Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I'm trying to break into the wedding business. I already have great equipment, etc but how do you build your portfolio? Especially if you live in a new state with very few contacts?

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This question is about building a portfolio; although it was asked differently, it seems to be inquiring about exactly the same topic. It has some great answers:…. – whuber Mar 26 '12 at 21:22
The best advice I've heard is to work under an established professional photographer as an assistant or apprentice. You won't make a lot of money, but you will learn what it takes. At the end of the day you will need skill as both a photographer and a business owner. – cadmium Mar 27 '12 at 16:04

Becoming a professional wedding photographer means running a small business, and that requires sales and marketing. Being successful means selling your services to a lot of potential clients. It has very little to do with making great photographs.

If you are not a people person, if you can't sell, your business will fail even if you have the talents of the next Ansel Adams.

There are tons of books and even some websites that cover the topics. Scott Bourne is always talking about his (Going Pro) on his podcasts.

The usual advice is to find a local professional wedding photographer and shoot second camera for a bunch of weddings. This will, if you have the talent, give you shots to fill your portfolio. Be sure to tell the pro that this is your plan, and make sure that the bride agrees that you can use her wedding's photos in your portfolio.

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No need for groom agreement? LOL – Paolo Sep 12 '12 at 12:14

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