I’m anxious to share some really exciting news with you, my friends and fellow photographers. Since early last year, I’ve been contemplating and dreaming about teaching others about wedding photography. Over the years I’ve been keeping little scraps of paper, printouts, articles, images and more, somehow knowing in the deepest part of my subconscious mind, that I’d be sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained about wedding photojournalism over the years with others. And the 1st day of my wedding photographer class draws nearer each day! I can’t wait!
Ok, so I know you aren’t as excited as I am. And perhaps there are some people out there who are naysayers and who wonder what I have to offer. And to tell you the truth, I won’t be offering anything if no one shows up for my first class. But it will be their loss if that happens. Let me tell you why.
I’ve been photographing for 10 years now. No, that in and of itself does not make me a great photographer. I have good rapport with people, I have knowledge of photo technique and I have vision. Those attributes are valuable, but many photographers have them and they don’t necessarily make me a great teacher. What I have that you are going to want to learn is what I didn’t have 10 years ago: extensive experience photographing weddings. In the past 5 years alone I’ve photographed over 100 weddings and an estimated 350 total events. The 2nd thing that I have to offer my students is that I’ve been managing a successful business the entire time and managed to stay in business by making clients happy (since most business that fail do so in the first 5 years, perhaps I should be teaching a business class!). Third, my business has one multiple awards for excellent business practices, recognized by such organizations as Wedding Wire, Merchant Circle and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI).
But who wants to hear about credentials – I mean, it’s all just talk, right?! The proof is in the pudding! What will the curriculum of the class look like?
When I asked myself the question of how I wanted to engineer the scope of the class, I realized a couple of things:
1. Good photographers don’t always succeed in creating a good business; and,
2. Good business people don’t always succeed in creating good photography.
I realize that what I said is very simplistic. But this is the beauty of what I want to teach; simplicity, planning and determination to take that next big step when the little voice inside your head may be telling you all the reasons why you can’t.
I plan to talk about all the things that a wedding photographer needs to do to make his/her wedding business successful. You don’t have to be the best wedding photographer in Texas or the United States to run a successful wedding business. What you need is a good plan and the willingness and determination to see it through. I’ve already walked the path and developed a plan for how to be a successful wedding photographer. Are you ready to learn how you can succeed as a successful wedding photographer?
Some frequent questions that photographers often ask when wondering how to go about starting their business, which I plan to address in my wedding photography class:
What kind of photo editing software should I use?
What kind of equipment do I need for weddings?
How much do I charge my clients for weddings?
How do I bring in new clients? (everyone wants to know this one)
What kind of business do I create? Sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC or LLP?
What kind of wedding contract do I use?
What do my clients want/expect from me? (other than good photos)
And many more questions…
Plus, I’ll be sharing documents and templates that took me years of research and fine tuning to develop in my business, like package information for new clients, checklists, forms, efficient workflow, and so much more. These little nuggets alone will be worth their weight in gold and will be something to take home and start working with immediately.
Suggestions for what you might want to learn about in the class? Although we will be discussing tons of great material, we will be limited by the time we have for the class (likely 2 meetings). Therefore, I’d like to maximize the amount of useful information I provide. I’ll be developing the final class curriculum for the 2011 Wedding Photographer 101 Class over the next few months and would love to have input/suggestions. In particular, what do you want to learn about? Email me at AustinAmericana@Gmail.com or just post a comment below this article.
I can’t wait to interact with my fellow photographers! See you soon!