Jarrett Hucks

He's a cool dude...

Jarrett at Work

He's a cool dude...and NO I'm not talking about myself.  But I do think I'm an OK guy.  At least that's what my momma tells me.  But I am referring to the individual that shot this photo of me.  (I'm the dude at the bottom of the page) Mr. Jarrett Hucks of Myrtle Beach SC. (The guy pictured above talking to the bride.) I recently met Jarrett by just responding to one of his assistance needed requests in one of our local photography Facebook groups. We spoke via Facebook and then met face to face the day prior to the wedding to talk about my experience and background a little.  And then he offered me the gig and I accepted. And from the start I knew he was a cool dude. Jarrett is one of those fellas that has a smooth, calm, confident demeanor about himself. (And cool hair too...LOL!) He is a guy that once you get to know him, you can't help but have respect for him; on the flip side of that, once he knows you, he will help you out as much as possible, and its rare to find people like that anymore. And from what I hear (not experience, but heard) that it is hard to find people like that in the photography industry. For me...so far so good.  I have met, crossed paths and worked for some amazing photographers with great personalities so far. But it's hard for me to see this guy not being a great guy to be around.  Jarrett has given me a lot of advice in this short period of knowing each other.  The one piece of advice that he has given that truly helped and stuck with me, was the advice he gave me just before my 1st wedding as a lead photographer.  I asked him if he had any tips to give me and all he said was "be confident and own it and you will do fine." That single piece of advice stuck with me the entire time during my first wedding and when I got a little frazzled at times I just remembered what he said and I was ok!

So Jarrett thanks for the opportunity and friendship you have given me. You are truly a cool dude!!

photo taken by Jarrett Hucks of JH Photo

photo taken by Jarrett Hucks of JH Photo

Research, Learn and then be a Second Shooter 1st


So you wanna be a Wedding Photographer. You want to photograph those extravagant country and city weddings. You want to be able to charge un-Godly amounts for your photography services. So you went out and purchased a DSLR and you are ready to book your first wedding. WHHOOOAAAA!!! Slow down and take a few steps back. Believe me it's not as easy as that.  I had sort of the same mindset but I realized I missed a few steps.

Before I get into this, let me tell you about my experience as a wedding photographer. I have no experience as a wedding photographer. But keep reading.  I just started out in this business and had all these grand ideas and goals and then realized that you have to do some leg work in a very saturated professional market like wedding photography. So I took a breath and started working on how to become one by taking certain steps.  Now I am not saying that my way is right or is the only way to do it, but it's what I have doing to get my foot into the market.

First I researched what gear would I need to assist me in creating great images. That took me about 6-8 months to do. Because I am simply weird when it comes to buying things like this. So I read every stinking article that is available and view every video I can get my hand on and read every customer review to help me narrow down my decision. And sometimes you can't afford the gear you really want so you have to do research on backup ideas and so on and so on. But forums, videos and gear companies like B&H and Adorama are great starting points.

Next I dedicated myself to learning, learning, learning and yes...more learning.  I took classes,  I watch tutorials (Fstoppers and SLR Lounge are absolutely awesome to learn from), I read articles and watched videos of photographer interviews of the photographers I admired (Cliff Mautner, Joe Buissink, Patrick Hall, Lee Morris, Hunter McRae). I also studied the work of outstanding local photographers in the Myrtle Beach. So I was and still am always reading and watching and asking fellow photographers questions. I want to learn, I want to grow, but most importantly I want this information that I soak in to resonate in my work in the future. In the business of photography I think you are never "there" I think there is something to always to learn to grow your skill set. So why not continued to learn a long the way.

Next I started reaching out to other photographers to find work and gain experience. Whether it was being a second shooter or an assistant on a wedding, a commercial shoot, an event...I simply didn't care. I wanted to gain experience. I used my teacher for his resources to see if he had contacts.  With his connections my first real gig was a gymnastics shoot.  A weekend long state gymnastics competition. You may say, what does that have to do with wedding photography? Well let me tell you.  It allowed me to learn and experience two things. One...what it meant to be on your feet for about 8-14 hours holding a camera. Second, by the end of the weekend it taught me how to anticipate a moment.  Two things that wedding photography demands. So that situation taught me those two valuable things. But I didn't stop there. I started emailing the photographers that I admired their work from the Myrtle Beach, Charleston and North Carolina areas to find opportunities to work and learn from some of them.  Then by doing that I found other great photographers that I didn't know of.  I joined Facebook photography groups in my area and in other areas. I simply didn't just sit a home and wait for someone to call or reach out to me.  I took jobs for free because I felt the experience was valuable.  Don't get me wrong I like money but sometimes I felt I had to sacrifice to learn.  This process of mine gave me the opportunity to work with great photographers like Keith Jacobs, Scott Smallin, Jarrett Hucks, Feuza Reis and Patrick Hall. I learned a lot from each one of those opportunities and then I learn more when I see my images and they critique them. I still have a list of photographers just from my state that I would love to work with and learn from (Hunter McRae and Gillian Claire Reinhardt...I am not giving up)

So find your own way to break into the market. I am still working hard to get in there and I will continue to work hard. not saying my way is the gospel but it has been working for me.