I want to make my photography a full time job

Nebell

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jul 20, 2015
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But everyone is asking for a wedding photographer.. damn it.
I have never done weddings and I'm shit scared that I will mess up because at weddings you only get one chance and everyone is expecting that perfect spot. Fail and your potential career as a photographer is over.
I'm going to document a friends 30th birthday, that will be the closest to "wedding photography" I dare getting to.
 

Brian_B

2[H]4U
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Mar 23, 2012
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Every wedding I've ever been to, the photographer takes so many damned pictures of everything... it's like that saying, have an infinite number of monkeys a typewriter and one of them will come up with King Lear -- if you take an infinite number of photographs some of them have to turn out good.
 

Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
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I photographed a few weddings, to me it was a bit too stressful. I did assist a few photographers on many wedding shoots though and that was pretty much stress free.

I myself shot wedding videos for nearly 20 years.
Wedding shot 1 cinemawide.jpg Wedding shot 2 cinemawide.jpg

Also, another gig I did was print photos for a photographer that did portraits and sales on location.
this was good money at large Military Balls and the best part was when it was over, you are done. Weddings on the other hand can be a weeks worth of post work editing the shots and assembling the album.

Old setup with small PC and 2 Kodak 8500 Dye Subs and newer setup with 18.5" laptop and Shinko 8x10 roll fed dye sub.
onsite2.jpg onsite-shinko.jpg
 

UnknownSouljer

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But everyone is asking for a wedding photographer.. damn it.
I have never done weddings and I'm shit scared that I will mess up because at weddings you only get one chance and everyone is expecting that perfect spot. Fail and your potential career as a photographer is over.
I'm going to document a friends 30th birthday, that will be the closest to "wedding photography" I dare getting to.
Don't do weddings if you don't want to do weddings. The money is good, but if you hate doing them then it will probably defeat the purpose of making photography your full time job in the first place. If you can get over it, then the money is good, and there is plenty of space in the market for another wedding photographer.

As for being worried about getting the shots, it can happen. You can and should of course put caveats in your contracts with your clients. And let them know the nature of events is that anything can happen, including failure (or the unforeseen, such as someone standing up randomly or blocking your shot with their iPhone).

The other important part is coaching your clients. Make sure you go to the wedding rehearsals and stress, stress, stress that the couple should do everything slowly, and "savor the moment" so you can get more shots in of them putting on rings and do the first kiss, etc. Outside of that, a lot of weddings it just rote memory and memorizing the shots that people want and creating systems for yourself to repeat those shots. Because, quite frankly, weddings are about churning out consistent results and not at all about being "artistic". It just might appear that way because you've memorized the aesthetic shots that you know your clients want.

That isn't to say you'll run out of things to learn. You won't. A person that is truly good at their profession will never stop learning. But there will be a curve, and then a massive drop off after you've done your first 15-20 weddings. And then slow, tiny, incremental improvements past that.

---

Really the hardest part about shooting a wedding is probably not the actual shooting. It will be how you handle your clients in terms of educating them and also creating good strong contracts for yourself (in order to protect you, your time, and your business). And learning how to give good customer service without also bending over backwards and killing yourself. Then doing things like how to receive payment and when. Those business things will probably be a lot harder to learn and do consistently but are critical for business far more than how good or bad you are at photography (sad to say, but true). If you're incredible at business you can make a ton of money even if your shooting is mediocre and you do as you fear and miss some shots.

---

But back to my original point. If you want to do other niches in photography and not weddings, you can. It's just a harder road to climb. You could shoot corporate as an example, which is a steady form of income (basically just headshots). Or try to break into commercial photography (if you're good at advertising yourself to local businesses and can price yourself right).

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Lastly, I would recommend not quitting your day job until you're consistently booked. If you're shooting weddings and you're not doing 3-4 a month, it's probably too soon to take the leap. When it gets to that point when you should absolutely quit your job, then you'll know. Mostly in the form of being so exhausted by essentially doing two full time jobs. But I would highly advise hustling more and getting less sleep rather than putting yourself into a bad financial situation in which you must "do or die". It's better to hustle and have photography be your "side-gig" until it can become your "main-gig" rather than going broke prematurely and being forced back into a day job anyway.
 
