How to get experience ???

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by jamiew, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. I am new to professional (paid) photography. I am trying to get
    experice in different areas of photography to become more well
    rounded and determine where I want to specialize. Currently I am
    trying out sports, but want to add studio and event photography. I
    lucked out in getting a break for sports, but have no idea how to get
    experience in studio and events. At this point money, while
    appreciated, is not my motivator. Any advice.
     
  2. Consider assisting an established professional.

    You can watch how event photography is organized and become familiar with it so when
    you strike out on your own it won't be an unknown. Pay particular attention to how the pro
    handles people in a stressful environment. Hopefully, you'll be allowed to shoot at least
    some candids, and from that you can begin collecting a portfolio to make a sample album.

    Once you get some on the job experience, try www.eponline.com It cost nothing to join
    and you pay only $2 per lead. There are many less expensive wedding requests there that
    many pros pass up as being under their minimum package... but is perfect for those just
    getting started. My ex assistant signed onto that site and now has 25 weddings to shoot
    this year.

    Studio work is a little different in many areas. There is an expectation that the assistant
    knows about setting up studio gear like generators and softboxes and increasingly how to
    set-up and operate digital equipment. But there are beginner positions in larger studios
    where you will most likely be a go-fer, but still can learn the ropes of studio photography.
     
  3. Marc, the eponline link takes you to an environmental protection site...
     
  4. Oops! Thanks for the catch. Here is the correct address:

    http://www.ep-o.com
     
  5. Thanks :).
     
  6. I agree completly with Marc. I started shooting weddings by assisting a fabulous photographer in Vermont. <p>Look on-line and find a photographer or two in your area. Make sure you love the work they do. Send them an e-mail telling them how much you like their work and ask if they'll meet with you. Bring some of your work and ask if you can assist. If they can't pay you - you should even offer to work a few weddings unpaid. Even if they know your goal is to eventually shoot your own events/weddings etc... They should not look at you as a threat. I can tell you that the two photographers that I've launched into their own business sometimes send me referrals now. Furthermore, because they are fairly new - they really are not in my price range. I often send them potential clients when I get inquiries from people that like my work but can't afford me. <p> Also go to photo trade shows to learn more. Join local photo organizations. Read and ask lots of questions. Photo.net is an excellent resourse.
     
  7. Marc...thanks for the link. I'm going to try it out.
     
  8. Todd. I invested about $20. in leads so far, and landed one very unique wedding in my
    price range to date.

    Can't tell how effective it is in the long run yet, but I'd pay $20. for a sold wedding any
    day.

    If it pans out over the next few months, I'm signing up for the premium package and put
    some shots on their site.

    I suspect it'll be perfect for you also.
     
  9. Jamie: When I first became interested in photography about 3 years ago, I rarely photographed people. I invested in a lot of nice Nikon equipment, and spent hours and hours reading forums and crituquing pictures on Photo.net. Since one of my wife's friends knew I had "nice and expensive" camera equipment, I was asked if I would take the pictures for her wedding. With only 2 years of serious landscape/scenic photog experience under my belt, I reluctantly agreed as long as she covered my costs (film, development, etc..) It turned out that I had a passion for photographing people and special events! It's all I can think about now in my spare time! Within a month, a cousin in my wife's family hired me to do her wedding photography. From my first two more or less no charge assignments I have been able to build a decent portfolio. You may browse my portfolio here: http://www.stevetout.com/photo/portfolio/

    One of the groomsmen from a previous wedding approached me this year and has asked me to shoot his wedding this spring. I also received a referral by a colleague to shoot his best friends wedding, where he will be one of the groomsmen. I have enjoyed lots of opportunities without really trying hard to "sell myself" and I attribute that to the fact I spent the first two years of my photographic experience studying my equipment, light, techniques et al. on scenic and landscape opportunities. I am very pleased that I will be receiving a fair payment for the weddings I am shooting this spring and summer, and look forward to doing even more as opportunities arise. Since I have a full time job as a web developer at AT&T Wireless, and I am also completing an BSIT degree this summer, I don't really have the time to actively pursue new wedding photo engageemnts, but the ones I do get are because of "word of mouth" advertising, and the thing that has sealed the deal is my online portfolio, and the fact that I am willing to go the extra mile for the bride and groom, being honest about my experience and capabilities, and charging a fair price.

    The threads in this new forum have provided a great deal of good information as well as links to other wedding photographers Websites. Study them... master your equipment. Volunteer to photograph a wedding for a friend, friends of a friend, or a family member. Build an online portfolio. The quality and effort you spend in building an online portfolio, and printed one as well, will reap nice rewards!

    Best wishes to you!
     
  10. Can't you leave a bunch of flyers, telling you 'd like to volunteer, at your local rabbi? Studio experience can be gained by selling stuff on e-bay. If you are used to enlighting ordinary stuff go for dolls, hobby actresses, squeeze the beauty out of ordinary friends, finish with old relatives you don't like and you're ready for the market. Light setups are hard, people are worse, don't mix them up to early. It's a great step from a watcher struggeling with his camera to a director seting his lights up in advance.
     

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