I know I’m typing too much. I know you asked not to be harsh…
But, why aren’t YOU good enough? You tell us that you think you are still in the “fauxtographer stage” (whatever that means) and “I have only done one wedding and I did it for free. I am trying to get on as a 2nd shooter to build up more experience in that area. I am still doing free portrait sessions as well to get more experience.”
But, you blog about how much you enjoy/prefer intimate weddings, and tell your audience you specialize in weddings and senior portraits. Run contests for free shoots and whatnot. Have price lists and session fees and… it doesn’t make sense. I guarantee you are confusing the hell out of your audience and your clients. it’s not going to go well.
Why would it be bad for you to say something like “I’m a beginner photographer and haven’t yet discovered what I enjoy shooting best, or what I excel at. I’m looking for experience with____, and I also would love to get some second shooter experience. If you think I might be a good fit, please don’t hesitate to contact me” blah blah blah, whatever your truth is or what you are looking to get from things? Don’t you think this would serve you better? Maybe a photographer would actually see your about or blog post about wanting second shooter experience and want to give you a try. Maybe more people would share your posts because they would actually be legit, and have reason behind them.
Seriously, we all start somewhere. We all start not knowing a lick of anything about anything. Why try to fake it or be something/someone we are not?