Suzanne rushes about all day with nine kilograms on her shoulder, wipes snot on strangers, and then carries her mouse over Photoshop for seven hours. Such a job.
Susanna used to work as a design engineer, but six years ago she bought a camera and started taking pictures. Two years ago, she left work and became a wedding photographer. She recently took off her hundredth wedding.
I spoke with Suzanne to find out her experience. If you are also a wedding photographer and you have something to add, write: [email protected]
Camera. The camera should be professional, best of all with a full-frame sensor. Such a camera has more features, photos are obtained in more detail, and it can work in low light.
A professional camera without a lens costs from 40 thousand rubles for Avito, a decent new device - from 60 thousand, a good camera - 130 thousand. This is only a "carcass" - the lens is bought separately.
Unfortunately, a technological breakthrough did not happen and all phones, semi-professional cameras, soap dishes, action cameras and other wonders of consumer electronics still cannot compete with a good professional digital camera. Pulling a good shot on an amateur DSLR is very difficult.
Now almost all professional wedding photographers shoot with digital cameras. There are some aesthetes who film, but it’s damn expensive and time consuming, albeit beautiful.
Muted colors and shadows in the restaurant - it is difficult to take such a photo with a cheap camera. Lack of light is one of the main problems when shooting weddings. Often you have to shoot in the registry offices, churches and restaurants, where lighting is in trouble
Lenses. The "carcass" of the camera is that which receives the light and records it in the form of a picture. But you can’t shoot on the "carcass", you need to attach a lens to it - this is a device that collects light, focuses it in a special way and directs it to the "carcass". The geometry of the frame depends on the lens, the ability to shoot close or far, blur the background, the overall brightness and detail of the frame.
Cameras are often sold complete with some kind of simple lens - such kits are called “whales,” and lenses are called “whales.” As a rule, they are not suitable for serious work.
Susanna has two working lenses. The first - portrait with a focal length of 85 mm - for shooting people and objects close by. With it you get beautiful faces with the right features, the background is beautifully blurred.
The second is a universal zoom lens with a distance of 24-70 mm, it is suitable for everything else: to photograph how the bride beautifully enters the hall, how all the guests are delighted (at the same time) and how the mother-in-law is crying in the far corner of the room. Lenses cost from 20 thousand, on average - 100 000-150 000 R.
Spare camera. A spare camera comes in handy if the main one breaks. It is also useful in situations where there is no time to change lenses: for example, if it’s mainly a portrait, but you urgently need to remove guests at the end of the hall.
Susanna’s spare camera is the same as the main one. But if there is no money for a second camera, for starters you can get by with a SLR for 30 thousand rubles: it’s better to take a picture of it than not to do it at all.
Extra light. For photos to be bright and clear, you need extra light: a flash and a photo lamp. The built-in flash of the camera usually does not pull. In some art shots you can still cope without a flash, but if you want to get clear portraits of people from a dark restaurant, there is no way without a flash.
You will also need a synchronizer so that the camera and flash fire at the same time.
A photo lamp or video light helps to shoot in a dark room and illuminate a separate area, and filters for the lens - to create an unusual color frame. This is not a necessity, but many people like it.
Computer and graphics tablet. To process large photos in a professional format, you need a good computer. On weak machines, photo-processing applications are slow, and processing may take forever. The colors on a bad monitor are different from the real ones.
Susanna has a computer with 16 GB of RAM, a quad-core processor, a 300 GB hard drive and a huge monitor with an IP-matrix and matte finish.
Suzanne processes the skin and figure in photographs with the help of the Wakom graphic tablet: it is inconvenient and painfully long to do this with the mouse.
In general, equipment is very important in post-processing issues. It’s one thing, at the very least, to retouch one photograph — then any computer will do. And it's completely different when you need to retouch 250 photos. If the computer saves the image for half a minute, then it will take hours to save only.
Small things. For shooting, you need fast and large memory cards - each can cost from 1500 R. You may also need tripods or monopods, bags. It is imperative to have spare batteries for all cameras and lights - the more the better.
