Starting Wedding Photography
Hi Phil, I was wondering how you originally got into wedding photography?
Phillip Van Nostrand (ANSWER):
Great question. Basically I did one wedding as a favor to a friend for 500 dollars and I was hooked from that moment on.
[editor’s note: After that we met at a coffee shop for an hour or two and I gave him pages of notes and tips and suggestions about getting into the wedding world.
My very first paid job was a 500 dollar wedding that I shot in March of 2009. I had been posting lots of photos of my own on Facebook, like portraits with friends, flowers, etc. I even asked some friends who were getting married if I tag along with my camera and shoot some wedding images, as long as I didn’t get in the way of the official photographer. Enough people were seeing my photos online so that when someone needed a cheap wedding photographer for their Santa Barbara wedding, a mutual friend recommended me to them. I said YES! and started looking to upgrade my equipment immediately. I also hired on a photographer friend who had shot nine weddings already. That way I knew I would be covered if I didn’t know how to handle a situation. I started following wedding blogs daily and reading up on tips and tricks to shooting weddings. I even went to the wedding location/venue at the week before the wedding (but at the same hour of day) to see how the light would look and to scout out locations.
I came in prepared and the wedding was a huge success. And 500 dollars was the most amount of money I’d ever earned in one day. I was hooked.
You can create a sense of getting a great deal if you quote your client slightly more than your ideal price point. That leaves you with room to negotiate and if you want you can give them a deal right off the bat. “I’m normally $3000 for a full wedding day, but I’d be happy to do it for $2800 if you book me within the week!” Amazon does this with literally every single item on their website. Go see for yourself.