The Skill Sets Most Needed
In my experience of over seven years of doing wedding photography,
wedding photography is not about perfection,
it’s about wrangling a lot of people with a smile, being a shoulder to cry on, creating a amazing experience for the bride and groom with fun stories and just being an extra member of the family for the day.
Yes, having the skill level of shooting manual, knowing how to use off-camera flash, how to conquer weird lighting situations, being flexible for last minute changes into the schedule due to weather are always some technical things that you can gain.
But you can be the best most technical photographer, but have a really bad personality and that makes a huge difference on the wedding day.
So you really need an awesome fun personality that’s really good at handling crazy situations on the fly.
The Marketing If you are someone who doesn’t like editing and organizing over 1,000 photos, plus create marketing materials, social media posts and blogging and tagging all the vendors involved, then being a wedding photog might not be your thing (or you might want to outsource these things to other people) 80% of what I do in my business is marketing and connecting myself with other vendors through personal relationships to get the gigs I get.
Just know that for me personally I spend about 40 to 60 hours before and after a single wedding:
consulting with the bride, answering questions, shooting the engagement (and editing it), getting all my gear ready, editing, making social media posts, blogging, creating products, doing research about the event and doing a walkthrough of it, and more ...
So if you aren’t willing to put in the work then it’s probably not a good career for you.
Do you have complete control of your camera and know your gear inside-out?
Are you comfortable in ANY situation- dark, light, flash, ceremony, reception or rain?
Do you keep your self calm, cool and collected in really stressful, high pressure situations with a smile?
Are you good at working with people and striking up conversations?
What about being good at organizing large groups of people and giving fast and quick directions?
Can you handle organizing and editing a large amount of photos and deliver a gorgeous product or products back to the bride in a reasonable amount of time?
Do you have a way to market yourself and use social media to your advantage as a business owner?
If you answered YES to ALL of these questions, then congratulations, then you are READY to be a wedding photographer.
If you answered "NO" to any of these questions, then taking classes with creativelive.com or shadowing a pro might be for you.
Practice with random couples posing with dresses from the thrift store, get a friend's beautiful house to use, trade services with friends to get a cake or food, get rings from amazon and hold your own "Wedding" to get portfolio.
Can't find a mentor? Guess what, I never had a mentor and we are doing just fine. Make your own way by thinking out of the box!
Christal Marshall is a mom of three, photographer, videographer, homeschooler and just a straight hustler.
She was voted top 20 wedding photographers in VA in 2016 and 2018. She has been featured over 40 times in various different publications.
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And you wonder why wedding photography is so expensive!