on turning your shutterbug hobby into a wedding photography
February 20, 2009 | Photography is
a booming business. It seems like a photographer can
find business anywhere is the country, or the world
because photographers are always needed. So many people
learn the skill of photography and want to start making
money with their skill by starting their own photography
business, but don't know how.
Cam Peterson, photo editor for The Utah Statesman, said you need to
decide what realm of photography you want to pursue.
Whether it's commercial, wedding, stock, or editorial
based, you need to focus on something. Also, you need
to honestly assess your skill level.
"Many photographers jump into
wedding photography first because it's the easiest to
make money," Peterson said.
However, Peterson said working hard
to understand the technical side of photography will
save a lot of time in Photoshop, and customers
will be happier with the images.
"Photoshop is a useful tool
to fix mistakes," Peterson said, "but it doesn't fix
everything." A little time adjusting your camera to
the lighting situation will save you a lot of time in
Photoshop, Peterson said.
The thought of photographing a wedding
may be intimidating, but Peterson said, "The more you
work at it, the more chances you will have to learn
and become more skilled." Be patient with yourself and
do not be afraid to give what you know, Peterson said.
Will Christensen, a local wedding
photographer, brings an assistant with him at weddings
he covers. Having a "second camera angle" at a wedding
is beneficial to everyone, he said.
"It's helpful to me because
I can't be everywhere at once. The client is happy because
they have more pictures to choose from, and it's beneficial
to the assistant because they gain valuable experience
and pictures to build their portfolio with," Christensen
This is like job shadowing because
you're able to see every aspect of a wedding and what
you need to be prepared for before you actually cover
a wedding by yourself. You're able to watch the main
photographer and see what he does in certain situations
at a wedding. "I know where to stand when the bride
and groom cut the cake and have their first dance,"
Working as the "second camera angle"
with a more experienced photographer at a wedding is
a good way to gain experience without being in charge
of the actual event. This way, not all pressure is on
you as the photographer and you're able to play around
and gain experience in a more relaxed mind set, Christensen
According to photo.net many professional
wedding photographers hire second shooters and assistants.
However, Christensen "hires" second shooters free of
charge and simply offers them the opportunity to work
with him and gain experience. Peterson said this could
be comparable to a doctor because, "they don't get paid
for their first few years of work either."
a photography community for photographers, offers tips
on how to start your own photography business. The best
way to advertise yourself is to have a website available
for potential clients to look at your work. Christensen
said his website gives him clients that never would
have found him except through the web. "Having a well
designed website with a photo gallery lets the client
see what you have to offer," Christensen said.
A website doesn't bring in all clients
however. Christensen said a large portion of his clients
come through word of mouth or from referrals from past
clients. "If a client likes my work they'll tell their
Many professional wedding photographers
offered their advice on photo.net. The most common advice
given was, "Success is built over the years on the back
of hard work, experience and determination." Rome wasn't
built in a day.