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How To Get Into Destination Wedding Photography
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How to Get Into Destination Wedding Photography

If you are thinking about becoming a destination photographer, chances are you are wondering about how you can get into photography and most importantly be able to succeed and make a career out of it all. I want to be the first to tell you that it is possible to go after what you really want in life and to acheive your goals as long as you want it badly enough and you choose to pursue your goals relentlessly by putting in the work required.

We all have to start somewhere in life, so if you have taken a job unrelated to your field of interest, you can make time after work or on weekends to hone your skills and learn more about your chosen craft. Keep reading for more information on how you can transition into professional photography.

Knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life is a blessing because people who do work that they are passionate about for many years are in the minority. Photography is just one of those areas of work that are portrayed as being 24/7 glamor, however it takes hard work and a bit of sacrifice to make it to the top. If you are a person who is passionate about becoming a destination photographer the journey there does have its bumps but it can also be a very rewarding and freeing lifestyle and career.

With an increasing number of people choosing a destination wedding now more than ever, the demand for destination photographers is also on the rise and is gaining popularity. Top photographers are paid well for their services, however if you are just starting out, patience will need to be a virtue and building your portfolio and gaining more experience will need to take the front seat. It is highly possible to your hobby into your career all you have to do is start!

So How Do You Get Into Photography as a Career?

It is important to purchase the right camera that suits your specific needs. I would recommend a DSLR such as the Canon T3i or T4i as these two models are superb starter DSLRs cameras, and thankfully with the introduction of newer models, the T3i DSLR camera has gone down in price and it functions excellently in producing the high quality and crisp shots that you will want to have as you capture those candid moments.

Get yourself a nice and steady tripod. Do not fall for the cheaply priced tripods that sell for $39! The last thing you want is to buy a camera for $800, then set it on a $39 tripod only to hear a thud and to see your lens and camera damaged due to a faulty, cheap and wobbly tripod!

You do not need to have a degree in fine arts ( save your money and avoid the hefty student loans) in order to become an excellent photographer. It is however recommended that you take a few classes in your area of interest. Check out your local community college, university or learning center as these places do offer anywhere from novice to advanced photography classes. It is very important for you to know how to work with light, exposure, white balance, shutter speed, manual setting, macro settings etc. Before you can go out and take great pictures or even start to charge for your services.

Dedicate yourself to your classes and remember to practice what you learn each and every day in order to become a master. You can start off by capturing your friends and families on camera on occasions such as birthdays, weddings, picnics, parties, etc. You will learn a few things along the way and by practicing your craft you can further harness and grasp the basic techniques of photography that no school or class can teach you.

Hone your Photoshop skills. Learn more about photo software editing techniques and tricks. There are some excellent Youtube tutorials on Photoshop that can be very useful depending on your editing technique and special effects, all you have to do is a Google search or a search directly on Youtube.

Read! Yes I said it, read up on your craft and the more hours you put in, the more likely you are to see the desired results and become an expert. Go to your local bookstore, get a few books on photography, you can even get a book focused mainly on the specific camera you own. Learn more about the basics of photography, complex theories and garner more tips and tricks to use in the present as well as in your future endeavors.

Get a mentor. Do you know a friend, or a friend of a friend who is a destination photographer or a successful photographer in another area of photography? If you do, this can be a wonderful thing. Ask them if you can tag along and be a second shooter or even just to watch their technique and how they interact with the client. You can learn a lot even by just observing. Take the knowledge you lean and apply it to your budding photography venture!

Network like crazy. I know what you are thinking, networking is not your thing as it consists of running around a room of people you do not know or care about and handing out your business cards like a chicken with its head cut off only to receive zero calls for your efforts. This is not what I mean by networking! Find a meetup of moms in your area (nobody likes showing off their babies like moms), pass out your business cards and offer to take baby photos or family photos at a set rate. Find a meetup of professionals, offer to be the photographer at their next corporate event. Even if you do not get paid much or get paid at all, - the experience will be a valuable one and this can help you build your portfolio as you transition to travel photography, wedding photography or any other area of photography.

It is also very important to start a blog or a website on your area of interest in order to gain an online presence as well as more exposure for your photography business. Having an online presence nowadays is essential to your business success since this is where potential clients get a chance to view your past work, see the rates you charge and the services you offer.

On your website, make sure to set yourself apart from your competition by having a fun an interesting 'About Me' page. Nothing captures a potential client's attention than a captivating page about the photographer themselves. Make sure that your website design matches your image. If you are offering premium services at a premium rate, your website's entire look and feel needs to meet the expectations. If you're on WordPress, it is important to find the best photography WordPress theme that will further help you to acheive your goals.

Now that you know more information on how to get into photography and make it your career. You can start earning a living doing what you love and living the destination photographer's lifestyle. The median annual salary for a photographer is around $30,000, however if you happen to be a freelancer or own your own studio, you can earn much more. Keep in mind that these are just numbers and ultimately when all is said and done, it is your imagination and creativity that will determine your worth in this field.


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