How many times do you dream about making money with photography? Have you ever fantasized with being a wedding photographer? And how many times did you ask yourself: would I be able to do it? I reveal here the 10 steps to become a wedding photographer and make your dream come true. This was also my personal journey, which led me to reach high levels of professional wedding photography. Read my full story here .
1 – Buy a Reflex
The first step to approach the photography world is buy a professional camera. Canon or Nikon is a personal choice. I use Canon for example.
You need a reflex camera if you want be a real photographer. I suggest you buy a lens that will give you flexibility in your shots, like a 24-105 mm f4. With this lens you can satisfy different situations, especially when you work alone. It’s good for beginners and for advanced photographers too.
2 – Take a basic Photography class
If you didn’t do it yet that is. It’s very important know the basic of photography . To understand the importance of shutter speed and aperture. How to use your camera. You don’t have to know everything, but only a basic understanding of light. And the main rules of composition.
By taking a good photography class you will learn those general principles that will enable you to understand photography and start to see the world with a different perspective.
3 – Networking
Thanks to the photographic classes that I took, I met a lot of cool people. Some of them were professional photographers, others simple students like me. It’s good for exchanging ideas and to start taking pictures with friends in an informal way.
With the professional photographers, it is very important to exercise humility and your desire to learn from those who have years of experience.
Don’t miss the occasion to propose yourself as an assistant!
4 – Start to collaborate as an assistant
When the occasion arises, be an assistant to a professional photographer. Maybe it will be for free the first few times, but it’s fine, you will learn a lot.
This is what in Italy we call “Gavetta” . It means start to work just for the learning. You will use the time with a professional photographer to learn. So you will not pay to learn and he will not pay for your help.
It will be an exchange and believe me, learning from the experts it’s the best thing you can do.
Photographers will call you for different kinds of works, you could assist in a fashion shooting, during an event or during a wedding!!
Here you go! During a wedding you will carry the backpack of the photographer and you will help with the lens, the dress of the bride, the people with the smartphone!! You will be in contact with the real situation. In fact you will learn what kind of behavior is appropriate during a religious ceremony, during the reception, with the guests and all stages of the wedding.
You will understand the responsibility of being a wedding photographer.
5 – Continue to improve your skills
Never stop learning. Never give up. You will have to improve your skills with diverse workshop, books, internet tutorials and mentors.
Invest in yourself, this is the first rule.
6 – Learn to do Post Production
Being a wedding photographer doesn’t mean to just take pictures.
You have to learn do edit the pictures that you are taking. You have to learn to beautify them. Learn how to use the two main editing softwares: Lightroom and Photoshop.
If you are lucky to work with a photo studio, they will give you access their Adobe account and they will teach you how to use these tools.
Otherwise you will have to subscribe your own Adobe account with a paid subscription. And there are an myriad online tutorials to learn how to use Lightroom and Photoshop that you can follow from home. Or you can also buy a guide on Amazon ( I started with a detailed step-by-step guide ).
7 – Experience as a second shooter
Here starts the real adventure. When you start to be the second shooter you start to have real responsibility.
The first times you will probably be unsure about what to do. The second shooter has the responsibility of shooting during the most important moments to give to the client a second perspective.
The better you become, the fewer key scenes you will loose. You will become a real asset to the first photographer.
Don’t loose a moment and be creative!! Unleash your creativity when you take pictures, without making technical mistakes, you will develop a good eye and the ability to take beautiful pictures.
You will start to be a very professional photographer.
8 – Buy professional lenses
With the ability to take photos, you will start to long for more professional, and hard to use, lenses.
You will want to have different kinds of lenses to take different kinds of pictures. For example, you will want a lens that is perfect for dark settgins, or one that permits a blur effect or a wide angle take.
With the right lens, your creativity will be stimulated.
But remember it’s important to start with the basic lens to understand perfectly how to use your camera and be able to do beautiful composition and beautiful pictures. You can do well with a basic lens, it means that you are a real photographer.
Don’t be in a hurry to try different and expensive lens. Having amazing lenses don’t mean that you are a good photographer.
9 – Find your style
Now is the moment to find your style. You have enough experience to understand what you like to photograph and how.
You are experimenting with different perspectives, different compositions.
Certainly you have a great ability to use the natural light and play with artificial too.
You are independent, and sure about your actions. In addition you know how to pose your clients and how to make them feel comfortable in front of your camera.
You are starting now to do some work on your own.
10 – Open your business
At this point you have already prepared your portfolio. It’s time to gather information about how to open your own business and become a wedding photographer. To decide what are your fees and services. Don’t forget to create your website and accounts with all the most popular social media . It’s time to fly!
I hope that this article will help you to realize your dreams. Remember don’t let anyone destroy your dreams. Be determined and strong .