How to become a rock star wedding photographer.

1. Buy a camera. Don't understand how to use it? P stands for professional. Let the camera do the thinking so you don't have to! Want to learn more about your camera? Go to a workshop. Jessica Claire, Scarlett Lillian and Jasmine Star are a good start for learning the basics. They have just recently learned the basics themselves and you will have more in common with them. The pricing on many of the workshops available to you will include amenities such as wine tasting, couple therapy, cooking class and long walks on the beach. You may even have at least an hour of actual interaction with your instructors. All of this for just a few dollars more than what you paid for your camera. Ready, set, go! 


2. Don't worry about workflow, many editing warehouses can take care of this for you. Or, you can purchase action sets and use these to create a candy coated goodness on every image. This relieves you of two burdens. One, cutting down your post processing time and, two, you do not need an understanding of photoshop. Simply select the action and click go. You can find sample images of the results of these actions on several of the worlds top ten wedding photographers blogs (who all happen to live in california). They even include the opacity levels to set your layers on. However, this is for advanced users only. If you do not understand opacity and layers, the actions can still do the work for you. They are fool proof.


3. Clueless about composition? Not a problem. Find the most successful photographers in your area and beyond, study their websites, blogs and wedding galleries to create a checklist for images you will copy. Stick with stagnate moments, such as detail shots. Inanimate objects do not move which makes it much easier to focus on them. For people, concentrate on posing. Rip out magazine ads and bring them with you to weddings and shoots so you can mimic the poses and give your subjects a high fashion flair. Remember to keep a safe distance from getting to know the human inside each client, otherwise their eyes may reveal a spark of personality. You don't want that! Today's portraits should have a soulless feel while maintaining the look of muted color palettes or over sharpened vibrancy which seems to lose any and all detail in areas between light and dark. For a more romantic element, have the couple kiss or even better, try to make them hold still long enough to capture the almost kiss. An overly grainy sepia tone works well for this, especially if you include a wind swept veil and dramatic skies. Another benefit of posing, you will not have to worry about capturing the awkward, unflattering facial expressions which commonly occur during emotional moments. 


4. Learn to love money more than anything else. Don't come into the wedding photography field with dreams of being an artist. According to industry standard, wedding photography is not an art.


5. focus on quantity more than quality. The more clients, the faster the workflow, the more money you make. And besides, you will never have time to live the rock star life if you are bogged down with such worries as pride in craftsmanship.


6. Develop a style that emulates the work of every other rock star photographer. Try to be like everyone else who pretends to be happy and successful.


7. Give all of your heart to the goal of being idolized by fledgling photographers.


8. Keep a closed mind so your images will never deviate from the formula. Crossing certain lines and expressing creativity may develop into originality which will discourage your followers from the false belief that they could ever be as great as you.


9. Give workshops. Bored housewives are a great demographic. The only thing you really need here is image. Concentrate on hair styles, make-up, short skirts, cleavage and stiletto heels (or cowboy boots if you prefer a more down to earth look). Like we said in a previous post, being truly successful has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with being hot. If you are a man, be jock like. Girls dig it.


10. Pay for a membership into the WPJA and every other for profit wedding photographer organization which alludes to photographic elitism. The AGWPJA is especially important because the brides do not realize you did not earn the membership through artful or even professional photography experience but merely a hefty membership fee. Grace Ormonde is also a fabulous source of name dropping. They will send you a silver, paper placard which you can proudly display behind your clients heads as they sing your praises in your latest self promoting video. If you are lucky enough to be sponsored by one of the industry corporations such as smug-mug, you have an instant in. Whatever the case, become friends with the people who say they are admired, especially if they mention they are a top ten photographer in the world or any other organization because this is a sure sign that they have accomplished these steps and are certainly worthy of your admiration. Also, do not forget to master the art of kissing ass, create a false air of superiority, always talk about your want of material goods such as the latest designer hand bag and don't forget to mention Jesus. Jesus saves, but he also sells. If your clients believe you have faith, they will believe you are sincere. Two birds, one stone.