Minimum equipment costs
|Main camera||100 000 Р|
|Two lenses||100 000 Р|
|Camera flash||15 000 Р|
|Spare camera||50 000 R|
|Extra light||20 000 R|
|Light filters||1000 R|
|Equipment Bags||4000 R|
|4 flash cards||6000 R|
|Spare batteries for flash and camera||5000 R|
|Flash Synchronizers||4000 R|
|Powerful computer, IPS monitor and graphics tablet||100 000 Р|
|Total||410 000 R|
How to save on equipment
You can buy used equipment or even rent it. Renting is suitable if you already know how to handle the equipment and understand what you want. Hiring a professional camera with two lenses costs 3,000-5,000 rubles per day.
If you buy used equipment, be prepared for hidden defects that will manifest themselves at the most inopportune moment. But so you pay 2-3 times less.
How to look for customers
Before becoming a wedding photographer, Suzanne learned to shoot everything in a row, especially people. She took pictures for free, and posted the results on her page on Vkontakte. So Susanna had a portfolio and friends and acquaintances learned about her new hobby. They became the first customers.
Suzanne arranged all the photos in her portfolio by themes: wedding, portraits, family. She does not recommend adding all the pictures to the portfolio - only the most successful ones. Customers get tired of viewing 500 images, they last a maximum of a hundred. If the style of processing or shooting changes, it is better to delete old photos so as not to create false expectations among customers.
Most customers come from social networks. In Vkontakte, Susanna has 2600 friends and a group with 7000 subscribers, on Instagram - 900 subscribers. Suzanne has profiles on all sites where the bride and groom are looking for a photographer. The largest ones are Gorko-ru, My Wedding, Inform Wedding. Of these sites, customers come only with Gorko-ru.
Suzanne buys advertising on Instagram and on Gorko-ru. A month it takes 3000-4000 R.
Suzanne puts all orders on the network. There is little personal on its pages, but much about the work. At first glance it’s clear that this is the page of a professional photographer: a lot of pictures, neat avatars. Potential customers are interested in seeing how the photographer works, so in addition to photographs from weddings, Susanna uploads backstages - photographs from the shootings. But there are no prices for services: Suzanne believes that it is more profitable to negotiate with each client separately.
Suzanne's profile on Gorky-Ru: professional avatars, many examples of work
Some clients come to Suzanne on the recommendations of specialists with whom she works at weddings: makeup artists, hairdressers, florists, decorators, cameramen, hosts and musicians. If the newlyweds have not yet found someone, Susanne recommends acquaintances, and so they do. This is more profitable than looking for specialists through wedding agencies, because for such recommendations agencies take a commission of 10-20%.
Suzanne started the site two years ago. 2-3 thousand people come to it every month, but just look - the site has not yet brought orders.
In social networks, Suzanne always indicates the makeup artist and hairdresser who created the image of the bride
Wedding Preparation: Contract
Before starting work, Suzanne always concludes a contract with clients, which prescribes the terms for processing photos and the responsibilities of the photographer. Thanks to the agreement, Suzanne and the customers understand what to expect from each other.
Suzanne discusses the issue separately with the video: many clients think that the photographer, in between cases, will also shoot a two-hour video for them. But the operator is engaged in this: it is impossible to photograph and shoot video at the same time.
Under the agreement, Susanna has the right to publish photos of the wedding. If the couple is against, shooting costs one and a half times more expensive. They agreed to pay for privacy just a couple of times. If force majeure happens and Suzanne cannot take it off, she guarantees that she will return the advance payment and find a free photographer of her level for the same price.
After signing the contract, Suzanne takes an advance of 30% of the fee.
Susannah's public working conditions. They are described in more detail in the contract.
Preparing for the wedding: a discussion of filming
Suzanne always discusses in detail with the bride and groom what exactly they expect to receive. Someone wants an arthouse, someone needs a "like a girlfriend", someone does not want to decide anything and completely trusts Susanna. The better the photographer and clients understand each other, the better the pictures will be obtained.
Suzanne tells what will happen during the filming, and gives advice on organizing a wedding - for 5 years she has seen at weddings, good and bad. Together with the newlyweds, she makes a detailed plan for the shooting day: for example, she selects walking routes for good and bad weather.
If the bride and groom are embarrassed by the camera, Suzanne helps them relax: tells funny stories from practice, asks how they met. It helps children get used to the photographer.
