How do you become a professional wedding photographer
The professional growth that leads to becoming a wedding photographer is always unique for each one of us, still, there is always some kind of sparkle. It could be about our artistic intentions. Anyway, it is wrong to believe that wedding photography is a lesser form of a higher art. There are of course wedding photographers who only see this as a job for paying the bills but they never last and they can be easily spotted by checking their portfolio. Self appointed creatives with selection of pictures that try too hard and then become a wedding picture book with no soul or direction, way too abstract or even leaning towards bad taste.
The photographer who shoots wedding and has the passion, you can tell. A passion that must not be seen as ingenuity because weddings are for us a chance to give all we have in most aspects of photography. Those who enjoy portraits will find many opportunities to stage pictures and play with composition, some will dedicate themselves to visual storytelling and find plenty of chances to draw complex stories with images. The portfolio, believe me, will show. By doing wedding photography you learn to improve in all the finest details of shooting pictures.
Those, like myself, who chose the way of photographic reportage are even more fortunate because weddings, especially in a place like ours where beauty is a big part of life, are full of stories to tell, stories made of the people that lives them. In every wedding there are countless possible shots for those who can read the scene. I really like to be able to witness so much beauty in process and to be entitled to impress it forever in time with my camera. Reportages take me elsewhere as well, like when I am travelling the world to capture the images of faraway people that broaden my view on life. Weddings help me improve professionally and personally as a photographer, while travelling allows me to put myself out there and come back to weddings with new ideas and new chances to improve.
There are also personaly history reasons for choosing wedding photography. In my case, the birth of my child but everyone has his own. When I found myself with less time to travel and take pictures I felt something was missing. Thanks to wedding photography I rekindled my passion for photography. Every wedding is a story to tell and to live by. A story that is worth countless travels and that makes me proud to do this job, other than making me grow as a photographer. To be a professional wedding photographer there is one main requisite: to learn how to read the world. If every wedding is a story to tell and to live by then you have to learn how to tell the moments that make them and then tell them in a way to rebuild that small mosaic that is life on planet Earth. You can do this with reportages or with portraits, the only thing that matters is to try to get this. And the more you learn how to read the world, the merrier is the beauty that you find in it. Those who believe that weddings are all the same should open their mind a little and realise that if every person is unique, even more unique are the stories they give birth when they interact with each other. If this story is a wedding, the best of days, it is twice as true.
The technical training you have to engage with when trying to become a wedding photographer are not to be undervalued though. The fact that a wedding is so full of nice people and beautiful situations, you might believe that you just have to take a shot and that’s it. In fact, it is harder because those pictures will have great importance to the bride and goom, their friends and family. Along with this kind of pressure you have to act fast to catch the shot because people are just having fun and they’re not waiting for you to shoot. For this you need to train your eye and talent, getting to know all the photography fundamentals, like perspective, focus, lighting, composition and all else. You will also need to learn all the functions and settings of your camera, which are a lot in a professional camera. The camera, though, will never shoot the pictures for you. It will, though, be your best ally. Never save on on equipment and training thinking that you will get it right somehow because if your shots aren’t worth it you will never even have a chance to improve as you will blow up your career.
Training and fine equipment is what makes the pillars on which to build your personal and professional path to becoming a wedding photographer. Weddings have something to say to all of us with the passion for photography, you only need to look properly and put yourself out there. You have to get to know yourself, your style and how to use it as a tool and not just a mirror for your idiocincracy. That’s the only way to become a good wedding photographer.