Post # 1
I’m currently trying to put together a portfolio for photography services, but I’ve never actually shot a wedding before. I’m kind of new to the whole thing and I’m looking for imput on what I can improve with my work.
Here’s my flickr account (working on the whole website thing):
Which photos really pop out to you? Whould you hire someone based on what you’ve seen here? What do you think of what you see here?
I hope this is allowed, I don’t want this to be ‘blatant promotion of a company’ or whatever so if it needs to be removed mods, please feel free to do so.
Post # 3
All the scenic photos are great. However, as for people shots, I feel that they’re lacking at least from the wedding perspective. First of all, all your people shots are portraits or semi-portraits. I believe that weddings nowadays demand some photojournalistic approach so that context, feelings, atmosphere can come across. It’s important to frame your subject in the context of the surroundings and also to capture your subject candidly.
Moreover, to rapidly increase your porfolio and experience, u may have to provide free gigs. It would be worth it, unless you’re okay with being on a slow track.
Post # 4
I 100% agree with pren79 – I think you should allow your name to get out there doing some free gigs. You take pictures because you love to do it right? so get a feel for the wedding business, look at photographers websites that only specialise in weddings and look at their shots and what is in an essential wedding picture. If you have the talent for photography you will see it instantly and know what direction to take. for weddings there is a certain ‘element’ you have to capture in a photo, and in your ‘people’ section on your fliker site I don’t feel/see it just yet.
I dont think doing some free gigs should be a big deal. Like I said it gets your name out there, and broadens your portfolio with ACTUAL wedding pics, experience in the field is key.
we chose an intermediate photographer. by no means is he well known or a pro, and he has only done 4 weddings (that he has charged a fee for). we arent paying an arm and a leg for him because he realizes he is new. However I feel he has a talent for what he does and can see that he will capture my day throughouly, no doubt.
I hope that helps.
Post # 5
I agree with the comments above. Your non-people shots are very nice but the photos with people don’t pop out to me as being professional. I feel like the lighting on the people isn’t quite right.
Offering your services for free to shoot some weddings- just until you can build your portfolio – is a great idea. Even if you are brought on as a secondary photographer for a wedding, you can see how other wedding photographers do things. Might be a nice way to learn and also get some connections.
Post # 6
I am leaning toward a photography based essentially on his webpage. If possible, I would see if I could get a simple personalized page instead of using a flickr account (not sure if you were or not). I agree that your landscape photos are really good, yet some of the others are hard to picture yourself in place of the subjects there. Does that make sense? I would offer a very low price to a few friends or colleagues that might be having a wedding (or even a wedding shower or other type of party) so you can get accustomed to the atmosphere. You may also want to consider contacting photographers in your area whose style you like and volunteer as an assistant for weddings. You don’t need to tell them you are going out on your own but just that you want to get acquainted with wedding photography. That may help.
Post # 7
Do you have any friends or family members that you can get to dress up in a wedding dress or white dress? That’s what my photographer did, and then she booked 1-2 weddings, LOVED her work, and I booked her for a HUGE discount (plus we were friends in High School). I know within the next few years, she’s going to get bigger (and more expensive!) but I fully trust her and loved her "mock" wedding pictures, and the few wedding she DID shoot. That’s a great way to add "weddings" to your portfolio, to atleast have some pictures of brides – since it’s mostly the brides who are searching for photographers – and a true friend or family member would love to help you out. Best of luck, I think you’re on the right track!!! 🙂 Here are 2 of her "fake bride" pictures –
Post # 8
I do think you have great potential…you can really see it in some of the Maine shots. I agree with the folks above that suggest having friends do a "mock shoot" for you or volunteer to do several free sessions so you can work out the kicks in the lighting, etc. on your people shots. I’m thinking you are from Atlanta so maybe even see if any of the ATL gals would want a free bridal/engagement/ttd session.
Post # 9
GREAT idea about setting up a mock wedding. Shooting a white dress is hard. You have to meter off the faces, but you can’t blow out the dress. Not to mention the groom is usually wearing black! It’s a nightmare!
