5 Tips Beginner Wedding Photographers Should Do To Stay Ahead
By Mohamed Hafiz Jumain
There is a lot that you can earn and learn when becoming a wedding photographer. However beginner photographers simply keep going the wrong way and thus in the end start giving up when nobody takes up their service. If you are such photographer, then perhaps this article may be able to help you so read on.
Here’s a question for you. Other than the money, what comes close to your mind about photography? Equipment? Softwares? I would say a little of each plays an important role, but what is more important is the idiot behind the camera. So that brings us to our first tip.
1. You matter the most, then your equipment
Many people would say that equipment is the most important in a photographer’s arsenal. That is true but to a certain percentage. The bigger percentage of it is YOU! Why do I say this? In order to efficiently operate or shoot a digital SLR would require a lot of knowledge and adaptability.
Now let’s start with knowledge. If you give your digital SLR to someone who shoots with a handheld camera, he would just return it back to you or he would simple jumble up your settings. So in simple terms you need to build up the knowledge on your equipment in order to maximise it’s functionality. Any photographer would tell you that there is a great difference in using modes like M(fully manual), A(aperture priority), S(shutter priority) and P, which I don’t actually know what it is since I have never used it at all.
Next would be adaptability meaning that you are able to quickly adapt to changing situations. Take for example moving from the outdoors to indoors, then from indoors to the ballroom or hotel room. Each different location requires you to adapt and change the settings on the digital SLR in order to capture the image spot on. If you are unable to adapt quickly to such situations, highly you will have problems in getting the moments of the wedding. With that we move on to tip no. 2.
2. Keep practicing
As I would always say to my team,”Be a leader, not a follower”. The reason behind this is when you become a leader in the pack, you can get the first huge chunk of the sales before everyone does. In order to achieve that, you would need to keep practising and finding out new creative ways to shoot in a wedding or during the pre or post wedding session.
Do not waste your precious time going around every month finding out the prices or what other vendors has to offer, instead use your valuable time to practise and create new creations to add on to your portfolio. This will then allow your visitors or loyal page followers to view and thus recommending you to their friends or perhaps engaging you themselves. Now that leads us to no. 3.
3. Promotion and marketing
This plays a very important part for your exposure. No exposure means nobody knows about you and when nobody knows about you, you would end up with no sales. If you are tight on funding, go simple. One of the most powerful tools is social media. Set up an Instagram or Facebook account and start sharing the things you do for photography. You may post about a job that you have just finished, or maybe an oncoming creations that may interest your followers. Just do it, you wouldn’t know people may buy your creativity.
Once you have your ball rolling then set up your own website to gather or redirect more traffic. This way you can gain more exposure thus putting you in the running for Google’s search engines. Start with this two and you won’t go wrong.
Equipment is the next concern in a photographer’s arsenal. If you are a beginner and on a low budget, start with an equipment that is within your reach. Don’t go robbing a bank simply because they say having a pro level camera is important.
In my opinion, having a pro level digital SLR is a much better option if you have the financial to purchase it however if you are on a low budget then my advise is to get a camera body that has a minimum of 24 mega pixels resolution. As for lens, you may approach your nearest available camera rental centre and rent yourself some good glass. This is to allow you to have a good start in weddings whilst you work on a bigger budget to get yourself a better camera body.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a crop or a full frame, as long as you shoot your images in raw. There is a great difference when shooting in raw compared to shooting in jpeg format.
Now comes the most important part of your business which would determine the income that you will earn. Do not go crazy like other new photographers trying to get as much deals as possible. Always bear this in mind and understand this saying if you start as a cheap photographer, you will forever be a cheap photographer.
Anybody likes a cheap price or service, then they will expect the world out of you. Have some dignity and price yourself as a professional. Photographers have a pride and their work is a resemblance of their pride. So price yourself reasonably. It doesn’t matter if people don’t take you initially that’s because they are interested in your work and they are playing the mind game to get you to lower your price. Ignore them if they do not take your service.
It is better to get someone who is willing to pay your price and leave everything to you rather to have someone who pays you low and tells you they want this shot, they want that shot and so on.
Hope you find these tips useful to keep you ahead as a wedding photographer. Be patient on getting leads for yourself. Use landscape photography to practice your composition as it is cheap and do not require models.
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