faq: getting started

Cle-Ann asks,
Hi Julie, I just have a quick question about becoming a photographer…Where did you start?

I feel like I could write a novel about how I got started, but I will try and keep this as short and to the point as possible.

After realising photography was not only a dream of mine, but a passion, I went where any Millennial would go: Google.  Although I found many helpful articles and forums, I realised I wasn’t finding what I needed, so I began emailing other photographers in my area to meet for coffee and for the opportunity to second shoot for them (since I knew wedding photography was the direction I wanted to go).  Know that not everyone will respond, but the ones that do are worth their weight in gold…most of my first wedding referrals came from another photographer on the Island (where I lived at the time) simply because I took the time to reach out and said hello – Holla Jennifer!

In my quest to reach out other professionals in my area, I was fortunate enough to find not only a friend, but a mentor my  first year.  Adina from Wren and Rook Photography was gracious enough to let me into her life and shoot most of her weddings with her that season – talk about hitting the jackpot!  I must also say here, that all 13 weddings I second shot for her back in 2015, I did for free.  This seems to be a controversial topic in the photography industry, but getting the experience as well as the opportunity to build my portfolio was worth way more to me the money ever would, so in exchange, I offered my time.  This was hands down one of the best decisions I ever made.

Once I had my foot in the door, I started to practice.  I bought photography classes from Creative Live, this was the first one I ever bought, I attended a couple workshops in Vancouver and I blogged as much as I could.  I know workshops and conferences can get expensive, but when you’re thinking about making this your career, it’s a small price to pay – plus, you get to meet a bunch of new people and more importantly, have fun!

Another thing I did to get started, I planned a styled shoot.  I grabbed a friend and some flowers and practised shooting wedding details.  Are these images perfect? no, but they allowed me to showcase what I was capable of at the time when I had nothing else to shoot.  I think going out and getting creative is one of the best things you can do when trying to pursue photography full time.

I hope this post was helpful…and made sense!  I have a tendency to talk too much when given the opportunity… 😉

Happy Friday!

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