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newbs

Gawd
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734
I am going to say I am familiar with the industry and here is my advice. Don't just do it yourself , make a portfolio then find an actual wedding photographer who will take you on as a apprentice or as a second photographer.
 

Nebell

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I tried looking for some established photographers, but there aren't many here (a blessing in disguise?). This is probably the reason why people contact me about their weddings even though I only made a small advertisement. The only reason why I want to do weddings now is that they usually happen during the weekends when it won't affect my primary job that much. And as said earlier, it's good money. But I don't want to become a full-time wedding photographer. Weddings are the last thing I want to photograph. But it just seems like the best path given my current situation.
 

northrop

grumman
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
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Every wedding I've ever been to, the photographer takes so many damned pictures of everything... it's like that saying, have an infinite number of monkeys a typewriter and one of them will come up with King Lear -- if you take an infinite number of photographs some of them have to turn out good.
Spray and pray might work if you're looking to get a shot or two, but if you want to get 300-400 good to great shots with consistent results, you really need to know a bit more than that. Also, it's really an illusion that every photog takes massive amounts of shots at the wedding. I only know a few that shoot thousands upon thousands of shots at every wedding, and all their shots are consistently average at best. On the flip side, a buddy of mine goes to a wedding with his wife for a couple of hours, takes "few shots and here and there" and gets much better results: http://www.robertswiderski.com But I digress, because it really boils down to one thing... making your customers satisfied; and it really doesn't matter if you shot 1,000 photos or 10,000 photos.

I'll echo a bit of what UnknownSouljer has already mentioned. Firstly, don't quit your day job. Photography (as a source of income) can be extremely volatile unless you're an already established photog. There are other avenues that you can peruse... landscape (least likely to land you a paid gig), portrait, real estate, literally any form of commercial photography... it's all about how you want to promote yourself. Also, don't get into a false sense of thinking that weddings are only a weekend gig. Far from it. After the wedding, you're likely going to spend hours glued to your computer screen every day for a month editing sets of photos.

But hey... if you can milk the wedding scene, go for it. Recoup the cost of the gear and then get into other avenues of photography as desired.
 

Nebell

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When your parents tell you that your photos of people are bad, that's when you know they're really bad!
After shooting events, birthdays and many other things, I landed a side job shooting motorsport.
Oh and I finally created a website: www.nox.pictures

I went through quite a few lenses:
*Sony 12-24 F4
*Sony 24-105 F4
*Sony 90mm Macro
*Sony 70-300 F4.5-5.6
*Sigma 35 F1.4
Sigma 135 F1.8

*still in my possession.
I sold Sigma 135 because I didn't like it.
I'm about to sell my 12-24 as I don't use it as well as 70-300 and just get 70-200 F2.8. But I'm still debating with myself if I should do it or not.
Maybe even get rid of my Sigma 35 F1.4 to finance 1.4x teleconverter for 70-200 but I'm not sure, I love that Sigma.


I know you guys were pissed at me (and for a good reason ;)) a year ago when I said that I've outgrown my D3200.
But this new camera has gotten me way more interested in photography.
 

UnknownSouljer

[H]ardness Supreme
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Sep 24, 2001
Messages
6,172
When your parents tell you that your photos of people are bad, that's when you know they're really bad!
It depends on what you're doing. I don't feel like there are a lot of people that have a good hold on art. The other part is consistency. The more you create work in the same vein, the more people get to understand you.


After shooting events, birthdays and many other things, I landed a side job shooting motorsport.
Oh and I finally created a website: www.nox.pictures
You work looks good. Your look is consistent and solid. The website needs some work though. If you don't want to work on it in terms of programming, I'd highly recommend just spending the money and either moving to Squarespace or Wix. I used to use Wordpress, but honestly, just managing the site became a huge hassle. Even spending 1-2 hours a month managing the site prevents me from using that time to create and/or post content. For me, that's worth that $144 a year to have it be someone else's headache.


