Lots of photographers would love your help at a wedding, so don't be intimidated to ask! Volunteer your time to some individuals whose work you admire and see what they say. The worst thing they could tell you is "no," and, even then, you would still have the advantage of presenting yourself and just getting your face and name out there in case an opportunity does arise down the road.
Pass out your business card like it's free money! As long as you are accommodating, enthusiastic, and determined, an opportunity will come, and that will be an exciting day! As you start preparing for that second-shooting gig, there are several key things to keep in mind.
Wedding photographers can be hired from anywhere from a couple hours to an entire day. It's for this reason that you should come prepared. The primary photographer should contact you in advance and let you know the times he/she would like for you to arrive as well as a general idea of how you'll be helping. Based on that window of time and the responsibilities, you can prepare in a few ways. Here are some questions to consider:
The day of the wedding can give you all kinds of crazy emotions, but hopefully you've planned ahead. In that case, the rest will be smooth sailing! Don't believe me? I promise that once you get there, you will get into a rhythm and it won't seem half as intimidating as you might think. Trust your primary photographer, and dive in!
Once you arrive at the venue (hopefully several minutes early), take a look around and get situated with your equipment. Now's a good time to check your lighting and camera settings, and then jump right in an ask how you can help!
Have a fun story about the first wedding you photographed? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! Did this post prove helpful in preparing you for your first second-shooting experience? I'd love to hear about that too!
And as a bonus, Katelyn James, an influential photog I've mentioned on here before, uploaded a free second-shooter checklist on her blog a couple days ago! Talk about perfect timing. For a limited time, you can download it and catch a little peek at her husband's method when he second-shoots with his wife at weddings! He talks about the types of shots he captures as well as the equipment he uses to do so!
Stay sweet and stay tuned, friends, you're doing great things! (Photographs from a recent wedding I second-shot with Christa Rene Photography.)
5. Invest in your work.
We live in a world of instant gratification. I'm sure you're familiar with that concept because a lot of people like to talk about it. We have the world at our fingertips so to speak, and unfortunately that lends itself in leading us to believe we can also experience instant success. There are so many things that go into owning and operating your own business, and there are times when you may want to throw in the towel and call it quits because you simply weren't prepared for or in favor of some of the hardships. Take those experiences and look at them for what they could be: growing experiences. When you push through the rough patches, your work inevitably gets better. You seek new ways to innovate and create. When very few are watching it gives you a chance to try new things and earn back their attention. Find what you love and don't just do it. Do it with all your heart. Invest and commit, and the wealth you will gain won't just be in money form. It will be evidenced through your character!
I'm so excited for what's ahead, and I am humbled and incredibly grateful for your support along the way. Stay sweet, and check back for more later this week!!
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise."
-Rudyard Kipling, "If-"
from Rewards and Fairies
1. Remember the plan.
I could probably not live or at least not live well if I didn't have a planner. This year I am trying out my new Day Designer which, so far, I have fallen in love with! It's a little big, so it's not always on the list of what's physically in my bag. But even though I don't take it with me everywhere, each night I usually make it a point to review the day I just had and think about what went well and what I can improve on tomorrow. Already built into this planner are several spots for mapping out big and little goals alike which help keep me on track and excited for the future ahead. Now I realize maybe you don't want to invest in a planner quite this expensive (I got lucky and found one super cheap at Target, another reason why it's basically my favorite store). But the concept is something you can translate into your own life on some sticky notes or a sheet of blank paper. Start listing out three big goals you have for yourself for just this year in various areas of your life. Next, map out the little goals that can get you there. Finally, each day before you face the world, think about the three or four things that are most important for you just for that day. It might be things you want to accomplish or ways you want to approach situations. Stick to your plan, and you'll be amazed at how much you grow individually and with your endeavors.
2. Stick to your guns.
Kipling says, "If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too." It sounds so poetic and even heroic on paper but way harder to master in real life. For me, at least, I know it's so easy to get caught up with what other people want or are doing that you lose the ability to organize and differentiate their thoughts and desires from your own. I think we all kind of dream of a world where we are perfectly confident in ourselves and don't have to fight the temptation of comparison. This is huge in my industry because photography is so visually oriented, and other photographers' work is so readily accessible online. The other day I watched a video blog from the super talented and influential wedding photographer, Katelyn James. She talked about defining success and how destructive it can be to play the comparison game. It was encouraging to hear from someone who has been in the industry for much longer than me say that she still struggles with this all the time! I think when it comes to sticking to your guns, it's important to focus on what you love. So much of what you do is a testament to your individual personality, and that is what makes life so exciting! You might not get it right all the time, and it's important to laugh at yourself when that happens. But if you want people to notice you your work, find your little niche, something no one may be paying attention to right now and invite them to wonder at it with you! There are plenty of entrepreneurs in the world, but there is only one of you!
3. Learn to love the waiting.
This goes along so closely with the previous point. You might be super talented, very organized, and even the most enthusiastic little entrepreneur in the world. But if you aren't patient, let's just say, God will have a lot of lessons to teach you in the process. I think the key to understanding this part is the idea of seasons. Each and every one of us is in a season of life. And that's a big reason why comparison is such a thief of joy because each of us are at different places that just simply aren't comparable to one another. The season that you are currently in is a result of several factors such as your career, age, dreams, etc. God uses these times to mold us more into his image and impress his heart upon ours. It's so easy to get discouraged while we wait. But something that has helped me is focusing on the lessons I'm learning and how they are specifically preparing me for the season ahead. The thing about seasons is that they change and won't be back once they are gone, so the best thing you can do is squeeze out every ounce of opportunity that is right under your nose! That means sometimes drawing a line between your dreams and real life can be a beneficial thing to do for your psyche.
