Home – New Forums Starting your journey Some advice please..

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  • #987693
    OzzyDevil
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    My name is Paul and I am looking at going into wedding photography which I have my heart set on.. I live in Melb and I know there isn’t many wedding photographers around here then again I could be wrong.. Anyway I am doing a few courses and I’m no expert or anything but I have the drive and passion to do this.. I just so sick of working for someone else so this is why I am here.. Mind you I still have a fulltime job so it is something I want to do on the side till I start making money..

    As I don’t have alot of money and knowing its going to take time to make ago at this I was going to buy my url from godaddy.com last night only to find out I needed an ABN number so that ended that.. I been watching a great video from the USA that involed 2 photographers about a business they started which included marketing setting up a website using facebook ads and google adwords and a few other ways.. And looking into seeing a CPA person :)

    Anyway these are my Questions but just remeber im still learning photography..

    1 Is it still worth trying to open a small business knowing im not a good photographer ?

    2 im a bit scared of buying my photography stuff knowing if I started seating up my business that I can claim it back on tax..

    3 I don’t know nothing about tax or ABN stuff or taxs or anything so this part really scares me.. And the things I need and how much it’s going to cost..

    4 I know this something I never throughout I would do but I know its something I want do.. I know I deserve this and its something I am willing to fight for..

    Its just something I wsnna start slowly and build up so please can someone just give me some ideas please..

    Paul

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    #1163835
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Hi Paul,

    Welcome aboard the forums!

    Firstly, congrats for making the decision to make this happen for yourself. :)

    I think it’s a perfectly good idea to start your business before you’re 100% ready. I would say register for an ABN, then buy your domain name and even start work on a website if you wish. Declaring yourself ‘open for business’ will help to change your mindset from “one day I’ll do this” to “I’m doing this!”. Even if you’re not advertising your business fully yet, it allows you to keep an eye out for opportunities like weddings or events of friends or family or offer your services free/cheap to build your portfolio. Knowing that you can start accepting jobs I think will give you a huge incentive to speed up your learning process and get good faster.

    As for purchasing equipment, just be aware that you can claim your equipment on tax, but if you don’t have any business income then you won’t actually get any money back in your pocket. It can be offset against earnings in future years, but in the short term I’d expect to be paying full-price for your gear.

    But again, having the equipment will give you the feeling that you are in business and will mean you could take an opportunity that comes up – because you’re prepared.

    Hope that helps Paul! Great to have you here and best of luck. :)

    Dave

    P.S. For what it’s worth, here is how I’d go about starting a photography business while learning. Every party or bbq or gathering or work event you go to, ask if they’d mind you being the event photographer (for free). So you improve your skills, send around the photos, and soon all your friends and work colleagues know you as a budding photographer. You could hand out biz cards to anyone who takes an interest, and put your biz name or website in your email signature when you send out photos or links to the photos (posted on your website). Now, when a friend/famiy/colleague of any of your frinds/family/colleagues needs a photographer, who do you think they will think of first? Cha-ching – now you’re getting paying jobs.

    #1163836
    OzzyDevil
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    Thx for your help.. With an ABN do I need a business name too ?

    Do I need to do taxs on that yet or does the tax part of it done at a later date.. Sorry for the questions I just want to know were I am headed so I csn jump on this.. It was more of the domain name I wanted at this point so no one jumps on it..

    Paul

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    #1163837
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    You can get an ABN without registering a business name (just trade under your own name to start). Registering the business name is optional, but not expensive (less than $100 I think).

    #1163838
    OzzyDevil
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    Ok thank you so much :) I will look into my ABN next week just to start of my web site :)

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    #1163839
    ScarlettR
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    I just wanted to answer this question:

    1 Is it still worth trying to open a small business knowing im not a good photographer ?

    From a creative professional/bride to be (getting married at the end of the month) point of view I would say no.

    The reason I’m saying this is because I work in an industry (the self-publishing industry) which is flooded with hobbyists who charge for very sub-par work.

    Look, there will always be people willing to pay. But we’re not talking about book covers, which can change. We’re talking about a person’s wedding day.

    This is a one time thing, and if you’re running a business that means you’re charging for your work. If you recognize that your work is not good enough then you should not be selling it.