I went through quite a few lenses:
*Sony 12-24 F4
*Sony 24-105 F4
*Sony 90mm Macro
*Sony 70-300 F4.5-5.6
*Sigma 35 F1.4
Sigma 135 F1.8

*still in my possession.
I sold Sigma 135 because I didn't like it.
I'm about to sell my 12-24 as I don't use it as well as 70-300 and just get 70-200 F2.8. But I'm still debating with myself if I should do it or not.
Maybe even get rid of my Sigma 35 F1.4 to finance 1.4x teleconverter for 70-200 but I'm not sure, I love that Sigma.
As you're finding out, your kit is highly personal and personalized. I probably wouldn't get rid of your super wide angle, but it's up to you and your style. The 70-200 is indispensable for the sort of work you do if you're capable of "getting close" (relatively). If you can't, you might find the 100-400mm to be more versatile. You can treat it like a "constant aperture" f/5.6. For daylight shooting f/5.6 is plenty fast, and at >200mm your depth of field will still continue to be plenty shallow.

If you can avoid using a teleconverter, then you should. You'll find that TC's tend to soften the image significantly. They are a hack to make your gear more versatile, but as I'm sure you can think logically in your mind, they will never be better than lenses that natively have a longer focal length.

I certainly wouldn't sell any piece of gear you use regularly. And certainly not to buy anything else.


I know you guys were pissed at me (and for a good reason ;)) a year ago when I said that I've outgrown my D3200.
But this new camera has gotten me way more interested in photography.
It's not so much that I was pissed (I won't speak for anyone else). It's just understanding that the gear doesn't make you better. It does give certain capabilities that you didn't have before. But it doesn't actually make you better at shooting. As you grow more and more and reach a turning point in your career, you'll eventually come to a place where the gear becomes such a small part of what you do. Don't get me wrong, you'll always feel the pleasure of having a nice tool, but there will be the realization that the bigger and better part of the tool is that it gets out of your way to let you get done what you want to get done.

I'm glad that your investment has made you dive in deeper. You just have to know and understand that you're unique in that sense. I've seen a lot of people invest thousands only to let it all collect dust. Because there is the mistaken believe that gear makes you a photographer. Or that gear makes better pictures. And when casuals figure out that their hobby takes work, they often quit. They might not realize that those are the reasons why they quit, but it's in there. It's in them.
 
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Nebell

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It depends on what you're doing. I don't feel like there are a lot of people that have a good hold on art. The other part is consistency. The more you create work in the same vein, the more people get to understand you.




You work looks good. Your look is consistent and solid. The website needs some work though. If you don't want to work on it in terms of programming, I'd highly recommend just spending the money and either moving to Squarespace or Wix. I used to use Wordpress, but honestly, just managing the site became a huge hassle. Even spending 1-2 hours a month managing the site prevents me from using that time to create and/or post content. For me, that's worth that $144 a year to have it be someone else's headache.




As you're finding out, your kit is highly personal and personalized. I probably wouldn't get rid of your super wide angle, but it's up to you and your style. The 70-200 is indispensable for the sort of work you do if you're capable of "getting close" (relatively). If you can't, you might find the 100-400mm to be more versatile. You can treat it like a "constant aperture" f/5.6. For daylight shooting f/5.6 is plenty fast, and at >200mm your depth of field will still continue to be plenty shallow.

If you can avoid using a teleconverter, then you should. You'll find that TC's tend to soften the image significantly. They are a hack to make your gear more versatile, but as I'm sure you can think logically in your mind, they will never be better than lenses that natively have a longer focal length.

I certainly wouldn't sell any piece of gear you use regularly. And certainly not to buy anything else.




It's not so much that I was pissed (I won't speak for anyone else). It's just understanding that the gear doesn't make you better. It does give certain capabilities that you didn't have before. But it doesn't actually make you better at shooting. As you grow more and more and reach a turning point in your career, you'll eventually come to a place where the gear becomes such a small part of what you do. Don't get me wrong, you'll always feel the pleasure of having a nice tool, but there will be the realization that the bigger and better part of the tool is that it gets out of your way to let you get done what you want to get done.

I'm glad that your investment has made you dive in deeper. You just have to know and understand that you're unique in that sense. I've seen a lot of people invest thousands only to let it all collect dust. Because there is the mistaken believe that gear makes you a photographer. Or that gear makes better pictures. And when casuals figure out that their hobby takes work, they often quit. They might not realize that those are the reasons why they quit, but it's in there. It's in them.
Thanks for the reply.
The thing is, 12-24 is barely being used. I was thinking about replacing all of my gear for 16-35 GM, 24-70GM, 70-200GM + 1.4x teleconverter. I don't have a big need for 400mm reach (it's mostly for fun), but about 300mm would be nice, especially since I'd get that constant F4 aperture with 1.4x teleconverter (which according to reports doesn't degrade the image that much).

