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How to Land your First Wedding Gig
#1
Hello Everyone,

Incase anyone has interest in shooting weddings I thought I would do a post about how I got my start in wedding photography. 

A few years ago is when I decided to make the plunge into wedding photography. Weddings are a great source of higher income for photographers and once you get established you will have multiple shoots booked throughout the year. 

When I first started out I had zero wedding images in my portfolio. I didn't feel it was necessary to shoot weddings for free since they are a lot of work. My first plan of action was to find a photography Website. I wanted to be able to offer an easy and professional platform to deliver images to my clients. I found a site called photodeck.com. It's a great platform to show your work, distribute your images to clients and it provides labs for printing orders directly from the site. You can set your own prices for image downloads and mark up for prints. 

After I had my Website chosen I began loading my best images into my portfolio on the site. Once this was done I began looking for a quick way to market my work. I used Craigslist to promote myself as a wedding photographer who approached weddings as photojournalist. I did a little research before hand and found that was something clients were interested in for wedding photos. Less posed and more candid. 

I knew clients on this site would be looking to pay lower prices for a wedding photographer but since I had never shot weddings before I knew it was better than nothing. I marketed my skills as a photojournalist and landed an interview with my soon to be first clients. After meeting for a drink it was done deal. Part of being a photographer is selling yourself. If you don't have people skills, then fake it. Speak to your clients as you would a girl or boy you met for the fist time you were interested in dating. You have to convince them why you are the best photographer for one of their most special days. 

My sales pitch was since I had experience as a photojournalist in the military I had lots of practice anticipating moments. I know not everyone was a photographer in the military but it's about selling whatever your strength as a photographer is and why it's beneficial to the client. Also if you include the engagement shoot for free as part of your wedding package it will set you apart from the competition. 

A tip I will leave you with: If you have no practice posing people look up poses in Google Images. Pick a few you like and practice with family and friends. Also ask the client do they have any requests for poses. Usually the bride and groom will have some poses in mind they want. I will post another a thread soon about how to shoot the wedding and what equipment you will need for your first gig. In the mean time here are a few images from the first wedding I shot. 
 
Chris


Attached Files Image(s)
                   
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#2
Are these post edited in any way.Tto me your pics could be improved.
I trained 1950 onward, obviously B & W, and, formal. Produced a a 20 page album, at least, usually 22/23, and on occasions 25 page album. Only could take 24 pics, as that was all the plate holders we had.
Never used digital. Ed.
To each his own!
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#3
(Apr 10, 2017, 13:12)EdMak Wrote: Are these post edited in any way.Tto me your pics could be improved.
I trained 1950 onward, obviously B & W,  and, formal. Produced a a 20 page album, at least, usually 22/23, and on occasions 25 page album. Only could take 24 pics, as that was all the plate holders we had.
Never used digital.  Ed.
Ed,

Thanks for your reply to my post. When you are working with over 4000 images it becomes very time consuming to edit each photo. The bride for this wedding wanted her photos as natural as possible. You should always be editing in the camera while you are taking the photos that way you will have less work in post production.

Chris
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#4
No critique from me, Chris, as I admire the courage of anyone who shoots weddings. It is something I will NEVER do - the stress of the responsibility for recording a bride's most important lifetime event would be far too much for my blood pressure medication! Wink

Cheers.
Philip
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#5
(Apr 10, 2017, 15:44)MrB Wrote: No critique from me, Chris, as I admire the courage of anyone who shoots weddings. It is something I will NEVER do - the stress of the responsibility for recording a bride's most important lifetime event would be far too much for my blood pressure medication! Wink

Cheers.
Philip
Philip,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, weddings are stressful and I didn't sleep much the night before my first wedding shoot. I didn't want to disappoint the bride. Though after you get used to the formula of weddings you can let your creativity take over and you forget about the stress. Then it becomes fun. On a side note it was also 97 degrees outside during the duration of the entire shoot. I was so exhausted and sore by the end of the day. At one point during the wedding I thought I was going to die.

Chris
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#6
Think, everything on the wedding day, becomes memories after it. All you have tangibly is Pics. I was not allowed to cover a paid for wedding for the first 18 months. Only failure was put down to chemicals failure. We had to take pics again. Then the dress was owned/borrowed, we paid for flowers, taxis, other expenses. Church caretaker held out for 10 shillings, 50p, to open the doors. Enough of the cake was left to get a cutting shot. Nobody considered legal action. Cost us about £5/6. I was making £5 weekly, was well paid for that time, 1951/2. Never exceeded £100 for a wedding. There is one locally charging £4000, that's not a typo error. how does this look on your monitor. Ed.


Attached Files Image(s)
   
To each his own!
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#7
I admire anyone who does wedding photography. The pro's really seem able to spot the moment, nail the light, get the shot, over and over and over throughout the day. I know when we do wedding gigs with the band it's stressful - can't imagine what the photographer is going through. That said, the last few weddings I have been to there have been teams of photographers and teams of videographers, so I'm not sure that all the pressure is on one single person anymore.

I generally don't even take my camera to weddings, but did so (at the request of the bride) to one last year. Here are just a few of the shots. The professional shots were stunning, but I'm not too unhappy with mine.

