After speaking to a few attendees from The Workshop a couple days ago, they offered so much encouragement in regard to FAQ Posts. For a long while, I felt stupid even posting them...I mean, who am I to offer my opinion on anything?! With the exception of celebrity gossip, I'm hardly an expert on anything, but because of their support, I'm refreshed to post a few of blog reader questions and my responses. For those of you who appreciate these posts, I appreciate you back. Fo real.
I have been shooting weddings for a few years now and I'm ready to take the leap and do Destination Weddings. I thought you would be a great person to get a few pointers from to get me started.
Destination weddings are a unique element to wedding photography. I know there are certain photographers who aim specifically for this type of client, so I'm sure they'd have much more valuable insight than I. What I can tell you about destination weddings is that they've been an organic growth for my business.
I'm proud to say I'm a destination wedding photographer, but this has come with a lot of trust from my amazing clients. My first year of business was spent focusing on local clients and taking the best care of them I possibly could. As they sent their wedding slideshows to their college friends, co-workers, and family outside of California, my name started spreading. Soon enough, there were brides from around the United States asking me to document their weddings. I was (and still am!) blown away by this.
I don't think I have pointers, per say, but I can encourage you to take care of your local clients, blog about these weddings and include slideshows, and everything will fall into place.
As for advertising& where should I put my money? I know that website optimization is important, but what about magazines? And what else is out there? What other options do I have? How do I get noticed? I mean& where should I put my focus and attention?... my money?
Well, I have to say you're lucky to have money to invest! :) When I first started, I didn't have any money. Seriously. I just left law school and spent whatever money I had on my wedding. I can't tell you where to invest money because it'd be quite different than what I did. I never advertised, so I'm not a huge proponent of doing so. If I was in your shoes, I'd spend money on building a brand, not an ad. I'd hire a designer to build me a custom Showit website, a designer to create an awesome logo, and create a slick blog. From this point, I'd blog about who I was as a person, not as a photographer. I mean, yes, I'd blog photos, but everyone is blogging just photos. What would make you stand out from the rest? YOU! Focus on becoming a better photographer and person, and you'll soon realize you won't need to do adveritsing...your blog readers will do it for you.
Sidenote: I know there are some people reading this and rolling their eyes because they assume I'm talking about the current state of my blog. No, in fact, I'm talking about my old blog...the old blog that was read by, like, THREE people a day. Those people--random girls reading my blog at work...stay at home mothers who read my blog...college students who were bored in class--were the very people who referred people my way. This is applicable to anyone and everyone! :)
I was wondering how you use your focus points while you're shooting, especially during a wedding when things can be fast paced. Do you use back-button AF? Or do you switch the focus point around? And do you mainly use the One Shot or AI Servo focusing mode?
Great question! I use back-button focus, and I switch the focal points around. I'm always setting my rotated focal point on the subject's eye and I have my camera set to One Shot focusing mode.
Question, do you use a light meter? Finding good light and getting away from soft pictures is something I am struggling with. Can you advise?
I get asked this question a lot! I also get asked what type of metering I prefer. To be honest--and this is going to sound quite lame--I just use the screen on the back of my camera. Seriously. I've trained myself to know what I want my pictures to look like based on the image I see on the back of my camera. Upon purchase, my camera was set to Evaluative Metering and I haven't changed it since, but I strictly use the back of my camera. :)
And because blog posts are always better with a picture...here's a sneak peek....