The webpage is on Wix, lol, is it that bad? :p
 

UnknownSouljer

[H]ardness Supreme
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6,172
Thanks for the reply.
The thing is, 12-24 is barely being used. I was thinking about replacing all of my gear for 16-35 GM, 24-70GM, 70-200GM + 1.4x teleconverter. I don't have a big need for 400mm reach (it's mostly for fun), but about 300mm would be nice, especially since I'd get that constant F4 aperture with 1.4x teleconverter (which according to reports doesn't degrade the image that much).

The webpage is on Wix, lol, is it that bad? :p
Before you sell the 12-24 (if you decide to go that route) experiment with getting ultra close and shooting ultra wide. Obviously the look isn't for everyone, but having it as a tool is very useful, as frankly most people don't have the tool (and therefore ability) to do it. If it's not a look that you want to be part of your style, then I understand.

We've discussed this before, but I generally prefer primes. However the 16-35mm and 70-200mm still find their usefulness for what I do (mostly for video or events). I just generally don't feel like the 24-70mm/24-105mm is particularly useful, which is ironic as people look at it as "the" general purpose zoom. I'd rather shoot on 35mm or 50mm all day than shoot on a midrange zoom. I bring this up just because you're about to unload all your f/4 zooms. It might be worth your time to experiment, especially considering you really like Sigma's 35mm prime (in my bag I have a 28mm, 35mm, 55mm, 85mm. I probably won't bother with a 135mm, and I'll eventually get another 70-200mm, it's just not a priority for the type of shooting I generally do. I shoot video on a crop frame camera so my 10-18mm is sufficient, which is roughly 16-28mm. If I shot video on FF then I'd move to the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM for sure).

If you go Trinity zoom it's not a bad choice at all. Just preference. The entire GM line in general is some really nice glass.

===

Wix isn't bad at all. You can make really good sites out of it.

Here is the deal: Squarespace is like the Apple of websites in the sense that it looks really good and is incredibly easy to use. You can transfer your website to any theme with zero issues because the backend is programmed that way. However, their themes are limited in number and you can't customize everything to be exactly the way you want. If you're okay with that, I would say it requires the least amount of effort to get something that looks good. You can checkout my site. I haven't really updated it in a long while as for me it's just there to validate me and what I do. Most of my work doesn't get posted or placed in public.

Wix is kind of between Squarespace and Wordpress to me. It does have a lot more customization options, and allows more granule control over each element. If you decide to choose a different theme though, you have to start over. This is the part that's a pain. It's also harder to get a site that looks really good out of the box without a good amount of time spent and customization.

If you're looking for other specific critique, I would say: clean up your about page. I wouldn't list your gear at all. If people want that info they probably don't know enough about the field to know it doesn't matter. You want them to be impressed with your work, not impressed with your equipment. Your about section should really be about your experience, style, and maybe some personal stuff that shows your personality.

I would eliminate any sections of your galleries that are 1-2 photos. Try to show at least 6 per. Take those down until you're ready to fill them. But like I said before: your work is solid. The look is consistent. And the work is big and upfront for clients to see so all of that is good stuff. You also are showing ONE type of photography which is definitely what you should do. At least in terms of all your main work.
 
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Nebell

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
1,623
Before you sell the 12-24 (if you decide to go that route) experiment with getting ultra close and shooting ultra wide. Obviously the look isn't for everyone, but having it as a tool is very useful, as frankly most people don't have the tool (and therefore ability) to do it. If it's not a look that you want to be part of your style, then I understand.

We've discussed this before, but I generally prefer primes. However the 16-35mm and 70-200mm still find their usefulness for what I do (mostly for video or events). I just generally don't feel like the 24-70mm/24-105mm is particularly useful, which is ironic as people look at it as "the" general purpose zoom. I'd rather shoot on 35mm or 50mm all day than shoot on a midrange zoom. I bring this up just because you're about to unload all your f/4 zooms. It might be worth your time to experiment, especially considering you really like Sigma's 35mm prime (in my bag I have a 28mm, 35mm, 55mm, 85mm. I probably won't bother with a 135mm, and I'll eventually get another 70-200mm, it's just not a priority for the type of shooting I generally do. I shoot video on a crop frame camera so my 10-18mm is sufficient, which is roughly 16-28mm. If I shot video on FF then I'd move to the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM for sure).

