So, I’ve reached a sort of in-between/middle ground/limbo in my journey toward becoming a wedding/portrait photographer. I have the website. I have the gear. I have the studio. I have the post-processing equipment. I have the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) membership. I have the knowledge and resources and a healthy dose of experience. Now it feels like a hurry up and wait period. I don’t do well with that but I am trying to be patient and put in the work to coax this thing into fruition. I have taken many wedding/engagement/bridal photos, but they have all been as a photographer employed through a local wedding venue in Driftwood, TX, so I am unable to use these photos on my website or as part of my marketing. I do have a few photos here and there from personal work, but not enough to present a strong wedding /portrait photographer presence online. So the struggle is being able to book clients who believe in my work without having a lot of work to present to them in order to get them to book me. It’s a catch-22.
I was listening to a Master Photography podcast the other day and they mentioned second shooters. I had never considered branching out to other photographers looking for second shooters. I didn’t even know that is a thing! I feel like I have stumbled upon a proverbial breakthrough (cue a ray of light and a heavenly orchestra sort of soundbyte), or at least another avenue to explore, and at the same time, I feel a little sheepish for not thinking of this possibility already. So now I’m a member of several Central Texas second shooter groups (can someone PLEASE come up with another name for this? It just doesn’t sit well with me in this day and age!), attempting to network with other photographers in and around Austin, TX in order to build my portfolio. These second shooter groups are AMAZING. Even if I am unable to get a gig through these, there is so much useful information available – people are discussing appropriate pricing and sharing their websites in my area – it’s a goldmine of inspiration for me!
I also received an email the other day regarding one of my favorite photographers, Jen Rosenbaum (www.jenerations.com, www.jenrozenbaum.com) who is presenting at a Precision Camera workshop in October…which just happens to be in my area! Precision Camera University (http://www.precision-camera.com/pcu-weekend-2018-registration/) apparently presents this workshop annually, another fact I just learned recently, and I am amazed at the variety of classes offered. I even saw one for a lucha libre wrestling match photo session. They set up a wrestling ring outside of the store in the parking lot, you take a class beforehand, and then you get to be ringside, snapping photos of the wrestlers. I believe they even allow you to use Canon gear that they have available. I'm definitely considering attending the University weekend in the future, but this year it's just not in the books for me, with my trip to Imaging USA 2019 in Atlanta in January.
Imaging USA 2019 will be held at PPA's headquarters in Atlanta in the middle of January and hotels are NOT cheap in the area. I'm still pretty pumped to go because they're celebrating 150 years and the parties are sure to be amazing! I applied for one of four available scholarships that could potentially cover a business workshop and/or some pre-convention classes, which are usually hands-on experiences that I think would expand my knowledge immensely. I may need to alter my flight plans a bit if I win, but it would totally be worth it!
So, I hope everyone out there is having an amazing summer and getting some good practice shots in, in between all the work you do. I'm excited for summer to end and to get some cooler (is that even possible in Texas?!) weather here. It looks like mid-November is going to be busy for me for wedding photography at The Wildflower Barn, and I can't wait to see the late-year decor and wedding dress trends for 2018. Next weekend is Labor Day Weekend, and I'm working on a special photo project involving a local filmmaker and his cast, and I can't wait to share those photos with you all in the next couple of weeks.