Please hear me out. I am not saying you suck at this. And I am by no means excluding myself from that title. But I am about helping other photographers in this industry filled with megalomaniacs who care little about your success. And these three things have helped me TREMENDOUSLY over the last 4 years grow as a photographer AND as a business. (I keep them written down in a little moleskine notebook) Plus let’s be honest, I am not super clever and this was what i wanted to write about so it’s as clever as I get!
1. Be Prepared - You have heard me say this so many times! BE PREPARED! This starts well before the wedding day. It starts with your gear, your timeline, your contracts and your interactions with the bride and groom. I am incredibly regimented about this. And I am, generally, not regimented about anything. Let me give you an example of what I mean;
Last year as I was getting ready to start shooting a wedding, I pulled my gear out of my bag, strapped my cameras around my shoulders, bent down to start shooting some details and I heard and felt a pop right around my zipper region/area/whatever you want to call it. I looked down and sure enough my brand new suit pants had ripped at the zipper. I had been there for maybe 5 minutes and this was how I was starting out the day. FANTASTIC. So I stood there for a second, in a room full of bridesmaids, staring at my wide open zipper thinking to myself, "I want to punch a kitten right now." It’s moments like that, that make me so rigid about preparation. And I am not rigid about anything! But had I not had an extra pair of pants in my car it may have thrown me off the whole day.
And this just doesn’t apply to pants. What if that was a camera or a lens? This applies to back up bodies, multiple cards, multiple shot lists, recorded emails... basically EVERYTHING. Bottom line, prepare yourself for the day. Assume the worse things could happen on that day and correct whatever you can to fix it BEFORE it happens!
2. Asking for help - This is a big one. There are so many photographers who have gone before you and have struggled through all of the things you are about to struggle through this year. Ask for their help! Some offer mentorship programs. Some offer workshops. Some will slam the door in your face. Screw those guys, we don’t want their help anyways. But find someone you respect, it doesn’t matter who it is, and ask for help!
3. Comparing yourself to others - This is another one you will hear me preach and preach and PREACH. I know for me, I don’t even look at wedding photography at all. There are some I follow on Instagram, and some I am friends with on Facebook. But generally speaking, I just stay away from the industry as a whole because I know I can begin to slowly go down that rabbit hole of wondering why I suck and they don’t. You may be able to, thats fantastic. I can’t. I look at a lot of other things for inspiration. You should to!
There are a lot of other things we could add here. But these are 3 big things that helped me so much over the last few years. You may of needed this you may have not. But I just want to encourage you to keep at it! Keep working hard, keep putting in the time and remember we get to do what we love! Let’s DO this!
For more info on our mentorships and workshops check us out at http://www.samstroudphoto.com/mentorships/