If you go Trinity zoom it's not a bad choice at all. Just preference. The entire GM line in general is some really nice glass.

===

Wix isn't bad at all. You can make really good sites out of it.

Here is the deal: Squarespace is like the Apple of websites in the sense that it looks really good and is incredibly easy to use. You can transfer your website to any theme with zero issues because the backend is programmed that way. However, their themes are limited in number and you can't customize everything to be exactly the way you want. If you're okay with that, I would say it requires the least amount of effort to get something that looks good. You can checkout my site. I haven't really updated it in a long while as for me it's just there to validate me and what I do. Most of my work doesn't get posted or placed in public.

Wix is kind of between Squarespace and Wordpress to me. It does have a lot more customization options, and allows more granule control over each element. If you decide to choose a different theme though, you have to start over. This is the part that's a pain. It's also harder to get a site that looks really good out of the box without a good amount of time spent and customization.

If you're looking for other specific critique, I would say: clean up your about page. I wouldn't list your gear at all. If people want that info they probably don't know enough about the field to know it doesn't matter. You want them to be impressed with your work, not impressed with your equipment. Your about section should really be about your experience, style, and maybe some personal stuff that shows your personality.

I would eliminate any sections of your galleries that are 1-2 photos. Try to show at least 6 per. Take those down until you're ready to fill them. But like I said before: your work is solid. The look is consistent. And the work is big and upfront for clients to see so all of that is good stuff. You also are showing ONE type of photography which is definitely what you should do. At least in terms of all your main work.
Your work is impressive. Especially people shots and it shows that you have a lot of experience.

Also, I like your webpage. At least mobile version of it as I don't have access to a desktop right now.
You seem to like minimalism and that's also the look I go for.
I don't have any galleries with 1-2 photos, unless something went very wrong with my site :)
For example, if you click on motorsport it does show 2 photos, but those are clickable galleries. One is of a static car and that one shows only photos of parked cars.
The other photo is an action shot and shows them in action.
I focus mostly on cars and aerial photography, thats why they have separate pages.
The "more" page is different stuff that I'm showing off for fun (people/events, animals, landscape and macro).

I had issues making my page mobile friendly. I don't think I can make it better than what it is now.
If Wix gives more control than Squarespace, then I'll stick to Wix as I like to tweak every little part of my page.

You're right, I'll clean up that about page and also separate it from contact, just like you did.
The problem is, I prefer to express myself in English language, but my website should really be in Swedish. Being in English also messes up my SEO.
People in my area probably don't search for photographers in English.

I might even add a store page and sell photos. Photography is not my main job, I'm just doing it as a side business.
 

UnknownSouljer

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
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Messages
6,172
I tend to type long answers, I'll try to keep this short to let others also respond.

Your work is impressive. Especially people shots and it shows that you have a lot of experience.
Thank you. Much appreciated. It's a never ending journey. Always trying to be better.

Also, I like your webpage. At least mobile version of it as I don't have access to a desktop right now.
You seem to like minimalism and that's also the look I go for.
Yes. Squarespace also helps facilitate this look, being simple and clean.


I don't have any galleries with 1-2 photos, unless something went very wrong with my site :)
For example, if you click on motorsport it does show 2 photos, but those are clickable galleries. One is of a static car and that one shows only photos of parked cars.
The other photo is an action shot and shows them in action.
I focus mostly on cars and aerial photography, thats why they have separate pages.
The "more" page is different stuff that I'm showing off for fun (people/events, animals, landscape and macro).
Your site does appear to be broken then. As the parked cars one is only one image. The other ones do appear to be functioning properly as galleries.

I'll be honest, I also don't like that sort of gallery. It controls what I see, when I'd rather be able to see everything and pick what I'm interested in.

As a side note: the mobile version of my site makes this more hidden, but technically by clicking on the menu you can see other work that I've shot. But I do make it clear where my focus is (portraiture front and center) and that my projects involving motorsport or extreme sports (skating) is "just" personal work to show that I'm a bit more well rounded than some might expect.


