CATEGORY / Blog

Make Money As a Photographer – Taking Photographs of Dogs

When you are asked to take photographs of families they will often want to include their pet dog, either with the main group or on its own. This means that you will find yourself in the unenviable position of trying to get shots of something that just wants to run around and play. Worse still dogs do not understand how to take direction and pose for you. How then do you take sharp, well focused, well lit shots of the families furry friend that they will want to buy afterwards?

The key is to accept that it will take time. This will stop you getting frustrated when the dog turns its head for the hundredth time just as you were about to press the shutter button. By taking your time the dog will get to know you and start to trust you. You could also make a couple of visits to build on this. Once the dog starts to trust you it will relax more and not run away when you point a camera at it.

Another technique is to talk with the family beforehand. Find out if there are any particular toys or treats it likes. Go out and get a supply, in case you need to resort to bribery to take the picture you want.

When it comes to the day of the shoot, the technique to apply is to keep shooting. Have a good supply of memory cards and batteries, so that you do not run out at the crucial moment. Have a couple of shot ideas prepared. The most common being the frame-filling portrait and one of the dog at play. Taking the frame-filling portrait will no doubt mean getting in close. Put the camera on AV (aperture priority) mode, so it will take care of the exposure. This way you just have to make sure you are focused and can watch the dog for the right expression. It is very important in this type of photo to get the catch lights in the eyes. This makes the dog alive and bright, with bags of personality in the final picture, endearing it more to the family and making them want to purchase it from you.

It can be very hard and make for a long day to get some decent photographs of the family dog. The key is perseverance and perhaps bribery. The more you practise the easier it will get and the more pictures you will sell.

How Do I Become a Wedding Photographer

In these tough economic times you may start to think about new sources of income. What better way to turn your hobby into a new money spinner. I mean you already have the interest, the skill set and some of the equipment. This means your initial outlay should be small – perfect for a fledgling business.

One way to earn money from photography is to shoot weddings. You can earn $1000 from one shoot. This will increase with experience.

So your asking yourself – “How Do I Become a Wedding Photographer?”

I will not lie to, competition is fierce. Many other people have had the same idea as you. However do not let this put you off – You too can be sucessful. The way you do this is to get known for a quality, professional job. The key to doing well in this arena is word of mouth. Think about it – you photograph a wedding and all those guests see your pictures. Who are these people going to think about when they are on the look out for a wedding photographer? Who are they going to recommend to their friends? That’s right – YOU!

So how do you get started? Well, have a think – are any of your friends or relatives getting married? Any of your work colleagues? Offer to shoot the first wedding for free. FREE! you ask in disbelief – I thought we were talking about making money?. Well we are, by shooting your first wedding for free you will not only gain confidence, you will gain a set of photographs to show to potential paying clients. They will be able to see evidence of your work.

To the couple whose wedding you shoot for free, explain it is your first wedding and mistakes may be made. Show them pictures of other work you have done, so you can prove you are not a complete incompetent, but do know your way around a camera.

If you do not know anyone getting married the other way is to become a wedding photographer’s assistant. Often they will find it useful to have someone there to shoot candids of the guests, grab those pictures they would otherwise miss. You could also offer to help in the post-processing. This is a good way to learn without the pressure and outlay.

If not then try advertising in the local paper, at the local church or town hall, local pub, newsagent. Anywhere that will allow you to advertise for a minimal fee. Just get your name out there and you will get the call.

As you can see – although not easy to get started, remember people will always get married. When they do they will want a memory for the occasion. For that the photograph is still king and that requires a photographer. I hope this answers your question – “How do I become a Wedding Photographer?”

Black and White Wedding Photography

Shoot a wedding in black and white? – you must be mad! I mean the happy couple have spent a fortune on flowers, shoes and fake tan. The mother-in-law-to-be has spent her bingo winnings on that salmon pink two-piece with the green hat (What was she thinking?). None of this would show up if the happy day was photographed without colour in the pictures.

You are right of course. I am not suggesting you shoot the whole event without using colour, certainly not your first one in any case. There are certain shots that lend themselves to it. In fact there is a style of wedding photography based around shooting the whole thing in black and white. It is called “Reportage” and it is gaining in popularity. It is a style that has much in common with the documentary. It is literally a report in photographs of the day. It is characterised by lots of candids, close-ups and the capture of strong emotions.

There are several advantages in photography to shooting with no colour, here are a few that are most applicable to weddings:

As the medium is purer and simpler emotions can be captured much more easily. Colour can be distracting. Without it the viewer is drawn to the persons eyes and face pushing the emotion to the fore.

It is more timeless than colour. The colour and style of an outfit can really date a photo. As this is removed in a black and white photo it becomes timeless, perfectly freezing the moment for years to come.
If you are now considering photographing a wedding this way then follow this piece of advice. Shoot in colour then convert to black and white when editing. This does create extra work, but you will find it invaluable, especially when starting out to have the option of both. The more you photograph weddings the quicker you will know what works in this style and what doesn’t. It will also give the bride and groom a choice. This is no bad thing as they are the paying clients.

If you are still having doubts, why not try it, you never know it may prove to be something you enjoy. With digital you have nothing to lose.

loading
×