Burden during filming
Suzanne's work on the wedding day begins at 8-11 in the morning and lasts until she takes off everything that she planned. The shooting takes from 6 to 13 hours, and almost all the time she spends on her feet. Suzanne carries a bag with equipment that weighs 9 kilograms - it's like a big watermelon.
weighs Susanna's bag with equipment for shooting
In about a third of cases, Suzanne works in difficult conditions. You have to shoot in any weather: in a 20-degree frost, 30-degree heat, in the wind, rain and snow. It's easy to take a beautiful shot when the yard is cool and clear in April. When dark and snowy December is much more difficult. The enthusiasm of the bride and groom saves: for the sake of good photos, many customers are ready to endure everything.
Susanna has three weddings in three days each season. You need to prepare for each one: check the equipment, charge the batteries, phone the customers. And sleep well and be in a good mood.
Backstage with winter shooting in a blizzard Backstage from filming in the forest
How is the shooting
Suzanne has a hearty breakfast on filming day. You can’t eat before the banquet, so she always has yogurt and a banana in her backpack to eat. Time for food appears when the host of the wedding pauses.
Suzanne's work clothes are a shirt, trousers and gym shoes. In winter, a jacket, thermal socks and fingerless gloves are added to them. Clothing should be loose so that it is convenient to take pictures from different angles. Appearance should not attract attention from newlyweds and wedding guests.
The photographer must know what will happen at the wedding, so Susanne learns the script from the host: in advance to figure out where to be, what to shoot and what to pay attention to. This is usually what they take off.
The morning of the bride. Shooting large and growth portraits, gathering moments, close-ups of accessories, clothes and a bouquet.
The meeting of the bride and groom. It is important to convey the excitement of the moment, even if in reality the excitement was not very exciting.
Stroll. Suzanne spends 2-3 hours to shoot the walk. Newlyweds walk around the city or park, and she catches different angles of happiness, love and romance.
Registration and photo session with guests. Suzanne recommends to her couples to register at a later time, so that immediately after it they will conduct a photo session with the guests. If you put a walk between registration and a photo shoot, you will have to carry around with you.
Banquet. Key events: meeting young people, congratulations to guests, first dance, traditional ceremonies, cake, atrocities and the end of the evening.
A wedding photographer should be attentive and quick. In no case should you miss the important moments of the wedding: the exchange of rings, the first dance, cutting the cake. It is imperative to catch happy joyful faces, tears in the eyes and general fun. And if this is not all, carefully ask the right people to do the right things so that it appears in the frame. Unpleasant moments of the wedding are gradually erased from the memory, and everything should be fine in the photographs.
A wedding is not a studio shoot. During the holiday it is difficult to build focus, adjust the lighting and achieve the perfect pose from the models. At first, they are still full of strength, so staging shots are easier to do. Toward the end of the evening you have to get out: to catch decent angles, change the light and retouch MUCH. Therefore, Susanna is trying to immediately take close-ups of the couple and guests.
Sometimes guests ask Suzanne to photograph them in order to get pictures at someone else's expense. If she is not busy with the young, she tries not to refuse - this is a good advertisement. Some photographers go around all the guests during the evening and make high-quality portraits - then they are pleased to put these photos on their avatars, and there it is not far from new customers.
Morning of the bride: she pretends that she just woke up (with evening make-up and styling). Near necessarily hanging dress The bride and groom met and are going to the registry office. Often the shooting takes place not in beautiful country cottages, but in simple Russian apartments with simple Russian furniture. All this must be beautifully removed. A typical photograph of a walk - the newlyweds look at each other, in their looks love and happiness. Witness stands behind the scenes and blows colorful smoke This couple decided not to photograph the walk on the wedding day and did a photo shoot in the country a few days later. Making a beautiful photo in nature is easier than in a city: there are no other people in the frame, a couple is easier to relax, a beautiful background Mandatory photo - exchange rings at the registration. State lighting registry offices only interfere A banquet in nature is rarely arranged. More often - in a restaurant. In protection of nature - good lighting and a nice background, if it's not a dump
If something is wrong - the photographer
The photographer must collect all, arrange for filming and make sure that no one blinks and does not look drunk.
If something interferes with shooting, the photographer solves the problem. The hairdresser did not cope with the makeup artist - the photographer retouching obscenity. The host turned out to be a bad toastmaster - the photographer makes faces radiate happiness and joy in the pictures. During the walk the shower was charged - the photographer transfers the shooting to previously prepared indoor areas, for example, in a park, in a gazebo or under an arch.
