April 1, 2015
This blog post has been a long time coming. I always felt like there was nothing really special or glamorous about my story. I never loved photography as a kid. In high school I skipped all the art classes and never took a photography class. The only art class I took in high school (because I HAD to in order to graduate) was ceramic. I think I got an A.
I was actually a biochemistry major- surprise! (I am still a bit of a science nerd, shhh). I worked in lab and always thought I would go to pharmacy school. I got accepted into University of Maryland Pharmacy School but since I was in debt and still considered out of state, I decided to take a break.
During that break I met a wonderful guy named Gavin and decided on forever with him in 2012 (minor detail). At that point I was still thinking of going back to school for a masters. Long story short, we bought puppy (hello Oodles!) and a camera to take pictures of this adorable little babe.
Ok, now let’s talk about my first wedding. I still can’t believe Justin and Larissa trusted me with shooting their wedding in the end of 2012. At this point, I had second shot ONE wedding. Zero Experience. Crazy? Yes! I was over the moon when they asked me. However, I do not advice beginning photographers to follow my example. Someone’s big day is such a BIG responsibility and I would hate to miss our their moments because I was not ready to photograph on my own.
As much as my style has changed since Justin and Larissa’s 2012 wedding, these images will always have a special place in my heart. It was the birth of a grand dream. I continued to work part time in 2013 as a photographer and business continued to pick up and led me to quit my full time job last year in 2014 (wahoooooo). Quitting a full time job to run your own business was both exhilarating and very scary. But I couldn’t be happier with this decision.
Are you also looking to start a wedding photography business? Do you just love to photograph everything? Well, I have some tips for ya!
Ask friends and family to be your models. Start with your dog or cat if you need to. Take classes. Read books. Talk to other photographers in the industry.
Only share your absolute BEST. Wait to have a website/ facebook business page until you have quality material. No one needs to see your amateur stuff. And you don’t want to be known as that person who always brings their camera everywhere they go. You do not want to be taken for granted. Value your time and your skills. And that won’t happen if you are known for working for free or just bringing your camera to parties.
This can take years. If a prospective client visits your website and sees pictures that have been edited differently, that is a red flag and screams amateur. Maybe you like the matte look or maybe you like those vibrant colors. That is why it’s good to wait to call yourself a “professional photographer” until you have your style somewhat nailed down. I say somewhat because as artists we will always be evolving.
This is why I am so looking forward to my Workshop in May. I am so excited to have the opportunity to empower other photographers. I want them to know what I would have done differently (like NOT over editing people’s eyes and over-smoothing their skins) and things that definitely helped me get where I am today. My first wedding was less than 3 years ago and I am booked this year.
Thanks to Joy Michelle Photography for this pic!