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Amateur Wedding Photographers...

Since I have been surfing the net over the past few years, I have come across many, many photography sites, some excellent and some appalling. The danger is that when a "photographer" with a new website, is simply someone having just taken up the hobby, bought an overly expensive camera and maybe stumbled across a good photo or two! Then they learn how to do one or two tricks with an editing program like Photoshop and "hey presto" they are a professional photographer.

I don't want to put anyone off this fantastic hobby, but it is important to establish the credibility of the person giving the advice, ESPECIALLY when it comes to wedding photography.

I have read advice from people on the net that really wouldn't pass muster as a wedding photographer, as not once did I see the words professional or professionalism. Anyone can click away with a digital camera at a wedding, but to do it right, in order, with all the required photographs being taken efficiently and professionally takes experience.

My first piece of advice would be to advertise and put yourself out there as an inexperienced photographer looking to learn and take up wedding photography, that needs practice.

Approach a professional wedding photographer and ask if you can tag along at a wedding firstly WITHOUT your camera, and assist him (for nothing, although he may throw you a few £´s at the end). The next time ask if you can take a few reportage or candid shots as long as under no circumstances do you get in the way of the photographer OR the proceedings!

Then you could approach a couple who are getting married and explain to them that you would like to take photos alongside the professional photographer (for nothing) as practice, and if they like any of your pictures, they can buy them from you at a reduced rate.

Once you have done this once or twice, and you feel confident that you can do it alone, I would suggest that once again, you photograph a

wedding free of charge, but this time as the ONLY photographer, and just charge for print costs.

By not charging, and the fact that you are NOT yet a business, and as long as you make this absolutely clear to the couple, you are limiting your liabilities but getting some incredible experience under your belt.

Before you finally take the plunge and start charging for your services, I would suggest that you put yourself on a 2 or 3 day course with a professional photographer and learn about lighting and posing techniques, along with all the other requirements you are going to have to learn. They normally include a model "couple" for a day for you to practice on.

Wedding photography is so much more than just taking the photographs, you have to think about the albums, the organising, the printing and above all, your own proficiency, efficiency and professionalism.

It is a lot to take in and you won't earn money for a while this way, but when you finally start to charge, you will be more than ready and hopefully have bags of confidence.

Once you get it, weddings can be hard work but an awful lot of fun and very rewarding both financially and satisfactorily.

I have a full run down of wedding photo tips for amateurs at my website;

Wedding Photo Tips for Amateurs

Including a wedding photography checklist of all the photographs you may have to take.

Please feel free to use this article for private or publication use.

Good luck!

About the Author

Professional photographer with over 20 years experience in many aspects of photography.

Written by: Nick Stubbs

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