It happens that someone important is late: a make-up artist, a hairdresser, a dad with his mother, or even a bride and groom. Three times there were cases when the masters skipped a wedding and Suzanne had to look for a replacement (usually the wedding organizer should do this).
Until the makeup artist brings beauty, the wedding will not start, but no one will wait until the photographer takes pictures in a hurry. If everyone is late, you have to turn on the turbine and cope in a few minutes.
Whatever happens, the wedding photos should be perfect.
After shooting the wedding, Susanna’s work is just beginning. Photo processing takes a lot of time. Suzanne takes 1,500 photos a day, and gives only half to newlyweds. All pictures need to be viewed, successful - to select and process. She retouches 150-200 photographs: eliminates skin and face defects, improves her figure.
Suzanne uses Lightrum to manage large catalogs and Photoshop to process and retouch images. Some photographers hire retouchers: they process the pictures, and the photographer checks the result. This is convenient if the photographer does not have time to process all the pictures on his own. Retouchers charge an average of 30 P per shot for basic processing. Suzanne does not trust retouchers, so she processes all the photos herself.
Processing pictures of one wedding takes 5-7 days. Suzanne does this on days off filming, but she doesn't have enough time during the season, and photos still accumulate.
Under the agreement, Susanna gives photos no later than 2 months after the wedding. During this time, she manages to process all the photos. But she understands that the newlyweds are eager to share photos of their wedding. Therefore, she tries to please them and for a week makes a selection for social networks of 10-20 pictures.
Susanna gives photos of the wedding on a flash drive in a beautiful design. She also prints 15-20 of the best shots.
If a couple orders a photo book, Suzanne typeset it herself, processes it and gives it to print. Фотокнига на 10 разворотов 30 × 60 см, в твердом переплете и с обложкой из кожзама стоит у Сюзанны 10 тысяч рублей. Половину суммы она отдает типографии.
Заказ клиента: флешка в подарочной упаковке и 15 распечатанных фотографий
Рутина свадебного фотографа
Suzanne spends a couple of hours on advertising, updating the site and pages on social networks, and responding to customer reviews. On weekdays, Susannah goes to meet with customers, discusses plans for the shooting.
He tries to conduct the first discussion in person, decides the remaining issues by phone, skype or Vkontakte. If there is time, performs other orders: love stories, walks, individual photo sessions. Suzanne works an average of 6-7 hours a day.
During the wedding season, she rests on Monday and occasionally on a different weekday. In the off-season schedule is more free.
At large weddings, it is useful to take an assistant with you: he helps with props and light, carries equipment, and if the skill allows, he also removes non-priority things (interior details, general plans, sometimes portraits of guests). It’s convenient with the assistant, but it creates additional difficulties: a good assistant should not go into the frame and be as friendly and adventurous as the leading photographer.
The photographer negotiates with the assistant individually. Someone is ready to work for free for experience, someone helps professionally for a fixed price, someone takes a share of the project.
When working as an assistant, you can look at the wedding kitchen from a safe distance and understand what a magical world it is (or hell - how it turns out).
How to become a wedding photographer
Before you become a wedding photographer, you first have to become just a photographer. Cones can be filled independently or in a photo school.
Independently. Suzanne learned to photograph herself. She bought a SLR camera for 30,000 R and filmed everything in a row. So she got her first experience and mastered the basics of photography: setting, rules, techniques, technical aspects, working with the model, behavior on the set. Books, articles, and lessons from YouTube helped pull the theory.
Suzanne advises learning from photographers who suit your style. Most of all, the works of Katherine Eismann and Dan Margulis, the blogs of Alexander Kiselyov and Dmitry Gusev, the master classes of Jerry Gionis helped a lot.
Suzanne realized that she understood something in photography, when people began to leave positive reviews in social networks and ask them to photograph. It took her 2 years.
The first photos were like that. Suzanne made a deer from a cute girl. There was no connection between the image, pose, clothes and model. The photo does not catch When the photos began to be obtained, the results became so. Beautiful light, the countryside emphasizes the image. The girl is touching. Freezes, but touches
In a photo school. To learn faster, you can take training in a photo school. The course takes 1-2 months. The school will explain the basics of theory and conduct practical exercises.
