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Have Business Questions starting out as a wedding photographer?

Addisonjones
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Screenshot 2023-06-19 at 11.28.58 AM.pngScreenshot 2023-06-19 at 11.31.11 AM.pngScreenshot 2023-06-19 at 11.31.38 AM.pngHi!

I started out in the wedding world and have been really blessed to win multiple awards, on being nominated as top 30 wedding photographers in the world by Rangefinder Magazine. When I was starting out I had to figure it out on my own so I wanted to give back to the community and answer any questions you may have with some of the wisdom I have learned along the way. What are some questions you have? Anywhere from the business aspect to the shooting!! I am here to help the best I can.

My gear list for a wedding:

(2) 5D Mark 4 , one main, I use 2 for the ceremony.

35mm 1.2L , 50mm 1.2L, 85mm 1.2L

whatever flash I can get my hands on (I don't love using it)

6 REPLIES 6

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

Thank you for sharing, Addison.

I got a chance to meet Bob Davis (Canon Explorer of Light) along with his wife, Dawn.  They had outlined three different pillars of a wedding photography business (though would apply to any photography business):

  • Being technically adept (knowing your gear)
  • Being artistic (having your own style)
  • Being business savvy.

Looks like you've been successful in all three!

While I wouldn't pursue wedding photography myself, I have thought of doing say headshots in my retirement years.  Though I'm solid on the tech side of things, still much to improve artistically (to the point of having my own style).  And while I've had a successful side business in software, I'm ultimately not much of a people person, so that wouldn't bode too well for a photography business.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

That would be so fun to meet them! Their pillars are so amazing and I have a little more to add....

  • Being technically adept (knowing your gear) - This allows for being quick on your toes.
  • Being artistic (having your own style)
  • Being business savvy.
  • Learn  empathy- In order to be able to produce an emotional image you must have emotion behind it. Learning to have empathy and understanding toward a subject, it helps build a connection.
  • Let go of control - I used to need to be in control with everything because you’re so freaked out about not getting a shot. I learned over the years that the more you go with the flow of things and let them arrive naturally, the more authentic of a feel you will get in an image.
  • Be open to change - Wedding days go by so fast with so much change happening all at once. The lighting, personalities, environments. For the couple to feel comfortable you must be able to adapt quickly, effortlessly and in confidence. Which goes down to
  • Be confident in your decisions- Every amazing wedding photographer I know still questions themselves on if they should have chosen a different location, had the couple do more, get more photos of this…… until they start looking through the images. We are creatives and have thousands of ideas all at once when we are inspired. Do what speaks to you at the time. You won’t regret it.

“While I wouldn't pursue wedding photography myself, I have thought of doing say headshots in my retirement years.  Though I'm solid on the tech side of things, still much to improve artistically (to the point of having my own style).  And while I've had a successful side business in software, I'm ultimately not much of a people person, so that wouldn't bode too well for a photography business”.

You know what? That may be the perfect way for you to learn how to work with people but still kinda “hide” behind the camera. I love people but to be honest the thought of having to around people all the time was a lot for me (I had to mentally prepare, I guess). I learned to shift my attitude toward it and I would try and “see” something beautiful about each person. It helped me connect on a different level which helped me open up differently and made me more enthusiastic. It was a fun challenge that gave me a different strength. If that makes any sense at all…….. hahaha. I will be your cheerleader. If you got curious with it....you should try it 😉

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

Both professional photographers I know personally and material from Vanessa Joy also suggests that there is a lot of diplomacy and psychology involved as well.  Events like that can bring out a lot of stresses and the photographer  has to navigate a sometimes tricky path to get people to put aside their egos, frustrations and cell phones so that they can do their job and make the images the couple deserve on their special day.


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Yes, it can be very highly stressful and if you're a control freak it is going to make you internally angry! That will give you an uptight feel and it will be hard to get people to put aside their egos. You have to learn to let go and be adaptable with grace and go with the flow.....and then the people will follow...which can be hard sometimes;) BUT you learn that people are depending on you and looking toward you for advice. You get to create the atmosphere in which the people experience the photography. You can't let the bad events or bad attitudes lead you.

Tintype_18
Authority
Authority

Addisonjones, my complements on your accomplishments. The photos shown are, to me, very creative. As a minister, I can identify with a myriad of people who each has an idea on "how things should be done." Example: When my wife was getting dressed for our wedding, one would set the veil one way; another would pull it another way. Ricky's list tells it all.

John
Canon EOS T7; EF-S 18-55mm IS; EF 28-135mm IS; EF 75-300mm; Sigma 150-600mm DG

Absolutely! Which is why it is so important to make sure the couple and the photographers visions are aligned.

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