Getting experience is one of the toughest things that you will have to go through as a wedding photographer but it is something that you need to go ahead and do nonetheless. You have to understand that this is something that even the most successful wedding photographer you know right now must have gone through one way or the other. No one will be happy or willing enough to book you as their official or main wedding photographer if you don’t really have anything to show them in your portfolio. And on your end, you should not have the gall to book anyone professionally if you don’t really know what you are doing. It is something that goes both ways and it is a kind of responsibility that you should take upon yourself.
Although you might have the opportunity to attend photography school as well as undergo various forms of photography training somewhere in your career, it does not really quite match up with the knowledge and skill that experience will be able to give you. This might sound cliché but it really is quite true; experience really is your best teacher. And this is why you should go out of your way to actively seek it out whenever you have the chance to go ahead and do so.
Try to see if you can start off as an assistant to a more established and a more experienced wedding photographer.
If you would like to learn the ropes of the industry, you might as well do so from a reliable source who has been there and done that. Look up the well reputed and well established wedding photographers in your area and try to see if they will be willing to take you in as an assistant or as a protege. These opportunities are quite scarce and quite far in between so if you don’t find someone anytime soon, there is no need for you to get frustrated about it.
Take the time to reach out to people either online or in person until you hit something.
One thing to prepare for is the fact that you will not probably get paid very well for this and that’s alright. You are getting valuable training and experience in exchange for your time and services and that is something that money cannot buy at the end of the day.
Work on smaller projects.
You are not in a position to choose the projects that you would like to work on. At this point in time, for as long as it is something remotely related to photography in general, you should be more than happy to take it and jump on it. All of the areas in photography has something to teach you and something that you can take with you in your journey in becoming a professional wedding photographer someday.
Offer your services as a wedding photographer for free.
Something’s got to give some way somehow. Offer free coverage for your friends and close family relatives, just so that you can get your feet wet and so that you can have something to put into your portfolio to get you started in your wedding photographer career.