professional wedding photographer, you should be able to handle actually being a wedding photographer, by having the requisite minimum skills to engage in that profession.

IMO, you owe the bride and groom something special, especially if you are going to charge them money for your attempts. If you ruin their wedding photos, they likely can't be replaced.

Higher level photography is a perishable skill. You must know your equipment well and you must know what to do in all kinds of situations. I couldn't say how many portrait shots that I've done over the years, but I started in the early 1970's, with my first wedding in '73.

I am now long retired and don't take many paid shoots. I recently did a maternity shoot for a couple, which was outdoors in rather harsh lighting. At the end of the shoot, the couple wanted to do a different pose, where they were standing in the late afternoon sunlight with deep shadows. I seriously goofed the exposures of that pose, because I didn't have my fill flash set up properly. 10 years ago, I would not have made that mistake, because I was doing enough shooting that these types of things were second nature. Now, I find that I'm struggling because I don't do it often enough to remember all of the stuff that I need to remember.

I was so embarrassed about goofing those shots, that can't be replaced, that I tore up the bill and gave them the entire session for free.

5) Don't post shots on a site like this unless you've a thick skin. Alternatively, show pics of a cat or a boring landscape. Many of the harsher critics snap little else.

I don't disagree that there are critics here that shouldn't be critics, but I do disagree with this advice. If you are going to charge for your photos, you owe it to yourself and to your clients that you give them your very best, with your best being at least very good. You need to learn the business. The fastest way to learn is to learn from your mistakes.

My advice, swallow your pride, start taking photos of people and post them here and on other sites too, asking for honest feedback. Then take the good with the bad and figure out what went wrong. If you are a quick study, it won't be long before you silence the critics. Realize that you will never stop learning and that the skills are perishable. Always strive to improve your shots.

The above assumes that you don't have the time/money to actually take formal schooling for photography.

Kerry

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