1. Becoming a wedding photographerCreate a simple contract – Do this first. Because I am going to suggest you take some free weddings to get your feet wet, you should have a contract to protect yourself
  2. Shoot some weddings for free– If you have ever watched American Idol, Simon Cowell would interact with people who gave voice lessons to clients.  He would ask them, “do you charge them?”  They would answer “yes.”  He would retort, “well you should give all their money back.”   Shooting weddings for free will get your feet wet, but you should have a contract saying that they know you are just starting out and won’t hold you responsible for anything that is messed up.  You shoot weddings for free for several reasons.
    • If you mess up, there is no liability and you don’t feel guilty.
    • you may get some great shots and you can start building a portfolio for when you don’t shoot for free
    • it helps you learn the flow of the day
    • it helps you determine what you are missing, what equipment you need to have, what you could do differently
    • you get over the nervousness.  The more weddings you attend, the less nervous you are.   You aren’t scared that you are going to do something wrong.
  3. Gear up – Start identifying gear that you will need as you shoot more and more weddings.  We have about $30,000 worth of gear that we take with us to each wedding.  Overkill?  Not if you get an epic shot.
  4. Start learning everything you can – I know you are taking a class already.  That is great.  I would also subscribe to something like Photovision (www.photovision.com) to get tips, suggestions, etc from the pros.
  5. Buy this book – You should immediately buy the book ” Understanding Exposure” by  Bryan Peterson.  As a matter of fact, you may want to buy two or three books by Bryan.  There simply is no better resource that we have EVER found.  It costs less than $17 and is worth 10 times that amount.  It taught me to use my camera and taught me creatively correct exposures.  (taught my husband too)