DISCLAIMER: I am not the most experienced wedding photographer in Pittsburgh, and this is not meant to make me sound as though I am. This blog is simply meant to share the advice of a photographer who is just getting their feet wet in the wedding photography business.
Phew, ok now that that’s out of the way… So you are thinking about getting into wedding photography but have no idea where to begin. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. I’m still trying to figure things out myself! However, I do have some experience and for those out there who haven’t shot a wedding yet, this may be useful for you. So, without further ado, here are my tips when thinking about getting into wedding photography.
Be the Second Shooter, First – This is by far the best advice I can give to someone who is interested in wedding photography. There are so many amazing photographers that are more than happy to let you shoot with them and it allows you to be able to learn without assuming all the risk.
Have the Right Equipment – The first time I shot a wedding I, fortunately, took my own advice and was the second shooter because I missed the kiss… Yes, that’s right. I missed it. How did I manage that you ask? Well, because I didn’t have the right equipment and was busy trying to change my lens. So what is the right equipment? In my opinion, to be equipped to shoot a wedding you need at least two full-frame camera bodies, a 24-70mm, a 70-200mm lens, and a standard external flash (Bonus tip: bring lots of extra batteries). That will provide you with a wide range of focal length as well as a backup camera in case something goes wrong (because technology does fail). Below are links to the gear I use:
Camera: Nikon D750
Flash (nothing special): Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite
P.S. If you don't have the right equipment right out of the gate I highly recommend renting. There are tons of cost-effective options available. I use lensrental.com because they have a large variety to choose from.
Don’t Price Yourself Out of a Gig – As a new wedding photographer myself, one thing I have learned is to not overprice your services when you do not have the experience… I know, it’s a hard pill to swallow, but in order to charge a premium price, you need to be able to provide premium service. Experience is an amazing selling tool, so get that first before you try charging what the “pros” charge.
Ask for Honest Feedback – This is a tough one because sometimes the feedback you get can be harsh, but it’s important to learn and grow and you can’t do that if you don’t know what you could have done better. As a follow-up, ask how your clients experience was and be candid with them, tell them you want honest feedback. It will go a long way. If they say they were completely happy, great! Ask them if they’re willing to leave you a review on your website, Yelp, Google, etc.
Well, that’s all I got. Again, I am just getting started in wedding photography just like you. But these are some of the things I have learned along the way. I hope you find these tips helpful!
Written by Andrew Barrowman of Barrowman Photography