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Hi VampireKetsuki,

If you are still monitoring your thread?

I had a peek at some of the photos you put up for critique. I wouldn’t go into detail trying to comment on this number of shots, and especially since others already have. But after viewing some of your stuff I would pose a question or two, if I may, for your consideration. I’m not grilling you but I definitely think you, or anyone else considering a career in wedding photography, should be asking themselves these questions (and more).

Could you say that you thoroughly understand basic rules of composition and cropping? And explain the do’s and don’ts of said as it pertains to portraiture? Until you understand the rules you can’t successfully break them. This includes background, framing, use of positive and negative space, how and where to crop a portrait, just to name a couple.

Do you have a digital post production workflow that is disciplined, efficient, and makes sense? How do you deal with attaining correct color balance for one thing? And this before getting “artsy”. Do you shoot RAW or .jpg and why? Do you have the ability to batch-process? Do you understand when, why and how to sharpen? Do you understand how to process for print? Can you create a proof sheet?

Do you know how to shoot people wearing glasses and what tricks can be done with them to eliminate glare? Do you know how to watch for this phenomenon? Do you understand the Family of Angles? Do you know what the angle of incidence is? The angle of reflection? How they relate?

If you absolutely have to shoot in harsh sunlight do you know what techniques and equipment to use to help mitigate the harsh lighting and why?

Do you know and understand the primary rule for mitigating noise when shooting at high ISO values in low light?

Could you explain the difference between short and broad lighting and what effect it has on any given subject? When to use which and how to get either in natural lighting conditions? Do you understand the use of off-camera provided lighting and how to use your camera settings to best advantage when using said? How to mix ambient with provided? Do you know what on-axis lighting is?

Do you understand the effects of “keystoning” and perspective distortion and how to correct it or avoid it entirely? Do you know what causes converging and diverging lines?
Can you shoot one outstanding, well lit, properly framed, well posed, classic portrait and properly retouch it (without hiding behind effects, blur, or “artsy”)? Explain everything you did and why you did it?

Do you have a second shooter/VAL.

Do you use proper redundancy? If your camera goes south or you drop a lens in the punchbowl what then? What lenses on how many and what kinds of cameras do you use? What other things require redundancy?

Do you have a necessary shot list? Do you discuss this with the B&G at the pre-conference?

Do you assess the location/lighting you are shooting in before the event? Do you liaise with the people in charge of the location prior to the event to ascertain what is allowed and what isn’t and what you hope to be doing? What if it rains? Do you make contingency plans?

Do you realize wedding photographers are the most sued genre of photography? Do you have insurance and can provide proof on demand? Do you pay taxes on this income? Are you a registered licensed business with proper ID numbers?

Do you have a clear and understandable contract that is discussed and perused at the pre-conference with your Clients?

VK you need to understand that the successful pros use tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. And they know how and why to use every bit of it. They understand all of the techniques and tricks. You can’t attain the professionalism you are hoping to hear you have without all these things and knowing the answers to all of my questions and more. And I’m just naming a very few off the top. Hell hath no fury like a Bride scorned when on her most special day ever you dropped the ball. So you can’t successfully and consistently show up with an entry-level camera body and one kit zoom and little understanding about how to use even that.

You have some potential as far as I can see. And you have done well coming here to get some critique. Pretty brave and I can see one needs to also be thick-skinned! Wedding photography is a big deal. Maybe one of the most demanding genres going. You have received some good (if sometimes harsh) advice. In fact, cameraclicker’s advice doesn’t get any better and is some of the best advice I’ve seen posted anywhere. We are lucky to get it.

But the very best and most important investment you can make is in yourself. Get the experience, the education, the understanding before you start asking others to pay their hard-earned money for the lack thereof. Then you’ll get it right.