I’ll never forget applying for my first job. I had just turned 16 and couldn’t wait to apply at the local diner. I just knew I’d be a killer waitress and it would be awesome. I’ll never forget the look in the eyes of the hiring manager. He knew my family and knew I’d be good, but just couldn’t take a chance on someone without any experience. He told me to get some experience and to come back.
::Side note: I feel like my perfect attendance in school, straight A’s, and ability to strike up conversations with perfect strangers was a pretty good indication that I could handle the job well, but I digress. There truly are no hard feelings.::
My brother pulled some strings to get me hired at the local grocery store and from there I ended up working 20 hours a week during high school (while maintaining honors & AP classes, as well as being a captain of the color guard). At 17, they moved me up to the weekend bookkeeper- something that was pretty unheard of to let a teenager handle.
I never applied again at the diner. I didn’t need to. I had my start and that’s all I needed to succeed. I worked at that grocery store until I was offered a job paying double.
With that thought in mind, we started something pretty cool here at Fowler Studios last year. We noticed there were local photographers looking to break into the wedding industry, but they didn’t have any experience. Just like the diner, brides aren’t typically looking for someone with zero experience. It’s a huge risk on their most important day. So we wanted to help, and the response has been great!
For each wedding that we photograph solo, we invite one person along to learn and assist. That person can be anywhere on the learning curve, from just interested in photography to almost ready to tackle their own solo wedding. The day is extremely hands on, and even includes second shooting to help with portfolio images!
We do have a few ground rules, and the biggest is that the person we choose is kind, positive, and professional. Yeah, yeah, puppies and butterflies and all that stuff, but seriously– we can’t have any negative nellies on a wedding day! 🙂 Last year I had a guest yell at my second shooter. I loved her before that, but the level of professionalism and kindness she showed to that guest absolutely made me love her even more. What started out as her chance to tag along and shoot at a specific venue turned in to me hiring her as often as possible when I need someone! Weddings aren’t all glamour and pictures– they’re hard work and you have to have a thick skin!
If you’re interested in learning more or gaining experience, contact us (^^there’s a tab up there! ^^) and let us know! You don’t need a camera or professional equipment to apply. These positions are unpaid and solely for experience. They don’t sprout from a need for us to have assistants or second shooters, but from a need in the community to learn more about the wedding industry and testing the waters. And we do have to ultimately choose based on the wedding and the brides needs, since they come first! But we love teaching and it’s fun to have a buddy!
For now, this opportunity is only for photographers. We already have two videographers for most weddings, and honestly, three can be a crowd! So in making sure that we keep our brides priorities first, it’s best to keep the numbers low.