I had issues making my page mobile friendly. I don't think I can make it better than what it is now.
If Wix gives more control than Squarespace, then I'll stick to Wix as I like to tweak every little part of my page.
Squarespace themes cover that. They are designed to work on desktop, tablet, and mobile. I didn't want to have to manage that. This is what I mean when I say it's worth the money to me to not have the headache.


You're right, I'll clean up that about page and also separate it from contact, just like you did.
The problem is, I prefer to express myself in English language, but my website should really be in Swedish. Being in English also messes up my SEO.
People in my area probably don't search for photographers in English.

You have an advantage. If you can make your site multi-lingual then you can essentially drive up your traffic. Not sure how easy Wix makes that. I think Squarespace it's fairly integrated, but I haven't bothered to fully check. Might be worthwhile to find that info out as it will probably be more likely for me in the future to also have my site be multi-lingual.


I might even add a store page and sell photos. Photography is not my main job, I'm just doing it as a side business.
If you do sell photos, I'd recommend having those gallery pages be invisible. While shooting motorcross I talked to some of the photographers that make that work their business, and generally it's categorized by event and people that are interested only see the one event they're interested in for print. Some of the really hardcore guys would only do prints on the spot and have no online gallery at all. That of course meant they had to have images up almost immediately at the event and had to have a mobile printing lab (most of them operated out of trailers and had someone do the minimal edits like white balancing and applying looks and watermarks as well as manage the print lab). However it seemed to be an effective strategy as the "limited" nature of it combined with the excitement of getting out of a race and seeing themselves made them want to buy on the spot. Day(s) after the race there is time to "cool down" and fewer people are interested in making purchases. Event pricing is crazy. People were willing to spend $20-$50 for a 10x14 to a poster sized print on the spot, but likely would be less inclined later. Just something to think about.
Obviously you don't need to start there as investing in a trailer and a big format printer just frankly might not be viable. But if you go there, at least here in the US there is a market you can tap into.
 
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northrop

grumman
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
9,632
I tend to type long answers, I'll try to keep this short to let others also respond.
Well... that's too bad... i quite enjoy reading your posts ;)

...web site stuff...
On that note, I would point out photography oriented services, such as Zenfolio or SmugMug (which is what I use). SM offers quite a lot of customizability and allows for HTML and CSS code injection if you want to further enhance your site beyond the scope of their templates (assuming of course, you're handy enough to do that). I haven't touched my site in almost 10 years (which looks severely outdated... not to mention the photos) and currently use it as a storage server more than anything else, but for $5/mo... why not. Its eCommerce option is also great because it's completely and seamlessly integrated into your site, but I'm not sure how that helps someone based outside of US (not sure how foreign currency is handled, but I guess PayPal kinda makes that non-issue. Printing labs are all US based, however, and not sure if all ship internationally and how that would factor into business side of things). Dunno... just throwing it out there.

Nebell, on the gear side of things, only you know what is best suited for your needs, but you seem to be very tempted to switch your gear often. I'm not sure if you're giving your gear a proper amount of time to actually learn it. Since last year, you've owned more glass than I have in 15 years, which I think is a little nuts.

Also, pretty much all your aerial shots have its horizon level couple degrees off... drives me nuts. :D Your car shots are very consistent, though. I don't care much for the HDR-like stylizing, but then again... I don't shoot cars, so maybe it's a thing for that type of photography.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt, and just do your thing (y)
 

Nebell

[H]ard|Gawd
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I tend to type long answers, I'll try to keep this short to let others also respond.



Thank you. Much appreciated. It's a never ending journey. Always trying to be better.



Yes. Squarespace also helps facilitate this look, being simple and clean.




Your site does appear to be broken then. As the parked cars one is only one image. The other ones do appear to be functioning properly as galleries.

I'll be honest, I also don't like that sort of gallery. It controls what I see, when I'd rather be able to see everything and pick what I'm interested in.

As a side note: the mobile version of my site makes this more hidden, but technically by clicking on the menu you can see other work that I've shot. But I do make it clear where my focus is (portraiture front and center) and that my projects involving motorsport or extreme sports (skating) is "just" personal work to show that I'm a bit more well rounded than some might expect.




Squarespace themes cover that. They are designed to work on desktop, tablet, and mobile. I didn't want to have to manage that. This is what I mean when I say it's worth the money to me to not have the headache.





