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  • Writer's pictureJill Matthews

"CAPTURING A BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY" - Jill Matthews Photography

Congrats on your decision to become a wedding photographer!

Getting started, one of the main things you will need to concentrate on is creating solid marketing content - like shooting more wedding content and gaining experience.

Fortunately, there are a few great strategies to help you gain experience in this area, as well as ways to build your portfolio for potential brides!

In reality, I'd lie if I said it was easy to get there. It took me a while to get to a point where I felt I had experience (I'm talking almost a year!).

As a photographer, you will gain more experience and grow, but more importantly, you will grow in your identity as a wedding photographer as you gain more experience.

Nonetheless, the question on everybody's lips is: how do you ACTUALLY develop your experience and content in wedding photography when you don't have a lot?

The following are some easy tips I found that really helped jumpstart my career as a wedding photographer when I first began!

Third Shoot Weddings!

Usually, a third shooter is regarded as the way to go when it comes to weddings. I used to think the same way.

It's hard for experienced photographers to feel comfortable bringing you on as a second shooter when you're just starting out and don't have much experience.

Due to my experience, I charge a great deal for my wedding packages, and I am expected to meet their high standards of quality. (Please note: I set my prices the way I do because I have a lot of experience and deliver a high quality service to my clients. This has taken a lot of time, and I've shot weddings for over 25 years now.)

In order to photograph weddings at this level, I need a second shooter who knows how to use a flash and manual settings, and what to capture on the day of the wedding.

So, THIRD shooting is actually the better route for you if you’re getting started! And honestly, I can think of MANY photographers who wouldn’t mind having extra help at a wedding they are shooting!

As a result, you have less pressure to be everything the primary shooter wants. If you work with anyone like me, of course, I'm happy to share tips and tricks to get the settings you need for flash and manual cameras during downtime at a wedding.

My recommendation for you is to contact photographers and propose a THIRD shoot rather than a SECOND shoot. They are more intrigued by this, since they can only offer extra assistance on the wedding day and don't have to take full responsibility.

A great way to get more experience if you do not yet have a lot of weddings on your books is to attend a wedding with another photographer!

Invest in education

Now that you have decided that wedding photography is something you want to do, I recommend educating yourself first. I mean, learn to use your camera.

If you want to be called a professional, you have to be in your EXPERT craft.

Just think: people go to school for years to become experts in the field so that they can work as professionals in their field.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your business, grow fast and start on the right foot is to invest in your education. And flash news: a lot of photographic educational material is issued WAYYYY cheaper than regular college fees (for example, $ 40,000 cheaper ... still paying off debts, tbh).

So who are we to immerse ourselves in a society we have no idea how to do well or even how to produce and supply quality products?

I'm serious! Get a camera and start learning how to use it. Don't say yes to a wedding unless you're 100% sure you're ready to shoot manually or comfortably with the flash.

And if you read this idea, "I'm completely lost when it comes to hand shooting," well, that's where education comes in. I have published a great manual that focuses on the basics of manual setup and how to work manually on my cameras. And to help with that, I've gone through and done some real manual photography exercises for you to practice using the camera in my virtual third shooting course, such as trying out different lighting settings and how you can do them. under pressure!

Honestly, if you are reading this and still do not feel 100% shooting with the manual or working with your camera, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND FIRST TO INVEST IN TRAINING. Because a much worse situation is to get caught delivering a below average product when you call yourself a professional, and THAT is the first impression you leave on a new career that you start.

Start with the right foot - and train! I am

Have a coffee or plan a mentoring with a friend from the industry

In the same line of investing in your education, mentoring is a great way to gain more experience and learn.

Your friends in the industry (as an experience) have done this - they started from the bottom up - and now they are making their own way in this world. Learn with her, make friends with her and ask her IMPORTANT questions about how to film a wedding.

There is a good chance they will tell you a lot of important information to help you plan your own wedding sessions.

Another good reason to befriend the industry or invest in mentoring is that he's a good person to turn to if you're ready to shoot someone. Since they already know you and who you are, they would definitely like to mark you as another assistant to gain more experience.

Thanks to specific mentors, you can ask what you want at a virtual FaceTime meeting, or shoot in the field and gain additional experience on how to shoot a wedding.

There are many things you can do, but what do you do first?

To be honest, my recommendation is education.

The best thing we can do so far for you and your business is to be motivated, prepared and educated as you grow and develop your new business. Don't be afraid to let money jump into your future! Cheaper than tuition and still 100,000% worth it.

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