This week I have gotten a few emails from students asking me “HOW DO I GET STARTED AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?”..
Well when I left University I was a little lost. I figured I should be out in the world making money because thats what everyone did right? I didn’t have a clue how to become a photographer.. or even if I could make any money doing so.
So I stuck at my 9-6 job a little longer.. and told myself.. “it’s regular money Kayleigh, suck it up”.
However, my brain is a creative one. My whole life has been spent taking photographs, drawing, painting or doing anything else that meant I could create something. So I knew this 9-6 wasn’t for me.
So I quit.
I was a little lost in the photography world when I began. I did alot of things I thought I should be doing until I found my style. I wore black to weddings, I went down the very traditional route… then I figured, I should be me. And that seemed to work.
I started out using websites like flickr to showcase my work, then eventually got a website (made by Scott Smith who also helped me on my first few weddings! But then left me cause he got an ace job at Codemasters.. go Scott!). I started to tell every man and his dog that I was a photographer. I would practice over and over at taking photographs of my friends and family, I really tried to learn my craft.
I don’t ever think anyone in a creative job will ‘perfect’ their art, it’s a constantly ever changing industry. So I am continually learning.
I then emailed every photographer I could find online and
begged asked them for experience. Only now looking back, I realise how many of these emails they would be getting.. and how hard it is to offer experience when you work from a corner of your house in your PJ’s.
A few would reply and explain the difficulty and some were kind enough to offer any experience they could. Most, would ignore me. (I promise I won’t!)
Then came the decision to go totally alone.
I slowly booked a few weddings. I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before and I would feel sick driving up. But slowly and surely, people began to pass my name around and before I knew it I was getting asked to photograph babies and family portraits also.
My confidence grew tons and so did my business. I cannot thank people enough for telling others about what I do. You all rock. I then got a brand new website, a blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I would post more and more of my work, which in turn got me more.
Wedding photography became my ultimate passion and if you’re a wedding photographer, you also have to be a wedding expert. This is something I have also learnt along the way. Pinterest, wedding blogs, brides magazines all help to learn about the wedding world.
My advice to anyone starting out is to keep practicing with anyone you can get to agree to be photographed. Get your work online and push yourself. Don’t give up if it’s your dream.
Hope this helps in some way,