11. If you discover that weddings are incredibly hard work, never fear. Once you achieve rock star status you can live off the money you make holding workshops. You wont have to worry about the bored housewives competing with you for wedding business because you no longer shoot weddings. However, be wary of the "hot" housewives because your beauty will fade and someone else will have to take your place as the current "it" girl. It's kind of like modeling or acting. Actually, the whole experience from start to finish is. But what did you expect? It's all smoke and mirrors.


This process should not take more than one year from the moment you purchased your first camera. 


Good Luck!



 

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Page: 1 of 2
  • 6/17/2009 7:07 AM Steph wrote:
    Dangit, here I went out and bought a pair of boots, are you now saying I have to have a workshop?? I dont even have a Logo yet.......
    Reply to this
  • 6/17/2009 6:45 PM Anonymous Coward wrote:
    Personally, I like the Canon cameras because when I use the green mode it shows I'm environmentally friendly.

    Also, if I may be so bold, I'd like to suggest a twelfth point:

    12. Remember, it's about you the photographer, not your client's wedding day.
    Reply to this
  • 6/17/2009 9:13 PM Rhonda wrote:
    Find the most successful photographers in your area and beyond, study their websites, blogs and wedding galleries to create a checklist for images you will copy. THIS WOULD BE YOU, i WOULD PAY TO LEARN FROM YOU. Keep it coming
    Reply to this
  • 6/17/2009 10:18 PM FNB wrote:
    hmmm... well, I bought a camera, and watched a video the other night on one of those fabulous rock start type photogs you talked about, but you know what I dont have?? I dont have a good pair of cowboy boots!! I had a KICKASS pair that I bought in Mexico, but customs STOLE them from me... UGH, long story, and I told hubby I would honestly STOP telling the story one day (he's to blame!)

    but I digress (cuz i'm getting off topic now).. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO overwhelmed by these 11 steps!!! I mean, I honestly dont think I can AFFORD to become a rock star photographer! WTF is a person to do? this is my DREAAAM!! I want to be in the top 10 bestest best world universal photographers..!!! but, but... ugh... I give up.. I guess I will have to suffer in the mediocrity that is my current business.. you know, where I get to hang out with my clients, BBQ with them when I present them with their pictures, ask them to do odd things, make them laugh, go into skeezy bars and get up on stages where a rough and tough band will be playing later, and someone might actually kill all of us if we touch the drums wrong..

    but... that's just how it will have to be.. I guess I will just have to keep dreaming of becoming a rock star photographer, and know it will just.never.happen..


    Reply to this
  • 6/17/2009 10:49 PM j.kay wrote:
    Great tips!! lol
    Reply to this
  • 6/18/2009 1:43 AM JustMax wrote:
    Hah, Julia said you are doing great. She's been watching you kiddo. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming swimming.
    Reply to this
  • 6/18/2009 5:08 AM Anonymous Coward wrote:
    I might be able to offer an alternative:

    1. Buy a gallon of milk.
    2. Drink that gallon of milk.
    3. Attach the inverted gallon of milk to your camera's flash.
    4. Market the hell out of your new patent pending diffuser. Make sure you mention that it will not only make all your pictures come out perfect but also cure cancer.
    5. Profit!
    Reply to this
  • 6/18/2009 3:12 PM FNB wrote:
    not a bad idea.. I'm totally patenting that right NOW!!!!!
    Reply to this
  • 6/18/2009 3:40 PM Just Max wrote:
    I will be stealing this
    Reply to this
  • 6/18/2009 5:14 PM Anonymous Coward wrote:
    Glad to help you along on your path to riches!
    Reply to this
  • 6/18/2009 10:06 PM JustMax wrote:
    I have an idea



    1. Buy a gallon of milk.
    2. Drink that gallon of milk.
    3. Attach the inverted gallon of milk to your camera's flash.
    4. Market the hell out of your new patent pending diffuser. Make sure you mention that it will not only make all your pictures come out perfect but also cure cancer.
    5. Profit!
    Reply to this

  • 6/19/2009 4:50 PM GWC wrote:
    I want to be one of the top photographers in California aka THE WORLD
    Reply to this
  • 6/21/2009 6:32 PM Anonymous Coward wrote:
    That's brilliant!!!!!


