I’m doing something that I never imagined myself doing.
No. It’s not naked yoga, but it’s close. Real close.
I’m hosting a workshop for photographers that are wanting to get into shooting weddings, but are still a little bit freaked out by the entire process of it. Basically I’ve taken every crazy story, every screw up, every tip and trick I’ve figured out for the last 8 years, mixed it with some champagne, and this workshop was born.
It’s a fake wedding, from start to finish, that other photographers can follow me around and ask as many questions as they want to about everything I do throughout the day.
I never set out to be a workshop guy. Actually, aside from a select few, I loathe workshops. At least the ones in the ” Hey, give me a lot of money and you can be a rockstar just like me!” category. There is no get rich quick. There is no easy way out. There are no rockstars. Period.
I shot my first wedding for $60.00. I was broke and working retail, and someone handed me a camera and said hey, we need someone to push that button on the front. Don’t worry if it sucks.
So I shot my first wedding. And the pictures sucked.
I thought the actions in Photoshop that smoothed skin and brightened teeth to a glowing radiant white were the coolest things in the world.
I sucked, basically.
Some days, I still suck. I still have my “What the crap am I doing with a camera in my hand?” moments. I’m still learning. Holy cow, am I ever still learning. If you would’ve asked me back in 2006 if I thought this is what I’d be doing 8 years later, I would’ve laughed at you. I’m blessed like crazy to be able to do this full time. I’m still broke, but I love what I do and get to have a lot of time with my kids that I wouldn’t have if I had a regular 9-5 job.
You’re going to go through really crappy down times as a photographer. You’re going to look at everything you shoot and wonder if you’d better off flipping burgers. But with all of my heart, I promise you that if you stick with it, it’s worth it. You grow, you get better. You’ll still suck occasionally, but you’ll kick ass a lot more than you used to as well. And the first time you have a bride hug you in tears and thank you for giving them amazing photos, or you get your first incredibly heartfelt thank you letter from a bride whose wedding you shot over a year ago and she’s so incredibly thankful for the memories you were able to give her family, it’ll start to sink in that yeah, this is a crazy job with ups and downs and cake and dancing and long hours, but it’s also incredibly important. We document love stories. We put the photos in the book of someone’s love story for them to look at, for their kids to look at, for their grandkids to look at. It can feel like an insane amount of pressure at times, but once you get the basics and pound them into your brain and practice them, you’ll be far and away more prepared for it than I was when I first started.
And as cliché’ as it sounds, if I can do this, you absolutely can do it, too.
Sincere thanks to all of the fantastic companies that I work with for coming on board as sponsors for this. Red Tree Albums, White House Custom Color, Zenfolio, Borrowlenses, Priscilla Foster Albums, CG Pro Prints, and The Factory Press. Ten thousand points for being willing to associate with me in public.
To all the photographers that are coming to this first class, thanks for your support. This entire shindig is completely your fault.