Description of the profession
The presence of a professional photographer at the wedding is not discussed. It has become a must for every wedding. It is only discussed which photographer to invite. Since there is a demand, there is also a supply in the form of a whole category of photographers working exclusively at wedding ceremonies. For them, this is a real profession in which they improve, compete with each other and achieve excellent shots in any situation and conditions.
This profession has a name – a wedding photographer, although it is not taught anywhere, and no educational institution issues certificates for obtaining such a profession.
The fact that people make money by taking beautiful photographs is not new. Shooting a wedding is a very good income. But this is possible only if you have a reputation as a cool photographer who has expensive equipment that allows you to take high quality pictures.
This profession has its advantages and disadvantages. Its advantages include:
- the opportunity to make good money;
- constant demand;
- the opportunity to choose the work and its time.
And its disadvantages:
- irregular working hours;
- the views on the performance of the work and its result for the photographer and his customers can be diametrically opposed.
From a wedding photographer, in addition to professional skills and high-quality equipment, knowledge of local traditions and ceremonies will also be required. For example, you need to know at a wedding in a church at what point you can take pictures, and when you absolutely cannot.
A wedding photographer should always be on the lookout to capture the most interesting and memorable moments of the wedding ceremony and the wedding itself. He must know the laws of composition in photography and use them correctly. He must know the most beautiful places in the city and its environs so that he can take beautiful pictures of the newlyweds against the backdrop of the best landscapes.
A wedding photographer, like no other specialist in photography, needs to know perfectly all the possibilities of his working tool – a camera. Large sensor digital cameras are now in use. Basically, these are the “Japanese” Canon and Nikon.
Just in case, the photographer at the wedding should have a spare camera, as well as a spare battery for it. He must skillfully select his position during the shooting in order to achieve the best view of objects in the frame, skillfully use indoor lighting and choose the right angle for shooting in natural light.
A wedding photographer needs to be a pleasant sociable person, as he will have to organize a large group of people to shoot. It will take a great sense of tact in communicating with the heroes of the occasion, their parents and wedding guests, especially in its midst. And at the same time, he should not focus on himself, remaining somewhat detached from the general fun for the performance of the work for which he was invited.
The wedding photographer must stay sober as he is at work. The focus should be on the newlyweds. He should not command the relatives of the newlyweds, the newlyweds themselves and their guests, and initiate or impose any actions without special need.
During the wedding, the photographer takes a large number of pictures, but customers will see only the best of them. The photographer will do the main work on the selection of photographs and their processing after the wedding.
However, the work of a wedding photographer also includes preparation for shooting during the wedding. He will definitely meet with customers and discuss with them all the details of the work ahead of him. It will be agreed and decided where the staged shooting will take place, the style of the photographs taken, how long the photographer will be present at the wedding.
And also a formal contract will be signed by both parties for the performance of work, where payment will also be agreed.
Knowledge and skills
In order to get great shots, a wedding photographer must have a real professional camera. In addition, he must be an excellent organizer, as he will have to take photographs in nature, during registration, at a banquet and during a trip. He will also need organizational skills in the case when he will offer original ideas for wedding photo shoots and carry them out.
Only from the outside it seems that the wedding photographer works alone. In fact, the organizers of the wedding help him in everything. Therefore, the wedding photographer will need the ability to work in a team.
When processing photos, the photographer will need knowledge of a program such as Photoshop.
Besides, the photographer must plan in advance when and where he will shoot, conclude a contract for work at a wedding, identify the wishes of customers and take them into account when drawing up a work plan.
The way a photographer knows how to shoot will show his portfolio, which he can publish on his website, and in ads he can give a link to this site. The published photos will be both advertising and an example of his skill.
A photographer at a wedding should be willing to make contact with the organizers of the wedding, with the newlyweds, their parents and witnesses, with the guests of the wedding, that is, he should easily communicate with a variety of people.
It requires attentiveness and speed of reaction. We need to shoot such important moments as the exchange of rings, the first dance, cutting the cake. On all faces there should be exceptional happiness and joy.
If staged shots are to be taken, they are taken at the beginning of the banquet, while no one is tired.
In addition, the wedding photographer must have:
- sense of style and natural taste;
- sense of tact;
- resilience in a stressful environment;
- a responsibility;
- desire to achieve the best result;
- interest in the matter.
Stress tolerance is especially important for a wedding photographer. It is necessary to remain polite and tactful when he, who has stood on his feet all day, is prevented from filming wedding guests blocking the view, photographing the young. Or when the tired and tormented bride and groom, or their parents, begin to quarrel among themselves. And then the photographer, who has become an unwitting witness to these scenes, has to reconcile everyone with each other.
