Making the Most out of Your First Year as a Wedding Photographer

first-year-wedding-photographer-benjamin-patch-photobug-5 All Photos © Benjamin Patch

One year ago, Benjamin Patch started taking photos on his iPhone. Today, he has nearly 45K followers on Instagram and a portfolio that surely intimidates seasoned pros. How did Benjamin become such an overnight sensation? We think he’s figured out the recipe to making the most out of your first year as a wedding photographer, and we’re excited to share his insight with you today! Whether you’ve shot 5 or 500 weddings, Benjamin’s words will inspire you to look at your business with a fresh perspective and an open heart!


To me, photography is a magical thing. I was introduced to photography by watching my friends here in Utah take photos; such as Mandi Nelson or Jaci Carlson. I was blown away at how they could make anything around them look beautiful. I started taking pictures with my iPhone last summer (2015) and it was amazing how everything around me could tell a story.

Fast forward three months and my same photography friends convinced me that I should buy a digital camera (Canon 6D and 35mm lens) and take real photos. I have always LOVED people and wanted to capture genuine personality and emotion. I started out by taking pictures of a friend here or there and noticed when people get in front of a camera, they freeze up! I then realized, how would someone feel comfortable being in front of a camera if they felt like they were in front of a camera?


I now start shoots by dancing together and telling stories and even letting clients take photos of me because the environment immediately changes, personalities come out, and people allow themselves to be exposed in a very real and fun way. Being a wedding photographer has been the most rewarding thing for me.


The first wedding I shot was with Mandi Nelson. She brought me on as her second shooter and I was very nervous actually terrified that I wouldn’t be able to work the camera functions properly! I remember when the bride and groom did their first dance and I was supposed to get another angle. I honestly felt like I was going to faint. But thankfully somehow the photos turned out! A big thing for me, I realized, is that we got there early and got to interact with the bride and groom more one-on-one which gave me a sense of their personality so I felt more confident in what I should capture and what they would most likely appreciate. Now every time I shoot, I get there early and get a sense of who they from the decor and surroundings!

This past year of recording stories of love and friendship has opened my eyes to the reality of love. It is such a powerful emotion that deserves to be recorded genuinely and unforced.


If I had any advice for aspiring photographers, it would be to let clients be themselves. And the best way to achieve that is by letting them see you, bad dance moves and all.


Be sure to follow Benjamin on Instagram to see where wedding photography takes him in year 2!

If you’re just getting into wedding photography and you’re looking for more advice, you need to check out Jennifer Moher’s letter to future wedding photographers.


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