Over recent decades photography has developed immensely and due to huge changes in cameras and equipment, it is far easier to turn your well loved hobby into a successful career. With well developed modern digital SLR camera equipment, having a single chance to capture that perfect moment is no longer an issue and in all honesty, having a high level of photographic skills is no longer as crucial. This has opened up a new doorway to aspiring photographers, and wedding photography is always a popular career choice in the field nowadays. There is far less pressure on a wedding photographer than there used to be due to the development of digital cameras and clever functions such as the rear LCD screen and continuous shooting which act as a safety net for achieving that perfect image. Although it is more manageable in this day and age to reach your goal and have your dream career as a wedding photographer, there are still a few crucial tips you must follow in order to get there quickly and be a success at what you do and we’ve teamed up with Francesca Hill, a leading South Wales wedding photographer, to find out more.
The first and possibly most important tip in order to get your work noticed is to build a portfolio. You may be amazing at what you do, however if there are no images for potential clients to look at you are not going to get the job. If you have been lucky enough to have already been shooting at weddings then select the best images you would like your clients to see and create an online portfolio. This is the cheapest and most rewarding option for your portfolio as more people will see your work and it is possible to create one for free until you can afford to have a professional website created for your business. If you don’t yet any have any images for your portfolio there are a number of options you can take. Ask friends and relatives if they know anyone who is getting married, if so offer to do some images for free. They may have already hired a photographer, however no one is going to turn down an extra set of images on their wedding day and they may even prefer yours. Word of mouth is an excellent way to get noticed, and not only will you be providing a great service for people to recommend, but you will be quickly building your portfolio. Another option is to set up your own shoots. Wedding dress shops love having their products photographed, so contact local shops to see if they can help you out. Once you have the clothes all you need is a couple, and it is great practice for achieving perfect images.
My second tip is to make sure you invest in good quality equipment. If you are a great photographer then it is possible to capture amazing shots with any camera, however quality images are important when a client is paying a large amount of money. It isn’t always necessary to spend thousands of pounds on a brand new camera as adding new equipment such as good quality lenses can be just as rewarding. Second hand or refurbished cameras can sometimes be a good idea too if you are just starting your business as you can pick them up fairly cheap and they are often just as good. If there is a particular model of camera you are looking at, look at the model before. They rarely differ much in the quality of the images and variety of functions, however they shoot down in price once a new model is released. When investing in new lenses, choose ones with a large aperture as not only does it help you to create images with beautiful out of focus backgrounds, but it will also enable you to shoot better images in low lighting.
Finally, make sure your knowledge about the technical side of your camera is the best it can be. Many individuals jump into wedding photography thinking they can shoot using the automatic function all day, and although this may work for some, it isn’t professional and you certainly won’t be able to make the most of the day. The more knowledge you have the far better your images will be, and with this knowledge you will quickly receive more clients and work. It is easy to progress your photographic skills with patients and a lot of practice using books and the internet to help and guide you. Another option would be to take a photography course to brush up your skills. It may be the pricier option, however you are likely to learn more in a shorter space of time and there will be someone to help and guide you in learning to the best of your ability along the way.
These are the first basic steps for setting up your wedding photography business, and with these everything else will fall into place with time and practice. Be aware that money doesn’t come immediately and you will often have to work for free or at a discounted price in order to build up your business to a high respected level, however it is a very rewarding career path to take in more ways than one.