    Brilliant!
    Reply to this
  • 6/25/2009 2:55 PM Gordon McGregor wrote:
    I have an idea



    1. Buy a gallon of unsweetened soy milk.
    2. Drink that gallon of unsweetened soy milk.
    3. Attach the inverted gallon of unsweetened milk to your camera's flash.
    4. Market the hell out of your new patent pending diffuser. Make sure you mention that it will not only make all your pictures come out perfect but also cure cancer. Laugh at the losers using dairy based diffusers. Explain how they are destroying the planet.

    5. Profit!
    Reply to this
  • 6/25/2009 3:00 PM Gordon McGregor wrote:
    I think given the names you've used as examples, it'd be important to have a 'how to choose your wedding photographer name'. Just use the same rules as how you'd come up with your porn star name - it seems that's what everyone else is doing.

    Must have a surname that is also a first name, also seems to be a rule. Maybe just pick the name of the first porn star you bump into walking around in Southern California and use that as your business name.
    Reply to this
  • 6/30/2009 3:38 PM Phil Thornton wrote:
    This. Is. Brilliant.
    Reply to this
  • 6/30/2009 7:30 PM adrian hitt wrote:
    ouch!
    Reply to this
  • 7/9/2009 1:09 PM John Edgar wrote:
    This was quite a hilarious and totally accurate list. I personally have it printed off and try and follow it at every wedding, especially number 3!!!
    Reply to this
  • 7/9/2009 3:52 PM Tony Hoffer wrote:
    OMG. This is so true!!All the points are right on! The Jasmine star...the god praising photographers..workshops,etc.
    You hit it right on!!
    Reply to this
  • 7/9/2009 6:26 PM Just Max wrote:
    Jesus saves, but he also sells, be sure to always underestimate your clients.
    Reply to this
  • 7/9/2009 6:30 PM Just Max wrote:
    We can call this the "Soy Miloko Plus Diffuser 3gS, bragging about your possessions helps you take better pictures. Envy fuels the creative juices.
    Reply to this
  • 7/14/2009 4:05 PM John wrote:
    Looking at your portfolio it certainly looks like you've taken plenty of your own advice! LOL!!
    Reply to this
  • 7/17/2009 5:55 AM Thingy wrote:
    I love what you wrote... However, I was dispappointed that you freely take the piss out of photographers who use actions when you do it yourself. Could it be you are willing/trying to follow on the footsteps of those you so harshly criticise?
    Reply to this
  • 7/17/2009 6:17 AM Thingy wrote:
    Having said all of the above, I still think you are very accurate in your dispondancy of those in our industry who place themselves above others by their self-professing Rock Star status - They believe their own hype. Sadder even is that so many *follow* them as sheep and encourage this BS.
    Reply to this
  • 7/21/2009 4:23 PM Just max wrote:
    We are talking about actions run in batch, actions run in bridge and lightroom and no thought before or after the actions are run. We are talking about people that can't create actions, and we are baffled by a two hour workflow.
    Reply to this
  • 9/11/2009 10:01 PM Sarah wrote:
    haha... Love this!
    Reply to this
  • 12/23/2009 1:04 PM Otto Rascon wrote:
    Wow, these steps are amazingly helpful. You can start your own workshop on how to be a rockstar wedding photog. Think about it... "The 11 Steps To Rockstardom!" Just think about the MONEY!!!
    Reply to this
  • 12/23/2009 2:10 PM Stormy Crystal wrote:
    Thought I'd start using my porn rock star name. Thanks for the laugh.
    Reply to this
  • 12/23/2009 4:12 PM Scott Patrick wrote:
    Great article, I know so many of these types in my market. I am trying to figure out how to get them to read this. Why bother? It will just go over their heads. Keep up with the great observations. I'm going for a glass of milk now.
    Reply to this
  • 12/23/2009 8:03 PM michelle wrote:
    i love this SO much.
    Reply to this
  • 12/24/2009 12:43 AM Michael Norwood wrote:
    I almost died reading this! Hahaha! I had to find a paper bag to stop the hyperventilating. No one is annoyed by this formula/state of our industry more than me.
    Reply to this
  • 12/28/2009 1:09 PM Kelsey wrote:
    Make sure to write articles like this, too!