You have an advantage. If you can make your site multi-lingual then you can essentially drive up your traffic. Not sure how easy Wix makes that. I think Squarespace it's fairly integrated, but I haven't bothered to fully check. Might be worthwhile to find that info out as it will probably be more likely for me in the future to also have my site be multi-lingual.




If you do sell photos, I'd recommend having those gallery pages be invisible. While shooting motorcross I talked to some of the photographers that make that work their business, and generally it's categorized by event and people that are interested only see the one event they're interested in for print. Some of the really hardcore guys would only do prints on the spot and have no online gallery at all. That of course meant they had to have images up almost immediately at the event and had to have a mobile printing lab (most of them operated out of trailers and had someone do the minimal edits like white balancing and applying looks and watermarks as well as manage the print lab). However it seemed to be an effective strategy as the "limited" nature of it combined with the excitement of getting out of a race and seeing themselves made them want to buy on the spot. Day(s) after the race there is time to "cool down" and fewer people are interested in making purchases. Event pricing is crazy. People were willing to spend $20-$50 for a 10x14 to a poster sized print on the spot, but likely would be less inclined later. Just something to think about.
Obviously you don't need to start there as investing in a trailer and a big format printer just frankly might not be viable. But if you go there, at least here in the US there is a market you can tap into.
The website works fine on my end (desktop). You maybe missed the white arrow on the right side? It's on the picture and a bit hard to see. Or maybe you're on a different OS/Browser? I use Windows and Chrome.

After the event, some of the drivers contacted me and asked how much I charge for full resolution photos. Unfortunately those that contacted me were the ones I took only a couple of photos of and they weren't good enough for sale in my opinion (so I gave them for free).
 

Nebell

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
1,623
Well... that's too bad... i quite enjoy reading your posts ;)


On that note, I would point out photography oriented services, such as Zenfolio or SmugMug (which is what I use). SM offers quite a lot of customizability and allows for HTML and CSS code injection if you want to further enhance your site beyond the scope of their templates (assuming of course, you're handy enough to do that). I haven't touched my site in almost 10 years (which looks severely outdated... not to mention the photos) and currently use it as a storage server more than anything else, but for $5/mo... why not. Its eCommerce option is also great because it's completely and seamlessly integrated into your site, but I'm not sure how that helps someone based outside of US (not sure how foreign currency is handled, but I guess PayPal kinda makes that non-issue. Printing labs are all US based, however, and not sure if all ship internationally and how that would factor into business side of things). Dunno... just throwing it out there.

Nebell, on the gear side of things, only you know what is best suited for your needs, but you seem to be very tempted to switch your gear often. I'm not sure if you're giving your gear a proper amount of time to actually learn it. Since last year, you've owned more glass than I have in 15 years, which I think is a little nuts.

Also, pretty much all your aerial shots have its horizon level couple degrees off... drives me nuts. :D Your car shots are very consistent, though. I don't care much for the HDR-like stylizing, but then again... I don't shoot cars, so maybe it's a thing for that type of photography.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt, and just do your thing (y)
I do take in what other people tell me and I usually make adjustments to suit me. I'm not an established photographer. If I was a portrait photographer only I could probably just live with an 85 F1.4 and 35 or 24.
And I like to optimize.
I took suggestions from other people on this forum a year ago and bought the glass they suggested. And a lot of it is great.
The 24-105 is fantastic (the car pictures are shot on it) and I have shot a lot of macro and it's quite fun. I'm keeping my 90mm macro.
But what I love doing as well is low light photography (for example that fire show I did last year was a lot of fun) which I mostly use 90mm macro for (it's f2.8), but it hunted a lot in the dark.
I could go primes, but I still probably need 70-200 f2.8 because it's so versatile. Sony's longest prime is 135mm I think. I owned Sigma 135mm and it was great, but it was too long for indoor shots and too short for the outdoor. I think it's mostly to shoot people and I don't like doing that.
That 12-24 I have had for a year and took maybe 100 photos with it. I like how wide it is, but I just don't like how it pushes everything further away. It's what it is, all lenses are like that, but I don't like it. That's why I'm getting rid of it. I got an offer and losing about €300 on it which I think is fine for a year old lens.
I think 24mm on 24-105 did fine.

And I still can't decide if I should get 24-70 f2.8 or keep this 24-105 f4.
24-105 has OSS so I can use slower shutter speed, 24-70 doesn't, but 24-70 is brighter (and slower shutter speed makes moving subjects blurry).

