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February 4th, 2009

Going from weekend wedding shooter to full-time pro 1

Posted by SAS Becker

SAS Becker used to be a successful stock, advertising, and editorial photographer. Now she shoots weddings and portraits full time and she’s got great advice about how to make the transition. Check out “Going from weekend wedding shooter…2“: How can you assess when is the right time to make the transition from part-time to full-time wedding photography?
A wedding image by Sas Becker. ©Sas Becker

A wedding image by SAS Becker. ©SAS Becker

I graduated photo school with some great contacts but not a lot of practical photo skills. I didn’t feel technically astute enough to be a first assistant so I became a photo editor. That taught me a lot about producing a great shoot, but it wasn’t as fulfilling for me as taking pictures. So in 1993 my husband and I took the leap and started building our stock photo library. We walked into a stock agency with a box of 8×10 black-and-white prints and got signed on the spot. The thing that was great about stock was that we could learn how to shoot on our own time. Granted it was our own dime, too, but through trial and error we figured out what we were doing. The stock allowed us to build a portfolio, which led to magazine assignments. The editorial work led us to a rep, which got us a few advertising gigs.

The ironic thing is that when we were first starting out people would ask us to shoot weddings. We ended up doing about ten a year. But we hated it. We had no control over the situation. We were used to directing our subjects and having time to figure out the lighting. With weddings you have to be “on” the entire time and the only time you get to direct is during the formals. So we let the weddings go by the way side and shot primarily stock for the next decade.

Then digital happened. All of a sudden everyone was a photographer. The cameras got better and more affordable. The price of equipment was no longer an obstacle to beginning shooters. The market was flooded and our stock sales dropped a lot. Now, here comes the bride… all of a sudden weddings are looking pretty good, and so are family portraits.

The great surprise is that now I actually love weddings. All the things that drove me to photography to begin with exist in weddings and portraits. I love people! As long as I get to photograph them, especially at a big party, I am happy. And, may I add that now that I have been shooting for twenty years, and I know what I am doing, the lack of control isn’t such an issue!


  1. June 1st, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    john hildebrand

    great tips thanks

  2. August 26th, 2012 at 2:01 pm


    They look great, however I am beaisd, being Amy’s little sister and Maid-of-Honor. The one that I think captures the true essence of Amy and Derek is the one right before the pizza pictures; where she is looking over her shoulder and has her arms around his neck! I am very excited for their wedding in May!

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