Day one as a wedding photographer was SCARY. I launched a business five years ago this month, and I have to be totally honest – I had no idea what I was doing! I loved photography, and I had been a photographer for four years at that point. But I always thought “professional” photographer was a term that only applied to others – you know, people who double majored in photography and business in college, or who had started a business in high school and were photographing weddings by the time they were 18. I worried I wasn’t qualified, or that I had started too late – and that worry made me put off something I really wanted to do for quite some time. Instead, I used my passion for photography to start a beauty blog in 2008. I loved my beauty blog, but my passion was the photography – not the beauty products! So finally, I took a LEAP and started my business in 2012, and in the five years since then, I have learned so much – and so much that I wish I learned sooner! And now I want to share this information with others so that you don’t have to figure this all out by yourself. You don’t need to spend years learning what I learned – I want to share this to help your business succeed.
So beginning next week, I will be launching a series called Tuesday Tips – and these are all tips just for photographers!
You see, I am an educator at heart; I love teaching. I studied education in undergrad, and I have been a college professor since 2010. Not only do I enjoy teaching, but I see so much value in sharing what I have learned. When I first started out as a wedding photographer, I felt lost, overwhelmed, and confused. There were so many other photographers out there and I was intimidated by them. Plus there was SO much information telling me about how to use my camera, but not what it meant to be a wedding photographer. Leading up to my first wedding, I must have Googled “how to photograph a wedding” more than 100 times (and in a variety of ways – “best way to photograph a wedding” or “what to do as a wedding photographer” or “photographing my first wedding”). Yet I still felt completely confused. And on that first wedding day, it was tough to gauge my place at first. When I got the bride’s beautiful flowers and jewelry, I realized that I couldn’t make them look the way I had seen other photographers pose the same things. I was unsure if I was supposed to keep shooting during dinner, and during the ceremony, I was terrified I would miss a special moment because I didn’t have a process. I didn’t realize that the best time for family portraits was right after the ceremony, and my mind blanked when it came time to pose the wedding party! And that was just the wedding day – sorting and editing the photos was something that I did not have a good system for, and it took me SO many hours (and hours and hours!). During that first wedding, my camera (my beloved camera – which cost more than I was getting paid for that entire wedding) quit working. I pulled out my backup camera – a camera I had borrowed from my uncle – and kept shooting, but I couldn’t believe that my camera had stopped working at my very first wedding! I actually sat in my car at the end of the first wedding, totally exhausted and covered in dirt, and I called my dad and said, defeated, “I never want to do this again.” But during the two hour drive home we talked, and I realized that while this was overwhelming, scary, confusing, and physically and mentally tough, I did love it – and I wanted to get better. I’m sure we can all relate!
But each wedding got easier, and over the years, I picked up tips, tricks, and techniques that I have implemented into my wedding routine, and I would love to be able to share those with other photographers and help pass on the knowledge!
I am SO EXCITED to be beginning this series of blog posts specifically for photographers. Maybe you’ve been photographing weddings for years and you want some tips, or perhaps you are excited to get started and sort of feel a bit like a fraud calling yourself a “photographer” already. But you are not! If you are taking the time to learn, you already are doing something to improve. And we can all always improve, because life is about growth. I hope these posts will provide some tidbits of knowledge and some useful tips along the way. I look forward to sharing them!
Sign up today to get notified of each new Tuesday Tips post, and as a bonus, you will receive a free posing guide in one week! And visit the blog on Tuesday for our first post which is going to be SO helpful for anyone who is new to photographing weddings or who is thinking about becoming a wedding photographer: “How to Photograph a Wedding.” I can’t wait to share these tips!