    I have a great sense of pride and respect when it comes to the creative professions, and I encourage you to have that same respect. If you want to shoot a wedding, then do it for free and let them know you are an amatuer. When you finally have some experience and improved skills in photography, then you can charge.

    But I don’t recommend charging until you’ve got a couple of weddings under your belt. As I said, wedding days are so specialized and if you don’t get it right that first time you don’t get a second chance.

    Sorry, I’m a bit passionate about this. In my industry every man and his dog are doing book cover design and it brings the quality of the industry right down which saddens me a lot and disappoints a lot of authors. I think that’s happening a lot with wedding photography too- and yes, you are mislead if you believe that there aren’t a lot of wedding photographers in Melbourne. There are some great, award winning wedding photographers in Melbourne, but beyond that there are hundreds of photographers jumping in just like you :)

    So now you have to think- what’s going to make you stand out against the rest? :)

    #1163840
    Justin Laju
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    OzzyDevil, post: 189686 wrote:
    My name is Paul and I am looking at going into wedding photography which I have my heart set on.. I live in Melb and I know there isn’t many wedding photographers around here then again I could be wrong.. Anyway I am doing a few courses and I’m no expert or anything but I have the drive and passion to do this.. I just so sick of working for someone else so this is why I am here.. Mind you I still have a fulltime job so it is something I want to do on the side till I start making money..

    As I don’t have alot of money and knowing its going to take time to make ago at this I was going to buy my url from godaddy.com last night only to find out I needed an ABN number so that ended that.. I been watching a great video from the USA that involed 2 photographers about a business they started which included marketing setting up a website using facebook ads and google adwords and a few other ways.. And looking into seeing a CPA person :)

    Anyway these are my Questions but just remeber im still learning photography..

    1 Is it still worth trying to open a small business knowing im not a good photographer ?

    2 im a bit scared of buying my photography stuff knowing if I started seating up my business that I can claim it back on tax..

    3 I don’t know nothing about tax or ABN stuff or taxs or anything so this part really scares me.. And the things I need and how much it’s going to cost..

    4 I know this something I never throughout I would do but I know its something I want do.. I know I deserve this and its something I am willing to fight for..

    Its just something I wsnna start slowly and build up so please can someone just give me some ideas please..

    Paul

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

    Hi Paul

    Passion is a fantastic thing isn’t it?!

    1 Is it still worth trying to open a small business knowing im not a good photographer ?

    No, sorry. There are so many wedding photographers in Melbourne its crazy. You need work to show people for them to buy you. This is their special day, Paul. Consider how passionate you are about photography. Then know that this is their wedding day, and add oos and ahhs to how you feel, throw in a few cupids, bring up all the fears – and then you’re getting close to empathy with them.

    2 im a bit scared of buying my photography stuff knowing if I started seating up my business that I can claim it back on tax..

    Get the gear as you go. But, first you need to learn, and as you learn you will know what gear you need.

    3 I don’t know nothing about tax or ABN stuff or taxs or anything so this part really scares me.. And the things I need and how much it’s going to cost..

    ABN is free, get on goolge and type in “register an abn”

    4 I know this something I never throughout I would do but I know its something I want do.. I know I deserve this and its something I am willing to fight for..

    Its just something I wsnna start slowly and build up so please can someone just give me some ideas please..

    Assist a professional wedding photographer for free. Pick the best ones that you can find, and do yourself a favour – choose one that has a good commercial reputation.

    Hang around them like a a very helpful bad smell – absorb, absorb, absorb, question when you can, absorb…apply what they do.

    Within a few months you can get a paid job once you are “uselful”…

    Or if you have what it takes after a few months (ie the gusto, the compassion, the ability to engage people, dispell their fears and capture their dreams – and a folio that people will buy into – then run your own race.

    But assist them and learn:

    How the industry works – how to get keep, and build work, how to generate referals

    How to shoot, how to guarntee you get the shot, safe-guard strategies…

    Expand your abilities, different lighting, processes – the mindset.

    Who we surround ourselves with and look up to is who we become like.

    But keep your eyes on the prize – build your folio, build your website profile, do free weddings for people and get paid referrals. Assistants get spinoff jobs from those they work with. Assist and shoot at the same time…

    Go shoot ’em!

    #1163841
    affgar
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    If you are willing to admit you aren’t a great photographer I would say … do not go anywhere near any wedding!

