Seven years ago, I started out as a landscape photographer, I loved the angles, lines, water and even mother nature, that was always changing and never ending. Since then, I still go out, now and then a do a full Landscape Session. Where I only bring myself, camera, tripod, remote, lens filters, and my hiking camera bag.
Sometimes my landscape images will either be selected for my Nature-n-Motion Project that I have been doing for almost three years or be used to make a composition with images from different sessions or be exclusively used in my ongoing poetry.
How did you become a wedding photographer? Glad you asked. 🙂
After two years of self-learning camera settings from youtube videos, Creative Live classes, and ubemy classes, I finally asked my father, who was a part-time wedding photographer at the time, if I could shadow him.
I learned how not to run a successful photography business. The following are things I would change in his business plan to be successful.
1. Always have a contract between you and your client, second shooter, etc.
2. Have a business plan
3. Don’t give out raw images, actually edit
4. Have an editing style
5. Dress professionally
6. Create a Marketing Plan
7. Have a website (My father’s business ran entirely on word of mouth)
8. Socialize more with other photographers or people in the industry.
9. Have a logo or watermark
10. Don’t do a wedding for free – Be paid for your time and talent.
After a year of shadowing my father, I left and started being a second shooter for different amazing photographers around DFW, and Shreveport/Ruston/Monroe.
Funny Note: My dad decided to stop doing weddings. He is now a photographer for Burlington Northern Railroad (BNSF), most taking images of the Frisco Steam Locomotives, which are sadly the only surviving equipment of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (SLSF) since it was purchased and absorbed into BNSF in the 1980s.
Whenever I was second shooting for the lead photographer, I always had them sign my second shooter rights contract while I was signing their second shooter contract.
Better to be Safe, then Sorry.
During this time, I not only realized that I loved being a wedding photographer but also being their photographer from saying “Yes!” to after the “I Do!” It was the magic I was capturing between a couple: their emotions, personalities, and sheer passion for two people who are madly in love with each other.
I also learned what style of photographer I was … yes out of the top styles: Traditional, Photojournalism, Illustrative Photography, Portraiture, High Fashion and Natural Light…
I love Natural Light… Yes, I still do use flashes and reflectors, on occasion. But mainly, Natural Light is BEST.
However, I also loved telling the couples beauty love story… in the raw, outside of posing AKA FEARLESS… Photojournalism.
I also have a twist with the Traditional, since I do sometimes following set required list for photos from the bride and/or groom.
So what does that make my photography style:
Natural Light Photojournalism
I also learned what type of editing style I was drawn to the most, AKA the style I did the most of – Fine Art with a hint of softness!!!
To [Capture] the glow of a woman looking at her boyfriend down on one knee, or the glow of a newly engaged woman beginning the planning of her wonderful day, or the glow of a bride showing off all her assets for her future hubby’s eyes only, or the glow of a bride on her wedding day waiting to walk down the aisle, or the reaction of the groom seeing his bride for the first time in her wedding dress.
December 24, 2014 …. best day ever… I decided to open my own photography business. Learn more about my business opening journey here.
A photography business was taking my professionally to the next level; however, before opening my business I spend most of my time that were designated as photography – doing what I love – PHOTOGRAPHY. Now, after opening my business – it’s a 20:80 – and not in the best way. 20% photography and 80% business. My goal is to have my passion in business being 80% photography and only 20% business. BRING IT ON…
Photos by Stephanie is here to stay. This is my dream. To be able to quit my 9-5 and become a full-time photographer. A Full-Time Self-Taught Full Service Photography Studio.
On the Journey to make my dream a reality.