[Image: toast.jpg]

[Image: flowers.jpg]

[Image: the_signing.jpg]

[Image: first_dance.jpg]
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#8
(Apr 11, 2017, 02:15)EdMak Wrote: Think, everything on the wedding day, becomes memories after it. All you have tangibly is Pics. I was not allowed to cover a paid for wedding for the first 18 months.   Only failure was put down to chemicals failure. We had to take pics again. Then the dress was owned/borrowed, we paid for flowers, taxis, other expenses. Church caretaker held out for 10 shillings, 50p, to open the doors. Enough of the cake was left to get a cutting shot. Nobody considered legal action. Cost us about £5/6. I was making £5 weekly, was well paid for that time, 1951/2. Never exceeded £100 for a wedding. There is one locally charging £4000, that's not a typo error.  how does this look on your monitor.   Ed.
Ed

If possible I would be interested in seeing your work from a wedding. If you have any copies. Bet you have interesting photos. I like the edit you did with my photo, nice and bright. However, the original image was more dramatic due to the lighting in my opinion. The image was shot in natural light coming from the window and it created a dramatic effect. By lighting one side of the brides face.

Chris
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#9
(Apr 11, 2017, 04:22)delb0y Wrote: I admire anyone who does wedding photography. The pro's really seem able to spot the moment, nail the light, get the shot, over and over and over throughout the day. I know when we do wedding gigs with the band it's stressful - can't imagine what the photographer is going through. That said, the last few weddings I have been to there have been teams of photographers and teams of videographers, so I'm not sure that all the pressure is on one single person anymore.

I generally don't even take my camera to weddings, but did so (at the request of the bride) to one last year. Here are just a few of the shots. The professional shots were stunning, but I'm not too unhappy with mine.

[Image: toast.jpg]

[Image: flowers.jpg]

[Image: the_signing.jpg]

[Image: first_dance.jpg]
I love these shots. They convey emotion and look very artistically done. Thanks for sharing these. 

Chris
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#10
Like to see the reg signing as a crop, too small a file soze for me to do. Great as it happens.

PS Stress was not a heard/known word in the 50's Ed.
To each his own!
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#11
(Apr 11, 2017, 13:39)EdMak Wrote: Like to see the reg signing as a crop, too small a file soze for me to do. Great  as it happens.  

PS Stress was not a heard/known word in the 50's  Ed.
Ed,

I agree with you there. The modern world has become very stressful. Life seemed easier back in the 50s. Less worries.

Chris
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#12
Chris, I have only taken 3 weddings since I retired 16 years ago, (but well over 2000 before then). The first was causal at a relations wedding, this was the £4000 job. I amazed myself by taking about 180 pics. I spent about a week editing them, bit slow, and gave them all on a disc. Unfortunately, his disc arrived about the same time, so a double family viewing evening was arranged, I was not there, about 10/12 from memory were. I was voted unanimously the better. His "Formal" groups, were, go and stand over there, no positioning of anybody. Bride on husband's left, on father's right giving away, no mention of where hands should be, or, not be, no arranging of brides train, and a lot more, must be the modern way, I'm stuck in the distant past. His informal pics with buildings behind, showed it canting about 35 degrees, mine's were straight, as they should be. Bride's mother did write to him.
The other 2 were friends, could not say no. One was on a rainy day, not so easy as all taken indoors, I own no special equipment, however both were happy. They were both in the same town about 20 miles from where I lived. I am not in the phone book, but in the following 2 months has 5 phone calls asking about weddings. Declined. Age, circumstances, common sense, dictates this.
I gave them both 6 Discs, and told them I was deleting all from computer, The relation's one I put on 3/4 Computers, and then eventually deleted from mine. So have none to post. I did put one or two on here, along with other pics, some time ago.
The only paid work I did was, before and after, some remedial work concerning water inspection underground chambers, exciting. Did not want paid, was for my son's firm, but it was paid by the contractor. Was given £500. Very happy.

Rambling finished. Ed.
To each his own!
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#13
(Apr 12, 2017, 11:03)EdMak Wrote: Chris, I have only taken 3 weddings since I retired 16 years ago, (but well over 2000 before then). The first was causal at a relations wedding, this was the £4000 job. I amazed myself by taking about 180 pics. I spent about a week editing them, bit slow, and gave them all on a disc. Unfortunately, his disc arrived about the same time,  so a double family viewing evening was arranged, I was not there, about 10/12 from memory were. I was voted unanimously  the better. His "Formal" groups, were, go and stand over there, no positioning of anybody. Bride on husband's left, on father's right giving away, no mention of where hands should be, or, not be, no arranging of brides train, and a lot more, must be the modern way, I'm stuck in the distant past. His informal pics with buildings behind, showed it canting about 35 degrees, mine's were straight, as they should be. Bride's mother did write to him.
The other 2 were friends, could not say no. One was on a rainy day, not so easy as  all taken indoors, I own no special equipment, however both were happy. They were both in the same town about 20 miles from where I lived.  I am not in the phone book, but in the following 2 months has 5 phone calls asking about weddings. Declined.  Age, circumstances, common sense, dictates this.  
I gave them both 6 Discs, and told them I was deleting all from computer, The relation's one I put on 3/4 Computers, and then eventually deleted from mine. So have none to post.   I did put one or two on here, along with other pics, some time ago.
The only paid work I did was, before and after, some remedial work concerning water inspection underground chambers, exciting. Did not want paid, was for my son's firm, but it was paid by the contractor. Was given £500. Very happy.

Rambling finished.  Ed.
Ed,

Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your ramblings. You provide interesting detail and incites into the past. 

Chris
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