When I first picked up a camera, I had no idea how challenging photography would be. Of course, there was the initial learning curve of understanding shutter speeds, aperture and ISO, but there was also a number of other factors I never even considered. These things included:
- Using Lightroom to adjust exposures and sort through photographs
- Utilizing Photoshop to crop, detail edit, sharpen and create blog collages
- Building a website to showcase my photographs
- Creating a logo, content, brand and online identity
- Networking with other local Temecula wedding photographers and industry insiders to make a footprint in the local market
When I first decided I wanted to peruse wedding photography I had no idea that what I was really doing was starting my own business. I didn’t realize how many hours I would be working, how much time I would spend tagging photos of people on Facebook, how many days I would be reviewing Google analytics, how much I would need to learn about search engine optimization (SEO), how often I would turn to friends and family for advice and most importantly how much I would really love my “job”.
Being a wedding photographer is 1000x more work than anybody could imagine. The fun part is the actual shooting, but the reality is for every hour a wedding photographer is shooting they are probably spending 5 hours sorting, editing and growing as a business. It’s a lot more work than most people getting into the industry expect, and it can sometimes suck the creative energy out of people. However, those who can stick it through the rough times are rewarded with creative expression, visiting tons of beautiful locations they might otherwise never see and meet lots of awesome people.
I am writing this post to commemorate my first year in business. To take a second and reflect back on how much I learned, how I have grown as a photographer and how many cool couples I was lucky enough to photograph on their wedding day. I also look forward to the second year of being a Temecula and Murrieta wedding photographer, shooting ceremonies at local wineries and locations throughout Southern California. Continued growth in my art and business are what I seek, as I never want to be the type of wedding photographer who thinks he already knows everything. I want to be a genius with my camera, a tech-wizard with digital post-processing and the best damn photographer a suburban white kid with dreams of glory and world domination can be! Now go kiss your lady, give your dog a walk and when you get back treat yourself to some ice cream because you deserve it! As for me, I have to get back to work because reflection time is over!
*The photograph used as the blurb was the very first image I really felt I did a good job nailing. It came on my second wedding when I worked as a sloppy second shooter with my friends at Inner Song. Taking that one photo was huge for my confidence level, and showed me that the best images are not staged, but rather are simply captured.