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/weddingphoto/discuss/72157604472504523/
    Reply to this
  • 12/28/2009 6:59 PM J. wrote:
    You guys are doing waaaay too much work... that stuff all requires taking pictures and following through. You could just lift your favorite images off of your favorite photographers websites and make them your own. Hell, the brides and grooms probably haven't seen those shots anyways. ...and if they're not watermarked, hey... whose to say you didn't take that photo.
    Collect as many deposits as you can and take a trip to, say, Florida. You've got enough to start up a whole new life under a new identity to do it again. Easy money
    Reply to this
  • 12/28/2009 11:51 PM Harvey wrote:
    I think this is the best suggestion. Take their money and run. They'll have plenty of friends there anyway getting GREAT images for them to remember this wonderful event.
    And then, after their divorce in 6 months, they won't care about the images anyway.
    Reply to this
  • 12/29/2009 9:15 AM Anonymous wrote:
    Sounds like someone is bitter they are not a ROCK STAR PHOTOG!
    Reply to this
  • 12/30/2009 7:33 AM Elliott Rogers wrote:
    Brilliant article and great advice! I'm using my rock star photog name here for the first time, thanks. Your article didn't mention one of the most important steps when shooting a wedding. "Chimping". You must chimp (especially during the portrait sessions) and show every snapshot to the bride and all the guests just to show how much you love your work. Also, you can add more diffusion to your milk jug if you don't rinse it out.
    Reply to this
  • 12/31/2009 1:24 AM Dawn Kelly wrote:
    This is literally the funniest thing I've ever read. Seriously. I almost peed laughing.
    Reply to this
  • 1/2/2010 11:43 AM Sarah wrote:
    While I agree with some of this it just feels mean to single out people and to especially single out "bored housewives" and successful women in the portrait/wedding business.

    The photography industry is certainly big enough to fit in all types of egos, yours included.
    Reply to this
  • 1/13/2010 7:42 AM Renton Wedding Photographer wrote:
    I had to find a paper bag to stop the hyperventilating. No one is annoyed by this formula/state of our industry more than me.
    Reply to this
  • 1/19/2010 7:06 PM John Solano wrote:
    jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja

    Your killing me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    STOP!!!!
    I cant BREATH!!!!

    jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaj
    Reply to this
  • 1/19/2010 8:25 PM Andy Marcus wrote:
    That's the Spanish version of hahahahahaha

    It is marvelously written and so true. Don't know who wrote it...but I would buy them dinner anytime!
    Reply to this
  • 1/20/2010 7:51 AM Azam ali wrote:
    That the great idea you shared. how can we join this?

    Reply to this
  • 1/22/2010 11:15 AM Brian Woodward wrote:
    This is fabulous, hope the self proclaimed industry experts you speak of read this!
    Reply to this
  • 3/22/2010 7:47 PM Tommy wrote:
    But I am sure it would be OK to point out only men.Gotta keep the truth under wraps so we don't offend anyone.
    Reply to this
  • 4/5/2010 7:41 AM StudioUgly wrote:
    Again with the YO MTV Raps "Ya'll just be hatin"

    I'm thinking we are hired to capture the most important day of someone's life, at least my brides seem to think so, We think our jobs are a big deal. We believe what we do is important. We respect the craft and the art. We are not bigger than our craft. We are out to protect it.

    I also believe that taking the piss can do wonders for the world.

    and we are not alone ...

    http://www.truephototalk.com/truth-in-our-industry/
    Reply to this
  • 4/5/2010 7:45 AM StudioUgly wrote:
    We don't want to be a part of the photographic industry. We are wedding photographers. You can keep your industry, and I'm pretty sure we aren't sexist, Julia wrote this all by herself.
    Reply to this
  • 11/18/2013 1:03 AM Best Video Production Company wrote:
    Yeah..you have discuss some great tips here. I am in the business of video production more than five years and agree with all the point you discuss above.
    Reply to this

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