    Wedding are amongst the most difficult photography you will perform.
    Shooting the odd wedding for a friend or friend of friend is where I would suggest you start. If you get good feedback & you think people are impressed with the images then look at taking it further.

    If you tackle the wrong wedding & fail …. you may be sued & things will end very badly. You could wish you never even attempted it.

    Wedding photography reasons it is hard:
    – Bad light, low light, difficult unpredictable light most of the time
    – People with unreal expectations or dreams for their perfect day (you had better hit it pretty well)… shattering dreams is not what you want.
    – People are highly stressed, dis-organised, busy!
    – You need to be able to assert authority & command attention of a large crowd.
    – You need good camera equipment.
    – You need a good computer with a good fairly accurate monitor.
    – You need great, on the spot camera knowledge … you can’t miss any part of the event (you only get one shot at it).
    – You need to be very proficient at photo resizing, converting, editing, colour formats/space.

    As said … there are wedding photographers everywhere .. heaps of them. Good ones are harder to find … affordable good ones who you would want to hire, fairly rare.

    Last point … photography business is not about taking photos ….That is only a small part of it.
    Lots of the work goes into editing in front of a computer after what could have been a long day.
    Most of the work is in the un-enjoyable business side of things … paper work, tax, advertising, promotion, website, client correspondence etc…

    Good luck

    #1163842
    bluepenguin
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    I good way to cut your teeth is by ‘second shooting’ at weddings. Find a good photographer who’s willing to help you out, and follow them round for a handful of weddings.

    By doing it this way, it doesn’t matter how good or bad your photos are. More importantly, you’ll get on the job experience and an opportunity to decide whether you like it or not.

    As far as equipment goes, there is plenty of fantastic second hand equipment available on places like eBay and Gumtree. All you need is a decent body and the best lens you can get. Don’t be sucked in by marketing and big numbers; anything above 5 mega pixels is more than adequate for most applications.

    Even if you give it a go and don’t decide to continue with the dream, you’ll get years of use out of a decent DSLR.

    #1163843
    bluepenguin
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    I don’t agree that you need to be a whiz on Photoshop to be a great photographer. There are obviously advantages to being able to correct and modify photos, but having a good lens, good lighting and a good eye are far more important.

    #1163844
    OzzyDevil
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    I so love the feedback here and thx for all that have posted..

    I know its not an easy job and I know this could take years to learn and I know I’m not expecting to watch a dvd and now I am a wedding photographer :) and I know I’m a beginner at this but I still have the drive and passion so this is something I am never going to let go..

    1 think I do want do is Assist someone in anything I have posted on some websites anyone needed an assistant but no luck at the moment.. I don’t want to get paid I just want to learn more than anything so if it means moping floors or carrying bags or setting up lights and stuff I would do it in a heart beat.. I am just wanting that chance to prove myself.. As long as there don’t mind my questions I would work so dam hard to do as I was asked.. Not just in wedding photography but everything about it..

    All I know is about amonth ago it hit me and I know this is what I want to do.. And thx everyone you have all been a big help and I will keep posting on forums to be an a Assistant for anyone that needs 1 :)

    Paul

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    #1163845
    OzzyDevil
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    bluepenguin, post: 189739 wrote:
    I don’t agree that you need to be a whiz on Photoshop to be a great photographer. There are obviously advantages to being able to correct and modify photos, but having a good lens, good lighting and a good eye are far more important.

    That is very true if you can take very good photos you just need to make small ajustments in lightroom or photo dhop..

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    #1163846
    pollypolkadot
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    Hi there!

    It is great that you have decided this is what you want to do and you feel passionate about it. :)
    Working as a model and a stylist I have dealt with a LOT of photographers over the past few years, right from beginners to others with many, many years of experience behind them. I would suggest you do a few things before getting to the stage of being a wedding photographer; as everyone in the comments above has said, a wedding is the most stressful type of photography (I hope you have good people skills to deal with those brides!!), so I certainly wouldn’t just jump right in. My overall advice is to start doing it as a hobby, and if it turns out you do well, then you can turn it into a business!

