Wedding photography can be a very lucrative part time of full time option. In the United State alone, wedding photography accounts for approx. $5 Billion per year. That's a sizable market. And with some know how and a decent digital camera, you can be a part of this industry. I have designed a course that includes everything you need, including business forms, technical discussions, sample ads and business forms and even tips on using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Apple's Aperture.
One of the first questions I am asked when shooting with a digital camera (after the “which camera do you use, question), is, what format should I shoot? Tiff, High Res JPEG, RAW etc. And the answer is very simple. RAW! There is NO other option. And you need to make sure that you are using the highest resolution (megapixels) available on your camera.
When using your camera, either film or digital SLR (DSLR) camera, you need to make sure that you use the most powerful (expensive) flash available for your system. When you shoot a wedding, you will need to use flash for basically every shot you take. Indoors and out, even in bright sunlight. The flash will light dark subjects inside and when you are outside, it will fill in the shadows on your subject, and make the resulting photos look their best.
Perhaps the most important element in photographing a wedding, is to make sure that the brides face and skin, look their best. The groom comes in a far second place when it comes to ensuring that your exposures are spot on. The bride is always the most important person in the event, and if you make her happy, you will no doubt, get lots of referrals for other events through word of mouth. A digital camera cannot record as wide a gamut of color and light as film, so you need to pretty much nail the exposure with a digital camera, every time. It can be very difficult to get nice even light on the brides face, but you need to do your best with every shot you take. This is why flash is so important when shooting outdoors. You need a good powerful flash unit to provide enough light to even out the shadows that are cast by the sun, on faces and gowns. You also need this flash unit especially when shooting in shady areas. Under an overcast sky, or in a shady spot next to a building for instance, the color of the light in the shadow is very blue. So, you need to use flash to put white light back onto the subjects, so the color looks natural and even, without a blue color cast.
A very important point to remember when you photograph the bride, is to make sure that there is lots of detail in the brides dress. With digital cameras, the sensor cannot record as wide a range of light to dark as with film, and whites in particular, can be very challenging to record with detail. This is where you need to be able to balance the flash with the available light to get acceptable results. Otherwise, you may have some angry people calling you after the event. And you cannot arrange a do-over for a wedding, it is a one shot deal. So, make sure you do lots of practice before your first real, paying event. A good way to practice is to have you wife/girlfriend/kids dress up in white clothes and take lots of shots and note the settings you need to get detail in the dress, and good skin tones on the brides face.
Whenever possible, set up the kids in the bridal party by themselves. These kinds of photos will sell to the parents, the bride and groom and many other family members, especially the grandparents. Part of your job is to not just take good photos, but to take photos that will sell and keep you in a job and allow you to buy more equipment as you need it. You should always take individual shots of each kid and have the parents help to get them comfortable so you can get some good shots. Always try to choose an interesting background where possible. In order to focus attention on the kids and not the background, I have made a selection around the kids in Adobe Photoshop, and darkened the background a little, so the kids will stand out and be the center of attention in the photo.
I am often asked by keen amateur photographers how they can make money with their hobby. One answer is wedding photography. Many professionals began their careers by shooting weddings and you can make a substantial income, without a lot of overhead. If you are ready to take the next step, then my wedding photography course can help get you off to a great start. Go to http://www.howtoshootweddings.net for more information.