Schools teach very different things: there are those that teach reportage photography, there are schools with an emphasis on portraits, there are courses in fashion photography and even abstract photography. There are schools that deal only with photography, and there are those that relate to the organization of labor, working with a client, retouching, printing, etc. But strictly speaking, no schools teach anything that cannot be understood from the Internet and experience. .
When choosing a school, make sure that the topic and level are right for you. If the program has a reportage or street photo, and you just bought the first DSLR, look for an easier course where you are taught how to use the camera, put light on and focus.
At school, you see how professional photographers work and make acquaintances in photo hangouts. After graduation, you will already have a few shots for the portfolio.
If you already know how to take pictures, choose the courses that wedding photographers prepare. They teach everything that a photographer needs to know about shooting at a wedding, for example, working with extra light and flashes, shooting in the field and in the registry office, shooting the morning of the bride and walking the newlyweds.
According to Suzanne’s experience, training in the basics of photography costs 15,000 R; studying at a wedding photo course costs 20,000 R. Suzanne does not recommend going to courses that cost less.
worth studying at a photography school in Voronezh
After the courses, attend lectures and master classes by renowned photographers. They will talk about the intricacies of shooting and processing photos, teach how to turn shooting into a business, show how they work themselves, and correct your mistakes. An average master class costs 15,000 R in two days.
Keep shooting all around. For weddings, it is most useful to train on the set of photo walks, love stories, home holidays. Beautifully filming hugging newlyweds is not a problem. But to make a good report of the holiday without practice will not work.
Be sure to attend the wedding as a second photographer or assistant - there is little responsibility, but experience will be gained. Before taking the first wedding order, Suzanne helped at 6 weddings and shot 20 love stories. But at the first wedding it was still very scary.
Pain and thrash
All brides are equally beautiful, but some are sure that they are more beautiful than the camera sees them. Therefore, in order to take photos to the newlyweds, the photographer quite often has to correct the figure, remove wrinkles, tummies, chins, tendrils, hairstyles, the shape of the arms, legs, the degree of lifting of the eyelids, the whiteness of the teeth and other pleasant things.
Not all Russian apartments look like the Ritz Hotel. And the standards of cleanliness and order are different for different families. If the photographer has to remove the bride’s fees in the apartment, anything can get into the frame. ANYTHING.
Light is bad almost everywhere. It is difficult to find a restaurant or registry office where there is a beautiful light with which good pictures are immediately obtained. We have to get out.
Wedding day is stressful for many. Therefore, like nowhere, nervous brides, tired grooms, hangover faces, drunken faces, indecent dances, sweaty armpits and other details that one does not want to remember. The photographer is responsible for ensuring that none of this is in the photographs, even if it was.
A good camera is hard, especially when you wear it for hours. It is harder only when the belt breaks and the camera flies down into concrete with the lens down.
Photos need to be given quickly, because if too tight, some marriages can have time to break up. Only the operators are worse: they sometimes give films for half a year and there are generally scary statistics.
Working with a client directly is hard, always. You need to be a psychologist, strategist, paranoid, lawyer, listen to all complaints and suggestions, adjust expectations, negotiate, resolve conflicts and what not to do. It's hard, but worth it.
Why exactly the second photographer?
Assistant photographer helps with the shooting. This is a great way to start claiming to be a photographer. There are many advantages that you won’t have if you start shooting on your own.
Firstly, the work of an assistant photographer is not as intense as if you were shooting immediately yourself. When you act as the main photographer, you need to find a common language with customers (and this is sometimes such a headache!), Think through every little thing, set a day for shooting, spend a lot of time on the subsequent processing of photos and be responsible for everything that goes wrong. A photographer’s assistant rarely comes across such things.
Secondly, assisting will help to gain experience. Let this work be useful or not useful for your portfolio (more on that below), but it will undoubtedly give theoretical knowledge and self-confidence. Then you can start your own projects.
Thirdly, you will meet other photographers. We will also talk about this a little later, but remember: networking will be very useful in the future.
Make sure all issues are resolved.
My very first and most important advice: discuss at once the entire business side of the work before shooting. The agreements between the photographer and the client are already quite confusing, and if you connect another independent photographer, the thing can quickly go bad.
