Patrick Hall

Wild Dunes Resort Wedding Photographer | Isle of Palms, SC | Charleston, SC

This wedding was one of my very first as a second shooter.  I was given an opportunity to second shoot for Patrick Hall of Patrick Hall Weddings and Fstoppers out of Charleston South Carolina. This really was one of those hail mary type of situations. I had watch Patrick Hall and Lee Morris many Youtube snippets from their tutorial "How to Become a Wedding Photographer" and many other videos they had out there. I simply admired their story on how they ultimately became wedding photographers.  It intrigued me so much (and I really wanted to get into the industry) that I emailed Lee Morris.  And behold...he emailed back to say to give him a call when he was back in town. So I called him and he told me he didn't have anything at the time but to give Patrick a ring. So I did. And behold...Patrick answered...we spoke...we emailed back and forth...he gave me an opportunity...and the rest is history!!  Basically sometimes just taking a chance, a shot in the dark pays off. I am grateful for the courtesy and opportunity that both Lee and Patrick shown and gave me. As I said in a previous blog...it does pay to be a second shooter!

 

So to the wedding...this was an amazing beach wedding at the Wild Dunes Resort in the Isle of Palms just outside of the beautiful historic city of Charleston SC.  Is was such a gorgeous occasion but it was soooo humid that day. But believe me, the experience was worth every bead of sweat that day. The bride was beautiful and the groom was as cool and calm as the other side of the pillow (props to Stuart Scott). A nice little music ensemble that just fit the mood perfectly. The guests were so polite and beautiful as well.  It just made for a perfect day for a wedding.

Even though the bride and groom were a beautiful couple, the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer were just as gorgeous.  Those two were filled with so much cuteness and energy that they couldn't help but be the center of attention at times. But the love that you saw in the eyes of the bride and groom was infectious. They way they looked at each other just made you wish it was your day exchanging vows.

Great ceremony, awesome food at the reception and loving people made it a day to remember. Congrats to these two!!

 

PS- Thank you so much for this opportunity Patrick...dude you have no clue how much that meant to me!!

Research, Learn and then be a Second Shooter 1st

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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.

 

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