When you are starting things out from scratch as a new wedding photographer in Essex, you need to be well aware of the things that will make your journey or your endeavor hard to achieve. Suffice it to say, your journey will be a tough one, in the very least. If you are banking on the possibility of a seamless and smooth start in your career, you are highly mistaken. You should go ahead and manage things the right way, most especially your expectations, before you end up feeling delusioned and discouraged. It is always important for you to go ahead and look into the bad before you start pinning your hopes on the possible good that might come out of it. Be ready to go in and to do the hard and dirty work because it is going to be rough at first. There will always be a light at the end of the tunnel though so keep your hopes up.
You will not be getting a lot of bookings at first as a wedding photographer in Essex. Here’s the thing, it might take months or even more than a year after you have officially opened shop as a wedding photographer before you will get a shot at having your first big booking. This is something that has been tested and proven time and time again by wedding photographers from the world over. This is an expectation that will better prepare you for what you are about to face when it all comes down to it and this will make your life so much easier to check out at the end of the day. Make it a point to always look into this as much as you possibly can. Keep yourself busy with other things and other projects in the interim but never ever give up on your dream because it is something that will help pull you through while you are waiting out your big break.
You will be struggling a lot with the aspect of networking as well. Networking is easy enough to say and it is easy enough to know what the main techniques are strategies are but it is not always the easiest thing to execute or follow through on. If you are no the type who is used to putting himself out there, then you are bound to feel intimidated by this task and there really is no shame in something like that. For as long as you continue to take baby steps towards reaching your goals eventually, you should be at a pretty good place, networking wise. Understand the fact that all connections are pretty valuable regardless of the kind of setup that you are currently in. Actively seek it out because it will eventually bring you potential clients.
You will also need to seriously have a strong strategy for your post shoot processing game. The editing part of your job as a wedding photographer in and around Essex will be the hardest part in all of it and that’s a fact. Map out your techniques and your plans so that you can attack the task in the most efficient possible way.
If there is one thing that wedding photographers should be quite skilled about in the area of portraiture, it would have to be playing around with angles and understanding the basic principles of distortion. And yes, in case you are wondering, if you would like to become a wedding photographer at some point or so, you will need to be more than well versed in the aspect of taking great looking portrait shots when it all comes down to it.
As a matter of fact, it will be more than safe to say that a huge percentage of the photos that you will end up taking as a professional wedding photographer will turn out to be portrait shots. The common rules of thumb are that shooting at a downward angle can make the subject look vulnerable, smaller and feminine whereas shooting from an upward angle can make the subject look bigger, more authoritative and masculine. Angles from down below can be somewhat unflattering. Distortion is something that you need to look out for especially during a bridal shoot. The person nearest to the camera is usually the one who look the biggest. Just try to keep that in mind all of the time for good measure.
Most wedding photographers will tell you that one trick that seems to work every single time is the aspect of over exposing the photos that they take. This sounds technical but there is actually a pretty simple concept behind that. You simply make the background lighting brighter than usual. You can adjust this through the exposure settings of your camera as well as bring in additional lighting or angle the shot in such a way wherein it will be able to make the most out of the naturally occurring light during that particular moment. Over exposing your portrait shots will make the background somewhat irrelevant and the focus will be more on the features of the subject.
Uniqueness and individuality
A portrait should encapsulate the personality and the individuality of the particular subject that you are trying to capture in your photos. You should now have a blanket approach to portrait photography given the fact that people are unique and interesting and altogether different in their own ways. Find out what makes your subject interesting and unique and try to bank on that. Let this be your guide when it comes to the direction that you need to take for the portrait photo shoot that you are initiating for the subject.
This already goes without saying but it deserves to be mentioned for emphasis anyway. You need to make sure that your portrait shots will be focused on the closeups when it all comes down to it. Bring a macro lens or a telephoto lens along with you so that you will be able to come up with detailed looking closeup shots for your shoot. You need to make sure that every frame is maximized as much as possible because this is the best way to make your portrait shots come out looking striking and impacting.
