Getting work as a freelancer, with not much previous experience is extremely difficult without contacting friends and family first. This is exactly what I did, I asked if they knew of anyone who would need a photographer for any events etc. I gave them my contact details and a link to some of my work.
I was most thrilled when my great Uncle got back to me and asked if I would photograph at his wedding, He already had a photographer booked, but would be happy for me to photograph alongside him. I felt really chuffed that they would trust in me this way. As it got closer and closer to the big day, I started to get more and more nervous. The biggest comfort I had was that I wasn’t the only photographer there, and that he would be taking everything that they wanted and what I take would be an added bonus. Saying this I tried my hardest to not think this way because if I wanted to become independent then I wouldn’t be able to work like this in the future.
I thought that being a guest as well as a photographer would make it easier, however it didn’t. It was hard to find the line between photographer and family member. But I was called over often to take photos so I felt welcome to, so it wasn’t that I was getting in the way or sticking my nose in.
Photographing during the ceremony was most difficult as I decided to stay in my seat. Which meant the best mans head was often in the way of shots, but this couldn’t be helped, I worked with what I had, obviously this would be a lot different at a wedding where the bride and groom were only clients not family. Inside the church I worked with a higher ISO because of it being dimly lit in there, although it was no where near as dark as I expected it to be. I used my new 35mm Prime lens, which meant I could have the aperture wider open than on my standard lens, which meant for brighter pictures, meaning that I could have a faster shutter speed to stop blur without it becoming too dark.
I came more into my own during the reception, where I was in charge of capturing the cake cutting and videoing a surprise the groom had planned. This took a bit of pre-planning as I didn’t want to miss it. I discussed with him before hand wether he wanted photos taking or it filmed, and he chose to have it filmed. The surprise was that he had organised the choir to serenade Valerie, whilst he took the lead role and sang to her too. It was a beautiful moment that brought the bride to tears, and now she can cherish it always, and watch it back when she likes. (to give it to them I will put it onto a dvd).
I shot in JPEG and RAW, so I could easily view the photos quickly at home, and so the JPEGS could be used to put online, and sent in emails.
Things I learnt from this experience:
Don’t trust old stiff lenses. – during the service I switched to my standard lens, so I could zoom in closer, however since me last using it, when it was ever so slightly stiff but still in working order, it had deteriorated and to one extent of the zoom I couldn’t focus, either manually or automatic.
I need more/ bigger SD cards. – I ran out of storage… luckily at the end of the day, when I wasn’t needed.
Check my photos after taking them. – I made this mistake once, it was from rushing from inside the church to taking photos outside, and I just kept clicking away, and then I realised, my camera was set up for the dark interior of the church, luckily I had time to change my settings and take a few more shots.
Have confidence in myself. – Wandering around taking photographs of people meant asking permission to take photos, and it also intrigued people to what I was doing. I obviously didn’t ignore anyone when someone spoke to me, but I wasn’t the most fluent either, this is something I need to improve on, because they were all friendly and only being inquisitive, it really didn’t need for all that stuttering.
Overall I think I handled it really well, it was an extremely busy, long day. Working from about 11am to 7:30pm.