Oh, I couldn’t wait to write this up! I just put in a print order for my first paying job!
That’s right, me!
I had been working very hard to get out there and find customers. Photography can be a very competitive business, and just putting an ad in the local paper really wasn’t cutting it. Then two months ago, I heard about a convention that was going to be an hour away. It was a wedding vendor convention, where people who are getting married can meet with all kinds of cake designers, jewelers, wedding planners, DJs, photographers like me, and just about anything else that they might need. It seemed like a perfect place to drum up some business, so I had some materials made up, put together some of my favorite shots in a portfolio, and off I went. I handed out a lot of business cards and brochures, had a lot of people look through my portfolio, and shook a lot of hands.
A few days later, I got a phone call from a very distraught bride. Her photographer had bailed on her, and her wedding was in only two weeks! She asked if I was available, and of course, I was. We agreed on the same rate her original photographer quoted her and met up the following day. I could not believe it. First, that another photographer would cancel like that without providing some sort of cover for their client (I understand that things happen, but how could you leave a bride in the lurch like that?) and second, that the convention had actually gotten me a client, and so quickly!
The meeting went really well. I brought my portfolio so she could go through it again, and we talked what she was looking for. I learned all about them as a couple and how the cousins she hadn’t seen since she was twelve were flying in from Greece to be with her. She also let me know that her fiancé’s 90 year old grandmother would be in attendance, too. I told her to think about all the shots that she definitely wanted and we settled on some special moments, like her dress on the hanger before she put it on, her mother pinning her father’s boutonniere on his lapel, and her flower girls getting their hair done. We also worked out some group shots that she wanted me to take, different combinations of people that haven’t been together in ages: college friends, her parents and their friends, her future grandmother-in-law surrounded by all her grandchildren, things like that. I gave her a checklist with some blank spots on it and told her to write down anything she thought we hadn’t covered.
Then, the big day came. I packed up both my cameras, several lenses, and a bunch of spare batteries. I met the bride at her parents’ house, where she was getting ready. I have to say, I was extremely nervous, but once I had that viewfinder up to my face, everything seemed to slow down and it went so smoothly. The bride was beautiful, the wedding was very elegant, and the guests had a great time. The whole thing was a joy to photograph. I could not wait to go home and pull all the photos up on my computer.Not to brag, but they came out fabulous. I was so excited to show the newlyweds, but my husband gently reminded me that they had other things going on. So I uploaded them to a secure photo share site and sent the bride a link the next morning. She loved them too. She and her new husband came by to pick out their favorites and put together a book.
So there you have it—my first real photography job was a success!