One of the most useful SEO for a photographer tips that you will ever get your hands on as a newbie or as someone who is just starting out is the aspect of optimizing your website the right way. A fully optimized website has a far more better chance of getting relevant traffic as opposed to a website that is not really all that optimized when it all comes down to it. There have been tons and tons of tricks used by website owners to make sure that their websites are optimized the right way but as of right this moment, the best way for you to ensure that your website is optimized to the best of its capacity is to make sure that you constantly pump high quality content up all of the time.
Original content is the best way to go right now.
This can be a bit of a challenge in the first few times that you will be doing it but it is something that will turn out to be well worth the effort when you come to think about it at the end of the day. Search engine optimization looks and sounds like a daunting topic to go through with at first but for as long as you have your basics down pat, you should be at a pretty good place.
Work on getting your hands on the best search friendly keywords out there.
This is a great strategy for every SEO for a photographer newbie. There are actually a lot of online tools and even host programs that let you get a glimpse into the kind of keywords that are currently trending in your particular industry. Try to find out about this as much as possible. Bring in some hours for research. Search up the most used keywords in your particular niche or industry so that you will know which ones to use when you are writing content up. It would also be wise if you can go ahead and more or less plan your blog content around this. It will not be easy.
It can tend to be technical.
If you aren’t really that much of an expert when it comes to things like these, it’s OK, you can always outsource it but make sure that you still get to oversee the quality of the blog posts that you are putting up. They should be 100% original and the keywords should not be overkill when it all comes down to it. It can be very easy just leave things up to chance but if you are quite keen on succeeding in what you do, you should be hands on with everything.
Refrain from using flash in all of your websites.
Flash and SEO just don’t go hand in hand. For some reason, search engines are having a hard time profiling websites that are based on flash and this can be a major let down for you especially if you are looking into getting more traffic to your site so that you can convert them into actual bookings. Just get rid of any flash content on your site and you should be just fine.
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.
In order for wedding photographers to be effective in their craft, they need to make it a point to really stay out of the way as much as possible when they are out shooting weddings. Staying out of the way or staying way below the radar can actually turn out to be so much more work than you would actually think. There is a whole science behind that, actually.
Although the fact remains that you will not really be able to perfect all of those things all in one go, it can help a lot if you at least get a few pointers to take note of that can help speed the process of learning up a bit for you. Try to observe what the other wedding photographers are doing during the weddings that you attend as a guest. This should give you a pretty good insight into how they operate and it will guide you and show you how you should do things as well.
Opt to use natural light, if it is possible for you to do so.
Most of the wedding photographers out there will always go for natural light over any other kind of lighting any time of the day and you should make sure that you do so as well. When you use flash photography, you end up startling the people that you are trying to photograph. It’s not something that comes out looking great in the photos that you are able to produce. More than that, it can also be blinding at times. Unless you would like to end up with batch after batch of pictures that have people squinting in them because of the flash, then you might as well proceed to tone it done a little and opt for the more visually engaging natural light.
Candid shots are something that are next to impossible to attain when you are using artificial light.
This is because it can only come off as something that is a little too obvious when you are shooting photos of people. They become a little too aware that they are being photographed. They can’t help it but to react in such a way wherein they attempt to compose themselves or arrange their hair and the like so that they can look good in the pictures. This is particularly true for women in general. Flash photography will give you away whereas natural light can give you the added advantage of not being noticed right of the bat.
Give people a break every now and then as well.
Try to capture objects or any other inanimate features of the wedding venue that may catch your eye one way or the other. Try to have a better look at flower arrangements or place settings or mantelpieces, and so on and so forth. These shots can turn out to look really great in your portfolio and more than that, it can give people a little more time to relax, knowing that they are not being scrutinized by your camera all of the time.