Perhaps I could just end up with 24GM, 85GM and 70-200GM.
 

Anh N.

Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2007
Messages
680
Just a quick suggestion. Instead of getting the 300, or the 100-400mm, one can just use the crop mode on the 70-200mm. This effectively gives you 300mm field of view/range, while saving the hassle of teleconverter and or the weight.

Edit: Sorry didn't read to carefully that you don't have the 70-200 yet. IF you do get it tho I would use crop mode instead of teleconverter. Just my 2c.
 
Last edited:

UnknownSouljer

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Sep 24, 2001
Messages
6,172
Just a quick suggestion. Instead of getting the 300, or the 100-400mm, one can just use the crop mode on the 70-200mm. This effectively gives you 300mm field of view/range, while saving the hassle of teleconverter and or the weight.

Edit: Sorry didn't read to carefully that you don't have the 70-200 yet. IF you do get it tho I would use crop mode instead of teleconverter. Just my 2c.
There isn't a point in using the crop mode. May as well shoot full frame and crop in post and have the option of more pixels, rather than pick a crop in camera and not have the option to go back in post. Crop mode would be relevant for video modes but not for stills. If you actually want optical actual zoom (that is to say the same amount of pixels in a tighter frame), there's only one way to get it.
 

Carlitos714

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
1,025
You're right, I'll clean up that about page and also separate it from contact, just like you did.
The problem is, I prefer to express myself in English language, but my website should really be in Swedish. Being in English also messes up my SEO.
People in my area probably don't search for photographers in English.

.
I do SEO so ill tell you how you can do it because I've done it for a few my businesses including my wife's business.

If you are using wordpress it's even better. Make your site like this. domain.com/swedish/ . Put your main keyword in the URL domain.com/swedish-weding-photographer/ and believe me you will do fine. In your GMB like to the Swedish site. Make it a subfolder and clone your main site domain.com but change to swedish. build citations to the swedish site and links.
 

Nebell

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
1,623
I do SEO so ill tell you how you can do it because I've done it for a few my businesses including my wife's business.

If you are using wordpress it's even better. Make your site like this. domain.com/swedish/ . Put your main keyword in the URL domain.com/swedish-weding-photographer/ and believe me you will do fine. In your GMB like to the Swedish site. Make it a subfolder and clone your main site domain.com but change to swedish. build citations to the swedish site and links.
If this works, I owe you quite a few beers! :)
 

Carlitos714

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
1,025
If this works, I owe you quite a few beers! :)
Dude it works. As long as your site is strong enough meaning you have SEO work done and continuously get work done.

Then you can also target specific cities or districts too.

If you can get a google business page for each city it's even better.


You can set up something like this


domain.com/stockholm-wedding-photography
domain.com/stadshagen
domain.com/etc-etc

just dont repeat the keyword in the url.

so if you domain is xxxweddingphotography.com

do something like

xxxweddingphotography.com/stockholm-photographer
xxxweddingphotography.com/stadshagen-photographer

And when you do shoots a specific locations make blog post like this

xxxweddingphotography.com/ruin-retreat-bridal-photographer-stockholm-sweden
 

Nebell

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
1,623
Dude it works. As long as your site is strong enough meaning you have SEO work done and continuously get work done.

Then you can also target specific cities or districts too.

If you can get a google business page for each city it's even better.


You can set up something like this


domain.com/stockholm-wedding-photography
domain.com/stadshagen
domain.com/etc-etc

just dont repeat the keyword in the url.

so if you domain is xxxweddingphotography.com

do something like

xxxweddingphotography.com/stockholm-photographer
xxxweddingphotography.com/stadshagen-photographer

And when you do shoots a specific locations make blog post like this

xxxweddingphotography.com/ruin-retreat-bridal-photographer-stockholm-sweden
Thanks a bunch for those tips. I will definitely give it a go in the near future. I know basically nothing about SEO.
 

Shoganai

Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
519
Awesome advice in here. I’m actually getting into wedding photography myself ... not as a sole focus ... but it will be a big part of what I do. I’m definitely eager to turn this hobby into something more lucrative and I’ve been putting it off, but things like this thread keep popping up and so I feel signs are slapping me in the face. I hope you end up exactly where you want to be in your photography career OP.
 
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