    First of all get yourself ONE good camera- all the rest of the fancy extras can come later. Next, as you said, take some classes. I would suggest doing several classes at different places, so you can take advantage of different teaching/learning techniques and information they will give you. TAFE and other learning centres run photography classes all the time, and independent photographers sometimes run them too. Once you are a bit more confident on how to use your camera in different situations, just start taking photos of everything to build up your skills. Ask your friends and family if you can take photos of them too.
    When you have a few really good pictures together, you could sign up to some photography sites, to further build your portfolio. The most popular site people use is http://www.modelmayhem.com/. I think the site is pretty self explantory once you get there, but essentially you make a profile and then contact models or other people in the industry to work with you. As long as you are honest about your skill level it should be fine, as there are also lots of amateur models on the site who will be happy to work with someone without much experience. To start out you will work with people on what the industry calls “TFP” – Time For Print/Photo, which just means that no ones pays anyone else, you all work for free to gain experience or to work on a special project. You could even set up models to look like brides, so that you can get the shots you are after for your portfolio. I know a lot of wedding photographers do not like this site as it is more geared towards fashion photography, but I think it is still a good way to get experience.

    As other people have suggested, it is a great idea to make friends with other photographers in your area and see if they will let you tag along/help/second shoot etc.

    Build yourself up from there. If everything has gone well and people are happy with your work then you can get into making a facebook page, website and setting up the business.

    Good luck with everything!
    Polly

    #1163847
    affgar
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    I admire your drive and passion! Keep striving forward & always look to improve. You will get there in the end. You have a great attitude for what you are getting in to.

    I just didn’t want you to dive into something that may set you back a long way.
    I have seen it happen all too often. Just recently friends have told me how unimpressed & disappointed they were with their wedding photos.

    I do some paid photography work. Though I always tell people … sorry I don’t do weddings hehe :P

    Good luck with your pursuits. Feel free to ask any more questions if you wish.

    BTW regarding the don’t need to be good at Photoshop …. Yes you don’t need to be … but you are way behind the competition so you want to lift your range.
    Try doing a wedding or a photoshoot where things go wrong … being able to edit well always helps.

    You can love simple, true life images … but being handy at photo editing is always invaluable.
    Just make sure you understand & can perform the basics like colour space & what to use when … & resizing to maintain image detail, sharpness & quality. Exporting images for print or for social media/web are two completely different art forms.

    #1163848
    OzzyDevil
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    pollypolkadot, post: 189767 wrote:
    Hi there!

    It is great that you have decided this is what you want to do and you feel passionate about it. :)
    Working as a model and a stylist I have dealt with a LOT of photographers over the past few years, right from beginners to others with many, many years of experience behind them. I would suggest you do a few things before getting to the stage of being a wedding photographer; as everyone in the comments above has said, a wedding is the most stressful type of photography (I hope you have good people skills to deal with those brides!!), so I certainly wouldn’t just jump right in. My overall advice is to start doing it as a hobby, and if it turns out you do well, then you can turn it into a business!

    First of all get yourself ONE good camera- all the rest of the fancy extras can come later. Next, as you said, take some classes. I would suggest doing several classes at different places, so you can take advantage of different teaching/learning techniques and information they will give you. TAFE and other learning centres run photography classes all the time, and independent photographers sometimes run them too. Once you are a bit more confident on how to use your camera in different situations, just start taking photos of everything to build up your skills. Ask your friends and family if you can take photos of them too.
    When you have a few really good pictures together, you could sign up to some photography sites, to further build your portfolio. The most popular site people use is http://www.modelmayhem.com/. I think the site is pretty self explantory once you get there, but essentially you make a profile and then contact models or other people in the industry to work with you. As long as you are honest about your skill level it should be fine, as there are also lots of amateur models on the site who will be happy to work with someone without much experience. To start out you will work with people on what the industry calls “TFP” – Time For Print/Photo, which just means that no ones pays anyone else, you all work for free to gain experience or to work on a special project. You could even set up models to look like brides, so that you can get the shots you are after for your portfolio. I know a lot of wedding photographers do not like this site as it is more geared towards fashion photography, but I think it is still a good way to get experience.

    As other people have suggested, it is a great idea to make friends with other photographers in your area and see if they will let you tag along/help/second shoot etc.

    Build yourself up from there. If everything has gone well and people are happy with your work then you can get into making a facebook page, website and setting up the business.

    Good luck with everything!
    Polly

    Thx Polly for your input :) I know it’s not easy and I have so much work a head of me.. I am going to do the courses so I would be doing good at the end of the year..

    Paul

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

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