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Type A Images is a portrait and wedding photography company based in Wisconsin but available for any place your little heart desires! If you are interested in booking your event or session, hit me up on email!

Type A Images has been featured on The Rock and Roll Bride blog, The Offbeat Bride Blog, WeddingWire's Brides Choice for 2010 and 2011, and The Knot Best Of Weddings for 2011. Type A also offers a hospice photography program called Kindred Spirits through the Beloit Regional Hospice, which was featured as WPPI's Photolanthropy of the Month for September 2010.

11.10.2009

Learning on the Job.

I'm wrapping up a very busy yet very satisfying wedding season. It's been one filled with long nights in front of the warm glow of my computer screen and long days accompanied by the satisfying click of my shutter.

This year has been one of intense learning. I started on this business road alone, learning as I went, and the amount I have taken in during the course of this year has been highly rewarding and beneficial.

So, tonight's blog post will be a summary of what I've learned...and what I am still figuring out. There are a lot of people entering this business every day. Some will make it...and some will tire of the grind and give up. Sticking it out this year has been worth it, even with all the headaches associated with starting a new business. So, hopefully the little I have learned and retained this year will be of some benefit to people in the "newbie" position. I am a perpetual amateur...always learning, always willing to take in new things. It's a great place to be!

What I've learned:

1. Photography is NOT a "get rich quick" scheme: In these hard economic times, I saw a great increase in people wanting to jump into the business and make a "quick buck". Weddings can be a money maker, we all know that. The average wedding in America costs something on average of $26,000. But making photography my career has in no way been a way to line my pockets with bountiful riches, nor did I set out to make that my goal. There is no quick about it. Learning how to do this and wading into the deep waters of "doing it right" has in no way been a fast process. It's been one I've dedicated myself to whole-heartedly, and one that should be taken on with forethought to exactly how much work you're willing to put in. I worked harder and longer hours this year than I ever have in my life....but it was immensely rewarding personally.

2. Actions speak loud, but not louder than learning to do it right: Photoshop actions are a wonderful thing, I think we can all agree to that. (Well..some of them anyway). But they are no replacement for really getting down to the nitty-gritty and learning your editing software, no matter what it is. My workflow has gotten much faster just learning that hey! I can do that WITHOUT an action!

3. Wedding food is yummy: A small observance but one that surprised me. I like wedding food. I truly do. I've had some awesome meals this year!

4. Back it up, Chuck: Backing up your work may seem like a no-brainer, but once you've backed up...do it again. And then one more time for good measure. Trust me on this one. And while we're on the subject of backups, if you're wanting to shoot weddings...go get yourself some back-up gear. Your brides will thank you for it.

5. Manual is your friend: Don't be afraid of that little M on your dial....befriend him and then take control of him and make him your slave.

6. Community!: Yes...they are your competition, but put that aside and learn that so much can be gained from networking within the photography community and making buddies. I've learned so much from the various communities I belong to. Learn and share...pay it forward. It only helps the community as a whole grow in skill. (Shout out to the [b]school...what a fabulous place to [b]!)

7. Get yourself together: Before you run off and start charging money for your services (I know...it's tempting, isn't it?) get your paperwork and boring-stuff together. Register with the dept. of revenue, be too legit to quit and all that. I know, it's not fun...it's not creative...but when you do it right...right from the start...it makes the whole process easier. Quarterly sales tax returns are not exactly my idea of a rockin' night, but I always get a nice sense of satisfaction from knowing exactly where I am financially.

8. Experiment!: Go beyond the trendy go-to post processing magic and just try some stuff out on your own. Some of it will probably fail...I know I have...but find your way through the dark to your own style. YOU are what is the central part of your business.

9. There is always someone cooler than you: I still look at other's work and think "Man...how did they get to be so fabulous?". There will ALWAYS be someone out there better than you. Let that help you grow, and remember that they have something you don't....YOU. Don't get discouraged, USE your envy of their skill and style to grow your business with your own skill and style.

10. Constructive Criticism: When constructive can help more than anything. Just today I received some great CC....it always takes you one step closer to your own little vision of perfect.

and...the most important thing I learned this year...by far....

11. SHOES!: Bad shoes can ruin a work day. Trust me. Get thee to the nice shoe store and invest in decent shoes. Your tootsies will thank me.

I still have so much to learn. I'm learning every single day I pick up my camera or open a file. I never want to stop. I hope next year I can look back at my 2nd full season and see how I've grown and changed for the better in a year. I can't wait!


I actually handed over my camera to someone else for this shot at the last wedding of the season....Thing I've learned: watching someone else fiddle with my camera makes me nervous. Big time.

6 Peanut Gallery.:

Janet Ketonen said...

As much as I enjoyed reading this entire post, I really appreciated the caption below your final photo! :)

Molly said...

Beautiful post! And, so, so true.

You do look a little nervous in that picture...

ffocuss said...

All true-keep it going.

Schwabs said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! It was very helpful!

. s h e r r y * said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am about 6 months into my business, only part-time, since I'm still a student. But thank you for motivating me to keep on trekking,

Mandie said...

Such great thoughts!! :) Thanks for sharing!


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