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age and you owe it to your potential clients to be able to adapt quickly to different lighting situations, know how to use your equipment, etc. so you don’t miss those important moments! Classes at the Chicago Photography Center are a great place to start, including the Weddings-ina-Day Bootcamp, where I cover the business aspects of wedding photography, as well as spending time working with bride and groom models. Organizations like the Professional Photographers Association (PPA) can provide endless resources for training, legal tips, sample contracts and other information. Get a good website! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Good, affordable options such as SmugMug or ShowIt are easy to customize and are scalable as your business grows.

A DYT TO E SZL O SZY

BEE: Describe your work with the Chicago Photography Center (CPC).

capabilities? What are the wedding book options? I feel strongly about not simply shooting and providing a DVD of images. At the end of the day, the dress goes into the closet, the tux gets returned, the cake gets eaten and the flowers fade, but the wedding book is the one lasting remembrance of one of the most special celebrations in your life—don’t miss out on it. BEE: What are some tips for aspiring wedding photographers who want to launch their own business?

ANGIE: Seek out work as a second photographer. This is the only way to truly experience what it’s like to shoot a wedding and decide if it’s really for you and if you are prepared in your technical skills to do it. There are ways to find work through Digital Wedding Forum (DWF), Fast Track Photographer Group in Chicago, etc. where both established and aspiring photographers come together, and it’s a great way to get connected. Hone your photographic skills. There is no substitute for a technically, sound im-

ANGIE: I’ve been involved with CPC since 2003. I took a portrait class with local theatre photographer Johnny Knight and was hooked. At the time, building out the new space and growing the non-profit was very volunteer-intensive, and I dove in, eager to meet like-minded photographers. From hauling construction debris out to the garbage, moving furniture, painting or hanging cabinets, there wasn’t much that volunteers didn’t do to get the space ready for September ’03 classes. I began assisting in the classes and teaching as a darkroom instructor, joined the board of directors in 2004 and have continued in that capacity ever since. With a background in technology, many of my efforts have been focused on things like the website (including its redesign last year), email and e-newsletter communications, etc. I also sit on the curriculum committee, teach a class and am part of a board sub-committee providing oversight to CPC staff, as we are currently without an executive director. My involvement at CPC provides me an opportunity to bring photography to the community and to connect with others in the photography world. I have been fortunate to have had good teachers and mentors willing to help me, and I enjoy giving that back through my teaching and networking with people new to the industry.

JUNE 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 31


ME: IN FOCUS June 2010