That's all for now! Check back next week for "Keeping your Head: Part II," when I'll reveal my last two tips on how you can better organize your life and your mind to make the most out of your small business or any of life's little endeavors.
And if you haven't already checked out the new series I launched earlier this week, you should totally make your way over to take a peek at what's in my bag!
Until then, stay sweet, friends! You're doing great things.
A little peek at what I'm currently obsessing over.
To give you a chance at getting to know me better, I have been brainstorming ideas for a few new series. My style and taste trickles over into my photography, so I thought it only fair to share with you a little bit of what I am obsessing over right now. That way you can ogle and "ah" along with me! While this may not be everything I have in my literal handbag at any given time, it's a compilation of a few items and ideas I'm currently keeping close at hand. And every so often, when I land on a new or noteworthy trinket, I'll be sure and update you on what's made it's way into my bag.
Let me just confess this right from the get-go, I am a sucker for cognac leather bags. I would literally buy every bag made out of this material from Target if I could. It's just such a chic and practical material. You can take this bag with you to Starbucks or an interview. If you spill something on it, just wipe it off! And it will stay looking good as new for a long time. I have had the same crossbody cognac leather bag (not pictured) through several phases of fashion trends, and people always want to know where I bought it and then their face visibly drops when I respond, "Oh, I've had it for years!" I'm in love. There's my speech. Go buy one!
Let's hit the books. There are four pictured, and I love efficiency, so I just want to knock 'em out of the park. The sparkly, gold polka-dot spiral bound notebook is my journal. It's one of many because I love to write. I have always been the one in my group of friends who documented each occasion meticulously. I love savoring things and not just memories but food, too, and people and feelings. Writing things down and, often, taking pictures to accompany my writings is cathartic and, to me, life-giving. Once you get what's in your head down on paper, you'd be surprised what that does for your heart. You can organize and reflect which are two super important processes. Journals can be a great reminder of how much you have been blessed, how far you've come, and also a help to keep you on track with the dreams you have for your future.
The book with Mindy Kaling's face on the cover is her witty, refreshing work, Is Everyone Hanging out without Me? (And Other Concerns). I always love a good read, and lately I've been more into autobiographical novels, especially funny ones like this one and Amy Poehler's gem of a book, Yes, Please (which, you must listen to in audio-book format). I think the reason I am really into these non-fictions is their real-ness. These are two women who have honed their craft and made a living out of it through persistence and good old-fashioned hard work. Even though they aren't fellow photogs, their words inspire me to dream big, and their witty one-liners have got me rolling with laughter. Their writings read like a blog, and it's food for my creativity and imagination.
There is also nothing that can spark my creativity like photographs taken by other people. I like to keep various magazines and also other photog's blogs close at hand on days I need a little extra kick of inspiration. Seeing poses from different perspectives, getting a peek into new styles, and observing, first-hand, someone else's work can be so mentally stimulating! Ever tried to solve a problem but couldn't get past seeing it a certain way to figure out the trick? That happens with photographers too! It's easy to find yourself getting comfortable with what you already know in any field. Browsing new ideas not only keeps your business but you, as a brand, thriving and just bubbling over with great ideas!
The pink, smaller photo album is where I keep my cute, little instant photos. I recently purchased a Fujifilm Instax Mini while I had sent off my DSLR for a repair. It's crazy how bare you can feel after toting something around for so long and then not being able to have constant access to it for a while! Well, I was waiting for it to return and got a little impatient. I loved polaroids as a little girl, and I've been wanting to try this new spin off the old classic. It's been incredibly fun, and going back to a simpler camera has taught me about the importance of perfecting a shot and being choosy with what I capture. Once you click the shutter, there is no way to edit the image. Film is way more precious, and you spend more time thinking through details. It's also worth noting I'm not super good with the camera. :) I have tried to make it do what my digital can, and I've wasted a couple shots that turn out blurry or overexposed. It's like it's telling me, "Look for the big picture. Focus on simplicity." And it's actually proven to be a pretty good teacher.
I have found that colors are so important when it come to my mood. A warm, sunny day filled with vibrant hues can put such a spring in my step. And nail polish is a little way of bringing in a bit of sunshine and summer with me everywhere I go. I have always been a big fan of O.P.I. Nail Lacquer, and these shades happen to be my current faves- Bubble Bath and Live Love Carnaval.
Speaking of summer colors, I have also fallen for my little friend, the succulent, which flaunts the most flawless color that has me swooning. This variety is called Harry Butterfield, and it was love at first sight when I picked him and his buddies up at Lowe's. I have planted these guys in pots around my room, and they just make my day a whole lot brighter!
Thanks for stopping by to take a peek into my bag! Next, with school around the corner, I'm hoping to share some tips on organizing a small business while keeping your day job and uncluttering your space for optimal creativity. Check back on the regular for the latest adventure I'm exploring!
Until then, stay sweet, friends! You're doing great things.
I love travel and adventure. I love seeing things from new perspectives. I love to find good food in exciting places. And I love making moments last for as long as possible.
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