Being a wedding photographer requires skills that are not taught anywhere. And without the status of a professional in this matter, it is unlikely that you will be able to get an invitation to work. It turns out a vicious circle: you need clients to make money, but without experience, no one will invite you to take pictures at a wedding. No invitations – no experience – no earnings. But there is a way out, you need to find such a professional involved in photography at weddings, who needs an assistant or a second photographer. If you have a desire and a certain perseverance, you can find a job as an assistant. Watching the work of the master, a novice photographer can gain invaluable experience for subsequent independent work. Any requirement of the photographer will need to be fulfilled, and even take the initiative yourself.
However, the vast majority of wedding photographers learn to work on their own. YouTube videos help, where many photographers give good advice and talk about their experiences and mistakes.
There are courses in photography schools. The duration of the course is from one to two months. They will talk about reportage photography, portraiture and other types of photography. But all this can be found on the Internet. The programs in schools are different, and it is better to choose based on the topics most needed at the moment.
There are also online courses that allow you to quickly gain basic knowledge of photography. You can learn and immediately apply knowledge in practice. This will allow you to get your first clients without interrupting your studies and gradually become a professional. Such training is convenient in that you can choose the time for classes at your own will.
No need to search for material on sites on the Internet, all the information is in one place. The thesis will replace the portfolio. You can study not only from your home computer, but also from any other mobile device with Internet access.
Place of work
Working conditions for a wedding photographer are very difficult. He has an irregular working day, sometimes for 16-18 hours, he does not always manage to have a bite to eat during filming. He spends most of this time on his feet with a rather heavy camera in his hands. His clothes should be loose, not constraining movements. In winter, it should also be warm.
The photographer, at the request of the customer, can work at the wedding all the time, starting with the preparation for the bride to leave the parents’ house and until late at night, when the fun is over, or he will work for several hours. Most often, under the contract, the photographer takes pictures of the bride’s exit from the parents’ house, marriage registration and a trip on the wedding cortege. Having taken dozens of photographs, already at home, in his studio, the photographer selects the best of them, processes them using Photoshop. There may not be dozens of photographs, but more than a thousand. And the photographer must look at all of them in order to select the best. Then the processing of the selected photos follows. Defects on the face are removed, the shape of the figures is improved. Sometimes a professional retoucher is hired for this job.
How many pictures will remain, which will be given to the newlyweds, is specified in the contract. Usually for newlyweds leave from 30 to 50 photos in the form of a deeply processed photo, as well as from 500 to 1000 images on digital media.
The processing time for photos to the finished result is about two months. But this is not necessary, depending on the season, the period can be significantly reduced.
Sometimes customers demand to give them all the photos without processing. Usually photographers do not give these raw photos. This is done for the reasons that they are not published anywhere and do not compromise the master in the eyes of clients. But some photographers sell such photos to customers, but separately from the direct order. Such sale is made out by the separate contract.
If the shooting is in reportage mode, then the photographer will not have time to take a double to correct something and reshoot. At the same time, he should get cool pictures. We should not forget that for the bride and groom, a wedding is the strongest stress, and the photographer must shoot in such a way that they are happy and smiling joyfully in the pictures, as he creates a romantic fairy tale for them. You can understand how skillful and attentive the photographer must be in order to capture the right moment for the picture.
How much does he get?
A good photographer doesn’t come cheap. This includes the cost of equipment, advertising, the work of an assistant.
The equipment of a professional photographer is usually expensive. It includes the camera itself, removable lenses, color filters, lighting devices. Since the technique and technology of photography are constantly developing, following the innovations, you will have to constantly update photographic equipment. All this costs a lot of money.
In addition to equipment, a wedding photographer needs to invest in advertising. This has to be done even by eminent masters. You need your own website where you can publish your portfolio and photos from recent events.
Someone will need an assistant, whose work will also need to be paid.
The income from working for a wedding photographer working in the capital will be very different from the income received for shooting weddings in provincial cities. The wedding season runs from April to November. There are up to 10 weddings per photographer per month. Depending on the duration of work, he receives from 15 to 100 thousand rubles for one wedding, if he works in the provinces, in the capital, prices can reach up to 300 thousand rubles. On average, in the provinces, a wedding photographer can earn up to 150 thousand rubles a month. From November to April, there are few weddings, and the photographer has to do odd jobs: shooting birthdays, anniversaries, christenings and other important events within the same family.
The work of a wedding photographer is quite difficult and stressful, he has to process a large number of shots, choosing the best of the best. He modestly does his job, most of which remains invisible to either the wedding guests or the customers. And yet this work attracts people with the charm of the event, its importance, the awareness that the shots will capture young people and wedding moments that will remain in their memory for a lifetime.