I’ve had a lot of people asking me what’s involved with becoming a professional photographer. Did I go to school for photography? What classes/workshops do I recommend, etc… so I thought I would share some of these things here on my blog from time to time.
One thing I can’t stress enough to those of you considering becoming a photographer: Owning your own photography biz is about 80% business and only about 20% shooting. This is not something I really believed until I had already made the jump. And with everyone owning a digital camera these days, you’ve got to always be on your game and constantly growing… in both shooting and business techniques.
So no, I didn’t go to school to be a photographer. (and that’s ok!) Ironically, I have a degree in Exercise Science. I even went to grad school with this major before finally figuring out what my real passion was. While I would eventually like to take some photography classes, for now I consider myself a self-taught photographer. I take a lot of online webinars, read a lot of books, stalk a lot of photography blogs and attend various workshops throughout the year to help improve myself as both a photographer and businesswoman. As with most fields, there are great workshops… and then there are those “not so good” workshops. So far I have lucked up with great workshops but I feel this is in part to all the research I do beforehand.
The first workshop I attended as a full-time photographer was the MJ2Day. I had just taken the plunge into full time photography and was a bit nervous as to what I had just done! Needless to say, before actually quitting my day job, I had registered for the MJ 2Day. Everyone that had attended before had raved about it. So I thought it would be a nice fit for where I was in my photographic career. While the registration fee seemed a bit daunting at a time when we were about to become a “one income family”, it was worth every penny and then some! Melissa is not only an amazing wedding photographer, but she is also an incredible teacher. I talked a little about it here on my blog when I first came back. I learned so much from her and am very grateful for her transparency in sharing with us how she runs her business. I highly recommend this one to anyone that is within the first year or two of their wedding photography business. (I’d even love to take a refresher :)) Melissa discusses everything from lighting techniques to meeting with clients to album design…. she packs a lot of info into two days! I will admit I came home a little overwhelmed but was totally excited to put the new info to use. Jason went on the trip with me but didn’t actually attend the workshop. But if you ask him, he’ll tell you that at the end of every day I was talking ninety-to-nothing about everything I had learned. In fact, I talked about Melissa’s workshop for the next few months! (I told you she covers a lot of info :))
I think one of the coolest things about this workshop was the opportunity to network with other photographers and make new friends. This was my first real experience at networking with other photographers and it was awesome! I still keep up with all my MJ friends and am hoping we can all have a MJ2Day reunion one day! It’s been great having a network of other photographers that you can bounce ideas off of, get gear recommendations from, etc.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, shoot me an email– I’d be glad to share more about my experience at her workshop and answer any questions you might have!