Another idea would be to work as a 2nd shooter for a local photographer. They can help you with how the day should flow, how much time you can allot for formals, how much direction you give people vs. just shooting what’s going on.
Shooting weddings isn’t just about getting the shots on the day. You also have to own reliable equipment, and backups for that equipment. You have to maintain your own storage systems for your clients’ photos. You also have to be able to shoot in any condition. What if the church is dimly lit? What if the formals are to be taken ourdoors at noon? What if you miss the first kiss shot?
I shot for free for YEARS before I charged for weddings. You cannot charge people for your services unless you can stand behind them. You also need to get a tax ID number so you can pay taxes on your photography income. Decide who you’ll use for printing, who you’ll use for albums (most album companies charge several hundred dollars for you to download their software), etc.
Ironically, I found that once I started charging for weddings, it wasn’t fun anymore, so I don’t do it. I have 3 more weddings already booked but after that I’m done. Best of luck to you.
Post # 10
Are you using a professional camera? The lighting on your subject’s faces is dark and the general framing of the photos in unclear. They feel rather flat to me.
Post # 11
Weddings are one thing you have to be careful about, everything happens so fast and there’s no chance to do it over. Even a mock wedding wouldn’t be like the real thing, if you miss the shot no going back. I’d recommend you work more on portraits, get a solid base, then ask to second shoot for someone else. You still need to learn the basics, before you experiment on a wedding, even if it was free. You also need to think about back-up equipment, extra memory cards, speedlights, it isn’t cheap.
Also some of your pictures are out of focus.
Post # 12
I was where you are maybe 7-8 years ago, although I didn’t start with weddings. I could write a really long diatribe on the subject but I’ll spare you. My short advice is to learn & master absolutely everything about the craft. Know your camera so well that it seems like an extension of your body. Train your eyes to be your meter so you can look at a scene immediately know what exposure you should be at. You don’t want to be fiddling with your exposures while the b&g are existing a dark church into a brilliant sunny day. If weddings are what you want to do, you have to learn to anticipate moments. If you only react to what you see, you’ll miss a lot of shots.
I’d recommend finding an established & talented photographer to assist or intern with. Develop a relationship with them & they’ll eventually allow you to second shoot with them.
I agree with Grey56, the best way to kill a hobby is to turn it into a business. I love photographing weddings, but it’s WORK. I never get out to shoot for myself anymore. Every photograher I know works 60+ hours a week. If you’d like a critique from a pro perspective, feel free to PM me your email address.
Post # 13
I took a peek. You will need to continue studying photography and how to properly light the shots especially on something that moves as fast as a wedding day does. You will need to know how to shoot each scene and really think on your feet. Don’t forget you will need a contract and liability insurance would be wise. Also having backup equipment with you on wedding day.
Post # 14
I will tell you this- i think you have a great eye, so far you are best expressing your artistic talent through landscapes. It takes a LONG time to learn how to photograph people well, but remember some basic principles. Lighting is key, if you can get a grasp on proper lighting and exposure the rest will be much easier and your pictures will look more ‘professional’ overall. I personally am NOT a pro-photographer, but i do enjoy it and have taken lots of pictures of people (no charge of course) because i LOVE doing it. I think people are challenging in so many ways, you have to capture expression, pose, movement, lighting and composition perfectly on something that is living. I am not sure i would EVER be confident enough to offer my photography at a price for someone’s wedding day and i soo impressed with those that do it, and those that take it a step further and turn it into art. Start by really working on your lighting and having lots of ‘practice shoots’ with friends and relatives who dont’ mind posing for you. Play around- A LOT. I look at some pictures i shot even a year ago and am dissapointed in the lighting/exposure/compositon etc. I remember one shoot i did of a couple of friends of mine and i had in my mind’s eye exactly what i wanted, but silly me, no light meter and most of the pictures are underexposed. The expressions are perfect, the look is flawless, the exposure is CRAP and it pretty much ruined the photo-set. I am sending my photoblog to you. Like I said, no professional here but maybe you can see how i have progressed since i started shooting? Just keep playing around and keep trying to get better and eventually you will.