This tip comes in handy whether you are helping a friend or a complete stranger. Inevitably, the second and first photographer will face issues that were not resolved immediately. For example, a leading photographer often demands: all the pictures taken during the day belong exclusively to him. Regardless of who made them - you or him. You are paid, and you should not claim them. In the meantime, your requirement should be that you have the right to keep and use the pictures you have taken. Of course, you get paid for the help, you are happy to share the photos, but this does not mean that they will not be in your portfolio. After all, they are still yours, aren't they?
This is just one option out of many. Photographers often insist on their requirements, and after completion of work conflicts arise. Disagreement after shooting is much worse than before it began. The worst thing that can happen if you discuss everything in advance is that the partnership will not take place. When a lot of work has already been invested, emotions in a dispute are difficult to contain. The quarrels are becoming unbearable, the relationship is getting worse, it can even reach the lawyers.
It is very simple to avoid this: you just need to ask to draw up a contract where all the clauses of the agreement of the parties will be indicated. If the main photographer dismisses this idea as unnecessary red tape, insist on his own. In the worst case, verbally discuss all things that seem important to you. If they refuse this, then perhaps employers lack professionalism and do not work for them. Experienced photographers themselves are interested in protecting their rights in case of disagreement, so they offer to draw up a contract, and you do not even have to talk about it.
Take with you more than you need
The most important question of the second photographer to the first is: what should I bring with me? The answer to it depends on the person with whom you have to work. Some insist on using their personal equipment, because it’s easier. When their own cameras, lighting, memory cards are involved, there will be no problems and confusion about responsibility. On the other hand, photographers are allowed to work as you prefer, which means with your personal equipment.
No matter what kind of response you get, it is best to take spare equipment with you. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps the main photographer was not used to working in pairs and forgot to take something important. Or you will have to work with spare equipment of the main photographer, and in case of breakdown there will be nothing to replace it.
In general, photo shoots are unpredictable. If suddenly a surprise occurs, and you save a day, being already collected and ready to go shoot, you will become a hero. Do everything so that the employer understands that you are serious about the matter. Then he will offer cooperation again.
Assisting is not at all like working independently. You were hired, as most likely the main photographer was overloaded with work, and you should reduce this load.
The task is close to the actual shooting, but not only. Do not imagine that you do not have to do other things, since you have a camera hanging on your neck. Remember how to become an indispensable assistant:
- Be prepared to take equipment bags first and carry them from place to place.
- Offer to help establish light, umbrellas, softboxes, props. Then the main photographer will be able to step back and appreciate the whole situation in the frame.
- Take food and drinks throughout the day and for the main photographer.
- If shooting in different places, prepare the next point if possible, while the main photographer finishes work with the previous one.
- Be prepared to give advice or express your opinion, if asked.
- Get ready to take on those problems that the photographer does not really want to solve: ask the bride a question or attract the attention of a group of children and make them smile at the camera.
- Try to do something even when other photographers are resting. They will see how much work has been done while there is a break.
Perhaps these responsibilities are not too beneficial to indicate in your resume, but if you do not like them, then you should focus on your own projects. Remember: the work of an assistant will help to gain experience, build relationships and get a small income. This is not like being a professional star photographer. And this will be discussed below.
None of your business
Unfortunately, working as an assistant does not mean at all that you will lead the process. But good assistants know when to just help, and when to take matters into their own hands.
Do not waste time imposing your opinion on the main photographer or convincing him that he is wrong. Remember: speak out if asked. Dare to make a job offer? Do not be offended if you do not listen to him. When you are hired to shoot an event, your right to do anything, if you were hired to help, get ready to work under the direction of another.
Self-promotion is a big blunder. Perhaps you will be able to find an innocent approach to this and start a business conversation with guests at the event or someone will speak with you. Remember: you came with your photographer, therefore it is with him that you work. No need to lie and get away from questions, but show respect to your employer.
As a photographer, remember the price of connections to attract customers. Wedding guests and any other persons present at the shooting are important potential sources of income for your photographer. He gives you work, do not take away work from him!
Do not shoot the same thing
Important tip: consider what the photographer or other member of your team is doing. If you have ever looked at 5 thousand wedding pictures from different photographers, then you know that nobody needs two hundred almost identical pictures of the same scene with a difference of several millimeters.
