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This is a question I get a lot from aspiring pro photographers – how do I get my first paid photography gig?
For me it was a close friend who saw some of my portraits of family and friends who asked me to do his wedding. Despite trying to dissuade him for months before the wedding I ended up with the job – partly due to his limited budget and partly because it was a reasonably small and informal affair.
That was back in the day of film and I remember nervously shooting ALOT of rolls in the hope that I’d get something good and was surprised to find that there were not only a few print worthy shots but a whole album full of them.
Of course once that album was passed around to his friends and families the requests for me to do more weddings began to roll in and for the next 3 years I became a part time wedding photographer. It was something I had a bit of a love hate relationship with – I didn’t ever see myself as going full time (I was studying at the time for another profession – one that led me to be involved in weddings as a celebrant rather than a photographer) but I learned ALOT in those years that has helped me in the photography I do today.
That’s my story – what about you? I know not everyone has been paid for their photography – but if you have a story to tell we’d love to hear it whether you ended up going Pro or it was just a one off thing.
I’m sure there are others with wedding photography as their first paid photography job – but others will have other fields, portraiture, stock photography, commercial work…. anything goes and I’m looking forward to hearing your story!