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.