After looking at the good, the bad, the new, the experienced; I have seen a few things that would make me more prepared to become a fulltime photographer. Here are my thoughts:
"Wedding photography is 50% composition, 25% post processing, 25% marketing"
You can always tell who is new by their web presence. Now a lot of photographers have BluDomain as their site creator and host provider. Ain't nothing wrong with that and it is a great way to get a web presence. The only problem I have with is the lack of branding. When you load a site you know that it is BluDomain by 1 of 2 things: there is a star as the website icon and the title of the page isn't branded. I know most people aren't the most web savvy, but you have to be in this day and age because people aren't going to pick up the phone book and call around for a photographer. People are not going to contact someone unless they know what they can do. Also, most of the top photographers have a blog. It keeps the audience engaged. You post the newest of the new and let them see how your style and skills are changing and improving with each wedding. This is a great tool to interact with your customer base. The best part of about having a good web presence to hide the lack of experience. If your site is crazy good, then people might think you are a seasoned vetern who knows what they are doing. For example, Jasmine Star, has only been shooting solo for 2 yrs, but her sites look like she has been doing it for awhile. Get some portfolio building shots from being a 2nd shooter with some of the big dogs and then use them on your site. Another thing is being personable. Everybody loves and remembers a photographers who gives the impression that you are inviting and friendly. They can get the same feeling through a website through videos or goofy pictures.
Another way you can tell is by the post work. The newer photographers can't achieve what the better photographers can achieve because their skills in Photoshop and Lightroom aren't as good. There are plenty of actions available to aid you in creating a style that will appeal to lots of customers. Spend the equity and by Kubota, Totally Rad, MCP, or Red Leaf actions. The creativity and time savings that these give you can take the presentation of your photography to a whole new level.
Composition is the key to a great wedding photographer. You either have it really good or you have it so so. Train that eye and you too will be pulling in 25k a wedding.
4 months ago