I get asked time to time by photographers how to start in wedding photography. Here are some suggestions without the fluff and BS.
1. Believe in yourself
2. Don’t listen to the tiny little voices on the internet
3. Shoot for yourself, clients second.
4. A career is a journey, not a destination
5. You will have ups and downs
6. Success is not quantifiable; happiness is.
7. Ask yourself some serious questions, is wedding photography right for me? Why?
8. At weddings, you have to like people. If you don’t, this is not for you.
9. Do you have an enthusiasm for photography? If not, don’t follow this path
10. Keep your day job until you feel you have income and can cover your expenses
11. Photography is costly. Insurance, advertising, equipment. The list goes on from here and of course, paying yourself is the goal.
12. You will need a second camera at least. Do not think otherwise when it comes to shooting someone’s wedding and you’re getting paid to do it. Spend more $ on glass than the camera.
13. Education. Paramount. Locals like Jim Landers school of photography is a start. WPPI in Vegas is another. Workshops, exhibitions, immerse yourself into art.
14. Shoot, shoot, and shoot.
15. Work on some personal projects.
16. Go second shoot or assist for a photographer you like. DO NOT EMAIL. Pick up the phone and call. Meet. Bring your work.
17. Do not think about becoming a rock star photographer. Don’t even go there.
18. Keep your ego in check.
19. Photography is a craft. Study photographers. Not just wedding photographers. Research Past Mastera is a start; Henri Cartier-Bresson is my go-to. I have about a dozen books by the artist on my shelf.
20. Study geometry.
21. Do not copy some other photographer’s styles.
22. Work hard.
23. To grow your business, you have two avenues to pursue or both. Advertise online. Ask your friends and family, business friends, to shoot at a discount to get more of your work available online, and build a portfolio. Without a portfolio, it’s going to be hard to get work.
24. Meet photographers like me. Reach out. Ask questions; You’d be surprised. Some people remember what it was like to start and will repay in kind, helping the local community of photographers.
25. Join local photography meetups. Be open and friendly.
26. Finally, study light and composition.
27. And, study, light, and composition. Rinse, repeat.
28. Don’t give up.