An inexperienced person really wants not to step a step from the main photographer and shoot everything. However, you will help the cause more by paying attention to what others did not have time to do or could not.
There are many such things. For example, look at the decoration of the interior while everyone is shooting people, take off from the bottom while everyone is busy shooting at eye level. Find the gaps in the coverage of the event and fill them out.
A word of caution: there is nothing worse than the assistant that appears in all of your shots. When working on unusual perspectives, keep an eye on what your photographer is doing now. If his lens is pointing in your direction, get out of the way. When you are constantly asked to take a few steps back, you bring more inconvenience than good.
Study, study and study again
Do not forget: there is always something to learn, and observing other photographers at work is the best way to do this. This applies to every aspect of shooting. Watch how the photographer interacts with the model, what the participants in the dress wear, how they work with poses, and more.
As a rule, a less experienced photographer acts as an assistant. If this can also be said in your case, never show that you are too advanced and do not want to continue studying. Even if you have been doing photography for ten years and helping someone who has been doing it for 6 months, your employer may well have knowledge that you don’t have. Suppose you always ignore the tips and reviews of your own customers, but you will see your mistake if another person repeats it.
Don't give up the first time
Despite preparation and diligence, sometimes things go wrong. We all have ever left work at a loss: how could such a simple task end in such a failure?
If you are a beginner, failure can scare away work. If you are the main photographer, a bad day can make you refuse to hire assistants. My advice: do not let an isolated case permanently affect your opinion, try again.
A bad day happens either by chance or it is simply impossible to work in tandem with an unpleasant person. Ask yourself why everything went wrong, find solutions to hiring a new assistant.
How to get a job as an assistant photographer
Now you know how to become the best second photographer on Earth, and you need to find a job! Below are practical tips, search resources.
This is the most obvious tip in the section. Indeed, the Internet is the best place to look for work. It is very important to approach this correctly.
Visit the job sites first. For example, visit Craigslist, where you will find all kinds of freelance options. In my practice, it was like this: if you write “second photographer” in the search bar, there are not very many vacancies, since specific slang is not always used. Try to write just a “photographer”, and often there are photographers who need help in their work. You can drive into the search for "assistant photographer", but here are two more resources to help you: Indeed and SimplyHired.
If you're starting with Google, be sure to refine your search options. For example, “Assistant Photographer, Moscow” will provide much more useful information than just a “second photographer”.
Get famous in certain circles
For me, searching the Internet is somewhat impersonal, and besides, good results are not always found. Another way is to get to know the photographers.
If you do not appear at parties, the task will seem impossible, but it is easier than you think. Для начала поищите в интернете свадебных фотографов в вашем городе и заведите с ними небольшую переписку (звонок фотографу конечно лучше, но и адрес электронной почты оставить необходимо). Сообщите, что ищете дополнительный заработок, хотите набраться опыта, будете всегда рады помочь. Довольно просто, не правда ли? Напишите одно письмо, разошлите десяти фотографам, и у вас уже неплохие шансы найти работу.
Вы живете в большом городе? Поищите мероприятия, связанные с фотографией. Например, мастер-класс знаменитого фотографа или любое другое спонсированное событие. Do not limit yourself to searching only for photography events, think about where else photographers can gather. There are wedding exhibitions where stands with samples from suppliers are presented. They always have wedding photographers looking for customers. Visiting these shows is very helpful. Talk with service providers: they are always looking for the right people to recommend to their clients on occasion.
If you are more comfortable starting communication on the Internet, find the suitable communities on the Flickr and Smugmug sites, you can also indicate your location.
In addition to potential cooperation, friendship with more experienced photographers is always useful for beginners. All photographers earning $ 4,000 for wedding photography are surrounded by people who have several times lower income and want to increase it. Constantly look for ways to be useful in the local community of photographers, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the benefits received from this.
Being a second photographer is very profitable, both financially and in practical terms. If you are trying to start shooting yourself, this work will help build confidence in your abilities.
Try to be as useful as possible to the main photographer, so that next time they will call you if necessary.
Please leave your comments below if you worked as a second photographer or hired an assistant to shoot. It does not matter if your experience was successful or negative - help beginners succeed in this field!
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