As you know I started my business in 2017. And if you didn't know that well you do now. It came to the very start of January 2018 and I noticed all the photographers I looked up to were uploading images to Instagram from their first weddings of the year. While it was exciting to see I couldn't help but worry about the direction I was taking within my photography journey and I wondered if I would ever book my first solo wedding. I'm pretty sure all photographers starting out go through this. And boy was I feeling it.
So feeling a little depressed but mostly motivated. I made a goal of booking my first solo wedding. I posted ads on gumtree, Facebook, Instagram and in my local community Facebook groups advertising my wedding photography services. Gaining experience as a wedding photographer almost feels as though your pulling shit from thin air. Finding that bride who will look at your portfolio you currently have without seeing those works of art from your previous non-existent weddings can be best described as trying to find a needle in a hay stack. But I ventured on...
I offered low prices, long hours and complimentary engagement sessions with all packages. And while I still offer all this I feel so much better I have a tiny bit of solo photographer experience behind me now. It wasn't until August 2018... yes literally now... That I has booked my first wedding. I showed up about an hour early to the location and then left again to scout all the photography spots the bride had requested. I arrived back at the venue on time and started shooting my heart out. I finished my night on a high and couldn't wait to start the editing process.
Now two weeks later (you may be thinking, "geez its one wedding thats hardly any experience.") I am half way through editing my art and getting ready to send them off to the new Mr & Mrs. I have a number of weddings booked for the rest of this year and the beginning of 2019 up until the day before I leave for my own Honeymoon in April 2019.
So that's the beginning of my story to becoming a wedding photographer (recently appointed). And now for the Brides.... Here are some tips I believe are a crucial part to your day.
1. Taking it SLOW...
Some of you have been planning your big day for a long time!!! And so much effort and time has gone into making every detail right down to the glitter painted candle holders you painted yourself.
So it is a MUST to take your day slow. Appreciate every single minute. From the moment you wake up and have breakfast with your bridal gang to the moment you have your guests light their sparklers for a bride and groom send off. Try not to stress about meeting your schedule to the very second and leave the run sheet up to someone else so your not constantly wondering why its 9:31pm and you haven't tossed your bouquet yet.
2. The First Kiss
As a photographer trying to snap up all the happiness, joy and tears pouring in an emotional waterfall in this moment it is one of the most important images to capture. The first kiss shouldn't just be a peck. Your nerves are running high, you feel your heart pounding and you can see your grandma squinting her eyes into focus just to witness this moment. As mentioned in point 1... Take it slow. Let your partner really take you and kiss you like they love you... They should, you did just get hitched. When in doubt pinterest the hell out of wedding first kisses.
3. First Dance
When you take to the D-Floor for your first dance. Its not something that should be over thought. If you and your partner have just finished completing a billion dance classes in order to wow your family then that is amazing!! But if you've only got your song and each other don't stress!! Just take each other as you feel right and swaaayyyyyy. A little tickle here and there to make one another laugh is always cute to capture through the lens.
When in doubt. Thanks your bridal party, the guests, your parents, vendors and your partner for their support and/or endless love and dedication. After that talk about your partner, share a funny story from the past. Move onto the bridal party and how grateful you are to have these people in your life. Then end with toast to the night and love!!
I am sure theres many things I have missed but basically these are the things I'm thinking of when it comes to weddings and the day! I strongly believe its not just my job to photograph your day but its my duty of care to ensure you and your partner on the day are feeling happy, excited and in love and to ensure the amazing Pinterest worthy images are snapped up for you to keep forever. And if you are interested in booking your wedding with me please don't hesitate to get in touch for the available package investments. And remember to shop local as much as possible so that local, aspiring photographers and other vendors can become successful in their field.
Because it has now been 12 months since I started my business, I think writing an entry about how I came to this point in my life is only fitting.
This is an unfiltered, unedited post with no drafts written prior to this one. So if I make no sense half way through or go waaayyyy off track don't be surprised!
Okay... So I have always loved photography, even as a kid, but had always been too scared to really try and enter the industry. I mean being a photographer is some intimidating, daunting shit! Anyone with an interest in photography would know this.
But I thought... Screw it, Im 21, just engaged and have nothing to lose so let's give it a try.
Once I had the motivation I just needed to figure out what I wanted to photograph. I knew instantly I wanted to photograph love! Couples, engagements, weddings, elopements, family, maternity you name it, if it involved love I wanted to photograph it!
I started with A LOT of free couple sessions to build a portfolio. I worked in a few locations around my home town Singleton with local couples I knew personally. I then published my social media pages and started posting posting posting. I shared my work in every group I was a member of and told everyone about my work. But it's so much more work then that. In order to really get your photography out there let alone you company name you need to connect with other local businesses and work with the community in order to really be noticed. So I volunteered for some local group events such as the Babes & Picnics December event and some other charity events capturing the events.
I also scored myself a couple of second shooter gigs with an amazing Newcastle Photographer known as Lauren Anne Photography. She is an absolute legend for letting me join her to gain some experience and getting a look into the wedding photography industry. I grew so much knowledge and confidence after working alongside Lauren and her associate Jaden. I will forever be grateful!
Now I had experience and I was still advertising my photography consistently! After about 6 months I found I was still only photographing people I knew from my home town and not meeting new people from around Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Central Coast like I had intended. So I started to spread my work through Facebook groups belonging to these areas and constantly posting ads on gumtree. I eventually booked in a few new clients from around these areas! And so my business has been growing ever since!
You see it takes a lot of time and effort to be a photographer! And it doesn't just take one night to build an empire! It takes time and work! I am still constantly sharing my work, advertising on social media, offering free sessions, collaborating with local businesses and writing blogs to give you all a bit of insight to my work!
And on top of all this I still work full time, renovating a house, planning our wedding and studying! So its safe to say my life is pretty full on at the moment and I am constantly tired and up until 12am editing, advertising and researching tutorials and blogs on photography! But aside from the tireless effort I have really put into building my empire, this is my passion. No matter how busy I become this profession will never become work to me and it will never just be for the money because honestly I don't earn much from what I am doing. Pretty much all of the money I earn goes back into lenses, memory cards, advertisement, travel etc. etc.
So there you have it... My blood, my sweat and my tears for a solid 12 months have for sure helped me to grow my business to what it is. And what are my goals for the future? Well...
I want to photograph a surprise engagement, I surprise pregnancy announcement, tons more of wedding, I want to collaborate with many many businesses and I want to learn as much about my industry as possible! You can never stop learning when it comes to photography! Jana Williams eat your heart out!!! Wish me luck and I look forward to meeting my future clients who give me the opportunity to capture their story!
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