Post # 1
As some of the bees here know, I am self-employed and run a small biz with my Fiance. I love taking pictures, and always get a ton of compliments on my photos. I have always dreamed of maybe going pro with this-and have been reading like crazy on how to do this via websites, etc…I would really prefer to do weddings or corporate photos…no babies or pregnancy for now…just not my thing (personal…I really want a baby with my Fiance and he has a bunch of credit he has t opay off, which means no aby for us for a few years, and I dont know if in a few years I would want to re enter motherhood as I would be high risk…so lately, if I read a baby post or see a baby, I just get miserable…not the best pro-photog face)
I currently have a pentax older model SLR and first, don’t want to look unprofessional so any advice on where to find a good camera?
Secondly, what is it like working with couples and what challenges did you face?
Any advice for starting out?
What sort of promos/pricing should I start with?
Again, this is in the preliminary stages, I don’t have a biz, it will be a while before this comes to a reality, if ever…am I out to lunch?
I have several journalist friends who actually commented on my photos saying how impressed they were, which got me motivated to maybe dream a little dream…
But I want to weight the pros and cons, too 🙂 thanks!
Post # 3
The best place to start would be to shoot a few weddings for free (or a small fee) to build up a portfolio, and then go from there.
I am not a photographer, but this is what my friend did to get her business up and running!
Post # 4
Not a photographer but since we’re in the same area this might be useful. A friend of mine is using a new photographer for her wedding. He’s charging her $500 for the whole day, and he’s already done 2 weddings (1 bigger and one very small) which he didn’t charge for at all.
In the past a lot of the photographers on here have recommended shadowing/working with a photographer that is established to gain more experience.
Post # 5
My Fi & I have our photography business down here in Nevada. To start out with weddings we simply got hired for a wedding palace and built up our portfolio as well as clients for future things. (We do about everything, not just weddings). It helped a lot to get your name out there. The cameras we use are a 50D && 60D, as well as the external flash. The lighting techniques is up to you. Its just the matter of getting your first gig and networking. Make sure your name gets passed through the wedding party, etc. Also, make sure you have tons of buisness cards when you do a wedding (There are so many people each time that ask for our business cards).
Post # 6
Make sure you don’t put the cart before the horse is the best advice I ever got 🙂 It is so easy to get caught up, but without a strong, solid foundation of skill, practice, time invested and again time invested do not go into business. Portfolio builiding is something you really need to spend time on and do just that- build your skill and your body of work. Wipe business cards and websites from your mind and focus solely on building. That is pretty much word for word what established friends told me and boy were they right! It takes more than a good eye- working with paying clients is a whole ‘nother beast completely.
My advice would be to get the upgraded equipment and keep portfolio builiding. It is a bit harder to break into the wedding scene if you don’t have any photographer friends you could shadow. Personally I don’t believe jumping into weddings without having experience with lifestyle shooting is the best idea, but that’s something only you can decide. It would be benefical to you to work one on one with people- I’m forever grabbing my friends for couple’s shoots, stealing their kid for an hour at the park and that has built my foundation to where I could then take the step to bigger, more complicated things.
I wish you all the best of luck! If you have the drive to really work hard and to want this then you CAN do it 🙂
Post # 7
As for equipment I adore B&H photo/video. They have brick and mortar stores ( in NY I believe) but they are great for ordering online. I shoot Canon, but Canon vs. Nikon is really a personal preference. Don’t bother buying a set, buy a camera body and lense seperately. I love to pieces my 50 mm 1.8- inexpensive and my go to prime lense. A good site with tons on information, help, forums etc. is ilovephotography.com
Post # 8
And aooarently I can’t spell today, excuse my typos. No enough coffee yet 🙂
Post # 9
OMG thank you everyone for the extremely helpful advice and encouragement! And the website links! CallmeC, you mentioned buying the camera body…I don’t know if I have the conidence to piece out my parts, so to speak, but if I did, how do I choose? Also, what is a good camera or cameras that will get the job done without being a big upfront cost? I don’t want to break the bank…I thought maybe with the wedding season coming up I could shadow some weddings. I have a photographer friend I could shadow…it is just learning, I am all self-taught. 🙁
Post # 10
@mixtapehearts: What great advice! I too have a dream to shoot professionally. I love photography sooo much. I am like the OP, I have been told by people that I took better pictures than the person they hired 😀 It’s great to hear this advice and that it is possible. I’ve always thought, that’s something that’s almost impossible to get into. Thanks!
Post # 11
- Wedding: July 2014 - Barn
I’m a self taught photographer and when it comes to brands that’s up to you to decide. I went with the Canon brand, got the Rebel which sells for anywhere from $600-$800. Not bad considering my next body will be $2500! Once you pick a brand stick with it, buy the best lenses you can as they fit all the brand’s bodies. For weddings, I would highly recommend saving for a 70-200mm len!
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2014 - Barn
Just noticed you’re a Canadian as well 😉 DO look at b&h photo… Yes there’s shipping n duty charges but in the end its still way cheaper than Henrys and Dons Photo, or anywhere else for that matter! I buy absolutely everything from that site, they ship fast and have amazing customer service.
Post # 13
I agree with CallmeC on everything she said, but especially the part about being comfortable with lifestyle photos before jumping into wedding photography. Or if you really want to do weddings, find an established photographer who will let you be a second shooter and you can learn from. Weddings are not something you can reshoot if something horrible happens or you’re not happy with your work, and it’s a lot of pressure to try and learn while shooting something that important.
You need to build a portfolio and I did free shoots for a good year or two before I felt comfortable charging.
I have a Canon 7D and 2 lenses (both cost more than the camera), a speedlite flash, but you should check out cameras to see which you like better. Canons and Nikons are obviously the more popular choice. It’s all about personal preference.
I also ditto B&H photo. I bought all my equipment from them. Ilovephotography.com is a great forum to learn from and get feedback on photos.
I would focus on learning equipment, practicing, nailing down your style, making sure your comfortable with photographing/posing/etc before you dive into business. I think it’s important to have consistent results and not just a few lucky good shots. I learned that the hard way!
Good luck and have fun!