View Full Version : Getting into the wedding business

01-13-2009, 09:47 PM
Hello, This is my first post so I guess I can do a little intro about myself as well. I'm from the Seattle area. I graduated with my Business Administration degree a few years ago but haven't really gotten to use it. You see, I went off and married a Quebecer right after graduation. I love him to death and he is so supportive. He feels so bad about my corporate career dream that he showers me with new photographer equipment whenever he can afford it despite my protests for him to save his money. The French thing is kicking my butt in the way of employment.

Wedding photography really intrigues me. Of course the potential income interests me but I love to be in stressful fast paced situations. I haven't shot a wedding before but from what I can tell it is pretty fast paced and although planning ahead is essential, I definitely foresee the need for improvisation.

I've been trying to find a photographer who needs an assistant to try and get first hand idea on how to get through one, find the key shots, and how to make absolutely sure the client gets exactly what they want.
I've been devouring books on the subject for quite a while but I agree with most of them that being a second shooter or assistant first is beneficial.

Well I happened upon a woman in Vermont who has a really small budget and would pay for the gas to get me to her wedding to shoot it. Now I am a little worried but excited at the same time.

My question is, two parts. I would really appreciate some feedback on my very small portfolio and does anyone know a good approach on getting into contact with photographers who would be interested in a free assistant?

Thanks in advance for your input.

Robin Phinizy,

my site (http://www.phinizyphotos.smugmug.com/)

01-14-2009, 11:00 AM
Welcome Robin!

Normally when we critique it's one or two shots that have been uploaded but i did take a quick look and you do have some nice shots there.

You should try getting a local wedding book or guide and call the photographers in that guide to see if they need anyone. Many photogs can use a spare set of hands and that's how you'll learn. I'm not convinced it's a good idea to actually shoot a wedding before assisting on one.

Hope that helps

01-14-2009, 11:32 AM
ack! I'm sorry, I didn't realize about posting just one or two shots in the forum itself.

Thanks for looking at my site though.
And i guess i will just have to go ahead and pester some of these photographers even if they aren't advertising for an assistant.

Ben H
01-14-2009, 11:56 AM
I did the same - I had a quick look through your site - very nice, you certainly seem to be a fairly skilled photographer from those images, anyway.

I would +1 the above advice. There are plenty of places to research (one of the good ones for wedding shooters is David Ziser's blog at DigitalProTallk.blogspot.com - plenty of images, and his "Analysis of a Wedding Shoot" blog series is great, as are his wedding training videos on KelbyTraining.com.

But research is research, and though it helps get prepared, actually doing it on the day (especially when you are new to the whole wedding thing) is I'm sure a *world* of difference.

Absolutely try and assist someone - for free if necessary, and get a few shoots under your belt until you are confident in what's required of you.

And good luck! Shooting weddings as a primary (or only) shooter is a weighty responsibility!

01-14-2009, 12:20 PM
I have been trying to get into wedding photography for some time. I am from California and most wedding photogs do not let people assist, they will not return emails about the subject most the time. They have their assistants and they do not want second shooters other than them because they don't want to train the competition.

Here is my advice. Find a wedding photographer a few hours drive away. At least out of the vicinity and competitive area you are in. Ask an out of area wedding photog to shoot for them, they are more likely to be receptive.

01-14-2009, 12:41 PM
Scott Kelby is awesome! I have a couple of his books and they are really great, helpful and entertaining. I would love to sign up for his online course. Maybe I will.
going to read through "Analysis of a Wedding Shoot" right now. thank you very much for the advice on resources to look at.

And about contacting photographers with no luck, I had the same thought. But at the same time, those businesses that get booked solid a year or more in advance can't possibly be too worried about competition.