Seven wedding bookings in the first six months of shooting them. Gotta stand for something, right?
When my friend A. called me up in November and asked me to do a small wedding for him that he wasn’t able to do, I was anything but ready. I had been doing photography semi-professionally for several years, but a wedding is a wedding. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime event, that appears even more glorious if the photography is done properly. And it can’t be done by just any photographer.
Portrait photography, fashion photography, event photography, product photography, landscape photography, possibly pet photography and more is included in just one day of running around with a camera. No, I wasn’t ready. At the very least I’d have liked to work with a proper wedding photographer several times before stepping out into the unknown by my own.
I said yes.
Probably the biggest risk I ever took in any career, but it paid off. They were happy, I was happy, I had great images to start a wedding portfolio, referrals and a photographer friend who knew I could be trusted. That month I was booked for another wedding, the next for two more, and so on. Over the last six months, I’ve done seven weddings. It’s still not a full-time job, doesn’t pay the bills, but it’s a start and I’m proud of it.
For the first wedding I borrowed an old 50mm 1.4D which had no autofocus and I had to spray shoot while focusing hoping to capture at least one image that was sharp. But I fell in love with that shallow depth of focus, and that’s the reason I purchased the newer 50mm f1.4G months down the line. I was so nervous, I had no idea what the procedures were during the wedding, on edge the whole day, praying I wouldn’t miss an important moment. That was the first (and only) wedding that took me inside a Mosque.
Creeping around on my tippy toes in my socks, not knowing what I was and wasn’t allowed to do, and hoping not to offend anybody, but still get great shots. Walking through the park, racking my brain for posing ideas without any clue about them, but still getting results that they would like. Portraits, groups, closeups, repeat, repeat, repeat… Lucky I had two cameras so I could shoot wide and portrait simultaneously without having to switch lenses all the time.
With several weddings in my pocket, I’m a lot more relaxed as I know what’s happening when and where, but still the most uncertain part is the artistic photoshoot, each time the location is different, as is the lighting, props and clothes the subjects have. But that allows for more creativity, and I really enjoy every aspect.
I have another wedding booked right now, for both filming and shooting, another challenge to master, but I’m looking forward to it. Meanwhile I’ve borrowed a glidecam and a slider on wheels is on its way, so I hope I can make something outstandingly special out of that wedding.
More pictures on my Flickr (see sidebar).