After years and years as a professional wedding photographer, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite tips for photographers that are just starting out in their business. I hope you find these helpful!

1: Try Everything and then Find Your Niche

Many photographers market themselves with the ability to do it all, but I strongly believe that it can be viewed as a negative instead of a positive. I encourage you all to try all sorts of different things, but then figure out what areas of photography truly have your heart and take that specific thing and run with it! Absorb yourself in all of the knowledge that you can so that you can be an expert in your specific niche.

2: Change Over To Manual Mode and Never Look Back

If you want to take yourself seriously as a photographer, you need to have as much control over your camera as possible. Switch over to manual mode and never look back! Shooting in manual mode allows you to really have control over every piece to the puzzle that makes up a good image.

I typically assess the light and adjust my ISO to where I think it needs to be.

Then, I check to see where my aperture is at (I typically keep mine around f/2.2 or below.)

Then, I make sure my shutter speed allows for a perfectly exposed photo and make sure it’s acceptable (not too slow.)

3: Take Photos For Free and then Charge Your Worth

This may be a little controversial, but I strongly encourage you to grab some friends, set some sessions up for…free…(you read that right) and take photos for practice. Find your niche and only photograph and post what you want to attract. If you want to be a wedding photographer, don’t set up family sessions and post only those, set up wedding scenes and photograph and showcase your wedding work! Then, once you feel confident in photographing whatever it is that you want to photograph, charge accordingly! This is a business and you won’t be taken seriously by clients if you don’t take yourself seriously. Charge your worth and don’t look back!

4: Get It Right In Camera

Editing should be a tool that you use to enhance your photos and not save them. So often, I’ve heard photographers that have taken a portrait and then said “Oh, I can photoshop that out.” (First of all, use Lightroom!) Secondly, aim to get most everything right in camera so that you can save yourself so much time on the back end. When you teach yourself to get it right in camera, it teaches you to become a better photographer and not rely on editing to save your butt.

5: Learn Light

One of the most important factors to photography is learning light and how to photograph it. I, personally, always aim to have my subjects backlit (which means the sun is behind them) so that their face and what’s showing in my camera is nice, even light. I also aim to try to filter my light source so that it’s not harsh and I really try to be purposeful about photographing during specific times of day that doesn’t offer harsh light (I love photographing earlier in the morning and later in the evening) but I also think that true golden hour can be a little too harsh of light.

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